Sunday, 25 April 2010

Why vote?

I am usually pretty evangelical about elections. I do, firmly, believe that everyone in the country has a duty to vote and my friends know I'm not afraid to say so. In my mind, it is not only a civil responsibility; a general election does, after all, affect the lives of everyone in this country, so it is an important part of caring for others to engage with the process.

For me, deciding who to vote for is very much a process of discernment and prayer. If you believe, as I do, that it is our responsibility to care for one another and to provide to the best of our abilities, then who to vote for is of the utmost importance. What matters more, taxing higher earners to pay for the NHS or cutting NHS funding in an attempt to restore the economy? Who would you protect, corporations or small businesses? Is being green more important than being wealthy? None of these questions can be taken out of the context of a faith in Christ, which is our compass and guide through the world of politics.

That is not to say that all Christians will vote the same way; far from it, and I hardly expect any of the Christians I know to vote for the Christian Party, because even they do not espouse my values. Nor do I believe that it is important for the leader of the country to be Christian; belief in the right of each human being to have a fair chance in life is not exclusive to Christianity. We cannot, and must not, claim to be the only people who can speak and act the word of God.

So however you vote on May 6th, do vote. And vote prayerfully and thoughtfully. People's futures are in your hands.

It shouldn't influence your vote, of course, but in case anyone wondered...

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