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Letter: ‘Biblical values’ voting

In recent days, full-page ads in national newspapers and appeals from the pulpit have called us to “Vote Our Biblical Values”. Aimed at Christians, but applying to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and others whose faith calls them to ethical behavior, the subtext is often misleading, referring to policy choices rather than true “biblical values.” It is easy to forget that these social or economic policy issues are human interpretations.

As Christians, biblical Scripture tells us that our first and highest commandment — (in which we are joined by our brothers and sisters in other religions who are called to Tikkum Olam — “care for/repair the world”) — is to “Love God with All Our Heart and to Love Our Neighbors As Ourselves.” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Our foundational creed mandates looking out for “the least of these” — “When I was in prison, when I was homeless, when I hungered … you came to visit me, sheltered me, fed me …” (Matthew 25:35-40). What would our country look like if the U.S. federal budget — and federal policy — reflected the priorities of the true diversity of God’s people, instead of the powerful few?

Let “voting your biblical values” be informed by what it means — the demands of Divine Justice — washing the feet of the most wounded children of God. God’s powerful charge is to do whatever it takes to care for each other.(John 13:14)

As we vote on Nov. 6, the historic choice is between policies that are best-for-“Me” versus those-that-benefit-“We.” God calls us to live our faith. Each must judge which candidate will help us care for our neighbor who, despite missteps, needs a compassionate hand to lift her up. Voting your loving heart is “voting biblical values” and remaining one nation under God.

SUSAN MARENECK

executive director

Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Turners Falls

Leverett

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