January 2012

Bringing Civility into
Our Political Process

Greetings in the Name of the Living Christ!

We are members of the world community where God views all persons equally, regardless of human-made boundaries or borders.  At the same time, we are also citizens of a particular nation.  Our Enduring Principles guide us in how we allow our “citizenship” in God’s kingdom to guide our actions and choices in our particular national citizenships.

The following statements from our Enduring Principles serve as guides for how we behave and interact during state and national elections. 

  • We are called to make responsible choices within the circumstances of our lives that contribute to the purposes of God.
  • Community of Christ is a diverse, international family of disciples, seekers, and congregations.
  • God views all people as having inestimable and equal worth.
  • …We commit to ongoing dialogue and lovingly uphold our common faith in Jesus Christ and the mission of the church.

One of the opportunities we have in the United States is the right to choose those who represent us as leaders of the country.  Every four years that includes a Presidential election.  It is a right not available to all persons around the globe and we should not take lightly this opportunity.  As apostles for the church in the United States, we urge members to exercise this right of citizenship. 

As you engage in this process, we encourage you to look to the Enduring Principles as a guide.  Make responsible choices by taking time to study the issues and understand the positions of each candidate.  Recognize we are a diverse community and good people can have different ideas of what is right for the country; in these circumstances seek to find unity in diversity.  Find ways to be a living testimony of the “worth of all persons” by expressing personal viewpoints in ways that do not demean another whose opinion might differ.  As we share our various viewpoints and opinions, let us speak and listen with mutual respect and Christ-like love for one another.

In recent years the political rhetoric in the country has become very disrespectful and caused many to feel divided and unheard.  This should not be the case.  As members of Community of Christ and citizens of the United States, let us be engaged in the political process; but let us do so with the same principles that shape and form our journey as disciples.  Let our lives be a testimony of how “We are called to create communities of Christ’s peace in our families and congregations and across villages, tribes, nations, and throughout creation” (www.CofChrist.org/ourfaith/faq.asp).

In Christ’s Peace,

Linda L. Booth, Barbara L. Carter, Stassi D. Cramm, Ronald D. Harmon Jr., and Rick W. Maupin
USA Team of Apostles