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BY MIGUEL PETROSKY

June 2, 2021
The GOP is trying to pass voter suppression laws in states across the U.S., while Democrats fight to stop them.
 Photo credit: Mikala Compton | Reuters
Senate Republicans blocked the bipartisan 1/6 commission via filibuster, leaving Democrats to consider implementing a back-up plan to create one in the House of Representatives. –via NPR and Vox
 
Meanwhile, Texas Democrats walked out of the state legislature to block the GOP’s voter suppression bill from being passed. –via The Guardian
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” –Genesis 1:26
The idea that all human beings bear the image of God is a core precept of our faith and of other faith traditions. In a democracy like the United States, the right to vote for all adult citizens is both a reflection of the founding vision for what the United States should be and where the United States should go, and the opportunity for citizens to participate in shaping that path. Suppressing the right to vote also suppresses someone’s humanity, thus suppressing the image of God in a particular segment of the population. It’s simply immoral, but that’s exactly what's happening today. 

As people of faith, we must respond boldly and prophetically. The insurrection on January 6 occurred because of Trump’s lies about voter fraud and a “stolen election.” In reality, people showed up to vote him out – including an overwhelming number of Black and brown folks. The takeaway lesson for many in the GOP leadership wasn’t to purge from their party once and for all the Christian Nationalism, racism, and xenophobia that makes up Trumpism, but rather to make sure that an election loss like 2020 never happens again. 
 
Make no mistake – Trump may have left office, but Trumpism is alive and well. The Public Religion Research Institute recently found that 15% of Americans hold to QAnon beliefs. That's as many people as there are Mainline Protestants in the U.S. Congresspersons like Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are branding their public personas as bearers of the Trumpist mandate within the Republican Party. And the GOP’s goal to suppress the vote will keep a far-right GOP in U.S. politics for decades to come. 

This points back to the idea of the image of God being in all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about being the Body of Christ, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” These same words can be applied to our current political moment. If any person or group is disenfranchised, this will hurt all of us. This is why it’s imperative to resist the latest voter suppression laws across the states, and to prevent a Jim Crow 2.0.
  • Call, send a letter or email to your Senator, and tell them you support getting rid of the filibuster. 
  • Find ways locally to support protecting the right to vote.
“A Prayer for Our Community” by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein
 
Source of All Being, Creator of All Life, may Your goodness find its way into the hearts of all Your children.
 
May those who wield power do so with a balance of wisdom, justice and compassion. 
 
May those who feel powerless remember their intrinsic worth, and also act with a balance of wisdom, integrity and compassion.
 
May we all feel called to action based on the injustices of racism, and see ourselves not as enemies of one another, not in struggle with one another, but as human beings, created in the image of God, connected to one another’s well-being.
 
May all of us come to acknowledge the racism that is pervasive in our region and our nation.
 
May we commit to sitting down with one another in honest dialogue, opening our hearts in compassion to one another, bearing witness to the pain and fear of one another, even if … and especially if … “the other” looks and seems so different from ourselves.
 
May we commit to joining together in acts of justice that will bring about equality in education, economic opportunities, law enforcement and judicial proceedings.
 
May each of us come to understand that, ultimately, “my” experience of freedom, justice and peace is inextricably linked to the freedom, justice and peace of every other person in our county and city, our country and our world. May we open our eyes to the invisible lines of connection that unite us, and with clarity of vision, continue to work for a world where every person’s life is valued, cherished and loved.
 
Amen.
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