Senator Tim Kaine speaks on "Faith, Spirituality, and Public Life"

September 15, 2018

On September 15 in Old Cabell Hall, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) discussed the role religion should play in public life and how issues of faith, morality, values, and community relate to political movements on both sides of the aisle. He explored where compassion and ethics fit into national political debates, and how this might help to bridge a deeply divided electorate. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and the Contemplative Sciences Center. Senator Kaine was joined on stage by Religious Studies faculty members David Germano, Charles Mathewes, and Larycia Hawkins. 

Read more about the event in this article published by The Daily Progress, Charlottesville's local newspaper.  

Tim Kaine was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city council member and four years later, mayor of Richmond. He was elected to the Senate in 2012. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, a senator from one of the states most closely connected to the military, and the father of a Marine, Senator Kaine is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. He believes that health care is a right and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. Serving as Virginia governor, Senator Kaine improved the education and health care systems, and by the end of his term, leading publications ranked Virginia the best state to raise a child and the best state for business.

Senator Kaine grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he started his public service career by running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, training teenagers to become carpenters and welders, equipping them with skills to lift up themselves and their communities. As Senator Kaine says, his work in Honduras was “a North Star” that led to his commitment to advance job opportunities for everyone. His time there reinforced three core values that are still a central part of his life today: fè, familia, y trabajo—“faith, family, and work.”