Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon - our state-wide association of churches - has released their annual ballot measure voter guide. People of good faith can come to different conclusions on these issues. I generally agree with these recommendations and hope you download the full guide and share it with others.
This Nov. 6 general election, like all elections, is important for people of faith, and for all Oregonians. This guide provides information, analysis and recommendations for the nine ballot measures on the state ballot. We hope our discussion of the ballot measures will provide valuable insights for Oregon’s voters, especially for people whose faith is their ultimate guide. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s ballot measure recommendations reﬂect a vote of its Board of Directors, based on the advice of its Public Policy Advocacy Committee. EMO has also adopted a “Statement of Social Principles” that guides our public policy work. In this statement, we recognize the value of religious involvement with civic affairs and the governmental process, and we identify core principles and areas of social concern:
We afﬁrm the value of love, the respect of all life, and the dignity of every human being ... In our public witness we embrace compassion and forgiveness in all relationships, non-violence, and working in constructive and creative ways to make a better world. We commit ourselves to a society in which all persons are free to live together in peace and harmony. We afﬁrm an inclusive community for nurturing the shared life of humankind.
As we consider each ballot measure, we consider arguments offered by both supporters and opponents of each measure, and we rely on the Scriptures, our social principles, our past positions on similar measures, and dialogue and deliberation in our Public Policy Advocacy Committee and among the Board of Directors. We ask that you prayerfully consider the wisdom of your own tradition and engage in a thoughtful process of discernment in exercising your civic duty.
The EMO “Statement of Social Principles” identiﬁes six key areas of social concern. These fall under the broad headings of Peace and Global Justice, Human Rights and Religious Freedom, Environmental Stewardship, Economic Justice, Family and Community Well-being, and Public Witness and the Common Good. In our discussions of the individual ballot measures found in this guide, we identiﬁed which area or areas of concern relate to each measure. The complete statement of social principles can be found on our website.
One section of our statement of social principles that was clearly related to several of the ballot measures was the section on Family and Community Well-being, part of which reads as follows:
Even as understandings of “family” continue to change, we afﬁrm this evolving institution as an important locus of personal relations and childhood development. EMO is committed to promote both the welfare of all children and the overall health and economic stability of families and communities.
In fact, two primary themes run through our ballot measure recommendations for this election. The ﬁrst is protecting the well-being and economic security of Oregon families and communities. The second is maintaining adequate government revenues for public education and other critical public programs.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is a statewide association of Christian denominations, congregations, ecumenical organizations and interfaith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians through community ministry, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, environmental ministry and public policy advocacy.