Blog-spot: Does your faith inform your vote?

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:

· Where do candidates in your constituency stand on assisted suicide, euthanasia, abortion and other life issues?

· Do your candidates have a commitment to support marriage and family life?

· 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?

· How will candidates in your constituency ensure the best outcomes for the poorest children? Will they support parental choice for faith-based education?

· Where do your candidates stand in … the debate about European institutions?

· Where do your candidates stand on the role of the voluntary sector and how its work can be enhanced?

· Do your candidates support a living wage and a thriving private sector committed to fair pay and the dignity of human work?

· Where do your candidates stand on issues of asylum and immigration?

· What are the views of your candidates about overseas aid and development?

· 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.

http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Featured/General-Election-2015/Election-Letter

Dee Lightful for Your Thurrock blogpost

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