One of the most difficult challenges currently facing the United States is managing the tension between individual freedoms on the one hand, and beliefs formed from religious doctrine on the other. In a country in which over three quarters of citizens ascribe to some form of Christianity and many people believe that divergent views are morally wrong, finding a way to respect the beliefs of individuals while allowing all citizens to publicly express their differing convictions is of utmost importance. The study of diverse religious belief in the United States has enriched my understanding of the moral and ethical convictions that motivate individual voting behavior and contribute to the formation of public policy.

As a student at Harvard Divinity School, my studies focused on religion, ethics, and politics, with courses that explore the influence of religion on American public life, the development of public morality, and how religious belief effects the development of public policy regarding contraception, abortion, sex-ed, and same-sex marriage. I view my study of religion as vital to understanding why people hold the beliefs they do regarding these controversial topics.