The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

The power to choose a new form of politics

VoteImageRev Philip Young challenges us to use our power to kill off our present, destructive political system and choose a new form of politics based on love, compassion and a bias towards the poor.

Politics today is in a state of depression.
Our present politicians are very timid about embracing radical ideas.
I believe the old politics dominated by economics and riches for the few has to die a death.
We need to resurrect a new politics based around the ideas of loving and caring for each other and for our beautiful planet.
We need a bias towards the poor.
This is a time of great change for the church and for the planet.
We need to hear the radical call of God to ditch the god of money and to embrace the God of kindness and care – to embrace our God, who is love.
Pope Francis is challenging us to change, and we are beginning to realize what a bold step it was to choose him to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Francis says, “We need to end the ‘cult of money’ and to do more for the poor”.
He is quite right. Now we need millions to believe this. Now is the time to challenge our politicians. Now is the time to kill off the old politics of greed and consumerism.
The planet cannot continue to be consumed by our greed.
We are realizing, like never before, that we have one earth and that we need to care for it.
The greed of the few is unsustainable.
The planet has finite resources and so the old political model of continuing economic growth in a finite world is not just wrong, it is suicidal madness.
It cannot be right that £40 a week is being cut from someone who is struggling to feed her children in our country while at the same time a football player in the Premier league is on a £250,000 a week contract.
It cannot be right that Water Aid tell us that almost 2,000 children a day are dying from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation whilst many people have more than ten taps in their houses.
Politics is in a state of depression and disrepair if we are not constantly thinking about how to better organize ourselves to bring about more equality in our own country and in the wider world.
We hear that we have to cut back and make savings, but we need to be more shocked about the inequality and injustice of it all. Those who are rich can be almost unaffected by the cuts, whilst those who are struggling to make ends meet are finding it ever more difficult to feed and clothe their family.
We need politicians who care about the poor and are willing to embrace radical actions to redistribute wealth.  If our politicians do not even recognize the problem, because their wealth and status shields them from the raw truth about poverty, then we, the ordinary people, need to find politicians who care, and vote for them instead.
Politics is a high calling and we want to be led by those who have put to death their selfish ambitions.
Those who have taken on the radical nature of leadership, which is modeled for us by Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
To die to self and to live for others.
We do not want to be ruled by the privileged few that do not understand or care about poverty.
We want political leaders who are acting out of love and compassion.
Those who care about the needs of the many.
This means a huge shift away from our current politics.
Death and resurrection comes to mind.
Preferably non-violent and democratic change.
The power is in our hands.
We have the choice.
I challenge the politicians to provide some radical alternatives for us.
As the proverb says: ‘Where there is no vision the people perish’
(Proverbs 29.18)

Rev Philip Young is the Norwich Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Church of England. He is also a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and a Novice of the Third Order of Franciscans. His work for the Norwich Diocese is part time.  The rest of his time he reads and writes on spiritual matters. He is available to give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at philip.young@norwich.anglican.org.

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Photo: Vote by Alan Cleaver, on Flickr

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