Free Speech and Religion

Keep the Faith

December 15, 2018  • Institute Staff

For societies to thrive, they must share a set of common values that undergird social and governmental interactions. Values often come from religion, yet there are deep misunderstandings among people of different faiths—and of no faith—which can threaten social cohesion. The Institute’s Inclusive America Project, part of the Justice and Society Program, examines the role of religious pluralism in a strong democracy, looking specifically at what skills Americans need to be religiously literate as well as how to engage, respect, and protect one another as fellow citizens. In October, the project held an all-day symposium in Washington, DC, “Conscience, Community & Citizenship: Religious Pluralism in an Age of Religious Nationalism,” at which participants discussed how to celebrate America’s religious diversity with a new national civil-religious narrative and how to access common religious tenets that cross political lines and connect communities. The United States, participants agreed, needs religious literacy—particularly young people—so that Americans can get to know their fellow citizens better and connect with people of every denomination.