The Election Integrity Act has caused dissension along party lines and in church pews, especially as the Major League Baseball All Star game moves from Georgia to Colorado in light of it. Faith leaders are stepping up to the plate to respond, and their views have been met with opposition.
Franklin Graham called believers to pray and sees "voter IDs" as a "practical idea."
Efforts to strengthen election integrity are being painted as voter suppression, & that is wrong. I think voter ID is a practical idea that would bring integrity to elections across our country. We show ID to fly & check into a hotel. What's wrong with showing it to vote? #Pray— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 6, 2021
Likewise, evangelist Alveda King expressed in a press release her confidence in her identity as a child of God, and echoes Graham's questions on where and when voters must present an ID.
"I know who I am in Christ Jesus," King says. "Give me my ID. Recognize my identity. As a Black American woman of a certain age and living in America in the 21st century, I am praying that we will truly wake up and regard the human personality; see and value the gift of ethnicity."
She continues, "Why isn't anyone protesting having to show ID when they want to drive an automobile or fly on an airplane? Also, where is the justice to combat racial discrimination in moving an athletic event from a city with over 50% minority population to a city with less than a 10% Black population?"
Further, she expressed the deep-seated desire for all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity, to be shown the same respect in identifying themselves.
"When you say to me as a citizen of the United States of America, 'You don't need to have an ID to vote,' you are saying to me, your identity does not matter," King says.
Her connection to Major League Baseball is one many have made in the discussion over the Georgia election voting process.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley states the controversy is the result of MLB and other "giant woke corporations" being "coddled by government."
MLB & the giant woke corporations keep telling Biden's big lie about Georgia & election integrity. They want to run this country. They've been coddled by government for too long. We need to bust them up. Starting next week, I'll introduce a trust busting agenda for 21st century— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 7, 2021
Every Black Life Matters, a pro-life, pro-Black organization in opposition to the organization Black Lives Matter, issued a statement, in which co-founders Kevin McGary and Neil Mammen charged MLB to take into consideration the welfare of African Americans:
"If MLB were truly concerned about helping and supporting Black lives, they would applaud the changes in Georgia voting laws that ensure every legal vote's accuracy. They would expand to even more venues in Georgia," the open letter to the MLB reads.
"It is incredibly disheartening that the historical stance against segregation taken by Major League Baseball is going to be sullied by this cowardly move to withdraw from Georgia. The same organization that fought its way against national sentiment against Black people, has turned their back on supporting civil rights," it continues.
The letter urges MLB, "we ask you to reconsider your decision. The example you are setting does not benefit the disenfranchised communities you have worked so hard to engage and empower."
Many Democrats are claiming the Election Integrity Act is voter suppression steeped in racist propaganda. Meanwhile, the Conservative Clergy of Color—a group of black pastors, priests and ministers—refute these lies in an ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Biden and Abrams keep saying the Election Integrity Act is worse than Jim Crow, which is an insult to the millions of Black Americans," said Bishop Aubrey Shines, founder of Glory to God Ministries and a founding member of Conservative Clergy of Color. "The truth is that this law actually expands access to the ballot box, while also taking common-sense steps to protect the sanctity of every legal vote. We believe that it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat and the Georgia Integrity Act makes that possible for all voters," he concluded.
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