The 2016 presidential race is literally a matter of life and death.
The quintessential issue of this election is respecting the dignity and sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb.
Life is an issue with which all Americans should be concerned — white, black, brown, male, female, Republican and Democrat. The darkness of hatred, polarization, cultural decadence, religious persecution, disregard for human life and racial tension that currently abound in our nation all result from issues of life.
The womb is the first battle line from which all other matters stem — education, immigration, criminal justice reform, race relations and the list goes on. Therefore, while our value for an individual's life must begin at conception, it only begins there.
Yes, we need national leaders who will fight for respect of all life — in every individual born and unborn. But the onus is not solely on our politicians. It is on the voter and the voice of each individual person.
It is all Americans who must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brother and sisters — with whom we may not agree on everything — to work together to redeem and restore life via reforms to our education and our immigration system. We must join hands with both friends and strangers of all colors to stop senseless violence toward police officers and citizens.
We must stand up and speak up — with our words, actions and our vote — for the Imago Dei, or the Image of God, to be acknowledged from birth to death. We must elect candidates who will place high regard for every individual regardless of their race, age, gender, faith or personal beliefs and who will lead our nation accordingly.
It is our duty to lift up he voices of those who have none much like portrayed in the new film, "Voiceless," releasing Oct. 7. Our nation is at a crossroads and we must make a choice. Silence is not an option.
At the end of the day, we must merge our voices on behalf of the oppressed, the marginalized and the hurting.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the author of "Be Light" and the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), America's largest Hispanic Christian organization, which represents millions assembled in over 40,000 U.S. Churches and another 500,000 congregations worldwide and spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora.
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