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BY REV. JENNIFER BUTLER

March 1, 2021


Today's special edition of The Resistance Prays is written by Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life Action and author of Who Stole my Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a Handbook for Resisting Tyranny. 
For the People Act infographic by Common Cause
Republican Voter Suppression Kicks Into High Gear: "The Republican Party knows that it cannot win a national majority if voting is easy and smooth for everyone. So election laws must be shaped to make it harder for some people than others."
"Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey!" Isaiah 10:1-2
While a recent report from the Center for American Progress Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative and Auburn Seminary showed that a diverse pro-democracy faith movement played an important role in defending democracy in 2020, events since the election have also shown that numerous obstacles remain on our nation’s long journey to justice.
 
We the people turned out in record numbers to vote despite the pandemic and numerous deliberately placed barriers to voting that targeted communities of color. The result was clear and decisive, with Democratic leaders taking both the White House and the Senate, and keeping their majority in the House of Representatives. In a healthy system, such a definitive result would lead the opposition party to reach out and seek the support of new voters. 
 
But our system is ailing. While critical priorities such as LGBTQ equality, immigration reform and COVID relief are moving in the Democratically-led Congress, misguided Republican politicians are trying to silence voters of color rather than listen to them. At the national level, Congressional Republicans and pundits with huge platforms are lying about the legitimacy of the election to justify a wave of new barriers to voting. At the state level, they have introduced 165 bills in 33 states that would restrict the freedom to vote. Make no mistake -- this is about keeping Black, Brown, young, elderly and disabled voters from exercising their most fundamental right. 
 
As people of faith, we must defend the right to vote with the same vigor we harnessed to stop tyranny in 2020, and with the same determination as our forebears who worked together across religious lines to pass the Voting Rights Act. Fortunately, we have an opportunity to mobilize right now -- the House of Representatives will soon take up the For The People Act, which will expand access to the ballot box in every state. Together, we can ensure that every eligible American has the freedom to vote, and that the results of our elections reflect the will of the people.
 
Working in faith-based political advocacy for the last 15 years has taught me that neither victory nor defeat is ever final. God’s work is never complete. But certain moments set the stage for long-term changes of course. We face just such a moment right now. Loving our neighbors means ensuring that their political voice is heard. This is the foundation upon which dignity and justice for all are built.
Save the Congressional switchboard number in your phone today: 202-224-3121. When the For the People Act begins moving, call it, get connected to your Representative, and tell them you are a person of faith who supports the For the People Act.
 
God of liberation and justice
Who parted the waters to deliver Israel from Pharaoh
Who calls us into community and right arrangement
Who renews us and frees us and forgives our debts
 
We need you. 
 
Please give us the courage to overcome threats to dignity and democracy.
Please call to repentance those who deprive our neighbors of their rights. 
Please deliver us from tyranny, and grant us democracy.
 
Amen.
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