Getting Priorities Right

by Elias Blum

A local church in my home constituency in Scotland has canvassed the various candidates on three issues: abortion, same-sex marriage and ‘religious liberty’ (by which they mean, I think, religious privilege exclusively for Christians).

These are not the only issues, or even the most important issues, that Christians ought to be concerned about when casting their votes. To focus on these issues is not only to risk provoking the sort of destructive culture-war that gives Christians a bad name, but also to miss out on a much broader and deeper Christian testimony in politics.

What about the candidates views on tackling poverty and economic inequality, protecting human rights, stewardship of the environment, rehabilitation and reconciliation of offenders, preventing war and securing peace, helping refugees?

Are these not issues of manifesting grace? Are these not balm and ointment for the body-politic? Are these not tikkun-olem? Are these not issues that the churches should be pursuing in their scrutiny of candidates?