A new year brings continuing tests for our faith, politics, and nation. A year after the assault on the U.S. Capitol and 10 months before the 2022 midterm elections, bitter polarization, partisan stalemate, and ideological combat make addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, and even unity in our faith communities more difficult and painful. A wide range of religious voices are seeking to shape the choices of Congress and the Biden administration, and religious voters will have key roles in the midterm elections in November.
Several of the Initiative’s dialogues have focused on the Catholic community, especially issues involving U.S. Catholic bishops, President Biden, and Pope Francis. This dialogue looked more broadly at faith, politics, and policy in the larger Christian community in the United States.
A respected journalist on faith and public life set the current context. A major evangelical leader, the director of a faith-based organizing network, a leader of Catholic advocacy in Indiana, and the director of Georgetown’s new Center on Faith and Justice assessed how faith shapes politics and how politics shapes faith in 2022.
This dialogue explored questions such as:
- How are religious values, voters, voices, and voters reflected in American politics and policy choices of 2022? How are people of faith and communities of faith part of the problem, and how are they part of a way forward?
- How are religious communities seeking to shape policy decisions in the U.S. Congress and the White House? How do conflicts over abortion, voting, poverty, immigration, and religious freedom reflect impacts of faith in public life?
- Can religious values and Catholic social principles provide alternatives to exhaustion, disillusionment, and constant combat? What would a faithful agenda look like for 2022?
- What roles might religious values and voters play in the policy choices facing Congress, the politics of 2022, and midterm elections in November? In the Republican Party? In the Democratic Party?
- For Christians in 2022, will faith shape our politics or will politics shape our faith?
John Carr, co-director of the Initiative, former director of justice and peace efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and former fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, moderated the conversation.
View a list of articles, books, podcasts, and other resources for this dialogue.