Christians don't like Dirty Politics | The Jackal

8 Sept 2014

Christians don't like Dirty Politics

It's always interesting to see differing opinions on certain topics especially when they relate to politics and policy that can have a huge impact on all New Zealander's lives.

This was particularly the case with the responses to revelations in Nicky Hager's best selling book, Dirty Politics, by religious organisations and those that represent them.

Although usually very reserved in their opinions, almost all churches have recently spoken out about what the current National led government has been up to. First, let's hear from John Dew who is a Roman Catholic Archbishop from Wellington.

On Friday, the NZ Herald reported:

Outrage over dirty tricks healthy

There is a moral dimension to political representation. Our Catholic tradition describes responsible political authority as authority exercised with the virtues that make it possible to put power into practice as service. These virtues include patience, modesty, moderation, charity and efforts to share. The purpose of political activity is to work for the common good, which is the good of each person and of all people.

Power always carries the potential for corruption. This erodes trust and damages the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed.

At its worst it leads to a distortion of political choices and favours those who possess the means to influence those choices rather than the common good of all. But even before that point is reached, it leads to a growing distrust of public institutions and a reduced willingness to engage in the political process. It becomes an area of public service that people of integrity and honesty do not wish to be part of - as a society we need good, honest and generous people to put themselves forward to serve as our elected representatives.

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services has also spoken out about another pressing issue that the current government is doing its best to ignore.

Today, Yahoo News reported:

Decline in home ownership 'will impact older people'

"We see the universal superannuation payment has been a success in keeping older people out of the worst of poverty, and that this model has merit for a number of vulnerable groups, including 285,000 children living in poverty", said McGlinchey. "However, this also means any change to Government policy on superannuation and other state supports, including state housing, will have a direct impact on a large group of older people who are highly dependent on superannuation as their main source of income".

Feedback from NZCCSS members show some early signs of pressure on state supports, with more elderly clients approaching services for food parcels and other assistance. This, against a backdrop of an increasing number of people living longer, is a signal that government needs to step up its preparation for an aging population if future generations of older people are to be supported appropriately.

Also today, Anglican Down Under reported:

The politics of hatred are not the politics of Jesus

If we do not tackle the emerging culture of hatred we are on a pathway which will end in violence. Our number one priority as Christians on 21 September is to challenge both winners and losers in our election to speak and act differently. Love not hate builds society. Love not hate respects human dignity. The God who made each of us is the God of love not the god of hate. That god is at work all over the world currently and we do not need further manifestations here in these islands.

Clearly the representatives of New Zealand's religious institutions are pretty much unanimous in their criticism of National's failed policies and especially their undemocratic Dirty Politics.

No wonder so many conservative voters are heading over to Colin Craig's party. However, I very much doubt their faith in him to provide a guiding light in parliament will last very long. I wonder who they'll turn to next?