This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 10, 2015

FAITH AND POLITICS

May 10A responsible church that honours the intelligence, the faith, and the individual freedom of its members does not presume to tell people how to vote. So it is difficult to formulate a collective response to the sea change Albertans experienced in last week’s provincial election. But what we can do is ask ourselves where God is in all this, and to discern for ourselves what such a political shift means for people of faith.

If we believe that God is in the world, and not just in the church, then even non-religious social movements reveal something of what God is doing. This need not be a direct connection, as if God raises up one political party and casts down another. But assuming that everyone—religious and secular alike—can identify some higher principles worth living (and voting) for, what was the populace saying in this election? What did so many Albertans feel was missing from the status quo, and what are they hopingMay 10a for in this new regime?

Often, when we are able to identify the moral principles that are important to us, we discover that the difference in political parties is more about how we get there than what we want. For who doesn’t want good government that serves its citizens, social services that improve our quality of life, and laws that safeguard our freedoms? Perhaps an election like this one forces us to go back—whatever our political stripes—and consider: what are those principles worth voting for?

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