Dear Parish Family,
I am grateful for the leadership of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry who, in the following speech (see below), succinctly expresses that voting is, "an act of moral discernment and decision". I am sharing excerpts from Bishop Curry's address in this October Messenger, because, in Vermont, all of us who are registered will have the opportunity to vote before we receive the November Messenger. Vermont is one of the states in our country in which mail-in ballots are sent to all registered voters,
Most likely you have already received your ballot by mail. Promptly voting, following all the directions, and your ballot back, or delivering it to city hall now, or bringing it to your polling place on election day, will assure your vote is counted.
Again, as Bishop Curry reminds us, voting is an act of moral discernment and decision. What a succinct statement of a moral imperative!
What follows are excerpts from an address by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
What does voting have to do with the Gospel? What does voting have to do with being a Christian? An election for public office is not a popularity contest between two or more people. It's a contest of ideas about how to shape the future of a community, nation and maybe even a world. It's a contest, a debate, a discernment of moral values and their relationship to public policy. voting is an act of moral agency. It is an act of moral discernment and decision. It is how a community or a nation decides how the moral values that it holds and shares shape public policy and the lives of people. The children of God. It is salutary to remember that partisan neutrality does not mean moral neutrality.
As you know, the Episcopal Church does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates for elective office. And there is good reason for that. First, in the United States, tax exempt, religious, and charitable organizations are by law prohibited from such endorsement, support, or opposition to candidates. This does not prohibit churches from engaging in voter education, voter registration, helping people to get to the polls to vote, or even advocating for issues of public policy reflective of the tenets of our faith. And every citizen, including those of us who are members if the church have our rights and responsibilities as well.
So what can we do? Well, we can vote as individuals. We can vote, and we can help others to register and to get to the polls and cast their vote. We can encourage others to vote as their conscience leads them.
Secondly, there are good and faithful followers of Jesus Christ who are Episcopalian. Some are Republican, some are Democrat, some are independents, some liberal, some centrist, some conservative. And just as we must respect the right of every citizen to cast his or her own vote according to the dictates of their conscience, so we must do so in the church, the body of Jesus Christ. And that is how it should be. The Bible says we have one Lord, one faith, one baptism..... not one political party.