Maybe you saw the recent poll that found 71% of Americans feel that our democracy is under threat but only 7% considered this a top priority.
To me that makes zero sense. How can a belief that our democracy is under siege be at the bottom of one’s political “to-do list”?
This coming week we all have an opportunity to address this threat to our democracy when, at last, the mid-term elections are held. The bottom line? Vote. Please vote. Much work needs to be done to address the social mechanisms that are causing our country to teeter toward authoritarianism, hatred, and fascism. That work starts, however, with the simple act of voting. It does make a difference.
Many of us have already voted thanks to easy access to early, mail-in voting in Massachusetts (a right that is also under attack, by the way). The movement to make voting easier rather than harder must be supported on every level. And, sadly, safeguards to prohibit voter intimidation and refusals to acknowledge the results must also be in place as we move forward.
President Biden said recently that we are living in a time when candidates for public office believe that they have either won their election or it was stolen from them. They never lose. Democracy cannot function in that environment. The will of the people cannot function in the hate-charged atmosphere that spawns this attitude.
Admittedly, it is hard to stay positive in these political times. I have to believe that most people are still sane, though, and want to see our system of government continue to work as it has. And positivity, even in times such as these, comes from our faith.
UCC pastor Rev. Jessica McArdle recently wrote:
“We may not associate faith with democracy but, actually, the two are deeply intertwined. When a democracy is healthy, it affirms the necessity for the welfare and common good of all peoples, thereby embodying love of neighbor…even the neighbor we’ve never met. When a democracy is healthy, the ‘least of these’ – the poor, the disenfranchised, the foreigner and the sidelined – are afforded the protections given to other citizens, a living wage, affordable housing and a healthy environment in which to raise their children. When a democracy is healthy, the rightful transfer of power proceeds on the basis of the will and consent of the governed – not as thwarted by the violent and duplicitous actions of the few.”
The prophet Isaiah said of us: “You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail…You will be called the Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of the Streets to live in.”
There is a breach in our country that needs to be repaired and it starts with voting on Tuesday.
See you in church,