Equipping Christians for the General Election

Author Archive for Nola Leach

Show Up Today with Faith for Tomorrow
Nola Leach

It’s General Election Day – as we head out to the polls today we can thank God that across the UK millions of citizens will have the privilege of participating in our democracy and exercising their right to vote.

The polls are open until 10pm tonight, so there’s still time to prayerfully consider who you would like to represent you in parliament over the next five years and to make your way to your local polling station to cast your vote.

Voting is a practical way in which we can begin to shape our society to reflect our biblical values and for it to become more just and compassionate. So let us not waste this opportunity. As good stewards of the Earth, let us honour God by casting our votes today.

What else can I be doing today? 

Pray. Beyond voting we are also called to pray for our nation. This includes praying for a high turnout, giving thanks for all of the candidates who have stood in this election because they want to serve our country, and praying for the result – that godly men and women of good will be elected and that His will be done.

And tomorrow, then what?

As the results come in many of us might wonder what God is doing – but we can be certain that our God is unchanging and faithful; He is sovereign and in complete control.

On Friday our neighbour will still be our neighbour, our family still our family. We are in a great position to show others how to unite after this election as we know our foundation is in God and His Kingdom.

Let our votes be just the beginning of our role in bringing real change to our communities; may we continue to engage with MPs and get to know our local MP so that we can bring salt and light to the issues facing the next government.

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We can reframe the debate around abortion now
Nola Leach

The recent polling conducted by Where Do They Stand could change the debate on abortion in the UK.

Whilst the last few months have seen an ambitious Ten-Minute Rule Bill calling for full decriminalisation of abortion pass through the first stages of parliament this survey shows that there is very little appetite for this change.

Only 1% of the general public actually supports full decriminalisation of abortion, whereas an overwhelming majority of British people would in fact prefer to see the abortion time limit reduced from 24 weeks.

This is hardly surprising; the innovation in technology means that we can in greater detail than ever before see just how babies develop in the womb. Also, incredible advances in both medicine and science have enabled babies that are born before the abortion cut-off date to be cared for and ultimately go home and lead healthy lives.

It is hard to justify a proposal for a Bill in parliament asking for full decriminalisation of abortion when this poll makes is clear it’s not only not in the public interest but that the public are very much set against it.

What would be a better use of MPs’ time in the next parliament would be to get behind the Private Members Bill Lord Shinkwin proposed in the last parliament, but which was sadly lost when parliament  dissolved. The Bill looked to stop the injustice that an unborn baby can be aborted up until birth if it has a disability.

This law runs completely contrary to all our laws against discrimination based on disability which seek to prevent limits being placed on what disabled people can achieve because we know that putting a cap on that potential is harmful to all. But by allowing abortion for unborn disabled children right up until birth we are not valuing their inherent worth and what they can bring to society. We are judging them before they’ve even entered the world.

In the lead up to Election Day on June 8th there are going to be great opportunities to engage with candidates on these issues. They will be turning up at your door canvassing for votes and also will be answering voters’ questions in organised hustings.

Abortion is likely to come up as an issue in the next parliament, but we can reframe the debate around it now. Any vote that happens in relation to abortion is likely to be subject to a conscience vote; therefore MPs are free to vote as they see fit, rather than following the party line. For that reason, it’s important to get to know the candidates standing in your area now and find out whether they would back public opinion on an important issue such as this.

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A moment’s pause
Nola Leach

Following the tragic events in Manchester on Monday evening, the main political parties have suspended their national election campaigns as a mark of respect for those killed, injured, and bereaved.  Likewise to show our respects and solidarity with the people affected we are not posting updates to the engaGE17 website at present.  We will resume updating the website in due course, and until then continue to pray for those affected by this terrible attack.

Nola Leach, CARE Chief Executive

 

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