Sunday, 5 November 2006

Religion and politics

Geraldine Doogue interviewed Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott on ABC radio about what it means to be a Christian in politics. I am always interested to note that Christians seem to have a lot in common with each other even though they are politically disparate.
One interesting distinction which Rudd is clearly trying to make is the notion that he consider that Christianity is not essentially a private pursuit. He tries somewhat to caricature Abbott as suggesting that it is, but I don't know thta Abbott can be so easily pigeon holed. he has, after all, taken a great deal of flak for his position on a number of issues (abortion, stem cell research and so on) for which he has been accused of being a Catholic. Would that more of us were so accused!
In many senses Rudd's critique would seem to be too many religious people only allow their faith to inform them on narrow issues (like abortion and euthanasia) and he is making a stand which suggests that it needs to be wider than this, and to to flow out into matters like living and working conditions.
In our local council elections, one mayoral candidate has clearly identified himself as a Christian to local ministers. I find him affable enough but wonder quite what he wants us to do about it. I am happy for him to come to church (as he did) but my lips remain sealed with regard to any sense of endorsement. We shall see how he fares this week!

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