Theological Editions - Indepth daily religious news, views, reviews & key theological resources

In-depth religious news, views, reviews, features & resources for the thinking person



Liturgy & Prayer

News & Magazines


Texts & Resources


If only politics were as certain as dear old granny
by Graeme J. Davidson
25 October 2008

Free enterprise fosters selfish greed and competition, which creates inequality and boom-bust economic cycles instead of the Christian virtues of sharing and cooperation through concern and love for others.

....When I was a student my grandmother told me the only honest politicians were in the National Party, and as for the rest, it was like handing the country over to prison inmates, or worse, union leaders. When I told her I had friends in the Labour Party who were keen to spread the wealth more fairly, I received a stern letter: “That means government interference stifling free enterprise and economic growth”.
....Granny reminded me that Jesus had said, “The poor you’ll always have with you,” and added it was probably their own fault they were poor anyway. She said she was worried about the state of my soul as I was keeping bad company.
....In reply, I told Granny free enterprise fosters selfish greed and competition, which creates inequality and boom-bust economic cycles instead of the Christian virtues of sharing and cooperation through concern and love for others. Therefore, her true blue support of the free enterprise-loving National Party was anti-Christian.
.... That got the octogenarian going. She sent a list of the National members of Parliament who were Christians and told me how they gave to worthwhile causes. “Crumbs from the rich man’s table,” I retorted.
....Since then, the ideological differences between the two major parties in New Zealand have narrowed and the number of overt Christians in Parliament has dropped to about one in every eight MPs, which is hardly representative of the majority of us Kiwis who said we were Christian at the last census.
....At least you knew where you stood with Granny. The voting advice I’ve received from Kiwi churches over the years is wishy-washy in comparison. Don’t let election bribes like tax cuts sway you. Vote for politicians with integrity who’ll seek justice and do what is best for all of us, especially families and disadvantaged people both here and abroad.
....And these days no one dares quote the Bible where it says we are to subdue the earth for our own use: we are now its stewards who’ll care for the environment for future generations. That used to be the Greens’ exclusive call.
....Now every political party claims to have the nation’s future at heart and they all say they’re pro-family and concerned with the disadvantaged and the environment; they just disagree on priorities and methods. It would seem Christians can vote with a clear conscience for any party.
Even those moral issues that animate some churches – like abortion, alcohol consumption, gay relationships and smacking – are usually conscience votes for MPs regardless of their party affiliation.
....And politicians with integrity? National’s Deputy Leader, Bill English, was insightful: “Nothing beats winning in politics, despite all our highly principled statements. It’s fantastic … do what we need to do to win.” Which, translated, means: those in opposition can have integrity until there’s a good chance they become the government.
....National says it wants to abolish the Maori seats in Parliament with the settling of Treaty claims around 2014. In the 1860s, the seats were introduced to give Maori representation and to avoid Pakeha voters in some districts being overwhelmed by Maori voters. But is it fair to have some seats in Parliament based on the ethnic group that immigrated here first? Imagine if a white supremacist group insisted on seats based on European ancestry. It would rightly be seen as racist and contrary to our Human Rights Act, which forbids discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origins. Will National seek justice by sticking to this “highly principled statement”? Or will they shelve it in favour of “what we need to do to win” if they need the Maori Party to form a coalition government?
....ACT has a three-strike violent offender policy with life sentence for third time offenders, and National promises to keep second-time serious violent offenders behind bars without parole. This focuses unduly on violence when white-collar criminals also ruin lives. And it doesn’t give criminals serving long sentences much hope, even if they genuinely reform. And that isn’t Christian.



See also
Should we intervene to prevent suicide? >> more
Divorce risk indicator >> more
When you feel like you're sharing a bed with a stranger >> more
Surving the breakup >> more
Suicide terrorism as a desperate weapon of liberation >> more
Ned Flanders — popular face of Christianity >> more
Seven common myths about religion >> more
Moral divide between church leaders and laity >> more
Unholy silence over MPs hypocrisy and greed >> more
Anglican schism over gay clergy inevitable >> more
My agonising path to enlightenment >> more
More than ever, it's a time for generosity >> more
National's ethics smell of political expediency >> more
Pope's trip to Holy Land fraught with potholes >> more
The resurrection may have been superfluous >> more
Rasputin — from sinner and seducer to saint? >> more
Religious delusions and the Jerusalem syndrome >> more
Protest mild compared with Jesus' vandalism >> more
What Castro and Obama have in common >> more
Holidays can revive romance or widen cracks between couples >> more
Dubious scholarship reinterprets Jesus to fit secular creed >> more
Furore over gay marriage echoes the conflict over slavery >> more
If only politics were as certain as dear old granny >> more
You've got to have faith to win the White House >> more
The problem of evil >> more
TV Programmers let lose Roman circus >> more
Prostitutes welcome in the kingdom of God but not in Dannevirke >> more
Church too busy navel-gazing to take lead over crime >> more
Will the Anglican Church split over gay clergy and same-sex unions? >> more
Faith in secular western society >> more
The Vatican's pelvic theology >> more
Abuse and the Beijing Olympics >> more
Would the real Jesus stand up? >> more
Hypersensitivity perverts ethics >> more
God and presidential hopefuls >> more
A three-ghetto church based on politics >> more
Good and bad intentions >> more
Deliver us from exorcists who harm >> more
How effective is prayer? >> more
Masters of non-violence, resistance and kung fu >> more
Was Mother Teresa living a lie? >> more
Double standards over child sex abuse >> more
Soppy inspirational and pseudo-spiritual emails >> more
Caring organisations and pyschopathic bosses >> more
The new anti-religious evangelists >> more
Call for religious education could backfire >> more
Blessing creatures great & small — but what about blowflies? >> more
Does God exist only in the brain? >> more
The Prudes who crucify >> more
tomb raiders and the bones of Jesus and his family? >> more
Jesus loves Osama >> more
Is God more like a matchbox or a number? >> more
Confessions of a failed axe murderer >> more
Bacchanalian festivals and sentimentality >> more
Manners: insignificant social customs? >> more
The 109 fighting boys >> more
Trying to exhume the historical Jesus >> more
Is global violence really on the increase? >> more
Polygamy, circumcision, atheist journalists and religious diversity >> more
The Christian Right stands by Israel out of a misguided theology  >> more 
What a rat taught me >> more
The Church is becoming a retirement hobby for granny clergy >> more 
Is there an anti-Christian conspiracy in Hollywood? >> more
Have church schools sold out on Christianity? >> more
How good a Christian is President George W Bush? >> more

Hitler, Lawyers, Politicians SUV owners and life after death >> more

Were the Christian hostages really idiots for peace? >> more
Infidelity: in hot pursuit of a better organsm or better intimacy? >> more
Skulduggery and controversy over discovery of religious texts >> more
The cartoons aren't about secular freedoms versus intolerance >> more

Christian Zionists hinder justice and peace in the Middle East >> more

Should making more money be your New Year's resolution? >> more
My early life as a black sheep in a nativity scene >> more
Different types of suicide bomber: what makes them tick >> more
Cheating a short cut to sucess in winner-take-all society >> more
Life after death: Is it logically possible? >> more
Is it Anglican to practise apartheid? >> more
Da Vinci Code unlocks controversy>> more
Bishops' statement: pompous, pious, out of touch and verging on the heretical >> more 
Church leaders unconvincing over prostitution law reform >> more
Divorce risk factors >> more
How global are we?  A Christian's view of globalisation >> more
Victims of dirty tricks & friendly fire: Machiavellian tactics in the Church militant >> more
A redundant resurrection >> more
War, violence, ethics, religion and hypocrisy >> more
If St Peter was interviewed for ordination today >> more
13 ways to empty a church without really trying >> more
How tolerant is the Museum of Tolerance? >> more
A church comes out and reconciliation divides >> more
Micah's dream — too much to ask? >> more
Has the revised Anglican Church in New Zealand instigated a benign form of religious apartheid? >> more
The case for St Judas Iscariot >> more
Exorcism: the ministry of deliverance >> more