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Unpresidented

Why Don't Democrats Take Religion Seriously?

Jan 27, 2017 | 13 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Many religious voters feel alienated from the Democratic Party, says Atlantic staff writer Emma Green. Why haven’t liberals tried harder to reach the broad percentage of Americans who identify as religious? “Democrats in Washington often have trouble speaking in religious terms, and they reflect a broader liberal culture that doesn’t take religion seriously,” she explains. But this is an uncomfortable shift, one that has a political costs. Previous progressive figures have actively relied on religious rhetoric to move policies forward. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, for example, framed their ideals in religious terms and audiences were receptive. Is it time for Democrats to incorporate religious identity back into their outreach and politics? This is the second episode of “Unpresidented,” an original series from The Atlantic exploring a new era in American politics.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Graphics in this video show symbols of many faiths, including a Star of David. One image of that star, associated with Judaism, originally contained a cross—a combination typically associated with a movement known as Messianic Judaism, whose adherents identify as Jewish believers in Jesus. We have replaced the original symbol with a standard Star of David in certain parts of the video, including the image at the beginning.

Authors: Daniel Lombroso, Alice Roth, Emma Green

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About This Series

Atlantic writers explore a new era of American politics