SOUTH DAKOTA FAITH IN PUBLIC LIFE is a group of religious leaders committed to respectful dialogue around controversial social and political issues.

What We Believe

  • We believe that religion can contribute in positive ways to political discussion, and that it can help shape civic life without being used as a wedge of division.
  • We believe that no one religious voice should drown out the diversity of religious voices in the U.S. today.
  • We believe that the call to care for one’s neighbor is a call to respectful discussion with those with whom one disagrees.
  • We believe that when we search for agreement around shared values of justice and compassion, we help create solutions to difficult social and political problems.

What We Do

  • Education – Together we study controversial social and political issues, and engage in respectful conversation. We often disagree, but we value each other’s opinions, and trust each other’s good intentions.
  • Position Statements – When it is possible, we issue statements expressing our shared values and common ground.
  • Public Action – We bring what we have learned to a wider segment of the community, helping others practice respectful dialogue in the search for public policies that reflect justice, compassion, and the common good.

Why It Matters

Religion has an important role to play in the public square, particularly in moral matters of civic life at the local, state and national level. But in recent decades, religion has often been used in the service of partisan political agendas. When religious leaders engage in respectful, productive dialogue on divisive issues, we provide a model for citizens to engage in civil conversations, increasing capability for finding successful solutions that serve the common good.