Blogspot-By Dee Lightful
“Does your faith inform how you vote?”
IT was a simple question, but one that stopped me in my tracks. I mean my faith should inform my vote, but listening to party leaders bamboozling me with their rhetoric I really don’t have faith in any of them. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to vote, just that, at this moment in time, I don’t have a clue who I will vote for.
As if on cue, this document was handed to me: The General Election 2015 – A letter to Catholics in England and Wales from their Bishops. Here is the first paragraph:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
The Gospel is radical and challenging. It is the saving message of Jesus Christ. It is a way of life. It teaches us to value each person: the vulnerable child inside the womb; the parent struggling with the pressures of family life; the person striving to combat poverty; the teacher inspiring students to seek the truth; the stranger fleeing violence and persecution in their homeland; the prisoner in his cell in search of redemption; the child in a distant land claiming the right to a future; and the frail elderly person needing care and facing the frontier of death.”
From a Christian perspective, the letter then goes on to highlight some of the issues to reflect on when considering who we might vote for:
Â· Where do candidates in your constituency stand on assisted suicide, euthanasia, abortion and other life issues?
Â· Do your candidates have a commitment to support marriage and family life?
Â· Where do your candidates stand on directly helping the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK and also helping them to transform their lives?
Â· How will candidates in your constituency ensure the best outcomes for the poorest children? Will they support parental choice for faith-based education?
Â· Where do your candidates stand in … the debate about European institutions?
Â· Where do your candidates stand on the role of the voluntary sector and how its work can be enhanced?
Â· Do your candidates support a living wage and a thriving private sector committed to fair pay and the dignity of human work?
Â· Where do your candidates stand on issues of asylum and immigration?
Â· What are the views of your candidates about overseas aid and development?
Â· What are the views of your candidates on tackling climate change and supporting sustainable development?
So, all things considered, the question then is: How, in the light of the Gospel, can my vote best serve the common good? I shall be closely examining the minutiae of each party manifesto, before deciding who gets my vote. I may surprise myself.
If you are reading this, you may wish to comment; but before you do, I urge you to click on the link below where you can read the document in its entirety.
Dee Lightful for Your Thurrock blogpost