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By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. Galatians 5:22-23 NSRV

Washington, DC, November 2, 2020 –The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) calls on all Americans to come together, uniting across our differences, to trust in our electoral system, to be patient as we await the 2020 election results, and to ensure a peaceful democratic transfer of power after the election.

During this election, Americans are anxious and concerned about violence on Election Day and the peaceful transfer of power once the results are certified. We call to account those in positions of power who have stoked fear and increased uncertainty with divisive rhetoric and actions, even as we continue to deal with the surging COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic turmoil. We lament that the United States has gravely splintered as we witness individuals demonizing their fellow Americans because of differing viewpoints and going to extremes to win at all costs, including undermining the dignity of those with whom they disagree. We call for the love of God to be shown to each other and peace to be attained through the thoughtful acceptance of differing opinions. 

Since the United States had the world’s first democratic transition of power more than 220 years ago, our fundamental commitment to democracy has triumphed over threats of violence and fiercely contested elections. The U.S. has always held elections and upheld the results even in times of great crisis – amid the Civil War, Great Depression and both World Wars. We commend both houses of Congress for adopting resolutions to insure the peaceful transfer of power. We ask our elected officials and faith leaders to join us in reassuring Americans that nothing – even a global pandemic – will stand in the way of our democratic commitment to free and fair elections.

We call for unabridged patience. Every eligible voter should have their voice heard and their vote counted. During the pandemic, it could take longer to count the votes and verify winners in this year’s election. We celebrate this positive outcome because it means more people voted and they stayed safe by voting with absentee ballots. As a nation, we are stronger and better off when more people vote. As we are all human, we accept that we are flawed and mistakes are made in some instances, but we stand assured that there are not voting irregularities on a grand scale in our country. Voting by mail is a tried and true system used by the military for over 140 years and by several states that vote exclusively by mail without widespread fraud. We applaud our election officials who show tremendous dedication and have, on average, worked in seven previous elections. Let us have patience when waiting for the results because we are assured that our wait is finite and will end after our election officials take the necessary time to affirm the will of the people.

We pray that our nation will heal from the extreme polarization we have recently experienced and build a democracy that works for all Americans with a commitment to racial equity and justice, and fair and just access to healthcare for all.