I encourage everyone reading this column to vote and to encourage your loved ones to vote. One of the issues on the ballot in Michigan is reproductive freedom. As I’ve written before in this column, Unitarian Universalism is strongly and formally in support of reproductive freedom. As a religious institution, we are within our legal rights to advocate for issues such as this in elections–but legally we must not advocate for specific candidates. For the reproductive freedom ballot question–question 3–I was somewhat taken aback to see the huge sign at the Catholic church, just two blocks away from our UU fellowship, telling people to vote “no” on this question. Since then I have read news reports that the Catholic church is leading the effort to oppose this ballot question. They are within their rights to do this, and expressing what they presumably hold as a religious value, but I think they are on the wrong side of history and of popular opinion in this case. More importantly, I think the Catholic church is on the wrong side of this question morally. To love pregnant women is to allow them the freedom to choose what happens with their bodies, not to grant that power to the government. A “yes” vote on question 3 reinstates the abortion protections that were in place under Roe v. Wade, and in the context of my value system that is the right vote.
On my cell phone today I got a text message from UU the Vote, our voting rights advocacy group within Unitarian Universalism. It was a blessing and I share this blessing with you: May our values call forth the energy to do the work of love, justice, and democracy. May our fears be enveloped in love larger than any hate. May we manifest our faith in actions this election week. Amen to that.
May voters be safe on Election Day. May poll workers and election officials be safe. May all citizens follow their conscience, their higher reason, their humane values, in casting their votes; and may democracy be strengthened by the exercise of the votes on this day.
May divine blessing come to those of every faith and of no faith. May every person be blessed and loved and safe, with no exceptions.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz