“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
No one should judge whether or how others are loving God. But it’s a lot easier to see whether we love our neighbors as ourselves. As we approach what might well be the most difficult and contentious election of our lifetime, we need love, trust and neighborliness like never before.
I’ve spoken to a number of local elections officials, here in Washington County and in other parts of Southwest Virginia. Across the board, they are saying the same thing: Early voting and mail-in voting is going well, smoothly. They are confident in the safety and integrity of voting in their counties and across the commonwealth. We can feel secure that the election results will be valid.
These dedicated folks are our neighbors. They’re Republicans, Democrats and independents. As are the scores of volunteers who are helping out now or will be on Election Day. They’re asking us to trust them, their commitment and integrity.
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It’s similar for local law enforcement. I contacted the Sheriff’s Office after my Biden-Harris yard signs were pulled up and mangled, for the second time. They’ll be patrolling my road a bit more now because they too are committed to enabling everyone to peacefully express their view now through Election Day. And beyond.
From President Trump through a range of media pundits, we are daily told that the elections will be fraudulent, that the system can’t handle it and, most ominously, that we should be prepared to take the law into our own hands. Please, please, don’t buy it. Trust your local elections officers, sheriffs and police and your neighbors, including those with different views, to do the right thing. Let’s extend to one another the trust and love we want for ourselves.