Faith, Democracy, and the Media


Featuring several prominent national journalists of religion and politics, Michael McCurry (Press Secretary in the Clinton administration) led a roundtable conversation on faith, democracy, and the media. Elizabeth Dias (New York Times), Emma Green (The Atlantic), Amy Sullivan (author of The Party Faithful), and Ken Woodward (former Newsweek reporter and author of Getting Religion) participated in the discussion.

April 26, 2019

The 'Conscience of the State': Religion's Role as an Independent Check on GovernmentRogerscropped

Melissa Rogers is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, and a distinguished church-state lawyer who served as a special assistant to President Obama and led the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2013-2017 as well as chairing the inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In her lecture, Rogers asserted that to serve as the conscience of the state, religion must be meaningfully independent of government and thus able to preserve autonomy and religion's ability to call the state to "the better angels of our nature."

February 21, 2018


Before the End of Time: Religion and Politics in this Messy, Broken Age

Senator Ben Sasse (Republican Senator from Nebraska), considered our role as Christians and as citizens in the face of our currently disoriented time, with massive policy changes, huge political disruptions, daunting Constitutional questions and monumental economic changes.

April 28, 2017


The Future of American Christianity: The Christian Crisis of the 20th Century and its Implications for the 21st

Ross Douthat, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, talked about current issues facing Christians and their responses as they remain true to their faith. Watch an interview conducted by Henry Institute Director Kevin den Dulk.

April 30, 2015

 Approaching the Ledge: Why We Must Risk our Faith in Order to Save It
Joshua DuBois, former Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and spiritual advisor to President Obama challenged the audience to examine what it means to act and walk in a life of faith. Watch an interview with DuBois, conducted by Henry Institute Director Kevin R. den Dulk.

April 28, 2014

 What Does the Lord Require? The Grounds for Christian Civility in Politics
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Corwin Smidt, former Director of the Paul B. Henry Institute called on Christians to engage in public and political life with civility and respect for others.

April 26, 2013


Paul Henry: Reflections on His Life and Service
Beth Bandstra Decker, former Campaign Manager and Special Assistant to Congressman Paul Henry, and Director of the World View Series at Trinity Christian College, related her interaction and work with Paul Henry as his campaign manager and special assistant.

March 28, 2012

American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us
David Campbell, Founding Director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy reviewed his findings regarding religious devotion, religious diversity and religious tolerance in America. His findings are included in American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, published with Robert Putnam.

April 29, 2011

Tensions at the Crossroads of Religion and Politics
Michael Gerson, former Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Speech Writing discussed human rights, and asserted that activism by people of faith is critical to the welfare of millions of people in the world.

March 18, 2010

No Final Victories, No Final Defeats: Doing Our Duty While Living in Exile
Michael Cromartie, former Chair and Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom discussed his work on the Commission and called on Christians to work toward the Kingdom of God through activities that further justice and help to redeem God’s creation.

April 14, 2009

Religious Tolerance: Love your Neighbor
Dean Koldenhoven, former mayor of Palos Heights, Illinois and 2002 Recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award recounted the controversy over the sale of a local church to Muslims in Palos Heights, Illinois during his time as mayor and his strong feelings about the meaning of religious freedom in America.

March 31, 2008

Public Virtue, Republican Government, and the Separation of Church and State
Judge Michael McConnell, Federal Appellate Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit offered a historical perspective on the relationship between religion and liberal democracy.

October 12, 2006

Forging a Faithful Consensus: The Future of Public-Private Partnerships Involving Community-Serving Religious Organizations
Dr. John DiIulio, former Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives discussed the emergence of faith-based initiatives in government and the private sector.

October 25, 2005

Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights
Dr. Allen Hertzke, Director of Religious Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma described how the American faith-based movement, through various initiatives, has affected the agenda of American foreign policy.

November 11, 2004

The State of the World as Seen Though the Eyes of the ChurchEdgarlecture

Dr. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and six-term U.S. House of Representatives Democrat from Pennsylvania, encouraged Christians to blend faith and political activities, working together to improve the world.

April 28, 2004

Real Challenges: Faith in the Public Arena
Tim Goeglein, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison spoke about how a person of faith maintains his or her conviction in the marketplace of ideas without compromising those beliefs.

April 28, 2003


Myths, Lies, and Soundbites: Reactions to President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

Dr. Stephen V. Monsma of Pepperdine University described President Bush’s faith-based initiative, myths surrounding it, and a view of the initiative from a pluralistic perspective.

April 29, 2002

Faith in Politics
The Honorable Paul Hillegonds, former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and President of Detroit Renaissance, was a close personal friend of Paul Henry. His lecture encouraged thoughtful lay involvement in politics and defined a faithful approach to politics, which was exemplified by Henry’s approach.  

April 30, 2001

Struggling Toward the 'Beloved Community'
U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia, noted civil rights leader and member of Congress, recounted highlights of his struggle for civil rights and his vision for a national and international “beloved community.”

April 17, 2000

Compassionate Conservatism: Oxymoron or Opportunity
Former U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana considered the relationship between government and civil society, asserting that the vitality of the American republic is tied to the vibrancy of a multiplicity of institutions that make up a complex civil society.

April 19, 1999

Christianity and Politics: A Personal Reflection
Former U.S. Senator from Illinois Paul Simon offered a personal and honest message rooted in a fundamental optimism about the positive contribution that the interplay between Christianity and political can make in public life.

April 27, 1998

Paul B. Henry Institute Inaugural Address
Senator Mark O. Hatfield from Oregon gave the inaugural address for the Paul B. Henry Institute, charging the Institute with carrying on the vision and work of Paul Henry.

April 14, 1997