Editor's note: Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño joined US Bishops within the Council to sign onto A Crisis of Faith in Democracy which calls "upon the people of the United Methodist Church to use their influence in their states, legislative districts, and local precincts to enable voter registration and to encourage elected officials to provide the resources necessary to support the fullest possible participation in November’s elections."
A Crisis of Faith and Democracy
A statement by United Methodist Bishops in the United States
Signatures below October 12, 2020
The right of every citizen to vote in the United States is under attack, and with it, the foundation of American democracy and the sacred worth of all persons. We call United Methodists to vote and to protect free and fair elections and peaceful transfer of power.
A faithful retelling of the story of Methodism in America and the history of The United States must consider the influence of each on the other. They came into being alongside one another, and similarities in development of the two are undeniable. The narrative includes noble ideals and shameful actions, astonishing opportunity and disturbing discrimination, ethical vision and moral failure.
Our church and our nation are both democratic institutions. Through a system of conferences, from the local church to a global assembly, Methodists discuss, debate, and vote in order to discern the will of God. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church affirm that we “hold governments responsible for the protection of the rights of the people to free and fair elections.” (BOOK OF DISCIPLINE, ¶164).
As Bishops of The United Methodist Church who reside in The United States, we affirm our democratic institutions. However, we believe that the democratic processes of our country are under great threat. This is particularly evident in the reality of widespread initiatives to obstruct voter registration and to suppress voters from casting their ballots with confidence they will be accurately counted.