While our partners represent a diversity of beliefs and traditions, we unite around the common goal of creating a healthier, thriving democracy.
We recognize that, on a practical level, only a healthy, well-functioning democracy has the capacity to attend to any of the issues our faith calls us to address: systemic racism, climate change, hunger, violence, poverty, healthcare and more.
Moreover, many values that our faith traditions strive to instill in our communities, our society and our nation can be modeled and inspired by our democratic systems. Equity, dignity, trust, participation, peace, communal responsibility, and civic love are embodied in the founding principles of this democracy. We believe that democratic governance is the best existing system to peacefully hold a diversity of ideas, to enable healthy compromise among competing interests and to instill a sense of belonging among all its members.
However, our democracy has been distorted by design—since the original designation of black people as less-than-human—and continues to fall short despite real progress in our history. Our democratic systems carry the legacy of our nation’s shadow side: motives of subjugation, exclusion, amassing wealth and maintaining white supremacy. As they currently function, our systems cannot support the development of the beloved community for which we strive.
Our faith calls us to take seriously the goal of becoming a more perfect union. Faithful Democracy shares a commitment to make our democracy work better. We support reforms that lead to a model of governance that encourages civic participation, that generates a sense of empowerment, and that creates a sense of belonging among its citizenry. Our democratic systems are open to manipulation by those seeking to amass power and resources and so are in need of reform.
- A faithful democracy ensures that all voices are heard and have equal access to power structures.
- A faithful democracy takes into account the needs of the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly.
- A faithful democracy balances the common good against special interests.
- A faithful democracy prompts integrity among those who serve and instills trust among the citizenry.
- A faithful democracy fosters a sense of responsibility toward our families, our communities, our nation and the global community.
Our Common Purpose Report
How do we determine what reforms are needed? We look to one of our nation’s oldest and most trusted institutions, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, started during the American Revolution in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and other Founding Fathers. Their recently completed two-year bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship explored how best to respond to the weaknesses and vulnerabilities in our political and civic life. The diversity of membership in the Commission and the intentionality of the process for developing recommendations provide the best available model for democracy reforms to better align civic institutions with our founding ideals. We lift up their report as a menu of possibilities for revitalizing our democracy.
For the People Act
What legislative examples can we look to? Recent efforts by leadership in Congress and by our partners in the secular good governance realm have paved the way. Painstaking collaboration and negotiations in 2018 and 2019 have provided a model bill and a possible path forward for bold, comprehensive reforms in the 117th Congressional session. The For the People Act incorporates numerous existing bipartisan bills developed and fine-tuned to address specific problem areas in our systems. Not surprisingly, The For the People Act has provisions that mirror many of the recommendations from Our Common Purpose on strategies to reform political institutions, elections and voting. We lift up the legislation, along with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as the best available model for needed democracy reforms and support the bold, unified nature of the bill.
In a post-election environment, our nation is plagued by COVID 19, steeped in political and racial divisions, and experiencing a serious economic crisis. Faithful Democracy advocates for federal democracy reforms as a moral issue so that our nation can heal and rebuild on solid footing. There is a spiritual element to reforming and revitalizing our foundational democratic systems. Our advocacy goes beyond partisan politics and looks to policies that address this spiritual struggle for a more perfect union.
Endorse Our Principles
Our faith-based partners unite around the Voters Covenant, Faithful Democracy’s statement of principles. Endorsement of the Covenant is a public statement of support for our shared concerns and our democratic mission. By endorsing the Voters Covenant, your organization, house of worship, congregation, or faith-based group 1) agrees to be publicly listed as part of our network and 2) indicates a willingness to engage—as availability and capacity allow—in our collective advocacy efforts to further the mission. Faithful Democracy will not release any statements, press releases, letters or other communications on behalf of endorsers unless they have affirmatively opted-in.
Are you an individual who agrees with the principles of the Voters Covenant? Join the mission by taking action to support a more faithful democracy and by staying informed about coalition activities.