We live in frightening times. Our children are afraid to go to school. People are being killed in public places every week. Large groups of people panic whenever they hear a noise that sounds like a gun.

Although most Americans want something done to address the problem, politicians will not do anything because they receive money from the gun interest. They choose money over human life.

Storms are getting worse and causing ever more damage. The weather is hotter each year and is causing much harm in all parts of the world. Unfortunately, we have politicians who do not even believe in the scientific research on global warming. They even make fun of those who are trying to take care of our planet for generations to come as God asked us to do in Genesis.

Our leaders continue to get rich off the suffering and oppression of the working people. America is no longer the guiding light shining in the darkness.

However, we can change things. We can start electing candidates who follow Jesus’ teachings. We can turn the hateful speech into love again and follow the Divine moral compass to a deeper spirituality.

To help us in the upcoming elections, the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA, has produced a document entitled, “Christian Principles in an Election Year.” The document contains 10 guiding principles to help people of faith and others discern the decisions they will make in exercising their right and duty as American citizens.

Below are the introduction and the 10 principles. The comments in parentheses are mine.

Our Christian faith compels us to address the world through the lens of our relationship to God and to one another. We enhance public discourse when we engage civic leaders on the values and ethics affirmed by our faith. Simultaneously, religious liberty and the integrity of our democracy will be protected as candidates refrain from using faith-based organizations and institutions for partisan gain.

We offer these 10 principles to those seeking to accept the responsibility that comes with holding public office.

1. War is contrary to the will of God. (Jesus told us, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”)

2. God calls us to live in communities shaped by peace and cooperation.

3. God created us for each other, and thus our security depends on the well-being of our global neighbors. (We are interdependent on each other for our very survival here on earth.)

4. God calls us to be advocates for those who are most vulnerable in our society.

5. Each human being is created in the image of God and is of infinite worth. We look for political leaders who actively promote racial justice and equal opportunity for everyone.

6. The earth belongs to God and is intrinsically good. (God put us in charge to take care of it.)

7. Christians have a biblical mandate to welcome strangers. (We are open to all newcomers.)

8. Those who follow Christ are called to heal the sick. (Good health care is for everyone.)

9. Because of the transforming power of God’s grace, all humans are called to be in right relationship with each other. (The great commandment is to love God and our neighbor.)

10. Providing enriched learning environments for all of God’s children is a moral imperative. (It is most important that we make every effort to free every citizen from ignorance.)

Finally, our religious tradition warns us not to bear false witness against our neighbor and to love our enemies. We ask that the political candidates’ campaigns and the coverage of the media during election seasons be conducted according to principles of fairness, honesty and integrity.

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