Religious Freedom Expert Praises Church’s Family Home Evening Program

Dr. Daniel Mark
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This article was originally written by Tracie Cayford Cudworth for Mormon Newsroom. The following is an excerpt. 

“Our political life can be improved through emulating family life,” Dr. Daniel Mark told a gathering at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Thursday. Dr. Mark is an expert on religious freedom and political science assistant professor at Villanova University.

“Defending religious freedom, now more than ever, depends on promoting what I’ll call the family ethic in society,” Mark told students and faculty in the Wilkinson Student Center’s crowded Varsity Theater.

Mark is an Orthodox Jew and a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. His lecture was titled “What Politics Can Learn from the Family: Jews, Latter-day Saints and the Case for Religious Freedom.”

“I think America needs a family home evening. American families need family home evening, but I mean a family night for society,” said Mark.

The Church implemented the family home evening program more than 100 years ago to build and strengthen families.

“The key, I think, like with family home evening, is for people to spend quality time together. This is why a vibrant civic culture, complete with neighborhood picnics and rec leagues and volunteer associations, is so important. There is much truth to the cliché that if only people got to know each other, they would respect each other much more,” he said.

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Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.