blogging · faith · life · Politics

Pride & Prejudice…the last acceptably hated group

This post is the second in an unintentional series on politics the first post is It’s nearly over.

If you’ve read my last post you will know that I find it uncomfortable when Church Leaders are strongly directive or supportive of one particular political party. I’ve talked already about the potential in such a position (what ever the party of choice is) of political rhetoric becoming an abuse of a position of spiritual leadership.

Another reason why this sort rhetoric form Christian Leaders concerns me is because I think it means the leader in question eventually loses the eternal perspective when it comes to politics.

Out-and-out support for a specific party means that sooner or later you write-off the other parties and with it the people who are members, leaders, workers and supporters of that party. When talking about politics you end up forgetting that ALL people no matter what party they support or work for are loved and wept over by a loving God.

This has been particularly prevalent I notice in the run up and aftermath of the debacle that was our General Election here in Britain.

Following lots of interesting people as I do on Twitter and the just as interesting but more personal friends I have on Facebook has opened my eyes to the final remaining legitimate prejudice. Tory hating.

It seems that these days it doesn’t matter what political party you support as long as you display a complete distrust and hatred for the Conservatives. This view point is sad enough, to see no redeeming factors in any group of people. But to constantly hear this rhetoric from church leaders (including one exceptionally rude and offensive CofE Bishop) is tragic.

You may not like the Tories, you may have philosophical issues with their policies. But why should any Church leader (or potential leader) feel it is acceptable to consider the whole party, their supporters and any one who holds what is a valid political opinion worse than Satan and his demons?

Perhaps I am naive but I tend to think the best of peoples motives, even if I don’t like them. The Tories are not evil, they are not viciously out to oppress the poor or anyone else. They have sincerely held views, they are people who entered public service because they felt a duty and a desire to serve the public. This I believe is true of all of the main parties, whether I like them or disagree with them, they are serving people seeking to bring change for the common good.

Sure there are rogue MPs (in all parties) just as there are rogue priests and Church leaders, but that should not tarnish all MPs.

All this nasty and and snide commenting on one particular party is not Godly and it saddens me to see our Church leaders behaving so shamefully.

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3 thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice…the last acceptably hated group

  1. A well thought-out blog post. I think your holding back on being political during the election was probably very wise and certainly restrained, even though I would wish that it wasn't necessary, and that we could all be trusted to discuss politics in such a constructive and thoughtful way.[I've just seen library footage of the ABofY with DC and his kids on BBC news, so clearly he doesn't think that Cameron is evil!]I do think that British politics generally has suffered a lot from people who too easily fall into the us/them mentality on all sides (this is one reason why I actually favour less powerful party "rule" and coalition). Despite my own political allegiances and fairly strong opinions I absolutely want to believe that most people do at least go into politics for the right reasons and that they really can work together if they need to.Seeing David Cameron as Prime Minister is not really my ideal end to a Tuesday evening, but I do hope that people will now support him enough to let him do his job well, and not immediately condemn him based on their prejudice. [As an aside, maybe political prejudice has taken over from other things, now we can no longer be legitimately prejudiced with respect to race, sexual preference or age.]I think some branches of Christianity have had the extra baggage of regarding compromise as a bad thing, this probably doesn't help being gentle and humble with your political opponents. Something that seems to have happened in these last few days is that our political party leaders seemed to grow in terms of being statesmen. Maybe we can all take a leaf out of their books.

  2. I'm hugely encouraged by the apparant shift from adversarial to co-operative politics. Defining a sizeable percentage of the House as "the opposition" seems deeply unhelpful.In terms of hate, parties like the BNP spring to mind – which, as far as I can tell, is defined by hate and has a policy of hate. Does that make it inherently evil? Even if it does, that doesn't make the leaders and supporters any less loved by God.Pushing it a bit further, consider other political movements formed from hate and violence; like the Nazis, or the KKK, or the IRA at its worst.Oops – I've invoked Godwin.. Sorry!

  3. Another well rounded post and one which raises an issue I too have become concerned about. Mistrusting another party is always going to happen when one gets involved in party politics but I've found it interesting (in the Chinese proverb sense) how much blind anti-Labour rhetoric there was before the election and as you say how much anti-Tory afterwards.Regardless of our political persuasion this unique (in our times) election result actually gives Christians a huge opportunity for some unity in praying for our leaders. I've blogged on this recently – largely inspired by your last post. I'd be interested in your views on it.

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