“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Never in the history of America has each person’s vote been so important. And never before have we had a President who is doing everything he can to discourage voting. Which means if we are to survive as a democracy it is up to each of us to vote and do everything we can to encourage our fellow citizens to do the same.
In America voting is optional and our turnout rate is embarrassingly low compared to other democracies. Making voting mandatory as some nations have done is certainly one way to increase participation, but making it easier to vote by making election day a national holiday seems both easier and more acceptable. That is a future goal to pursue, but for now our job is to help and encourage all our fellow citizens of voting age, wherever they may live in a red state or blue, to vote and, of course, to vote ourselves.
So far this year over 600 companies, including firms with huge numbers of employees, have taken the high road to responsibility and are giving their employees paid time off to vote.
In 2008 Tony Campolo’s book called Red Letter Christians: A Citizen’s Guide to Faith & Politics was published. In it he said, “At election time when you are asked, ‘Are you Democrat or Republican?’ your answer should be, ‘Name the issue!’”
This year, especially, it seems important to put aside your traditional political affiliation and carefully consider the actions, comments, behavior, experience, willingness to take expert advice, and truthfulness of the presidential candidates because our future as a nation is at stake.
This situation is considered so critical that every Saturday night during October, Jim Wallis and Sojourners are presenting broadcasts called Faith on the Ballot. These informative sermons by prominent theologians from many denominations don’t mince words, have been recorded, and are well worth listening to at FaithontheBallotcom.
In her sermon for this series, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner urged us to “Use the weapon of your vote to defeat the threat to our democracy.” She didn’t say to vote if it is easy to do so, or if it won’t inconvenience you in any way, or if isn’t raining. She said, “Vote to defeat the threat to our democracy.”
Blessings on your efforts to vote regardless of the effort it takes to do so,
October 12, 2020