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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is our government immoral?


According to five bishops in the Church of England it is. Which really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. All governments are immoral at something. Paying heed to the rich, ignoring the poor. Covering up over here, vested interests over there, foreign misadventures here, scandal there.

Two mistakes are easily made. One is to think the other lot will somehow be by nature, different. That's what people thought in 1997 as Tony Blair strode into Downing Street amidst scenes of euphoria. It's what Americans did with Obama in November 2008. We all come to a more realistic point of view sooner or later. They aren't perfect, they will make mistakes.

The second mistake is to think that the opposition will be exactly the same, and so why bother? The end of that road is where many find themselves cynical, and in self imposed democratic exile. They live but do not participate in a democracy because they see no point. Well maybe, maybe. But the way to shape a democracy is not by disengagement but by more active engagement.

Christians should neither be victims to despair or disillusionment because our hope was never in government in the first place. We support good, just and moral governance and we oppose lazy, self-indulgent, unfair government wherever we find it and whatever colour or shade it comes in.

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