Pete Buttigieg and a New Conversation on Faith and Politics

For decades now, the traditional and media political wisdom is that Republicans control religion in American politics, and, with the exception of African Americans, the Democrats don’t like to talk much about faith.

But a new conversation about religion and politics has begun in the lead up to 2020 and candidates are speaking the kind of language that can change old narratives and national conversations, most notably Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

As attention on Mayor Pete and his comments on religion — which you can hear in this episode — have grown, he’s begun to face attacks from the Religious Right, who have used the opportunity to attack progressive Christianity more broadly. The reaction to Mayor Pete shows that diverse voices and experiences of faith need to be heard in media.

And refreshingly, Mayor Pete is not the only candidate speaking compellingly about his or her faith. We’ve seen similar openness from Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

During Tuesday’s CNN Town Hall, Erin Burnett asked Gillibrand, “Have you ever felt being a person of faith and being a Democrat was strange to you, or odd, or that it doesn’t fit because people often hear about religion as being something that goes with conservatives?” Sojourners and the millions of progressive Christians that are part of our nation regardless of their political affiliation, all respond the same way Gillibrand did: “No, I define myself by my faith.”

As this conversation continues at the national level, we want to hear from you. What is changing in the way we discuss religion and politics, and what does that tell you about the direction of our country?

Submit your comment here, and we may feature it in our Letters section.

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