Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson on Midterms: Much To Celebrate, Still Much To Do

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOV 6, 2018
Contact: Loretta Kane (917-410-7262 or [email protected] )

Faith leaders celebrate small steps and work to bridge differences and work for justice

Statement of Auburn Seminary President the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson

NEW YORK —

“Yesterday, voters braved long lines to vote in record numbers in the midterm elections. As results continue to roll in, the Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, with unprecedented numbers of women and people of color winning races.

It is important to celebrate every step that carries us forward. Yet, as a Christian minister who works with people across faith traditions, I am more determined than ever that people of faith and moral courage have a lot of work to do.

I am encouraged by the energetic voter turnout across the country — from the 91-year-old African American mother of a friend, who sang in the car on the way to the polls, “Ain’t nobody going to turn me around,” to the Parkland young people who were able to vote for the first time.

Many of those who won represent the emerging new American majority of those who embody the diversity that is our strength — women in unprecedented numbers including Muslims, Native American and LGBTQ, Latinx and African Americans. Many of these emerging leaders ran innovative campaigns that did not rely on big money and traditional sources of power but on connecting personally with folks at the grassroots level, with the result that more Americans are involved and engaged in the political process. And perhaps the most important single victory for justice was that formerly incarcerated persons in Florida have regained the vote!

At the same time, this election season demonstrates the deep division in the country that is now made visible in close voting in so many places. The American people have been played and lied to by leaders who suppress their votes, exploit fear, and pursue policies that are blatantly cruel and racist. I can’t believe that the American people will let this stand. Fundamentally, this election was a referendum on who gets to be human.

As a Christian I believe that God has already made that decision for us: everyone. Our work then is to organize our life together through law, policy and practice that pursues justice with love and the flourishing of all God’s creatures and the planet herself.

The work ahead for people of faith and moral courage is to listen intently to one another, to bridge differences wherever possible, and to pursue justice with love. Let’s keep writing the future story of America together, one in which all voices are heard and represented at every level of our democracy.

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Auburn is a leadership development and research institute, working to build the field of the multifaith movement for justice. From local to global, Auburn equips leaders of faith and moral courage and brings together unlikely partners to address today’s seemingly intractable challenges, strengthen communities and inspire hope.

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