WHAT WE DO
House United lives to revolutionize the role of religion in the American democracy. Political polarization has increased exponentially in recent decades, and Christianity has been a divisive force, throwing gas on the flame of American political polarization. House United wants to change that — to build a movement among faith communities to "bring people together across our differences for the common good."
HOW WE DO IT
House United trains people and groups in practices that will help them cross lines of political difference and build viewpoint-diverse communities. These practices include Courageous Conversations, Christian Mingle, Intellectual Humility, Interfaith Engagement, and Mission 4.0. (See below.)
House United helps individuals and groups engage the most divisive issues of our day in robust and civil conversations. We do this by teaching polarized people new ways to listen and collaborate. On topics ranging from from the political (e.g., immigration, size of government, gun control/freedom) to theological (the origins of evil, the Bible and homosexuality, the role of women in churches), we create generative, constructive conversations between people who disagree.
House United helps put church groups with conflicting perspectives know the humanity of their political opponents. We do this by inviting them to come together doing work (like building Habitat houses or feeding people at food shelters) or play (block parties, study tours, building robust health, and playing sports) that they would normally do separately.
House United inculcates intellectual humility in an arrogant era. All of our practices inculcate this virtue, but the specific, focused act that becomes a habit is looking in the mirror once a day and saying, "I could be wrong." In moments of clarity, we all know this about ourselves, but contemporary American tribal culture ingrains a false sense of certainty that needs to be interrupted...so we interrupt it.
House United invites pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders to cross the Left-Right line in their own faith communities. This makes ours different than most forms of interfaith engagement, which normally involve progressives from each faith talking with one another. There are many others (rightly and blessedly) bringing Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others together in prayer and service. HU works to help this sort of perspective diverse community between Left and Right become a movement throughout the American religious community.
House United invites faith communities who are learning the habits and skills of engagement across difference to move them outward to help a divided world. We do this by encouraging faith community leaders to seek the shalom of their village or city. (Jeremiah 29) We imagine a time when churches and other faith communities become the go-to place for fruitful perspective-diverse conversations about important matters. All of this will ultimately develop a new collaborative, community-building habit in this divided land.
Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton, Ph.D.
The Founder and Leader of House United
After teaching perspective-diverse groups as a professor at Yale and a pastor in churches across the U.S., Allen now moves all of his energy toward “bringing people together across difference for the common good.” In demand as a speaker, Allen’s book, A House United — How the Church Can Save the World, is a manifesto for the House United Movement. He lives in Austin, TX, with his wife Liz, their teen sons Sam and Isaac, and their labradoodle Watson.