Oct 302020

The 2020 Election

A message from CTS President Stephen Ray:

The United States of America is a political reality which is among the most powerful nations in human history. By dint of geography and the contingency of history, our nation is a military, economic, and cultural giant that influences the flow of human relations the world over. This reality is why the character and policies of this nation are of vital concern for religious people of goodwill. What happens in and with the United States of America quite literally decides whether people across our planet have food to eat, adequate shelter, public spaces to express their full humanity, and ultimately ecosystems which can sustain a future for our children and descendants. In sum, the doings of this nation will largely shape our world and determine whether justice and the flourishing of all creation continues to become a reality, or whether iniquity and malice will finally bring doom to us all.

What is at stake is quite literally the human epoch of the planet earth.

Before us is the decision of whether America will live up to the promise which enlivened the imaginations and called forth the devotion of many generations gone before us or, whether we will descend into a mire of malice and hubris. Many nations and empires throughout human history have faced a similar moment of decision. Some have chosen the path of living, however imperfectly, into the better angels of human possibility. Others have chosen the dark path of alienation and hatred. The former have sown seeds which give rise to a human hope that continues to inspire generations to seek a world in which all might flourish, and creation might be renewed. America is the beneficiary of such hopes and has through many generations grown in its capacity to inspire us all to be a better nation that it was in the past.

The project that is America is at stake in this election.

As we head into what is the most consequential election of our lifetimes, let us remember these things. The future of the United States of America will quite literally decide whether humanity has a planet which can sustain our form of life into the centuries ahead or become a relic in the history Earth. The course we choose will quite literally decide whether our world, for whatever time we have left on it, will be characterized by unnecessary suffering, political wickedness, and social dissolution. The course we choose will decide whether America will survive as an experiment of the possibility that a nation might, however imperfectly, reflect the best of human possibility and not the worst.

In the days ahead, we will choose what this nation will be. I invite all people of goodwill to dedicate themselves to living and working in the public square to ensure that the immense power of this nation serves good more often than evil; reflects human possibility more often than craven hubris; contributes more to the future of our planet than the hastening of its annihilation.

I call upon all people of goodwill to live into hope in the days leading up to the election and commit themselves to building a future in which all might flourish after the voting is done. Chicago Theological Seminary, commits that regardless of the outcome of the election we will remain in the struggle for human dignity, the flourishing of all of creation, and rebuilding a public square In which there is room for us all.