Democrats Should Not Let Faith Be a Partisan Issue

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware writes:

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….

So why have Democrats let faith become a partisan issue?

A pro-life church can still work with progressive groups to defend and welcome immigrants. An environmental organization that wants to fight climate change can team up with a faith-based organization that shares that goal, even if their members disagree on other issues. Jews, Muslims, and Christians can unite with Americans who practice no faith to march against a discriminatory ban on refugees.

The Democratic Party has to recognize that progressive values can’t be just secular values. It needs to see that we can only solve our nation’s most urgent problems and shape a more equitable America if we trust each other, listen to each other, and engage with those who are traveling along secular and scriptural paths.