Faith before Politics?
Jesus said in Matthew 6:31to 33 “So do not worry saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’….. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a rural show in Wagin, a small town south of Perth. The “Wagin Woolorama” is an annual event where farmers and rural business people display their products, meet their friends & neighbours and generally have a great time.
I was there to represent the new political movement, “Australian Christians” along with local farmer and candidate for the Agricultural region, Trevor Young and his wife Jacky.
We met lots of nice people and had some interesting conversations about many varied topics. But one particular conversation has remained in the back of my mind ever since.
A young lady (let’s call her Julie) related the story of a conversation she had with her mother, a strong Catholic lady who had always voted for the Australian Labor party. Julie, also a strong pro-life Christian asked her mum how she could continue to vote for a party that supported abortion and whose leader was a declared atheist with a live in boyfriend; a party that the anti-Christian Greens have such a strong influence over whose main aim is to re-engineer the social and moral fabric of Australia. It seemed so much at odds with Julie’s mother’s faith and personal convictions!
In her defence, Julies mum said that the deputy leader of the Liberal party also had a live in boyfriend and that somehow justified her continued support of the ALP!?
When Julie suggested her mum could vote for a Christian party, she wouldn’t consider it, placing her long time loyalty to the ALP above her faith and personal convictions.
It clarified for me something I had long suspected; that for the average Australian man or women, of the two most passionate areas of personal conviction, faith and politics, politics usually wins.
Perhaps it’s the old chestnut of the separation of church and state that has allowed people to justify their support for parties with policies in direct conflict with their own beliefs. Perhaps it’s because they have a kind of genetic politics inherited from the parents. Or perhaps it’s because the majority of us vote with our perceived financial interest at heart, divorcing our faith from our every day life.