Responsible Voting Takes Research and Balance
Now more than ever it is important that our UCC members cast their votes based on their values. Our movement calls us to seek justice for all while we are united in Spirit. This sounds great in theory, yet what does this look like in action? For me, this looks like expanding the table set before us – both metaphorically and literally. This looks like trusting individuals to make the difficult, often excruciatingly overwhelming decisions that align with their moral code and making sure that they can make those complex decisions without fear of legal retaliation or repercussion.
I have struggled to understand voters who follow or prioritize one issue only. It is difficult for me to fathom that potential policy-making decisions span from juvenile justice (some states still prosecute 17-year-olds as adults and incarcerate them with adults), to enormous budgets (stewardship means different things to different people), to recognizing community contributions and designating certain days as that contributors special day (I watched my legislature at the time deem the day I was present as M&M-Mars day and pass out free M&Ms to everyone on the statehouse floor).
The varied topics and disparate fields that lawmakers are expected to legislate knowledgeably is vast. Of course, they have staff who research and act as subject matter experts to counsel them, yet I cannot ignore that, at times, our electorate votes based on one specific issue, such as abortion or tax cuts. When we elect public servants based on their promises around a sole concern, we neglect our responsibility to recognize the complexities of contemporary life as well as our call to do justice and love mercy. We dismiss the wholeness and holiness of all God’s children and their needs.
–Dr. Sherry Warren is the Minister for Women’s and Gender Justice for the United Church of Christ
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If you’re like me, when you are discerning how you will vote on different ballot initiatives or...Read More