|Posted by communications on October 14, 2020 at 3:35 PM|
Let’s talk about faith and politics a bit.
Before you get too fidgety, let me be clear that I do not mean faith and partisanship. The Church is not meant to be a partisan institution. You can be a person of deep faith and lean left, lean right, or hang out somewhere in the middle like I often do. The Episcopal Church has long been a place where people with very different viewpoints can come together and find unity in common prayer rather than common beliefs or shared opinions.
However, people of faith cannot and should not avoid politics, in the original sense of the word. We are all members of the polis, the Greek term for city-state that is at the root of so many of our civic words in English: politics, political, police, policy, and so on. The polis is made up of people. As citizens of the polis--we live, serve, learn, work, pray, and yes, vote, as part of a community. And as Christians, we are called to do all these things with the good of the whole polis in mind, and especially with the most vulnerable members of the polis in our hearts.
Jesus was in the people business, and so his disciples must be in the people business too. God calls us to care about people. We are called to serve and minister to people, and we are also called to work for policies and structures that allow people to live abundantly, to flourish. In this sense, engaging in politics can be a faithful Christian endeavor.
Do I, as an individual, have thoughts and feelings about the upcoming election? You bet. Is it my job as your priest to tell you for whom you should cast your ballot? Nope, not at all. But it is my job, as one of your spiritual leaders, to encourage you to be engaged in the political process as part of your faith and to invite you to pray for our current and future leaders. If you have a Book of Common Prayer at home, you might want to leave it open to pages 820-822 for the next few weeks. There you will find prayers for our country, for various elected officials, for the Courts, and for an election. We are a people who find our unity in prayer, so let us pray.
Yours in Christ,