New Values Voter Reflection Guide Tackles Moral Issues at Stake in Presidential Election
For Immediate Release
April 4, 2016
Michelle Nealy, , 202-735-7123
John Gehring, , 410-302-3792
Values Voter Reflection Guide Tackles Moral Issues at Stake in Presidential Election
Interfaith leaders call for a “politics of the Golden Rule.”
As presidential candidates ramp up outreach to religious voters in battleground states, prominent faith leaders are equipping their congregations with a non-partisan voter reflection guide. More than 250 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders support the guide, released today by Faith in Public Life. It will be distributed to congregations across the country as part of efforts to educate and register voters.
“Elections should be about more than partisan divisions, the latest poll numbers, Super PACs and billionaire donors,” reads the document, entitled Faith, Values and the 2016 Election: Toward A Politics of the Golden Rule. “Politics as usual is insufficient for the urgent task of addressing the defining moral issues of our time.”
The guide highlights the need to address growing economic inequality, climate change, a broken immigration system, mass incarceration, gun violence and confronting terrorism “without abandoning our values” as believers.
Prominent leaders who endorse the guide include Rev. Jim Wallis, President & CEO of Sojourners; Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches; Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism; Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Richard Cizik, President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good; Salam Al-Marayati, President, Muslim Public Affairs Council; the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, and Rev. Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power & Light.
"A presidential election should be a time for moral courage and clarity," said Rev. Tim Ahrens, Senior Minister at the First Congregational Church in Columbus, OH. "Sadly, the toxic rhetoric directed at Muslims and immigrants divides Americans when we should unite to build a moral economy that serves the common good. This guide is a refreshing antidote to the ugliness of our current politics and will be an indispensable resource for my congregation."
The guide calls for public policies that support a “pro-family economy,” which include living wages for workers and paid parental leave. It underscores the diverse religious support for comprehensive immigration reform, challenges candidates to address gun violence, and asks voters to reflect on how mass incarceration disproportionately impacts African Americans. Climate change is “a threat to Creation and our children’s future,” the guide reads, noting that over 18,000 faith communities are working with Interfaith Power & Light to green their facilities, teach and preach about global warming, and mobilize for policy change.
“Values voters will be critical to winning the presidency, and the narrow agenda of the religious right does not speak for most people of faith,” said Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, and chair of the White House Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships. “Clergy are mobilizing because we’re on the front lines fighting for struggling families, immigrants and those on the margins.”
The full guide can be found here.