For many, elections have become a competition, a horse race. They determine whose person wins and as a result whose beliefs and values are supposedly the best.
Yet elections are about more than who wins or loses. They are a right and responsibility of each citizen who is of age.
Many have fought wars both violent and nonviolent to give everyone the right to vote. We do their sacrifice an injustice by not participating in this democratic system that, while flawed, is better than all the others out there. It is better than coups, monarchies and theocracies.
The Common Good
Elections are also a responsibility. They ask of us to think and pray long and hard about how we are to be in community with one another. Elections are not about winning one for the team, but the common good. They are to make common the good for all.
As a connectional church this is not new to us United Methodists. “Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination via a unique, interlocking chain of conferences. The United Methodist Church practices representative democracy in its governance.” We understand the rights and responsibilities of our Connection’s common good.
Let us now in each of our country’s electoral process and our Church’s connectional process, seek the beloved community, the common good for all. Let us not only participate in a horse race that does not in the end care for the making of community but only in winning. We are not to vanquish one another but love one another as our God so loved us.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, … Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV