Reject candidates who divide
During the most violent divide in our nation’s history, President Lincoln appealed to “the better angels of our nature.” Today, the worst of our nature has been unleashed, and the violence and divisions among us threatens the necessary civility for a democratic society.
Last week, we witnessed pipe bombs mailed to past presidents and the leaders of a major political party, then the tragic shooting of worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue.
Both events seemed motivated by hate and bigotry, fueled by divisiveness and a climate of fear.
It is time for people of good will to say “enough.” This has to stop.
Our politics has become corrosive, and the rhetoric of our politics too often deepens oru divisions rather than heal our land. The scriptures teach us that a house divided cannot stand.
As we approach national and local elections, it is time for citizens to demand those who run for office to model the character and virtues worthy of our democracy.
Let’s make this election a new beginning and a chance to change our politics. We support vigorous debate about the issues that challenge us. We welcome differences of opinion and the right to express and the duty to listen to those differences.
But, attempts to demonize opponents through negative advertising have no place in a healthy democracy. Appeals to racial fears and prejudice against those who seem “different” are particularly offensive.
Messages targeting Jews, immigrants, racial minorities and LGBTQ communities should not be an acceptable part of party politics. Let’s reject those who sponsor the hateful distortions of opponents. Let’s denounce those who only appeal to our fears. And, let’s call out the rhetoric of hate and division.
As people of diverse faiths, we seek to live the ethic of loving our neighbor as ourselves and to live the golden rule. That starts in the heart of each person, then extends outward to the whole human family. This is deeply moral moment for our nation. Let’s rise to the test and invest in ourselves in the “better angels of our nature.”
Elect people worthy of our trust, and begin to heal our divided land.
Submitted by Rev. David W. Saetre, UUA, Mason, Wis.
Rev. Nancy Hanson, ELCA
Rev Larry Jorstad, ELCA
Mary Meierotta, SAM, ELCA
Rev. Marina Lachecki, UCC
Rev. Teena Racheli, UMC
Rev. Carl Doersch, UMC
Rev. William Handy, UCC
Chaplain Andrew MacGregor
Rev. Pat Ondarko, ELCA