LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We Need Driskell's Voice and Integrity in Congress

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(Letter to the Editor from Rev. Dr. Heather Entrekin)

Tim Walberg and I have something important in common – ordination as Baptist pastors. Perhaps, like me, Mr. Walberg has hoped to express convictions of faith in his work and life. With respect, I see little evidence.

The values that seem so obvious and fundamental to Christian faith, not to mention all the world’s major faith traditions, do not find expression in the record of the seventh congressional district’s current representative whose votes line up with Donald Trump 97.7% of the time.

Integrity, for example. Walberg follows Trump in lockstep in promoting absurd and dangerous untruths like birther and QAnon conspiracy theories, and voter fraud. He dismisses overwhelming scientific and grassroots consensus on climate change to the peril of human life and all creation.

Walberg’s record lacks compassion. He voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act offering no viable alternative for the estimated 21 million Americans who would lose health insurance.

His absence of compassion extends to the urgent, intolerable issue of racism. Silent, or worse, dismissing the courageous leadership of Black Lives Matter, he contributes to the corruption of decency in our community, state, and nation.

We have a striking alternative in Gretchen Driskell. In contrast to the fear and anger stoked at the highest levels, she offers experienced leadership focused on justice, compassion, and respect. As mayor of Saline and state legislator, she worked with persons of all parties, cultures, and faiths to accomplish goals that mattered to her constituents: accessible, affordable health care, good jobs, government transparency, educational opportunities, and a healthy environment, issues on which Walberg has voted “no” again and again.

And when people show up by the thousands in our counties to demonstrate for justice and against racism, Gretchen Driskell showed up too, attending nearly a dozen rallies across the district. At the Dexter protest, high school student organizers invited her to speak. Otherwise, she was present, listening and learning.

Gretchen Driskell will not run a flashy, aggressive, demeaning political campaign as some who claim Christian virtues do. She brings the quiet and radical values that risk getting drowned out in an election season like this one. We need Gretchen Driskell’s voice, integrity, and courage in Congress, before it’s too late.

Rev. Dr. Heather EntrekinSaline

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