What’s at stake in the 2016 elections? Our work for peace.

Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)

Some might say weapons have been chosen over wisdom for as long as they can remember. Even as our nation and other countries use diplomacy and development to build peace, weapons have far too often been used against others. Military action-focused foreign policy has become one of the most popular and socially acceptable tools of mass destruction.

What does this have to do with the election?

Your vote is important. It’s our chance to elect leaders who choose wisdom over weapons.

Those opting for an over-militarized foreign policy have destroyed much good and many lives here and abroad. Our efforts to “protect American interests” abroad have made us more vulnerable at home, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) study.  Disturbingly, after several years in decline, world military expenditures have risen again by 1 percent in 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

As General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, has noted, one of the fundamental challenges we face as a society is the fact that “the world Is over-armed and peace Is under-funded” 

As conflicts spread throughout the world, we must elect leaders who are committed to diplomacy and funding peace efforts.

What has the United Church of Christ done?

Letting Ecclesiastes 9:18 (among other scriptures) guide us, the United Church of Christ has chosen champion wisdom over weapons. We have reaffirmed our long-standing commitment to helping create a Just World For All.

“Every week I travel the globe witnessing what it looks like when the United Church of Christ commits itself to love and justice,” General Minister and President Rev. John C. Dorhauer said. “I call upon every covenant partner to embrace fully this call to love and justice; and to share with leaders in the church what that expression of love looks like in their ministry setting.”

The Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues, helps put the church’s commitment to love and justice into practice through his work. That includes welcoming new and nurturing current Just Peace congregations. Those congregations live out the call to action in our Just Peace pronouncement.

“Grounded in UCC polity and covenantal theology, the [Just Peace] position focuses attention on alleviating systemic injustice of all types using non-violence and calls us to offer the message, grounded in the hope of reconciliation in Jesus, that ‘Peace is possible.’”

With that vision in mind, let our faith inform our vote.

Categories: Column Our Faith Our Vote: Blog

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