It’s Time to Vote
The rhetoric of political campaigns has been bombarding us throughout this year. We have heard the words and slogans and have either tried to ascertain their meaning or have tuned them out as being irrelevant to what “my issues” or the “real issues” are. The election of a president, vice president, members of Congress and members of state and local governments are important matters as one considers the future direction of the nation and even to a certain extent, the future of the world. This is truer this year than perhaps ever before since our democracy is in a state of chaos and fear has become the norm.
I challenge you to think about some issues as you prepare and cast your ballot. Read and reflect on the questions raised below. Talk about them to others. Even after the election is over, you will still want to be asking your leaders some of these questions.
What is the position of your candidates on the environment? Have they talked about the environment in a manner that indicates an understanding of stewardship, climate change, and other scientific realities? Are they willing to discuss with other communities, states or nations how all natural resources (i.e. water, energy sources, wilderness and wildlife preservation, etc.) can be utilized in a manner that does not take from the poor or rob the future generations of their environmental heritage?
PERSONAL AND COMMUNITY CONCERN
What do your candidates say about same sex marriage? Is their only issue abortion? What values do they profess for living in a diverse nation/world? Do your candidates speak or act in a racist manner? How do they speak about non-violent protests? Do they approve or condemn white supremacists or hate groups and how do they talk about such? Do they speak up for the rights of all persons, including rights and concerns of women, minorities, the LGBTQ people, immigrants, the elderly, etc? What is their position on substance abuse, illegal sale and use of drugs, and gun control? How do they address police brutality and reform?
Do your candidates endorse programs that will provide health care for all and in what format? What is their stance on welfare, education, employment and wages, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Are they more concerned about people or profit? Do they have a plan for dealing with the economic changes caused by the pandemic?
Do your candidates speak of other countries with respect or hostility? What are their positions on international law? Will they support a truly world community where all can live, work and love without fear and in a spirit of peace and justice? Are they willing to work with and not against such international agencies as the United Nations, World Health Organization, etc?
Part of being a witness to the Gospel involves our standing firm on our beliefs and convictions as we cast our votes for individuals to lead us. May the decisions we each make be an expression of our faith.
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.