Christians, channel your vote into a meaningful act of faith

Karen Robu

In the past year, the Trump administration and the Republican Congress separated children from their families, funneled money from the poor to the pockets of CEOs and made it more difficult for Americans with chronic health conditions to access healthcare.

For a long time, the Republican party has declared itself the party of Christian values. But as a Christian who believes in the teachings of Jesus, I see that the Trump administration is not governing in that spirit. In fact, they are hostile to it.

I am a Christian minister who feels alienated by a Republican party whose policies and actions are not aligned with, and are sometimes in direct opposition to, true Christian values. I am particularly concerned with this administration’s treatment of immigrants, hostility toward the LGBT community, disregard for the environment and outright denial of climate change, attacks on the media, lack of civil discourse, and attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

I invite you to join me and the Vote Common Good team in making the following commitments:

1. We will vote in the 2018 midterm elections – not merely for personal, group, or party interests, but for the common good. We are all part of something larger than our own lives.

2. We will vote with the poor, vulnerable and forgotten in mind, with religious, racial, and gender minorities, with children and the elderly, with the sick and diversely-abled, upholding the God-given dignity of all people, no exceptions.

3. We will vote with peace and safety in mind, and we will oppose policies and politicians who believe that more weapons and more threats of war will bring peace.

4. We will vote with God’s creation (the planet) in mind – the oceans, rivers, and streams; the mountains, valleys, and farmland; the atmosphere; the delicate balance of nature; and our fellow creatures.

5. We will vote against policies and politicians who promise special privileges for any religion, including our own.

6. We will vote for politicians who support laws against the corrupting influence of corporate and special interest group donations on our political system.

It’s easy to feel sad, angry and frustrated as people are treated unjustly and made to suffer. But as Christians, we must not give in to apathy. We have the chance to channel our vote into a meaningful act of faith.

This November, we have a real opportunity to change the course of history and move to a more authentic path of faith. My decision about my vote is a personal and spiritual one. As Christians, we all should take the time to examine the effects of our actions—including our votes, which have ripple effects nationwide.

I cannot help but think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ ”

The Rev. Karen Robu is associate minister at Plymouth Congregational Church