Source: Anglican News {Episcopal News Service, by Mary Frances Schjonberg]

For many Americans, next Tuesday’s general election (8 November) can’t come soon enough, and not because they’re excited about it. More than half (52 per cent) of American adults report the 2016 election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, research by the American Psychological Association shows. Democrats (55 per cent) and Republicans (59 per cent) are statistically equally likely to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.


The distress goes beyond who wins or loses.

“I think there’s a great deal of anxiety about the lack of civility and [the] divisiveness” that surrounds this election, said the Very Revd Brian Baker, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento, California, in a recent interview with the Episcopal News Service. “All of the judging, the polarising, the clumping people into groups, the fear-mongering – all of that corrodes the soul of our communities.”

Baker said he believes that this election season is a time for the church to witness to a different way of being, to embody what he calls “the sharp distinction” between the church’s culture and that of the world. For instance, he said, raising children in a church community is “becoming less optional . . . if you want your child to be part of a community that really is talking about respecting the dignity of every human being.”