A few weeks ago I was telling people I probably wouldn’t vote in the upcoming election… even this week after viewing the UTV election debate from Northern Ireland I concluded that I’m stumped and, our politicians and their parties are hopeless.
Here are some thoughts that have challenged my thinking…
Since the book of Acts, Christians have been stepping forward in society to campaign for change: slavery, cancelling debt, standing up for those with no rights or no voice.
A quick word on that first quote: A sweep of public opinion on social media would have you believe that Christians are awful bigots and always fundamentalists… they should keep their faith to themselves many say. Well, read some history I say… your free world would be a lot less free without Christian input and participation. We can throw around examples of bad things ‘religious people’ have done throughout history but, we can’t choose to ignore the impact for good from millions of Christians.
Long before UK Prime Minister David Cameron used the phrase ‘Big Society’, churches and Christians knew that they played an important role in wider society: volunteering in foodbanks and homework clubs, feeding the homeless, running international meeting points and helping prison visitors. Christians also choose to invest in secular organisations and initiatives that serve people.
Yet while individuals working at a grassroots level can make a huge difference to their communities, the framework of legislation and tone of government is set by a small number of people that we are invited to elect to represent us.
Not voting, leaves the decision to other people. It abdicates our responsibility to wrestle with competing policies and the difficult evaluation of personalities and parties about whom we’ll never totally agree or support.
Not voting is taking your hands off the steering wheel and hoping that someone else will navigate the bends in the road.
I think I knew I would be voting… saying I may not was a momentary blip that whiffed of mild revolution.
And so, the title of this post is a little deceiving… we vote… but for who?
The above quotes are from a recent article by Alan Meban in the Presbyterian Herald – You can read his follow up post to that article here.