October 12, 2020
let me be weighed in a just balance,
and let God know my integrity! - Job 31:6
O you who believe! Fear God, and be with those
who are true (in word and deeds). - Quran 9:119
As people of faith and heads of Washington-based offices of religious denominations and national organizations, we call for integrity in the processes that shape our systems of governance and form the basis of our shared wellbeing. We believe that free, fair, safe and respected elections are a bedrock of democracy, and that active and informed citizen participation in the political and electoral process is essential not only to the proper functioning of government but also to the full exercise of our faith. Therefore, we are deeply troubled by any actions or statements that intimidate voters or deny safe and equal access to voting, or that sow doubt in electoral outcomes and raise a threat of violence. Such efforts to corrupt and undermine core electoral freedoms must be condemned in the strongest of terms across the political spectrum.
This nation can only live up to its democratic ideals when all are confident that they can vote freely and without undue hardship for the candidates of their choosing. This is particularly critical in light of the long history of racial disenfranchisement in the United States. Polling places must be equally accessible, safe, orderly, and free from intimidation. All votes must be counted in a fair and transparent manner. The decision of the majority must be upheld with a peaceful transition. These core democratic ideals should be fiercely protected by all of us, regardless of political persuasion or religious affiliation. An election “won” by undermining democratic processes is a loss for us all.
Multi-party commitment to election integrity is a primary factor in preventing election violence across the globe. We call upon all elected leaders and elections officials at every level of government to recommit to our core democratic principles, to look within and consider what they themselves can do in this critical hour to uphold the best in our nation’s values. Tactics to suppress the vote must end immediately, and all candidates and parties must publicly commit to respect the true election results, regardless of who wins -- preserving democracy is more important than the success of any individual candidate. Leaders across the political spectrum must call on their supporters to refrain from violence and the threat of violence regardless of results.
The choice in this moment is clear and stark: shared commitment to sustaining and strengthening the ideals of our democracy, or a descent into an antidemocratic future to secure partisan gains. We pray that our leaders will demonstrate a robust commitment to our fundamental democratic principles with their words and actions at this pivotal time.
(see following page for signatories representing the U.S. policy offices of denominations and nationwide organizations)
SIGNATORIES TO FAITH LEADERS’ STATEMENT ON INTEGRITY, SAFETY, AND FAIRNESS
IN THE 2020 U.S. ELECTION:
Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries
Sharif Aly, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Relief USA
Rebecca Linder Blachly, Director, Office of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church
Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Margaret Conley, Director, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Justice Team
Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
Lawrence Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey, Director of Partnership Relations, Alliance of Baptists
Melanie Roth Gorelick, Senior Vice President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Pablo DeJesús, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Director, Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Rev. Dr. Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren
Robin Aura Kanegis, Director, Office of Public Policy and Advocacy, American Friends Service Committee
Rev. Ken Brooker Langston, Executive Director, Disciples Center for Public Witness (Disciples of Christ)
Brigid Lawlor, RGS, Advocacy Liaison, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
Catherine Orsborn, Executive Director, Shoulder to Shoulder
Fr. Ted Penton, SJ, Secretary of Justice and Ecology, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Diane Randall, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
The Rev. Amy Reumann, Director of Advocacy, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Basharat Saleem, Executive Director, Islamic Society of North America
Stephen Schneck, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network
Martin Shupack, Director of Advocacy, Church World Service
Sandy Sorensen, Director, Washington Office, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
Rev. Mark Stephenson, Interim Director, Christian Reformed Church Offices of Social Justice and Race Relations
Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President Elect, Sojourners
Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches
Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
Download a PDF of this letter.
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This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.