Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in social entrepreneurs working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the public and able to meet the greatest challenges facing our nation.

Democracy Fund
research & Events

Faith, Politics, and Our Better Angels

Twenty faith leaders from across the political spectrum came together in June 2012 to discuss the importance of promoting civility in the public sphere and find ways to work together.

“Our work with prominent faith leaders, called the Better Angels Project, is an invitation for them to join together in finding solutions to the tone and character of our country’s public discourse. Faith leaders have a special role to play in helping to evoke what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

Liz McCloskey
President and CEO

About the Event

Twenty prominent faith leaders participated in the Better Angels event including the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, bishops from the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church, the chaplain of the Family Research Council, senior leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, the Conference of National Black Churches, the Seventh- Day Adventist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Health Association, Concerned Women of America, and the National Council of Churches.

Although the theological and political beliefs of participants were extremely diverse, the group found agreement in its concern about our nation’s polarization and the belief that spiritual values can point the way to greater civility in public life. After two days of dialogue, reflection and prayer, the participants identified a wide range of ways they could work together to promote respect and dignity and committed themselves to work on a broad initiative to influence church members, elected officials, media and all of society toward greater civility. They shared the results of their time together in an initial statement of commitment to the news media and also in a set of ethical principles for public engagement that they plan to distribute widely across the country.

Participants from the Better Angels event are currently planning how they can work together on an on-going basis in order to leverage the moral authority of faith leaders to improve the quality and civility of American politics.

Why We Invested

Faith leaders play a special role in the public life of our nation, holding unique moral authority that can influence how we talk about issues of key concern and think about the moral consequences of our actions. Faith leaders also lead lead institutions that represent millions of Americans who look to them for guidance about how to think about challenging topics and to engage in the broader community. We hope that faith leaders can leverage their unique positions in order to play a positive role to improve the quality of our nation’s political discourse.