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Principled Pluralism: Report of the Inclusive America Project

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The American idea is rooted in a belief that people from varied religious and ethnic backgrounds can unite to create a single nation: E Pluribus Unum. That is no easy task. As history bears witness, identity differences can easily become a source of social tension, discrimination, and conflict; many minority groups in the United States have faced periods of bigotry and outright persecution. Despite these failings, our country has retained a commitment to its founding propositions of equality and liberty under a common flag. Rather than allowing our differences to break us apart, Americans have harnessed the energy and knowledge of people who hail from every corner of the earth to build a nation that is both indivisible and strong. The Inclusive America Project (IAP) recognizes, however, that past accomplishments do not guarantee future success, especially in a population that is—as is ours—both highly religious and increasingly diverse... ...Religious pluralism in a free society requires both respect for individual differences and support for actions that contribute to the well-being of all; the absence of the first leads to repression and of the second to anarchy. The challenge for democracy is to ensure that the exercise of personal freedom does not detract from—but in fact adds to—an overall sense of national unity. America’s great achievement is that we have generally been able to do this. Read the entire report here at The Aspen Institute: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/jsp/Principled- Pluralism.pdf