The Atlantic

Progressive Values Can't Be Just Secular Values

New polls suggest liberals have an increasingly negative view of religion, despite the fact that most Democrats—and Americans—are religious.

Source: Michael Stravato/AP

For a generation, the Democratic Party of which I’m a member has steadily moved away from communities of faith. Today, according to a recent Pew study, more than one-third of Democrats—including 44 percent of self-described liberal Democrats—think churches and religious organizations actually have a “negative impact” on the United States.

But the beliefs of those liberal Democrats don’t reflect the views of most American voters. The fact of the matter is this: The vast majority of Americans—including the majority of Democrats—are people of faith. According to a recent Pew study, for example, nearly 80 percent of Americans identify with a religious faith. Two-thirds of them pray every day.

That’s why if progressives are to achieve our goals, we have to open our hearts and minds to our allies in the faith community. Doing so won’t just advance our shared policy goals—it might also help heal a nation deeply divided along political lines.

Like many Americans, I’m a progressive Democrat a Christian.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
America Has Become Dispensable in Iraq
“When the fighting breaks out between Arabs and Kurds, whose side will the Americans be on?” This was the message that Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP), instructed h
The Atlantic6 min read
Why Does the Stock Market Keep Going Up?
Two things have been true so far in 2017: The news cycle keeps spiraling downward, and the stock market keeps going up. Consider a brief review of the year’s chaos. In domestic news, Washington’s legislative machine is even more broken than normal, a
The Atlantic9 min readPop Culture
Thelonious Monk's Quiet, Slow Conquest of the World
For decades a respected but somewhat eccentric figure even within the jazz scene, the pianist and composer is at the peak of his influence as he reaches his centennial this month.