Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Robert P. Jones at Chautauqua Institution by Brionna Howard

Gathered in Chautauqua Institution’s Hall of Philosophy, the St. Bonaventure scholars (#chqscholars) had the opportunity to listen to a lecture given by the founding CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, Robert P. Jones, titled “The New Challenge of Pluralism After the End of White Christian America.”

As a white Christian myself, Jones’ final thoughts particularly resonated with me. Despite Chautauqua’s primarily white audience, he stated that white Protestant propriety is an issue and that the commitment to a democratic society should trump those feelings.

Oftentimes it can be easy to not speak up in order to keep the peace, but Jones challenges this notion and says that Americans need to stand up for one another.

In fact, Jones was followed by a Muslim American, who praised America for allowing Muslims to be more complex. That act in and of itself was an example of the type of pluralism Jones stands for, and that we should all strive to achieve. 

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