Anti-Christian Election Policies?

As we approach the election and listen to the policies of the competing parties, it is interesting to see how the policies line up with the faith that many claim to follow as Christians. I don’t think for one minute that any one party would encapsulate all the principles Christ taught, but there is a more worrying notion, namely that since most political parties reflect the thinking of their constituency, perhaps as a consequence, it seemed to me that some of the policies directly oppose the spirit of what Christ was advocating. I was looking at this possibility with the assistance of the Internet and I came across a site entitled Rev Who. In his sermon entitled the American Anti-Christ we find this Unitarian minister saying the following:
“……I’d like us to consider the basics of the teachings of Jesus right now. Whether you see Jesus as God, or a prophet or a teacher – his wisdom has crafted this world we inhabit – and that wisdom is what I’m speaking to right now. His words often get lost behind denominationalism, politics, culture and doctrine. I deeply value his parables. Stories are a beautiful way to convey a teaching without sounding like you’re teaching. But they can leave a lot of room for interpretation. So let’s focus on the five very clear messages he gave that were not coached in parable, or metaphor, or narrative. Here they go and they’re easy to remember: feed the hungry; clothe the naked; care for the sick; visit those in prison; and shelter the homeless. Very little of what Jesus ever said wasn’t cloaked in some varied meaning, so it seems to me that when he says something clearly, it’s probably extra-important…or maybe just really obvious. But its clarity should be seen as central to Christian practice and identity. Whatever speaks directly to its opposite could be said to be anti-Christian – or against the Christian spirit – or maybe more starkly, Anti-Christ”.
What then in the light of this statement might we make of an election policy that wants to reduce the provisions for welfare assistance and housing for the unemployed? Isn’t this the opposite of Jesus’ injunctions to provide shelter , feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Another encountered policy of underfunding overseas aid couldn’t be more clearly aimed against the needy of the world. Reducing taxation to enable the rich to store up more treasure on earth is clearly to the benefit of the rich but since the current systematic help to the poor comes for the most part via the somewhat cumbersome and bureaucratic welfare system funded through taxation, to reduce taxation partly denies this source of welfare. It is true that organizations such as Churches provide limited assistance in these areas, but unless this assistance is substantially increased, a vote for less tax means a vote for less help for the poor. When it comes to prisoners, While building more prisons might conceivably give more opportunity for visiting prisoners, if the emphasis is on ensuring adequate punishment and removing such offenders from society rather than on their rehabilitation then this policy is also Anti-Christ.
Since ensuring that the ones we love and those dependent on us are well provided for, we might note that becoming rich is in itself not the problem. The moral issues come in how we chose to become rich and having become more financially secure, what we might then do with our wealth. Subtle changes in tax breaks might then be seen to have moral consequences. For example encouraging those who merely make transfers of property tax relief for capital gains does not lead to shared wealth in the same way as offering tax breaks for those who invest in primary production
There is an understandable theme of selfishness which runs through most Western societies and it is interesting to reflect on the ways in which this has impacted on the current economic woes. A feature of most Western Countries is that those at the helm of large business see to it that a disproportionate amount of the income is directed to the board room. In many cases the selfishness results in the nations with wealth producing policy using this same policy to make life infinitely more uncomfortable for those in regions where the wealth is produced. Palm oil and bio-fuel production may help those with the energy needs of the haves, but in a world where one seventh of the population does not have security of food supply it may be unwelcome to the have-nots. Multinational annexation of land previously used for subsistence farming for mono-crop production can do untold damage to the environment and drives the previous small land holders off their land. Despite evidence that many social ills are exacerbated by a gap between the rich and the poor, in most of the Western world the trend has been towards increasing that gap. The selfishness of investors demanding maximisation of wealth has encouraged corporations to forget that excessive interest on loans will hurt the most vulnerable. In the countries like Greece and Italy where tax evasion is virtually considered a right and where profit is not necessarily linked to productivity the current practice of ratcheting up the debt and printing more money to keep the system going, makes national economies start to resemble giant Ponzi schemes. The refusal to acknowledge those who are hurt by particular activities should be particularly distressing to those who wish to follow the principles outline by Jesus. Profits from supplying weapons may keep industrialists and share holders happy and provide plenty of employment, but a particular form of intentional blindness is needed to refuse to acknowledge that for the most part these weapons are sent to unstable regions of the world where the majority of victims are civilian.  And don’t get me started on immigration.
This leaves a fair question. Should Christians exercise their democratic right to ask their representatives to come up with policies more in keeping with their beliefs? Your thoughts?

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