Barack Obama has been picked as the next president. Propositions have been approved or turned down. How can faith guide us in making decisions on future Election Days?
The struggle to bring faith and politics together has not ended with Election Day.
We should always be asking ourselves if our political opinions are aligned with our religious beliefs. We must continue to push ourselves and our elected representatives to create public policies that reflect Kingdom-of-God values.
Throughout the election, I referred my congregation to the “Principles and Policies for Christian Voters” published by the Sojourners movement ( www.sojo.net). The guide helps us ground our faith-and-politics questions in scripture. For example, if we believe that each human being is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), then we will ask the question: Does this policy, elected official, or candidate promote human rights and human dignity?
We also know that the Bible shows that God has a special concern for the poor and acts in history to lift them up. God fills prophets’ mouths with some pretty tough words about getting rich on the backs of the poor (Isaiah 3, Jeremiah 5, Amos 2 — the list goes on). So we must escape the false dichotomy of capitalism/socialism and instead ask: Does this policy, elected official or candidate promote justice and the opportunity for everyone to escape the vicious cycle of poverty?
If we believe that the earth is the Lord’s and we are its stewards (Genesis 1, Psalm 24), then we will ask the question: Does this policy, elected official or candidate seek to develop energy strategies that benefit all of creation in perpetuity?
When we unify, faith communities are a “special interest” potentially more powerful than all of the big money special interest groups who never stop advocating for their causes. We can’t rest between elections either.
PAIGE EAVES is pastor of Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church. Reach her at (818) 249-6173.