Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Use your vote... wisely!

Use your vote... wisely

On the way into Glasgow on Saturday night... I saw these signs everywhere... and it saddened me some what.

The Scottish Christian Party claim to be proclaiming Christ's Lordship and want your vote in the upcoming Scottish elections. Why was I saddened by this? Surely I should be rejoicing as the Christians across all denominations and traditions who have greeted the Revd J. Hargreaves. “At last we have a political party that will stand up for the Lord.” is their response.

Why? Well first off... We have gone and done what modern Christianity does very well... break away and create a separate something - we have created another exclusive, Christian-only, ghetto. This time its a political party. What happened to being Salt and Light within the existing political parties? Changing them with your example from within? That's obviously not on anyone's agenda.

We should not have separate anything... we are in this world and must be an example of it... we should not think and act like the world... we shouldn't originate from it. To create another Christian-only club totally defeats this.

As the Scottish Christian Party we represent Christians in Scotland in the same way as the Scottish Socialist Party represents, some but not all, socialists in Scotland. (There are still some socialists in the Labour Party, and some affiliated elsewhere and nowhere.)
Secondly... they do not speak for me. I am a Christian... with no need for a political party to attempt to represent me or speak on my behalf. I don't subscribe to a stereotype and don't want my faith to become some form of demographic variable to be fought over. This is another misuse of the name / word / noun "Christian".

I give credit to the genuine folk who see this as making a difference... shining a small light in this dark world... but I just don't get it.

As for my politics...
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25: 34-40 (New International Version)

Think about it.


dylan said...

here here. we are of the same mind on this one, even on opposite sides of the atlantic.

Anonymous said...

It's been intersting following the trials of Ruth Kelly, education minister, as the spotlight has been shone squarely at her during the farrago that is the Sexual Orientation Regulations. Her toeing the party line in voting for the SORs shows how Christians can be compromised by secular politics.

Christians can only provide "seasoning" up to a point; adding salt to a pool of slurry doesn't give you haute cuisine.

I've noticed the rise of this Christian political party but their pedegree isn't proven to my mind and yes, they may prove to be as damaging to Christian politics as God TV is to Christian broadcasting. However, I can't agree that an expressly Christian political party is an act of ghettoisation: involvement in the political process is a useful alternative allowing political engagement without the compromise that Ruth Kelly has subjected herself to. If we start thinking that the quote-unquote mainstream political parties are the only acceptable expression we are facing the prospect of absurdities along the lines of the de facto two party state that is America.

I will be voting in the coming Scottish elections. I'm not sure yet who for, but it won't be the Labour party. Their time in office has been marked by a wilful erosion of Christian liberties. Ruth Kelly might have compromised, but I wont.


weareallghosts said...

Hey... Thanks to Dylan and J for your comments.

J... my brother... you are on form with your commentary, as usual. Party lines suck!

I do, however, hold my view that this is another example of ghettoisation.

Would Wilberforce have been as effective a voice if he had been in a fringe party? Doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I can't make any claim to be a historian but what I do know about Wilberforce is that is anti-slavery stance was decidedly fringe, as so much was invested in the slave labour force at the time. It's also important to note that Wilberforce was an independent Tory (don't confuse it with the contemporary Tory party!) which meant he wasn't under a party whip. Under the current system, losing the Parliamentary whip can lead to constituency de-selection - a significant disincentive for a career politician!


Stewart said...

I don't get it either. I'm a Christian. I disagree with my fellow Christians regularly about politics. How can anyone claim to represent us? And with their stated manifesto... they sure don't represent me!


derek murray oliver said...

intersting point. i am a christian, socialist and supporter of scottish independence, all of my own definition. I won't have anyone tell me what's what, and I
don't belong to any of the above parties or orginisations. God bless.


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