Faith and Politics

Given that we now have a government supported by a party which was formed from a faith background, how do faith and politics mix?

There are those who say that faith should have no part in politics, but surely this cannot be right, unless you believe that the sole concern about faith is what happens after you die.

My take on it is that as Christians we pray “thy Kingdom come” (interesting that during the election campaign the church was running a prayer campaign with just that title), and as in John’s Gospel Jesus says:

And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

These imply to me that we are called to live in God’s Kingdom now (and to work to bring it about).  However, the question is, do we bring it about by law, or by love?

In other posts I have discussed “free will”, and God’s will that we should have the freedom to choose or reject Him.  Making laws to ensure that everyone follows our interpretation of faith hardly allows free will, and that is before we have to deal with the differences in interpretation of faith.  It is perhaps those differences which lie at the heart of this.  If we acknowledge that others, both those who share our faith and those who share another faith, may have a hold on truth that eludes us, then enforcing our views on everybody else is a recipe for disaster.  It is perhaps necessary to distinguish between essentials of the faith, and secondary issues – interestingly very few people of faith would insist on legislating on the essentials – perhaps the last lot to do so were the Spanish Inquisition (see here for a lighter take on it).

What I am not saying is that people of faith should not take part in party politics, just that they should be careful what they attribute to faith.  It is here that I have great respect for Tim Farron.  I have only seen that he refuses to share his beliefs on gay sex, although the implication is that he personally disagrees with it, but he has voted to allow it.

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