On 18th April, the UK prime minister, Theresa May, caused widespread surprise by announcing a snap general election in early June, just 2 years after the last UK general election. The following day, MP’s voted to accept the call for a general election. But how do you feel about it?

When the prospect of a general election was first announced, many reporters spoke of ‘voter fatigue’, of the general public having voted in a general election in 2015, voted in the EU Referendum in 2016, and many areas having local elections in May 2017. They showed interviews with several people who certainly did seem totally bored or irritated by the prospect of yet another vote. But they also showed interviews with those who welcomed the prospect of a general election, for various reasons. And a week and a half later, political parties have are well underway in the campaigning process, and we are beginning to hear about opinion polls and about various MPs who have decided either to run or not run for election, to the surprise or distress or delight of their supporters or critics.

At the same time as each of us decides how we feel about another election, and decides not only who we might vote for, but whether or not to vote at all, we are bombarded by news from around the world about countries with leaders who have not been elected, or leaders who have been elected but are accused of manipulating voting processes or legislation so that the fear is that they do not truly represent the people they are claiming to represent.

History has many voices from within the church and outside saying that religion and politics should not mix, but I believe this view can be challenged. The work of politicians affects the lives of us all, and so it could be argued that all people of goodwill should seek not only to be aware of the work of politicians, but should also seek to use their influence in legitimate ways where they can.

Christianity has always taught that ‘loving our neighbour as ourselves’ means acting in support of those who are treated unjustly, and speaking out on behalf of those unable to speak for themselves. How we use our vote is one of the ways in which we can do that. Of course, Christians will still end up supporting different political parties, as there are different views about how the needs of all are best met.

 

  • How do you see the opportunity to vote? As an opportunity, a responsibility, a chore, or something else?

  • Do you think we should vote for our own well-being or for our community’s well-being, or for some other end? Why?

 Prayer for the week - 27th April 2017

 

 Many of us will have enjoyed a long weekend over the Easter period. And many will probably have experienced a sense of reluctance to return to the normal working routine on Tuesday. But what exactly does make for work, and holiday?

 

Earlier this week a High Court judge in England ruled that doctors could withdraw life-support from a baby with a rare genetic condition, against the wishes of his parents. The parents, said that they were devastated by the ruling, and intend to appeal. They have three weeks in which to do so.

 

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