DALLAS, Texas — My Faith Votes, the non-partisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to be active and involved citizens, visited Congress today to hand-deliver an open letter signed by more than 20,000 Christians. The letter, which outlines the top issues Christians desire their representatives to be aware of and to stand for, was also signed by Christian leaders Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Alveda King and J.D. Greear, among others.
Throughout the week, My Faith Votes will individually deliver the letter to each new member and to senior leaders of the 115th Congress. Individual letters are also being mailed to the remaining state senators and representatives.
“From the beginning of this letter, we acknowledge our responsibility as followers of Jesus and citizens of this nation to always pray for your prosperity and well-being,” says the letter. “Your success is the success of every American.”
The letter then presents four principles that are important to America’s Evangelical community and the accompanying expectations Christians have for their elected officials:
“We also write this letter to express our hopes and expectations as you serve your term in Congress—for you are an elected official, chosen to represent and fight for the interests of the American people.
“As representatives ourselves of our nation’s almost 230 million Christians, we wish to bring to you four principles of paramount importance to us and, we pray, will guide you during your term. These are: Religious freedom for all, the sanctity and dignity of human life, the protection and strengthening of the family and marriage, and compassion and care for the least of those in our society.”
The letter states that religious liberty is “our first freedom,” and as such it is “more than a freedom to worship or attend a worship service. It covers the right to live out faith with a clear conscience in the public square.” Though in the last few years faith has been effectively censored from the public square, there is evidence that religious observance generates positive effects on America. “In fact, religion contributes $1.2 trillion each year to our economy,” the letter argues, a sum greater than the combined revenue of some of America’s top tech companies. With this in mind, Congress members are asked to “safeguard our religious freedoms, both in our places of worship and in the public square.”
Concerning the sanctity and dignity of human life, the letter says, “Value is based on being made in the likeness of God; it is a divine and irrevocable membership in the human family.” In a similar way, human dignity “cannot be forfeited or lessened even in times of dependency.” The letter urges Congress to “defend the sanctity and dignity of human life through the government policies” they support.
A third priority for American Evangelicals is the protection of two foundational institutions: the family and marriage. “We believe God has designed the family as the building block of society,” the letter reads. “Without strong families, America would cease to exist as we know it.” Of marriage, the letter says it is “the foundation of a strong family” and therefore indispensable for raising children “who are more confident and competent to succeed and contribute to society.” Because elected officials are tasked with looking out for the well-being of society, the letter asks their “commitment to supporting and protecting American families and marriages. If these institutions are strong, our nation will also be strong.”
The final issue the letter addresses is compassionate care for those in need. Because a “nation is ultimately judged by the way it cares for and lifts up those in need,” support for policies that alleviate poverty, combat unjust discrimination, and increase opportunity for all is extremely important. Senators and state representatives are also asked “to stand for stronger partnership between our churches and government programs,” because, through the work of local churches, millions of Americans are mobilized to care for their neighbors. “Together, we can help more people find a sustainable future,” the letter says.
The letter closes with “Faith makes America stronger.” The letter, with its list of signees, is available here.
Alongside the letter, My Faith Votes also delivered and mailed an American Patriot’s Bible to each member of Congress. Edited by Dr. Richard Lee — who is also a signer of the letter — the American Patriot’s Bible highlights America’s rich faith tradition and the Bible’s role in shaping American society and government.
My Faith Votes is a non-partisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to participate in local and national elections and be active members of society. By partnering with local churches, pastors and national faith leaders, My Faith Votes mobilizes and resources Christians to lead the conversation on the place of faith in culture and politics.