Early voting in North Carolina is on pace with some of the best years on record. In the spirit of keeping the momentum building, the NC Council of Churches is supporting the effort of EqualityNC to designate this Sunday as Faith and Equality Sunday. Calling on faith communities to encourage early voting, they write:
EqualityNC’s Faith Outreach Program asks you to join us in designating October 30 as Faith and Equality Sunday within church families in counties where early voting is available that day. For any congregants who haven’t voted early, we hope you will encourage them to do so on October 30 between the polling hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – the final Sunday before the early voting ends on Nov. 5. For congregations located in areas where Sunday early voting isn’t available, please encourage your members to vote anytime between now and when early voting ends on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Our scriptures have much to say about human dignity, grounded in the assertion from Genesis 1:26 that humanity is created in the image of God. The command from God to create humanity in “our image” makes no differentiation between gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, age, or ability. It summarily states: “humankind.” All humans. Equality then is not a basic human right; it is a God-given entitlement built into the original fabric of creation. For people of faith, this is especially salient because we have inherited in our baptismal birthright the responsibility to love our neighbors. We have not inherited the responsibility to judge their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability or any other culturally proscribed category.
While a certain recent law in our state has had profound negative consequences in the business sector and has caused a dearth of post season games in the sports many of us love (When was the last time NC did not have an NCAA basketball playoff game?), the reason the NC Council of Churches opposes HB2 is because it devalues a segment of the population that God has created in God’s image. As those created in God’s image, we stand in solidarity with all those still waiting for the law of the land to catch up with creation’s mandate. Whether we vote Sunday, next week, or Nov. 8, we must vote for candidates and laws that honor all of creation and all of humanity.