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Independence Day is a chance to appreciate our democracy. Yesterday, we celebrated the 248th birthday of the United States of America. But today, many of us are deeply concerned about the health of our democratic system.

While it’s natural to feel anxious, never let anyone make you feel like your voice doesn’t matter or that you can’t make a difference. Despair is a threat and a lie. Our faith calls us to commitment and courage.

We all can play a role in strengthening our democracy by coming together and taking action – no matter how big or small.

Several years ago, actor George Takei shared his story with us of being detained in U.S. internment camps during the Second World War. Quakers were one of the few groups to stand with Japanese Americans who were being cruelly imprisoned. As Takei put it in that video: “Our democratic system only works when we actively participate in the process.”

As a nation, we have taken steps toward recompense for the injustice of those internment camps, even though that may have seemed unimaginable for the then four-year-old Takei. Whatever the future holds, we will continue to work steadfastly for justice, peace and a renewed earth.

Democracy means that all our voices matter. Not just on election day, but throughout the entire democratic process. And all of us have a role to play.

Not sure where to start? Check out our resources for concrete ways you can act in the coming general election on November 5, 2024.

One specific, practical way you can engage is by helping to keep the peace at your local polling places. Our partner, Faiths United to Save Democracy is hosting training workshops on being a poll chaplain throughout this summer. Join this intergenerational, multiracial and interfaith effort to protect our democracy! FCNL’s Bridget Moix will be speaking at the training on July 15 at 7 p.m. ET.

As we celebrate the birthday of our nation, let’s commit ourselves to a democracy that listens to us all and works for us all.


Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

In signing the Civil Rights Act 60 years ago, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson said: “We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings – not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skin.”

Overturn of Chevron Doctrine Impacts Farm Bill

The Chevron Doctrine was overturned by the Supreme Court late last week which will limit federal regulatory power. According to an analysis published this week in Drovers, a magazine published by a company founded in 1877 by Quaker farmer Wilmer Atkinson, it will also have major impacts on agricultural regulations and the Farm Bill being negotiated in Congress.

Bryan Bowman

Bryan Bowman

Social Media and Communications Strategist

Bryan Bowman is FCNL’s social media and communications strategist. In this role, he manages FCNL’s social media platforms, supports the production of FCNL’s digital content, and represents the communications team in coalition efforts.

Greg Williams

Senior Director of Digital Communications

Greg Williams serves as the Senior Director of Digital Communications at FCNL. In that role, he strategizes and implements email and web communications to support the development and advocacy teams.