Tuesday, April 19, 2005

decisions decisions

We had a great discussion last night at our church small group leaders meeting about what God might say that the most important issues are in the current election campaign. Tough call.

And how on earth do you decide who to vote for? It's one thing to have an affiliation to a particular party but that's usually based on the political ideology of what that party originally stood for and things just ain't that way any more are they?

And should we be thinking locally, nationally or globally when we're picking who gets our cross on that paper? Is it possible to do all three at once?

Should we vote for the Christian candidate just because they're Christian? Maybe we should vote for the party that has the highest proportion of Christians regardless of whether our local candidate is Christian or not? I don't know.

I was looking at the Christian Institute site where you can see how MPs voted on 23 different issues including the gambling bill, homosexuality, abortion, the incitement to religious hatred bill and more. It makes interesting reading but according to that, my local MP, Labour's Stephen Twigg, scores a fat zero when it comes to voting in line with Christian morals but our local Conservative candidate, David Burrowes is a Christian and goes to one of the free churches in Enfield. The Lib Dem candidate almost deserves the vote just because he's got a great name - Ziz Kakoulis! And he admits to reading Harry Potter. But that's not really vote winning criteria is it?

And when you look at the three Prime Minister frontrunners,the scores are:
Tony Blair 0/23
Charles Kennedy 6/23
Michael Howard 13/23

I think I'm just beginning to realise that I have no idea who to vote for, or even how to decide and that maybe I ought to have thought and prayed about that just a little bit before May 5th?


  1. apparently friendsreunited have set up a website called mpsreunited for the 3500 candidates - offering info on their hobbies, musical tastes and so on - apparently 50 have accepted the challenge

  2. What an absolutely reprehensible site that is. I hope that if I'd been an MP I'd have several crosses next to my name there.

  3. err.. what are "Christian issues".. if fascist Michael Howard scores high then I'm off to become a Buddhist! All hail the revolution!!

  4. Right right, I have to bump in here because this is just incredible. Is 'the Christian vote' really so blinkered that it's going to vote on the basis of a string of fairly minor single issues? What happened to wider issues about social justice, trade, dept, the environment? Hell, this website is a very disturbing way to be judging how to apply ones faith through a Christian lens. Plus it assumes we cannot have our own minds as to how to fulfill the mandate of the kingdom of heaven in the world, by supposedly distilling relevent politics down to a few 'core issues'...

    ...can you tell I'm a bit peeved by it?!

  5. Hey I didn't say whether I agreed with that site or not - just that you could see how people voted. Aside from the "christian morals" ticks and crosses you can see how MP's opinions fare with your own.

    PL, I do agree - there are bigger issues to consider as well but it doesn't make the smaller issues any less important. We need to find the balance.

  6. Official Monster Raving Loony Party

    Election Manifesto 2005


    We will issue a 99p coin to save on change.

    The Official Monster Raving Loony Party will not join the single European currency. We will invite all Europeans countries to JOIN THE POUND.

    Rich people should be taxed to pay for the printing of money, as they use most of it.
    Tax credits will be paid to nice people. There will be a "total bastard" tax for everyone else.


    In the interests of fair education policy, under a loony government all children will automatically be given full marks in their exams.

    All children will be given two birthdays like the Queen.

    The number 13 will be abolished due to its longstanding unpopularity. The bus to Acton North will now not have a number on it but not much else will be affected. Therefore if you see a bus with no number on it, it will be going to Acton North. Please remember this for future reference.

    Any student who says the word "Like" when not grammatically called for, as in, "Hey, I'm .. Like, going down the... like, pub", or, "I was, like, don't do that" will be made to go and stay with George Bush for a week in order to discourage them from other stupid 'Americanisms'.


    In order to combat motorway congestion we will immediately close all motorways to all vehicles with the exception of bicycles to encourage our green policy and fitness. Any bicycles with more than 3 gears will also be banned for safety reasons. Apart from anything else this will allow police to get on with catching burglars. Traffic cops who are not intelligent enough to cope with proper police work will be allowed to wear their uniforms for a transitional period before being re trained as vicars.

    4 wheel drive vehicles will only be allowed to drive off road, therefore stopping mothers picking up their children from school in them when they only live 100 yards down the road. They will also be wrapped in bubble wrap to make them safer.

    Drivers will be allowed to drive over roundabouts when there's nothing about. This will make driving through Milton Keynes much more fun.

    All speed cameras will be abolished and replaced by a new device fitted to your cars which will automatically slow down to the speed limit when driven though an infra-red beam. This will also apply to police cars; their device will be set to 5 mph though in built up areas.


    We will set up an enquiry to find out why there's a Polar bear on Fox's Glacier mints.

    The Millennium Bridge will be made wobbly again, by building a pub at either end.

    All computers will carry a hazard warning sign saying "Please do NOT forget to open your window before you throw this computer out of it".

    Due to the government's policy of opening pubs 24 hours a day, a loony government for public safety will make the wearing of seat belts compulsory in all pubs, and pub tables will be fitted with airbags so you can fall over drunk without damaging your head (this does not offer protection from your wife attacking you with the rolling pin when you get home drunk).


    Everyone wanting to come and live in the UK will be made welcome, so long as they are over the age of 85 and accompanied by both parents

  7. Oh I should clarify that my ire was really aimed fully at this website. Which doesn't make me any more self-rightous in tone (never an attractive thing), just that I don't want to seem like I'm taking personal pot-shots. I'm relieved that we're of similar mindset...

  8. i am most definitely not wanting Michael Howard anywhere near 10 downing street, unless it is to weep because he doesn't live there!

    It is very dangerous to vote for a candidate because of their stance on contraversial moral issues.. isn't that why Bush is still in power? (fully aware that John Kerry was no better a candidate)

  9. At this rate, it seems the magic Crosby isn't abel to produce the 'miracle' of another Howard in power. Touch wood.

    Kerry made the mistake of being only marginally less worse - which is not really going to set a campaign on fire.

  10. I've been thinking a bit recently about issues surrounding power and the Christian use of it, and I'm starting to wonder whether I even want to vote at all. This is odd for me, as in the past I'd always have said firmly that we have a responsibility to use that power which we have in line with God's will. Now I'm not so sure.
    I've heard teaching in a few places in the last few weeks on church unity, church history and several issues which have caused church division. It's very clear the church has spent far too long acting as a worldly power, and far too little time as an imitator of Christ. There are many issues that everyone knows are important to the Christian vote, and the Christian Institute site lists most of them. Whether you agree with their interpretation of "Christian morals" or not (and personally, on at least some of those issues, I certainly don't), a question remains over whether they are issues on which we have the right to demand legislation.
    Is Britain still a Christian nation? Was it ever? Is a Christian nation even possible? Would it be a good thing if it were? I'm increasingly of the opinion that the answer to all those questions is "no". Christ was a powerful voice because he spoke with humility from a position of service, and because he lived what he taught. His ultimate victory came in total submission and with the impression of defeat. He preached uncompromising truth, but initially required only one thing: repentance.
    In a country where only about 5% of the population now attend church, can we really expect the election to reflect Christian values? Should we even want it to? And what is the aim of seeking to enforce a Christian morality in the laws of our nation? Are we hoping that we will somehow make people pure, and thus achieve their salvation by obedience to law? Is that the gospel?



Sometimes I do go on...