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How would Jesus vote? We can only guess

by
01 May 2015

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From the Revd Kenneth Cross

Sir, - There is much debate regarding the Christian "credentials" of different political parties. I fear these discussions miss the mark. Jesus was neither Pharisee, Sadducee, Zealot, nor patriot. Eventually these "parties" conspired to murder Jesus, because he put an axe to the root of their political interests: wealth, power, and national pride.

Jesus embodied and taught a subversive message of compassion, mercy, justice, and welcome to the despised.

In this light, we must be asking: how might Jesus's message inform our perspective on issues such as the economy, foreign policy, war, immigration, the national deficit, and how we look after the sick, disturbed, unemployed, and the undeserving. Deep reflection on this begins to reveal how radical, political, and upsetting the Way of Jesus is. I suspect Jesus would be no friend to any of our modern political parties.

How each person votes will be a compromise. There is no "Christian" political party. To vote for the party that seems to be most kind to Christians is a symptom of a distorted persecution syndrome.

We must rather look to see what policies embody Jesus's priorities. As we do so, we may sometimes glimpse Jesus's ways of compassion and justice, but we should be warned that his is a way which is profoundly at odds with normal politicking.

So, if we take the Jesus Way seriously, we will not allow unquestioned party loyalty or distorted attachments to wealth, power, or nationhood to determine our vote. Justice, mercy, compassion (includ-ing toward our fragile planet), and welcome to the unloved - these will be the issues that will inform our inevitably compromised choice.

KENNETH CROSS

The Rectory, Roadwater, Watchet, Somerset TA23 0QZ

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