Faith + Politics Part II: Can I Love My Neighbor Through My Politics? with Stephanie Summers
Thank you Newsstand Studio at 1 Rockefeller Plaza for providing a place for me to record this episode for y’all! No more Brooklyn closet recording!!!
On Monday, I had a conversation with speaker and author Ashley Abercrombie on why being pro-birth isn’t enough and how to have a compassionate and nuanced dialogue around abortion. Today, the conversation around faith and politics continues. How does our faith impact how we vote? Can we love our neighbor through our politics?
I’m exploring this conversation with Stephanie Summers. She is the CEO of the Center for Public Justice, an independent, non-partisan civic education and public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. She has dedicated her life to learning and ministry and justice and I can’t wait for you to hear everything she has to share.
How to find accurate/truthful info on candidates
* Read your local paper— it’s the best place to learn about local politics
* Attend a local forum or access them on the internet— hear the candidate directly
* Ask friends who might be more connected to/involved in the political scene
* Reach out directly to the campaigns
What your vote really means
* “Politics is a way that we respond to God’s call to love our neighbors.”
* Voting is a way to achieve proximate justice.
* “My vote isn’t designed to be all about me, but it’s really about the wellbeing, the shalom, the flourishing of our community.”
* Every human being is made in God’s image, not just the ones we agree with politically.
How to show up in patience and love with someone who is on the other side of you
* None of this is a one-and-done conversation.
* Pray for openness to hear the other side— and a humility to admit, “I could be wrong— God, show me.” Pray for softened hearts. “God, what do you want from me here?”
* It’s not your job to convince someone to get on your side.
“As God’s people, there is more that unites us in Christ than divides us in politics. We have forgotten that in many ways.”
The election is November 3rd, what happens next?
* “The election is not the end; it’s the beginning.”
* Get to know your community policies and officials so you don’t feel overwhelmed the week before the next election.
* Get involved with political discipleship groups to help you think about, use, and develop tools to show up with intentionality as a person of faith with politics.
* Shared Justice Journal covers a lot of political topics and faith. It will help you wrestle some nuanced and hard topics.
How do we look at a candidate holistically?
* Pandemic response and racial justice are both significant issues right now
* Think about what it means to be well as a nation
* Posture of unity, even if we don’t agree (as opposed to punishment if you don’t believe in ‘x’s side.
Can we separate someone’s personal character from their policy?
* Ask yourself these questions:
* If your pastor had terrible character, would you be okay if your church was growing and people were getting free?
* If your boss treated you and your coworkers maliciously, but pays you really well?
* Think about your response. Do you care about the process or the outcome?
* Keep up with all things Center for Public Justice at org, on Instagram at @centerpublicjustice, and on Twitter at @cpjustice.
* Check out org and sharedjustice.org to stay informed.
* Listen to Faith + Politics Part I: Why Pro-Birth Isn’t Enough with Ashley Abercrombie
* Watch my IGTV: “I don’t support Trump… Can we be friends if we disagree politically?”
* Listen to Why Black Lives Matter
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If you feel overwhelmed and want to learn to step out in clarity with politics, go to politicaldiscipleship.org and join one of the sessions offered. It’s all about being intentional, and it’s all about community.