On voting this election – a discipleship issue

If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the isle in the opposite direction”.                                                                                                Dietrich  Bonhoeffer

Wrong train?

We are on the wrong train. It is rattling along the tracks of billowing debt and over consumption. It is held together with oppression and exploitation of the poor. It is burning up resources that cannot be replaced. It is heading for catastrophe.

What to do about this is not easy to figure out. The choices are not always clear and, as the end of the line looms, we are under the pressure of time…

It has been said by many, that the moral test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.

In the last speech he gave, Hubert Humphrey expanded, “…the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Jesus put this more succinctly: “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)


It is ironic that those who would naturally recoil in horror at the butchery of innocents in Iraq or the destruction of dolphins off our coast, seem to be in the forefront of championing both abortion and euthanasia as unassailable rights.

It is one thing when individual politicians, in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’, vote in contradiction of a fundamental principle of justice – protection of the most vulnerable. It is another when parties seek to enshrine policies in statute that threaten the unborn and elderly, the poor and even the earth upon which we all depend.

Jumping off a moving train is risky. The alternative of inaction is worse. We can at least grab the emergency stop lever.

We need to get off this train and get on one heading in the right direction.

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