For Immediate Release

A Word on Peace and Justice for the 2020 U.S. Elections from United Methodist Women

A Word on Peace and Justice for the 2020 U.S. Elections  from United Methodist Women

On the eve of this election, United Methodist Women joins with others throughout the country in a spirit of fervent prayer. We recognize the heightened emotions of this week, coming at the end of an extraordinary and challenging year. It can be hard to engage in careful discernment with the buzz of anxiety in our ears. Making matters worse, many Americans are inundated with deliberately distracting, disorienting and divisive media content. It can be easy to lose focus. But in the midst of these uncertain times, our call remains abundantly clear: putting faith, hope, and love into action for women, children and youth. We trust that these values will both inform our votes tomorrow and guide our faithful actions in the days and weeks to come.

The unprecedented circumstances of this election may mean that we don’t know the results immediately. As the country waits for all votes to be cast, received, counted and reported, we must remain vigilant in protection of voters’ rights – especially voters of color who have been so frequently denied equitable access to the ballot. Indeed, the right to vote, itself, was originally limited to the small class of land-owning white men. It was only through intentional organizing and many decades of protest that the majority of Americans achieved the right to vote. Deep democracy does not come easily; rather, it must be continually fought for and won through intentional, organized effort.

We are reminded of the transformative leadership shown by Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Rosa Parks, UMW’s own Thelma Stevens, 2016-2020 Board VP Clara Ester and many more -- organizers, leaders, and prophets who made possible the extraordinary gains of the Civil Rights Movement. They did so with dogged persistence and strategic savvy, building power through organizing. They engaged Americans in successful nonviolent action in both rural and urban settings, fighting for and achieving concrete change while building a broad and powerful movement. Cynics will suggest that Americans have only two options available in the face of political or social evil: quiescent acceptance or counter-violence. And yet both our faith and our foremothers point to a third way: sustained, strategic and nonviolent protest.

Their legacy continues: We see and celebrate the everyday women who have pushed for justice in the last half-century since, including the millions of people who have taken to the streets over the past years to call for a better America. They have rallied to end gender violence, to stand for climate justice, to fight for a living wage, to defend Native lands and water, to free children from cages and reunite families, and to say with the courage of soul-grounded conviction that the lives of Black and Brown men, women, and children matter, without exception.

United Methodist Women is honored to stand next to the everyday women who continue to stand up for justice in America. We will not acquiesce to evil, quietly tolerating the abuse of our neighbors or ourselves. Neither will we practice an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, giving in to the temptation of retaliatory violence. Our foremothers have shown us the way. May we have the strength of spirit to follow in their footsteps.

United Methodist Women is the women’s mission organization within the UMC, turning faith, hope, and love into action on behalf of women, children, and youth for 150 years and counting.

Posted or updated: 11/2/2020 12:00:00 AM

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