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A Conversation with Melissa Rogers

Author of Faith in American Public Life and “A Time To Heal, A Time To Build”

 

How will religious liberty be defined for our nation in the future, and how can we individually and collectively model a definition that protects religion from government and government from religion, while still advocating for the public good?

 

The results and aftermath of the November 3 election have indicated that our country is even more divided than we thought. While President Elect Biden won support among people of faith by pledging to “Restore the soul of America,” in many cases those gains were made at the expense of internal cohesion within communities of faith. 

Here in Dallas, faith leaders and people of faith feel the stress and strain of this most recent election, and the 4 years that led up to it. We are being called upon to heal wounds and bridge divides but it is hard to know where to begin, when faith-based arguments have lent credibility and support to polarized and partisan candidates, platforms and policies. 

We live in a country that was founded on the separation of church and state, so what does it mean for public officials to rely on faith-based arguments when advocating for, determining, or carrying out national laws and norms? 

Reasonable people will have different answers to this question based on their understanding of the meaning of religious liberty. As E.J. Dionne says in his introduction to Melissa Roger’s book, “One of the tragedies of our politics is that religious liberty has been transformed from a bedrock American principle into a partisan and ideological slogan.” 

 

Join Faith Commons to learn about the historical and contemporary understandings of religious liberty in America from Melissa Rogers. Following her presentation, we will engage in conversation with one another about how own choices and behavior shape the meaning and experience of religious liberty in our faith communities and in the public square. We will look at some recent examples of expressions of faith in public life here in the Metroplex and analyze their impact on the wellbeing and sustainability of our particular faith communities. These conversations will set the stage for an ongoing  conversation about the role and responsibility of faith in the public square. 

 

Register by purchasing a ticket in the field above, and you will receive the Zoom link in an email shortly following registration. Email questions to cameron@faithcommons.org.

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