A visitor to our congregation asked me recently if we were talking about the election because we were trying to have a veiled endorsement of a candidate. My answer was that we are concerned with something larger. We are, as people of faith, calling in those who would invite the systematic destruction and targeting of people of the system of government. This government, now a dirtier word than many of the unpleasant ones we hear in the debates, has, over centuries provided so many of the things that we know to be critical to a healthy democracy.
Libraries that help people get information and learn and schools and colleges funded not just to serve those with family wealth, rather to give all access to the best quality education.
Healthcare for the poor, for elders and now, under the newest provisions for young adults. And public meeting spaces, forums that are civil in which we debate where we want to go as a society, perhaps agreeing to disagree and yet not reducing it to name-calling.The idea of “calling in” is that we are inviting people back into the conversation, rather than calling them out, or blaming or shaming.
We call in those who are benefitting the most from our unevenly regulated economic system who are inciting and duping those most affected by the lack of true economic opportunity.
We called in those who would use hatred-inducing tactics which breed contempt for our fellow citizens, and others who occupy these lands. We deplore the attacks on immigrants, Muslims and bisexual, Gay, lesbian and transgender folk. We counter those who would rain approbation on the brave prophetic voices that have called for a reexamination of the systemic bias built in to our law and prison systems. And we call all of us in for allowing these to gain more and more resources as we have systematically de-funded systems of hope such as schools, mental health care and rehabilitative services.
This election is much bigger than any candidate. This is an election which calls on us to wake up, no matter what happens on November 7th and look deeply at what is going on in our always imperfect and yet so precious democratic process. We call in all who would abstain because the process is too distasteful and ask them to understand that a boycott of voting on the main issues before us is simply to hasten the demise of our enfeebled systems for engagement. We renew our commitment to listen to those whose anger is so wide and deep it endangers the very nature of our democracy.
We will be continuing our explorations of the underlying causes of these divisions and fissures through the Ministers’Sunday Salon this month, through our Witness and our participation in the rebuilding of the CCISCO network in our county, Cisco program comma through the registration for and commitment to participating in the next round of our beloved conversations classes beginning in January. Most of all we do this through our engagement with one another, where we fight off malaise and the numbing consumption of things and experiences in the place of true engagement. Let’s be all in, let’s invite others back in and call them in. Vote. And then commit to engaging.