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Voting a way to “Out of Many, One”


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Voting a way to “Out of Many, One”

By Gen Heywood

The motto of our country is “Out of Many, One” or in the Latin “E pluribus Unum.” The suffering of our time has exposed that we are not one. Worse, there is a great effort to keep dividing us. However, in our act of voting, we are one for a moment. We share our individual voices to move us again toward that goal that out of many, we are one.

Sadly, fear has been weaponized to keep us from letting our “many” be our “one.” Fear has even been used to defeated us and causing us surrender our vote saying that “it doesn’t count.”  Voting is “Out of Many, One” voice that is not a single melody line but is more like an orchestra with tones and harmonies. 

The importance of our vote is more than who wins. It is a testament to who we are in this moment. When everyone votes, we can better see all the layers. This takes mindfulness and an ability to see beyond the “win.” The successful use of sports metaphors to describe elections has made it almost impossible to see beyond which side “won.” This is even more troubling as we now have multiple sides to every issue with some of “sides”  being rooted in completely imaginary realities. 

Shifting Trust

The movement is toward trust in conspiracies, propaganda, and something like a shell game with facts has cost us relationships within our friendships, families, and neighborhoods. These have expanded the rift in existing societal divisions. Even when our voting is finally completed and every vote is honored and counted, we have a long road to travel before healing. In many cases, the breakage caused by lies, fear, greed, self-righteousness, white supremacy, and Christian Dominionism may be unrepairable.

Everyone voting is a moral issue. We need the many to speak with their one voice to make the symphony that will pull justice out of it captivity among the unjust and into the lives of all the people. “The moral arc of the universe is not a stagnant reality. It requires people who keep bending it. Who in their strength, grace, mercy, love, sacrifice, suffering and speaking truth, they keep bending it. The more of us that engage in bending, the faster it is bent. It’s not just left to God alone,” said The Rev. Dr. William Barber

The transformation, the bending of the arc toward justice, toward fulfilling the ideal to be “Out of Many, One” will take mental and emotional maturity that may be beyond some of our fellow citizens. Still, this is our practice.

Vote For The Good Of Everyone

Whether we are people of faith or of no faith, we will love our neighbor as ourselves. We will speak truth, respect science, and reach for the higher ideal that goes beyond our own self interest. For truly, when we vote for the good of everyone, we are part of that everyone. 

Thank you for voting with your conscience. In this way, we may take hold of the arc of justice and Out of Many, pull as One.

Gen Heywood
Gen Heywood
Rev. Gen Heywood has been active in parish ministry for more than 30 years. From small towns to big cities, she always lets the needs of the community and the congregation be her guide. Gen credits the supportive leadership of Veradale United Church of Christ for including her work to overcome racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation as part of her ministry. “Veradale UCC is a small church with a powerful faith. They are the reason I can be a witness for a world where we do justice, live with compassion and walk humbly with the Divine.” Gen grew up in rural Maine. She received a B.A. in Music Therapy and German from Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts, and her M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Massachusetts. She is a lifelong learner who lives in Spokane Valley, Washington, with her three dogs, as well as, sometimes, with her amazing young adult children.




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