The Common Good

The Impact Of Cafeteria Religion On Political Engagement

Date: May 8, 2014

America’s religious diversity is important not solely, or even primarily, because of demography, but because of ideas. The politically significant change in America’s religious landscape is not that we are growing more religiously diverse as a people, but more specifically that our religious public square—the parameters and content of our public religious conversations—is more diverse than ever. Today, it seems, everything is spiritual, yet little is sacred. There is little that is unworthy of an opinion, yet even fewer issues are deemed deserving of moral conviction…
These tensions are also increasingly relevant to the Democratic Party. After decades of playing defense when it comes to faith and politics, Democrats have begun to coalesce around a set of issues important to the faith community. Organizations like Faith in Public Life,NETWORK, Sojourners, PICO and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (all of whom the authors consulted for the Faith in Equality report), provide external communications and political support to core Democratic issues, including economic fairness and addressing inequality.