Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics

On Sunday, November 3, 2019, exactly one year before the national election, Christians from a wide range of theological and political views kicked off a year long program to express their concern about the polarization in our country and affirm the need to apply Christian principles to our political discussions. Congregations that participate in Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics will reflect on Jesus' teaching that we "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and pray for our country.  Many other faith traditions also teach some form of "The Golden Rule," and we welcome all who would like to join us in applying this principle to our politics. Throughout 2020, people of faith will explore ways that they can apply the "Golden Rule" in their political activities between now and the 2020 election. Sign up here to indicate your support for Golden Rule 2020 and receive updates on its activities.

Who is Supporting Golden Rule 2020?

Golden Rule 2020 was created by leaders from a wide range of Christian denominations and organizations at a convening hosted by the National Institute for Civil Discourse in Washington, D.C. in May of 2019. Those who developed the idea for Golden Rule 2020 included representatives from: 

  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • American Baptist Churches USA
  • The Episcopal Church 
  • Presbyterian Church USA
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development
  • The National Council of Churches
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Congregations associated with these, as well as other religious denominations, have been faith community partners with NICD  and many are participating in Golden Rule 2020.

What Can Congregations Do?

Those congregations that participate in Golden Rule 2020 are asked to do two things: 1) pray for God's help in healing our country and 2) promote the use of the Golden Rule in political discussions and election activities throughout the 2020 campaign season. By doing these two things, congregations will emphasize Christian teachings about dignity, respect and the need for civility in our political discussions.  In particular, there will be a focus on the practical application of the Golden Rule and how politics in 2020 could be different if Christians practice Biblical teachings about how to treat people who disagree with them.  

How to Participate

Congregations can participate by incorporating the message of Golden Rule 2020 into their educational programs and/or worship services. Congregations can do this in a variety of ways and some of these are listed below.  Each suggested way to participate also has links to helpful resources that can be used  with that activity and can be adapted to best fit a congregation’s practices.

  • Take 5 minutes during your worship service to use short prayers and readings that explain Golden Rule 2020 
  • Incorporate a short liturgy on the need for dignity and respect in politics in your worship service
  • Share ideas about specific ways to apply the Golden Rule in political discussions on the church website or in bulletins.
  • Preach a sermon on the Golden Rule or other Christian teaching that promotes respect of others across differences
  • Sign and Distribute a pledge affirming the desire to practice the Golden Rule in politics
  • Issue a joint statement to the media endorsing Golden Rule 2020 that is signed by pastors and church leaders who have different political views.
  • Have a lesson during Sunday School on Christian teachings about the Golden Rule 
  • Sponsor a joint prayer service with members of another congregation where most people have different political views

Sign up here to indicate your support for Golden Rule 2020 and receive updates on its activities.  

Other Resources from Faith Leaders that Support Civility and Respect

Why is Golden Rule 2020 Important?

As Americans, we are hungry for a respectful tone in our politics and public life. Studies show increasing concern and sense of urgency that we must do something now or face increasingly disastrous consequences because of these divisions.  They also show that many are ready to take up the call to connect across divides and weave a new fabric of dignity and respect together. A large nationwide activity involving people of faith from all across the policitcal spectrum will highlight the need to bridge the divisions in our country and call attention to the fact that how we treat those of different political beliefs is a moral issue. It also encourages Christians and other people of faith to think more seriously about civility and respect as we prepare for the upcoming election season. Together, raising a visible story and fostering a time of prayer, dignity and connection across divides, can make concerns about civility and respect a more central issue in 2020 and help begin the healing that our country so badly needs.

Plan Now to Participate

Plan now to have your congregation participate in one of the ways suggested above and then download the materials you will need from this website. There are lots of different things churches can  do and you may also wish to come up with your own ideas about what will work best with your congregation. Sign up here to indicate your support for Golden Rule 2020 and to receive additional information you can use to promote civility and respect in your community.