2 minutes reading time (350 words)

Vicar, how should I vote?

As you've guessed, I can't possibly tell you that. My job isn't to influence your choice of political party - and you probably wouldn't listen to me anyway!

That's not to say that the Church shouldn't be involved in politics. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "When people say the Church should have nothing to do with politics, I wonder which Bible they've been reading". Our job, as Christians, is to stand for the values of the Kingdom of God. The fact that we don't all have an identical understanding of these values, and of their political implications, explains why there is no one political party that can lay claim to the allegiance of all Christians (though there are certainly some which promote views that Christians should challenge).

So what can I say? Well, I thought the most telling, and surprising, feature of the recent ITV debate between the leaders of the main parties was the derisive laughter which greeted some of their pronouncements. We're in danger not only of not believing our politicians, but also of finding them ridiculous. So I suppose one good outcome of this election, and of the whole sorry political process of the last few months, would be a recovery of respect for those elected to represent us - and in them, a recovery of the kind of integrity which would enable them to really work at the big, serious issues that threaten our country and our planet.

Specifically, as Christians (though none of this is our exclusive territory), we need to look for a real commitment to tackle inequality, and a real priority for action on the climate emergency. These are Gospel imperatives: Jesus came to show that God sees all people as of infinite, and equal, worth; and our human (and holy) calling is to care with reverence for the whole of creation.

But, sorry, the decision is yours, not mine. And, whatever the result, locally or nationally, I hope we can go on trying to embody and live out, in all kinds of different ways, the generous, open-hearted love of God.

Truth or lies?
 

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Saturday, 07 December 2019

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