Politics and morality

by Richard on April 27, 2010

As the General Election approaches, Dave Perry reflects upon the morality of our political choices

In order to placate the hyper-wealthy doom-mongers of the faceless ‘money markets’ we are told that massive cuts in public services are inevitable because our national debt has to be reduced. But in reality cuts in public services are always disfiguring. Those who would wield the axe with greatest enthusiasm are likely to be those who do not need or rely upon such social provision. Privilege provides one step removed detachment from the dire consequences of such political choices. Look around at the social landscape of Britain and the evidence of past political savagery is as apparent as the very visible history of the tree in the photograph.

The wicked cuts of the 1980’s-1990’s left their mark in communities across the length and breadth of Britain. The rhetoric of those who would govern us glosses over this terrible outcome and the cast iron certainty that it will be revisited upon us if the cuts go deep. Given the obscene disparity between the wealthiest 10% in Britain and the majority of the population, and that the political clout of that 10% is disproportionately powerful and influential, it is right that Christians should be outraged.

Characteristically Empires care little for the populus or the poor and are driven by motives which favour the position and privilege of the ruling elite. Christians take a diametrically opposed view, and are passionate about issues of fairness, inclusion and injustice. Given that our faith was birthed under circumstances of brutal Roman oppression the godly resolve and bias of Jesus towards the lowest and least was rooted in political realities of the harshest sort. The adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire was a shrewd and possibly cynical political move which sought to neuter the raw consequential force of the gospel as an agent of political change. The radical Jesus and political self-interest are as immiscible as oil and water.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 04.27.10 at 5:20 pm

Alas, I am sure that most Christians aren’t in the least “outraged”; on the contrary, they don’t give a shit. We whinge about maintaining or reclaiming our religious space and influence - the church’s own version of self-interest - and neglect the weightier matters of the law. Is it not so?


Richard 04.27.10 at 6:43 pm

Sadly, yes.


Pam 05.02.10 at 5:40 am

Look, the Sydney Swans have hit the lead in the AFL premiership and all you can think about is some general election. It’s always sensible to get your priorities right.


Richard 05.02.10 at 7:04 am


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