Pursuing Peace and Justice with a Vote

On the eve of an important midterm election, we reflect on the role that justice should play in casting our vote.

As a climate advocate working with the Anabaptist community, the importance of seeking justice is often on my mind. I find the framing of climate change as a justice issue to be enlightening, and freeing from the traditional environmental mold. As we at the Center work to “make climate action the moral equivalent of peacebuilding [and justice] in the Anabaptist tradition”, I find myself wondering how I can pursue justice and peace with my vote during this important midterm election. To that end, I’ve put together a list of things to consider before entering the voting booth tomorrow, and putting your vote to work for your values:

  1. Vote informed. You can’t pursue justice with your vote if you know nothing about the measures and candidates for which you are voting. 

    Some great resources on voting informed:
    The CSCS Election Resource
    WeVote Digital Ballot
    Ballotpedia: Information about candidates and races

  2. Be giving during the election season, don’t feed the divisive conversations that cultivate an “us and them” mentality.

    It’s easy in a tense political environment to forget the need for unity in our faith communities and our country. By approaching election season with a spirit of civility, and thoughtful questioning, we can avoid the “us and them” mentality, and move into a healing space.

  3. Vote for candidates that speak about justice issues – if they aren’t speaking about it, they probably won’t do anything about it. 

    Candidates’ websites and debate speeches should speak for themselves. If a candidate doesn’t speak about climate change or issues of justice, then the issue is not a major concern for them, or they are scared to speak into their current political context. In either case, it likely means that they will not be leading in the spirit of justice throughout their term. 

  4. Consider the power of your vote when voting, and the importance of voting for justice. 

    Every vote has power. There are so many important responses to climate change, many of them personal and communal. But the power of voting in response to climate change cannot be overstated. By voting for candidates who represent those who do not have a voice, or whose voices have been suppressed (i.e. voices from the Global South on climate change), you can take part in a powerful response to climate change. 

The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions (CSCS) is a collaborative effort of Eastern Mennonite University, Goshen College, and Mennonite Central Committee. CSCS advances thinking and action in Anabaptist and other faith communities to mitigate climate change. Our goal is to make climate change the moral equivalent of war and violence in the Anabaptist community and to change hearts and minds around climate change in the church. You can learn more about the Center here.

Article by Daniel Bellerose

Student Programs Coordinator, Program Assistant

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