Washington, D.C. — As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, the new administration should make it a priority to reach out to religious communities and help advance true religious liberty, according to a new issue brief from the Center for American Progress.
The brief outlines key recommendations for robust engagement with religious and nonreligious communities, how the administration can best lead this engagement, and specific policy priorities to uphold religious liberty.
“America’s diverse religious communities care deeply about the critical issues facing our country, including the coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, a devastated economy, and climate change,” said Maggie Siddiqi, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at CAP. “The new administration has an opportunity to work with religious communities as part of its efforts to unite Americans in support of a public policy agenda.”
Among the recommendations:
- President Biden should deliver a speech on religious freedom and religious pluralism early in his administration.
- Together with Pope Francis, the Biden administration should organize a global gathering of religious leaders to discuss climate change and refugee issues.
- The administration should work with Congress to pass legislation that will uphold religious liberty, including the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act and Do No Harm Act.
- The Biden administration should make it clear through the administration’s policies and public engagement that the government has a compelling interest in nondiscrimination and there is no hierarchy of protected classes.
- The administration should ensure that outreach efforts reflect the diversity of American religious communities and engage them around a wide variety of issues.
- The Biden administration should reestablish the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships as part of the Domestic Policy Council and make sure it has staffing for religious community outreach in the Office of Public Engagement.
- The administration should revitalize America’s international religious diplomacy.
Read the issue brief: “Recommendations for the Biden Administration on Engaging with Religious Communities” by Maggie Siddiqi, Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, and Joshua Russell.
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.