Tell Congress we must protect everyone’s right to vote.
Join faith leaders in contacting Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4).
According to The Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute, “Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws
that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.”
The ELCA’s social message on “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy
” points us to the need to examine this trend: “ELCA social teaching holds that all residents of the United States have a responsibility to make government function well—not to abandon our democracy but to engage it in a spirit of robust civic duty. For Lutherans, this responsibility is lived out as a calling from God, expressed in the discipleship described in our baptismal promises. It is based on our understanding of how God governs human society.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) understands that justice is done when we live out our mutual responsibility for one another by guaranteeing our neighbor’s right to vote and participate freely and fully in society (see message in the “ELCA Civic Engagement Guide
” from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton). In 2013, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, our denomination’s highest legislative authority, adopted a social policy resolution titled “Voting Rights to All Citizens
.” This resolution calls us to express concern for our nation’s history of voter suppression from the Jim Crow era to the current climate of restrictive voter laws that create barriers to many people of color in their right to vote. This resolution calls on all part of this church to “promote public life worthy of the name” by speaking out as advocates and engaging in local efforts such as voter registration and supporting legislation to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens.
Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4)
would be a key step in ensuring the voices of all citizens will be safeguarded and heard. Its provisions
would help reinstate guidelines that ensure protection through oversight and combat voter suppression.
Customize the letter below with your own story or faith-based reflection to Congress today.