Michigan faith leaders plan to cast ballots for 'morals, values'


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Some faith leaders from Michigan are encouraging voters to reject fear and hate and embrace love, justice, and inclusion in this election.

Reverend Mike Mulberry, interim pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ in Jackson, is among clergy members from across the country who's joined a group known as the New Moral Majority. He contends, with the nation gripped by a mismanaged pandemic and racial injustice, people of faith cannot remain silent.

"We've for too long put our value on what we do in worship, and forgotten that faith is an everyday proposition," Mulberry observed. "There are all kinds of scripture verses that say God will not accept your worship because you're refusing to do justice."

Mulberry said a sense of justice calls for supporting candidates who invest in education, health care, and a clean environment, and who support equal opportunities for all Americans.

The New Moral Majority is releasing what it calls "A Sermon to Heal America" on social media.

Reverend Ryan Eller, the group's founder, believes the message can unify people despite the climate of division.

"People often look to faith leaders in moments of high anxiety," Eller noted. "And we're hoping that our efforts can help with that healing process, even as we encourage the really important participation in the electoral process as a spiritual act."

This week, another bipartisan group of Christian leaders also launched "Not Our Faith," a political action committee placing ads in Michigan and other battleground states.

Eller said he's seeing many faith leaders are breaking away from past norms of supporting a Republican candidate, and recognizing the nation and the democracy are at a crossroads.

"As a Baptist, we take separation of church and state very seriously, as do we take seriously the First Amendment, religious liberty and freedom of speech," Eller maintained. "That that has made a lot of leaders in the past hesitant to get involved in the political conversation."

A Pew Research Center poll this week said President Donald Trump is the preferred candidate for white Christians, although it shows support has dropped among white Catholics, Protestants and evangelical Protestants. The poll found Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is ahead among every other religious group.

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