Make America Just. Period.
Drawing on faith, community, and conscience to call out injustice and seek a better way.
A Moral Platform for the Christian “Justice Voter.”
What does the Lord require of you, but to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God? —Micah 6:8
The church is not, and must not be, a partisan tool. When pastors weaponize theology to declare that “good Christians” must vote for one side or the other, the open conversations essential to both church and state deteriorate. As God alone is Lord of the conscience for everyone, it is dangerous for people to claim God for one sect, one party, or one nation.
The same standard is set, in theory, for the Supreme Court. But in practice, as revealed in the recent nomination hearings, partisanship sometimes comes out—a reminder of why the PC(USA) voted to adopt the Johnson Amendment, which prevents official church endorsements of any candidate for office. We must walk humbly with our God, not claim that God supports our candidate. And to the extent that we are partisan, we should be partisan for God’s justice.
It is morally dangerous to stay on the sidelines. No person can honestly say “I seek justice” without touching the realm of politics in some way. Too much injustice goes on in that arena! And so, the question remains: How do we, as people of faith, invoke our principles in ways that witness for a just society without shutting down debate or holding that society hostage to our own self-righteous wills?
One answer, always available, is to point to Jesus. At the core of his radical acts of flipping hypocritical tables of power, healing those at the margins of society, and refusing to cast stones at the vulnerable, we find revolutionary principles of justice for all that continue to apply to our ever-changing contexts.
Another answer is to stay true to church polity: debate and adopt policies that the church supports on the basis of shared principle. Although not binding on individuals, church policies can lend significant weight to public witness on issues that are otherwise difficult to discuss.
A third answer is to stay true to our internal moral compass. Although representatives of the church cannot say “the church endorses X candidate,” individual citizens can and must speak from their own moral standing as followers of Christ. If they are honest in that capacity, they will point toward justice. This is what I mean by being “partisan for justice.”
In this issue, we will ask our contributors to do all of the above, drawing on faith, community, and conscience to call out injustice and seek a better way.
It is justice, not vengeance, to investigate thoroughly and prosecute resolutely all public officials who have put private interests above the common good. If broken windows in a neighborhood can justify a more visible police presence—with community involvement—to prevent larger crimes, then the countless examples of self-dealing and conflict ofMore
“Magical thinking” on climate change is less Christian than climate science. What psychologists call “magical thinking” is common among children and adults alike, and it does more damage than one might think. In the case of climate change denial, the magical result fantasized is both a wish fulfillment and aMore
A Pastoral Response to the Migrant Caravan I’ve been watching reports of the migrant caravan from Central America, awestruck by the grit and determination of those refugees. What is it like to leave your home and walk for weeks to a place you’ve never seen, not knowing if you willMore
A Neurosurgeon and a Pastor Work Hand-in-hand for Universal Healthcare Unbound interviewed Dr. Bohmfalk and Rev. Thomas together because they demonstrate that faith and science have intersecting roles in inspiring just outcomes. They are an effective team in advocacy for an issue that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), along with otherMore
With regard to foreign policy, the real dragon facing the United States is not China but the grandiosity of its own leaders, as seen in recent speeches by President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Despite the phrase “principled realism,” the President’s speech was a mixture of boasts andMore
As Reformed Protestants, we are people of the book. We ground ourselves in The Bible. While we may no longer be rigidly sola scriptura, we nonetheless often find ourselves more comfortable in appeals to text than appeals to experience. There is much value and much danger in this way ofMore
“Governments deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed [and] whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” – The Declaration of Independence Although too few Americans were allowed to vote in Jefferson’s day,More
Swirling around the atmosphere as I write this is the furor over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States. In a remarkable movement from margin to center, the experiences of women have become the heart of Kavanaugh’s questioning and ultimately, the decision whether orMore
Voting is not just “civic duty.” It is a moral choice. I still hear the phrase “civic duty” associated with the act of voting…but less and less often. People are tired of political action, and would rather abdicate any and all responsibility for the status quo. To quote my politicalMore
The Social Creed, at 10 years, links us to the Social Gospel and Labor Day. It is easy to focus on what divides groups of Christians from each other and from other movements of faith. But, in the Labor Day spirit of coming together to work for justice, we rememberMore