A new exit poll commissioned by Faith in Public Life in Tennessee and Missouri reports with apparent relief that white evangelical voters are nearly twice as likely to rank jobs and the economy as the most important issues rather than abortion and same sex marriage. Still, between one in five and one in seven voters ranked these as the MOST important issues. Iraq came in a distant third.
Now, I'm not sure how I would answer the question of what is the MOST important issue, for surely as I evaluate the candidates I am looking for their positions on many issues and just as importantly, their experience, their character, and their ability to lead the country (as well as win the election.)
But I do know that their positions on sexual justice matter. As Tim Palmer and I wrote in an article published in the January/February issue of Tikkun, http://tikkun.org/magazine/tik0801/frontpage/sexual_justice, "We must resist the temptation to bury sexual justice beneath common ground. We agree that the moral issues at stake are broader than the mainstream media would suggest. In fact, they are all woven together. And the irony is, if we push aside women ’s reproductive rights and LGBT inclusion, we could do real harm to the very constituencies we agree we are called to serve: children and the poor." The rest of the article goes on to lay out the reasons that those concerned with economic justice must be concerned with sexual justice as well. Read the full article here on sexual justice and morality here.
It is so important that progressive people of faith speak out to make sure that such issues as full legal rights for LGBT persons, stem cell research, sexuality education, HIV/AIDS prevention and services, pay equity, family leave, reproductive health services including safe and legal abortion, and women's rights are addressed from our faith perspectives in the months ahead.
P.S. Please take a moment to vote for this blog, "Sexuality and Religion: What's the Connection" at http://uupdates.net/uublogawards Voting ends on Friday; it will only take a minute. I'd really appreciate your support.