Office of Government Relations

Why Do We Advocate?

June 28, 2022
Office of Government Relations

As a member of the Episcopal Public Policy Network, you are committed to a ministry of public policy advocacy. At times, this ministry can feel empowering and impactful, such as when legislation like the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun reform legislation in 30 years, passes thanks to the efforts of advocates such as yourself.

At other times and in darker moments, however, it can feel like not only is our advocacy ineffective, but it is hard to see how our efforts can lead to the success we are aiming for. Over the past few years, I have been asked if we will ever be able to end crushing poverty in the United States and abroad, whether we can truly treat all people with dignity and end the violence and dehumanization of racism, whether perpetrators of atrocities will ever be held to account. This past week, I found myself wondering how to move forward in light of recent Supreme Court opinions that have stripped away protections and rights for millions around the country.

In a recent piece in the Atlantic, Ed Jong quotes the late Paul Farmer, a legend in public health, and a fierce advocate for addressing global inequalities. The quotation comes from Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, where Dr. Farmer says:

“I have fought the long defeat and brought other people on to fight the long defeat, and I’m not going to stop because we keep losing.” 

As Christians, we believe that Christ already is victorious. And so, even if the odds are long, even if we face defeat after defeat and do not see a way ahead, even if we feel that we are fighting the long defeat, we remain steadfast, our eyes fixed on the cross. As advocates this means we continue to carry out our work and strive for justice. We do not do so because we will win every time, because we won’t. We do not do so because we are assured of progress, because we are not. We recognize that on a human scale, we may face defeat. We keep striving for justice because that is what we are called to do.

For those of you who are feeling discouraged, we encourage you to stay connected to your faith and to the ultimate victory we believe awaits us. We also encourage you to stay involved and committed to public policy advocacy. Please explore the opportunities below to strive for a better world. These opportunities to engage involve various levels of commitment:

  • We know you are already an EPPN member and take action with us. We have almost 50 active action alerts, and you can take action on them here. Help grow our network and invite friends and family to take action with you too. Share our action alerts with 5 others.
  • Please consider joining our weekly Episcopal Public Policy Network calls, Thursdays, from 1 – 1:30 pm EDT. Sign up here.
  • Members of Congress will be in their district in the days ahead. Please reach out to set up an in-district meeting and raise some of the issues we have highlighted in our action alerts.

We are grateful to carry out this work alongside you. Thank you for your advocacy and for your ongoing commitment.

The Office of Government Relations

The Office of Government Relations