Vote with Love

This year’s Our Faith, Our Vote campaign asks the church to answer the call of 1 John 3:18 to “let us not love with words or speech, but in action and in truth,” by “voting with love.” To make a just world for all, we as disciples must be grounded in the love that our faith calls us to demonstrate to the world. We must show God’s radical love in all our actions, including with our votes. When we exercise our sacred right to vote with love, we push back against efforts to constrain the voice of the people and push this nation towards justice.

It won’t be easy to overcome the cynicism and apathy that many feel towards our elections. As our political systems become increasingly unresponsive to the will of the people, and lawmakers fail to address the biggest questions of our time, those same questions split our communities apart. This can make us feel as though our vote, and our voice, does not matter. But even in this political climate, our voices and votes impact our world.

Voting in this year’s elections will have international implications. As the world roils with conflicts in many places such as Gaza, Haiti, and Sudan, eyes around the globe are on the United States. The U.S. history of international involvement is impossible to disregard. The international community waits to see which path the U.S. will take over the next few years. For the sake of our partners in the Congo, the Philippines, Ukraine, and elsewhere, we must not let our democracy fall in the face of cynicism and apathy. Instead, let us use our vote as an act of hope, a practice of prophetic resistance.

There will be ballot initiatives in various states alongside the Presidential, House, and Senate candidates. This includes state measures to protect voting rights, raise the minimum wage, support veterans, protect same-sex marriage, fund public education, increase public safety, and protect abortion. By voting on these initiatives, we could significantly impact the laws in our communities.

We must also use our vote to preserve our voting rights, which remain under threat. In a Brennan Center for Justice report, 14 states passed 17 new restrictive voting laws last year that will be in effect this election season, creating new obstacles for many to access the ballot. Our votes are also under threat from unregulated technology and bad actors online. Despite all this, there are still signs of hope.

In 2023, there were 53 laws passed in 23 states that expanded access to the ballot. And, state courts in Michigan, New Hampshire, and Washington rejected attempts to weaken the Voting Rights Act. Voting is foundational to the functioning of a democracy and every eligible voter should have the same access to the ballot regardless of where they live. As people of faith, it is up to us to ensure that all are able to exercise their God-given right to a voice and a vote.

As we discern the choices on our ballots coming before us in November, let us answer this call at all levels by voting with love for creation, for our neighbors both here and abroad, for a just peace, and for repair and reconciliation of the brokenness of our nation. As people of faith, it is our duty to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9). Let us use our vote to protect and provide for those around us.

The UCC’s Our Faith Our Vote campaign is now underway. Click HERE to follow along, help get out the vote, find your polling place, and volunteer this election season.

Categories: Our Faith Our Vote: Blog

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