What I’m hoping for in the new year is to hear religious leaders – Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Muslim, Jewish, every denomination in every state of our nation – call for honesty in our presidential election results.

Even if these leaders went out and campaigned for Joe Biden, I just want them to endorse the idea that election fraud has no place in our democracy.

Come to think of it, I’d like to hear that from Biden, too. Why should there be any reluctance – on the part of anyone – to issue a call for honesty?

It would be nice if the media could chime in, but they have long since abandoned their post as objective observers. “There is no fraud here,” seems to be about all they can manage.

But religious leaders, people who stand up in a pulpit (virtually or otherwise) on Sundays or teach young people about honesty and integrity, at a minimum, have the integrity to inform themselves about the well-documented incidents of election shenanigans and then stand up and say, “I object!”

Instead, their silence is deafening.

You may recall that in November 2019, the U.S. Catholic Bishops launched a year-long initiative urging the faithful to be civil to one another in the election season. Certainly civility is important, and it does not include stealing an election. Besides, we all know that from the moment Donald Trump became a presidential candidate in 2015, Democrats lost their ability to treat neighbors, friends and even family members with courtesy and respect.

It was not civility we saw in Washington, D.C., the day President Trump was inaugurated in 2017. More than 214 people were arrested on felony rioting charges that day. Nor is it civility to spy on a campaign, abusing federal intelligence agencies in the process, and to stage multiple attempts at a coup. So yes, I agree that a return to civility in politics is necessary. But the call for it is quite selective.

In fact, now the left is asking those of us who voted for and continue to support the president not only to be civil, but to sit down and shut up about an election marred by many questionable incidents – some caught on video, many detailed in sworn affidavits.

Every time I hear another pundit say there was no fraud, I’m reminded of the scene from “Star Wars” when two storm troopers are assured, “these are not the droids you’re looking for,” although they were precisely the droids being sought.

We must not be as easily persuaded as those soldiers.

After video captured suitcases full of ballots being rolled out from underneath a table at a counting site in Georgia – and being tabulated after election observers and the media were told to leave – state officials asserted, and the media dutifully repeated, that no one was told to leave and that it’s not unusual for ballots to be stored under tables.

In Michigan, White House advisor Peter Navarro said 379,000 votes might have been cast illegally, explaining the sudden surge that gave Biden the lead after Trump had been leading for nine hours.

Questions about the accuracy of two types of voting machines have led the president’s legal team to call for an examination of the equipment in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan.

The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case does not weaken the arguments in that case. The point is not that the Court did not address those arguments, namely, that several states unconstitutionally – illegally – changed voting laws.

The above examples are just a few of the many, many questionable things that need to be cleared up before Americans – all of us – can accept the results of the Nov. 3 election. If there’s even a suspicion that any of these things happened, then how can any freedom-loving American, or Commandment-observing religious believer, say, “We don’t have to look into that”?

There are more than 74 million voters right now who are red-hot angry because they believe the election was stolen. Religious leaders should be standing up for these people and they must if they have any faith in the Ten Commandments. A stolen election breaks at least two of the commandments, You shall not steal and You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. In short, you don’t lie, you don’t cheat, you don’t steal.

Insisting on full disclosure on all these issues should be the top priority not just for religious leaders but for every American who cares about truth and justice. Yet I don’t hear a single Democrat calling for an honest accounting of the election. Instead we have Biden – who is not my president and not the president-elect of the United States  – pledging to “heal the nation.”

Certainly we are a nation in need of healing, but as leaders in nations like South Africa and Rwanda proved to the world through their truth and reconciliation efforts, the first step has to be honesty. If half the nation believes the election was stolen from President Trump, and the other half isn’t even willing to acknowledge the validity of that concern, then civility is meaningless and healing is far beyond the horizon.