Chaplains Election Support Resources
Elections can be stressful. Knowing how to vote, what to vote for, and accepting the results can become challenging. The Chaplains are here to support you through election season. During the days leading up to and following Election Day there are special resources provided to support mental well being. See below for some religious perspective on voting, upcoming post-election events, and support sessions!
Religious Perspective of Voting
As we prepare for Election Day, the Chaplains wanted to share a religious perspective on voting. They will highlight religious texts that speak of the importance of voting. The Chaplaincy would like to encourage you to use your voice and cast your vote this election year!
The Obligation to Vote
“An authentic faith always involves a deep desire to change this world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Most us think of voting as a privilege or right, and it is both of these. Even more significant is to say voting is an obligation. In a democratic society, voting is the way people express their views to their elected leaders. We do not live in a dictatorship or limited monarchy where our leaders decide what is best for us or how they wish to manage us.
The obligation to vote requires that we become aware of the issues and study proposals for legislation. We are expressing our leadership when we vote with knowledge and conviction. This means that we prepare to vote by intellectually committing ourselves to getting to know and understand the issues and personalities involved.
We are approaching one of the most important and significant presidential elections in the history of our country. We have only been this divided two or three times, most significantly in 1800 and in the 1850s prior to the Civil War. We must take our right to vote as a civic duty, an obligation to make a decision that it best for our country not simply our own personal gain. Study the issues and personalities, realize that your future depends to a great extent on how you vote both on the issues and personalities that you select as our leaders.
– Chaplain Father Joe Fenton
What the Torah Teaches on Voting
צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף – Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive and inherit the land that the Adonai your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 16:20). These words from the Torah teach us that justice is the foundation for society to receive blessings and to thrive. In the United States of America, one of the ways we can have the most impact on pursuing justice is by voting in local, state, and federal elections. This Election Day we must all play our part in seeking justice by voting for candidates, measures, and propositions that we believe will further the cause of justice. Through our participation in the democratic process, we can bring about greater justice in the world and open up more possibilities for all in our society to receive blessings.
– Chaplain Rabbi Danny Shapiro
Political Engagement in Islam
When the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) passed away, his companions came to the collective decision to assign Abu Bakr as the new leader of the Muslims. When the third leader was being appointed, Omar (2nd leader) assigned a small group to decide who would be the next caliph, and they used a majority vote to appoint the leader.
When the Prophet Joseph was in Egypt in the Pharaoh’s domain, he is quoted in the Qur’an as saying “[Joseph] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land, Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian,” he nominated himself to be the minister of finance (Qur’an 12:55) which is an evidence not to only to run for office but to nominate oneself even in a non-Muslim majority country. Also, in the prophetic hadith, we have the example of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) bailing out prisoners, which enables us to donate to political causes to benefit the community at large.
There is a maxim in Islamic jurisprudence that “harm must be eliminated” and a principle in Islam to “go with the lesser of two evils”. It’s incumbent on us as people of good moral consciousness to search within our hearts, minds, and souls to utilize our voice by voting, contributing, and participating in elections. We must engage the candidates, parties, and issues that will be most in line with helping the greatest number of people and decreasing the harm associated with them. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said “Whoever among you sees evil, let them change it with his hand. If they are unable to do so, then with their tongue. If they are unable to do so, then with their heart, and that is the weakest level of faith”. I will close with the words of God in the Qur’an 3:104 “Be a community that calls for what is good, urges what is right, and forbids what is wrong: those who do this are the successful ones”.
– Chaplain Imam Adeel Zeb
Should Muslims Vote?
Virtual Jummah Lead by Chaplain Imam Adeel
Friday October 30
Latinos, Religion, & 2020 Election: Is Trump or Biden Gaining Ground?
Presented by CLSA / Cosponsored by the Chaplains
Friday October 30, 1-2PM PT
Hanging with the Chaplains – Post-Election Support
Thursday November 5, 3-4PM PT
Zoom Link Here
Post Election Shabbat
Friday November 6, 5:30PM PT
Hanging with the Chaplains – Post-Election Support
Monday November 9, 11AM-12PM PT
Zoom Link Here
Talking with the Chaplains
Reverend Leon Wood & Father Joe Fenton
Check out this episode of Talking with the Chaplains where Father Joe interviews former Chaplain Reverend Leon Wood. The Chaplains discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, the importance of elections, and share ideas on how to promote social justice.
Chaplains Spiritual Counseling
Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. The Chaplains are happy to meet and support you. Schedule a meeting today to talk one on one with a Chaplains about what been on your mind. Our services are safe spaces regardless of faith or level of faith knowledge, we do not recruit or pressure.
Schedule a meeting today!
Have more questions or need help with scheduling a spiritual counseling session? Contact the Office Coordinator Here
MCAPS Support Sessions for Election-Based Stress
MCAPS is aware that many students may be feeling stress related to the upcoming national elections. During the days leading up to and following Election Day (Tuesday, November 3), we have scheduled the following sessions for students wishing to discuss their hopes, fears, and concerns, in an atmosphere of mutual support.
Contact Fiona.Vajk@claremont.edu and indicate the date and time you would like to join, and you will be provided with the link and password.
Support Sessions for Election-Related Stress:
Thurs, Oct 29: 4-5 PM
Fri, Oct 30: 2-3 PM
Mon, Nov 2: 4-5 PM
Wed, Nov 4: 12-1 PM
Wed, Nov 4: 4-5 PM
Thur, Nov 5: 4-5 PM
Tue, Nov 10: 12-1 PM
Pitzer College Pre- & Post-Election Community Connections and Support
Chabad Election Support
Rabbi Yossi & Rochel are available for support, to reflect or just chat.