Well, wasn’t last Tuesday night interesting!
We had the pleasure of the company of four politicians, Rev Fred Nile (Christian Democrats, State), Edmond Atalla (Labor, Local), George Bilic (Liberal, Local) and Paul Green (Christian Democrat, Federal). We expected some fireworks, but not quite what we got!
The aim of the night was actually to explore whether sincere Christianity could be compatible with being a politician. Politicians get a lot of bad press these days. They are accused of lying, breaking promises, manipulating people and situations, being vain and so on. This is unfortunate, because most politicians I have met actually do strive to do a lot of good for their constituency, and do work incredibly hard to achieve it.
I think this side of the politicians came out last Tuesday – we found out how they deal with thorny ethical situations and how they do try to use their Christian ideals as the ‘compass’ by which to steer their decisions.
Unfortunately, something else also came out last Tuesday – the bitterness between the two major parties! Yes, George baited Edmond and Edmond fought back, and we got one of those classical ‘my party’s better than your party’ arguments going. Perhpas whoever said that you shouldn’t mix religion and politics was right! A pity, for that was the very thing we were trying to get behind, trying to see if one’s genuine ideals could be more important than playing the political game.
I wonder what you thought of it all?
I have often mused on whether our system of govrnment could be improved. Does anyone really benefit from all that time and effort and money that is invested into getting a party re/elected? Is it good for individuals to have to sacrifice some of their own personal ideals for the sake of ‘the party’? Or is it the only way to get enough people agreeing on something so that something actually gets done? If we abolished the party system, would our parliaments descend into a chaos of endless debates?
As Christians, we are meant to take an active part in the welfare of those around us. Having and effective and compassionate system of government has ahuge impact on the lives of everyone in this country. It was hoped that last tuesday might inspire some of our young people to consider entering politics in order to make a difference … if they felt that was their calling from God. I wonder now whether it might not have turned them off …