Democracy Is a Religious Issue: Here Comes Election Day!
Posted by Rev Roger
Posted on October 12, 2016
Register to vote after the service this Sunday, Oct. 16! This is necessary if your address has changed since the last election, or if you have never voted before. This Sunday, volunteers from the Planned Parenthood Education Fund offered to come staff a table so you can get registered! Or you can do it online: Click this link to register in California.
Democracy Is a Religious Issue: Minister’s Message:
Of course, the U.S. Constitution is a secular document and the nation is not governed by religious doctrines. Yet the values which drive a democracy have a philosophical theme found in some religions and not others. For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not vote because they don’t see a model for voting in Biblical narratives. They are supposed to abide by whatever government they live under, but not to participate, especially in the military. They can make appeals to judges, however, because there are examples of judges’ rulings in the Bible.
Unitarians and Universalists have always advocated participation in democratic decision making at all levels of government and in congregations. Our Fourth UU Principle is an affirmation of the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process in both church and society.
Democracy makes two assumptions about human nature. So does UUism. One is that every person deserves a vote because everyone has inherent worth. Our humanness grants us the human right to have a vote and a voice about matters that concern us in society. The other is that no person is perfect; everyone has flaws of character—some have dangerous flaws. We can’t say that some people are 100% wise and others are totally unwise. Having an open democracy is a way to deal with the fact that nobody is perfect. Rather than granting total authority to one person or one party, we trust the wisdom of people in community.
I hope you realize how important it is when you study your California Propositions and weigh your options for local, state and national races this year. I hope you feel good about helping folks register to vote, or giving them a ride to the polls, or going door to door for a candidate, or sending a check to a campaign.
Thank you for putting your UU values into action and supporting our Fourth Principle.
Yours in service,
Rev. Roger Jones
PS–see the Ballot Propositions explained BRIEFLY in the Easy Voter Guide