Fierce Neighborliness

This is on my mind tonight:

We all know that religious clergy should never endorse or advocate for political candidates in worship or in congregational literature. Likewise, though they can express their own personal views, in those particular contexts, they should not tell anyone how they should cast their votes. This is important legally. It’s also important morally.

But by all means, it is crucial to speak out consistently when people are harmed, discriminated against, and maligned in our culture and cultural discourse. And it is crucial to speak with care and empowerment toward people who are traumatized. Both of these are central to faithful witness and relationships.

Tomorrow, religious leaders will stand before religious communities and speak up against misogyny and other forms of hatred. And. . . in some contexts, they will then be attacked for being “too political.”

I’m just going to be honest here:
For clergy, and women clergy in particular, if they are attacked in this way, it’s going to add to the trauma of this weekend.

How can it be off limits to uphold the humanity of women, people of color, refugees, and immigrants? Intentions and actions to love our neighbor remain a central part of the life of faith. It is also a central part of what it means to be human.
Nationalism is not the center. A party is not the center. No political candidate is at the center.

Our neighbors do have a central place.

Please be kind to religious leaders tomorrow. They have a difficult job. And male clergy, we need you to be good allies tomorrow. This can’t be on the backs of women alone, though we will rise to the moment.

Love, prayers, peace, and fierce neighborliness to everyone tonight.

Renee Roederer

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