During this year's Diocesan Convention, there was a long debate over a resolution advocating statehood for the District of Columbia. There were references to history, to state's rights, to citizens' rights, and all manner of posturing during the debate. Inevitably, someone said that all of this discussion was political and that the church shouldn't involve itself in such conversations, because they were divisive. The next people to step up to the microphone were leaders of the youth delegation (one of whom was our own Emily Carson) who said, "If we are talking about a matter of justice, then the church has to talk about it, no matter how difficult the conversation."
The reality of an election year in the District of Columbia is beginning to sink in. As the days wear on to November, I find myself maintaining a dogged avoidance of the media. I hate election rhetoric (all of it) and I hate campaign ads even more. I hate that no one is really talking about poverty and hunger. I hate all of the posturing and I hate thinking about all the money that is going into campaigning and not going into food for the hungry. And though I try to maintain some hope for the political process in my country, I remain convinced that at the end of the day there are only three things that matter: faith, hope and love. But how much do they matter?
I have a poster in my office that quotes a portion of Deuteronomy 16:20: Justice, justice you shall pursue... And while I'm not always sure what justice looks like, or how we achieve it in a world as broken as ours, I recognize this as one of the foundational commands of my faith. As strong as the command to love one another, I believe I am called to advocate for justice for everyone. The church, as our youth so eloquently put it, is called to the same advocacy. For every decision we face as individuals and as a community, we must ask: what is just, what is loving, what is gospel-filled? These kinds of questions can make for difficult conversations. But if justice matters, if faith and hope and love matter, we church folks have to be the ones to champion them-no matter who gets elected. Kym+