With tomorrow being the election in Aotearoa New Zealand to determine who our government will be for the next three years, I thought it worthwhile to make a statement about the overarching ethic that informs how I vote. It is an ethic that is intimately woven with, informed by, and inseparable from my Christian faith that is seated in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and the promise of all things being made right. That final part drives hope, informed by the past, and looking towards the future. I work to give glimpses of that hope now.
I often get asked for advice from people who want help wading through all the media information, social media arguments, partisan passion, party press releases, policy etc in order to better inform their own vote. Because of my position as a minister in the Church I will never say who to vote for or share who I am voting for (outside of my closest relationships). For those who think they may know simply because of my past political affiliations, please understand that the past is no indication of how I may view the political situation at present. During my voting life I have voted across the political spectrum.
With all those requests in mind I have put out a brief statement conveying what underpins my vote and has always underpinned how I have voted. It may be helpful to some. Interestingly, this may also shed a light on many of the posts on this blog and fill in some gaps. Here is the ethic that drives my vote (my manifesto so to speak) and much of how I engage life:
I place myself within the ‘consistent life’ paradigm and I believe all life is sacred and should be treated as such (but I am a low meat eater, so calls of hypocrisy can be made – though I believe even that life is sacred and approach it as such, giving thanks for all life that sustains me).
Thus I am for the unborn child as well as the mother giving life to that child. I am not for abortion. I wish to see everything possible done to limit abortion and provide an environment that stops people getting into situations where they feel that they have to make such a choice, and that supports vulnerable pregnant women and their families so they are truly nurtured and cared for, not just during pregnancy but also in the raising of their children.
I am anti-war and do my utmost to promote voices of peace within conflict. I stand against everything that degrades the human life from poverty to racism, from sexism to slavery. I am against the death penalty. I am for the support of human life from conception to death (hopefully due to old-age and a life well lived) and the support of the eco-systems (both human and the wider environment) that feed into that life and thus I am for support of the family (both immediate and wide), community and the natural environment.
I yearn for a political entity that mirrors that consistency but I am not under an ideological framework that believes that the State is primarily responsible for all of this. Rather, I believe it can help create the platform for it. Because there is no one party that captures this consistency and there are a myriad of ways to uphold it, I expect to find people that follow this same ethic (or variations close to it) voting across the political spectrum.