By Mike Kennedy, Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign Manager
Every election year is significant, and 2022 is certainly no exception. The outcome will impact our nation’s response to climate change for years to come.
As people of faith and conscience, we believe elections are a referendum on the values that will shape our future. Voting is how we create a society based on our shared values. That’s why Interfaith Power & Light released a multi-issue Faithful Voter Reflection Guide this month.
The Climate Reality Project’s William J. Barber III, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice’s Mary Novak, and Georgia Interfaith Power & Light’s Gayla Tillman joined IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot in a June 9th webinar to discuss the guide’s key themes and share how people of faith and conscience can use it this year.
“The release of this guide comes at a moment in time when we are seeing the threat to our democracy that voter suppression poses, and when the intersections between climate change, global health, systemic racism, and other moral issues are on the ballot,” said Rev. Hendershot. “The time is ripe to examine how our spiritual and religious beliefs can and should be serving the greater good, through dismantling structures of oppression and curing the disease that threatens our common home. We know that if we want a country that reflects our highest values, we have to participate thoughtfully in elections.”
The guide discusses many of the defining moral issues of our time that are on the ballot: faltering democratic institutions, too much wealth in the hands of a few, damage to the climate, cruel immigration policies that tear families apart, mass incarceration that devastates communities of color, and threats to global public health and security.
IPL hopes the Guide will stimulate the kinds of conversations that people of faith and conscience need to have in order to renew our democracy.
The issues we address in the guide are not exhaustive, but we believe they provide a framework for evaluating issues and candidates in a way that prioritizes solutions that promote dignity and the common good. Each section in the guide includes discussion questions for reflection and a question to ask political candidates.
“Whether Pennsylvanians of faith are at their kitchen table, in their house of worship, at a community forum, or at an event with political candidates, we hope this faithful voter reflection guide helps them navigate the urgent moral questions facing our nation in this year’s election,” added David Heayn-Menendez, the Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.
The guide’s release is just one expression of IPL’s Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign, a nonpartisan effort focused on engaging and mobilizing faith voters to communicate their values of caring for our common home and loving our neighbors through voting.
Visit the Campaign’s website to learn more.