As I write this, the national election is less than a week away. For the first time in my life, I’ve already voted. Like thousands of people across the country, Cheryl and I voted absentee a couple of weeks ago. It seemed the safest way to do things with the pandemic numbers rising once again. If you have already voted, then I thank you for doing your civic duty and for supporting our democratic principles. Very few faith traditions hold up democracy as one of their core principles– Unitarian Universalism does. If you have yet to vote, I urge you to vote early if you can. If you plan to vote in person on Election Day, please take all the necessary precautions. It looks like we will have a record turnout for this election– a silver lining in what has been an otherwise dark and divisive cloud.
I’m not allowed, as a leader of the congregation, to advocate for one candidate over another. Instead, I will ask you to do two things. First, vote! Regardless of whom you are voting for– even if your preferred candidate isn’t on the ballot– vote anyway! It is the cornerstone of our democracy. Second, vote your values. As Unitarian Universalists, we value religious freedom, science and reason, democratic principles, diversity, and justice for all. We believe Black Lives Matter. We believe those seeking asylum deserve a chance to receive it. We believe children belong with their families, not in detention centers. We believe that women have a right to control their own bodies and make their own health decisions. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We know climate change is real and we have the power and the responsibility to address it. We believe all people deserve the right to marry or not marry– regardless of gender or sexual orientation. And we believe our transgender citizens deserve full rights and protections.
You may not hold every one of these values or beliefs. We also affirm everyone’s right to find their own set of values and beliefs. But, if you are a Unitarian Universalist, I believe your values will place you on the side of Love, Freedom, and Justice for all.
And if you vote those values, we will all move in the right direction.
Cooperatively and Democratically,