Confused about Morals and Politics?

  • Taking drugs? Selling them?
  • Had an abortion?
  • Are you desiring someone of the same sex? Want to marry them?
  • Had an affair?
  • Stolen money from your work place maybe?
  • Shot someone? Went to war and shot someone?
  • Rejected someone needing a home? Rejected a refugee (even in your mind) needing a country?

Which of the above are ‘moral issues’? All? Some? None?
It would seem that we pop abortion, prostitution, gay issues etc into a kind of special ‘moral category’ and the rest just kind of fall into some other box.

I have been challenged to think recently by a friend who emailed me regarding the Greens party and some of the ‘immoral’ issues they stand for. I appreciated his concern and the effort that had gone into his email.
On the surface it would appear he was right, that a party like the Greens stand for some things that ‘good Christians’ would stand against. (Not sure we are voting for parties to enforce Christian values though. Nice when they do.)
But beneath the surface the Howard Government has some extremely immoral actions to answer for;

  • It turns out that Australia invests only 5.8% of its GDP in education, which puts us 18th – close to the bottom – among countries in the OECD. We are below the average (OECD) on early childhood education spending and we have the lowest secondary school retention rates in the entire OECD!

So is a complete lack of commitment to our next generations education not an moral issue?

  • In a 2007 UNICEF report on the welfare of Children in 20 economically advanced countries it showed that nearly 10% of Australian children live in households where no one is employed – and that’s the highest rate of all the countries on the list except Hungary. (Figures show that kids in the above situation have a 27% greater chance of chronic sickness than other kids.)

A moral issue?

  • In a 2004 report in the Economist magazine it was reported that Australia is the worst country in the world for serious assault. One in two Australians will be assaulted in their life time.

Stats from Hugh Makay’s book Advance Australia Where?

How are we doing Australia?

Sorry to be a negative nelly, but I just feel like we measure the success of our nation by dollars and cents, and I would suggest that we are fools to do so. Money is one of the most deceiving ‘tellers’ of success. Just read Affluenza, Hamilton’s classic 2006 (5?) read to see evidence for that!

So will I vote Green, Labor? Not saying yet.
But what I am saying is that I think there are bigger ‘moral’ issues at stake than the two blokes next door wanting to get married. (Not that I don’t think that is still a moral issue)

To finish I will quote extensively from an email I got from a friend recently on this last topic, it no doubt raises more questions than it answers, but that’s ok…

In the case of homosexual union, what may be stopped [if the Greens came to power] is the unjust treatment of those who are different – gay couples might be legally recognised as capable of engaging in a loving, committed relationship with the compassion and perserverance to raise a family – heck, they might even be allowed to be recognised as a legal family unit and finally receive family payments just like every other heterosexual or single parent family. This doesn’t need to be endorsed by a legal marriage, but do Christians jump up and down at the unequally yoked marriages or the non-christians getting married or the christians getting married cause they got pregnant unintentionally. What about all those who get divorced – christian and non-christian – should they be allowed to get married in the first place, or should divorce become illegal to protect marriage? Is legalising marriage able to contain the essence of marriage anyway – what about the couples living together – in every way a married couple except for the paper and legal ceremony? Are they married? not under law, but do they get access to family rights under defacto laws? yes – because heterosexual union is the only union legally validated under the definition of “family” under any sort of conservative government.

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14 thoughts on “Confused about Morals and Politics?

  1. “a committed relationship with the compassion and perserverance to raise a family – heck, they might even be allowed to be recognised as a legal family unit and finally receive family payments just like every other heterosexual or single parent family.”

    kids need a mother and a father…and its like the adoption debate…anyone can get pregnant…but when the government gives someone a child to care for, they are then responsible for that choice.

    A persons bias will determine which issues push their buttons when it comes to political debate.

    But when the leader of the Greens chooses to use the gay mardi grai to launch his policy on marriage, as a Christian, you surely must ask questions.

  2. Your’e right Mark – Christians should ask questions like what the heck does a single parent do with a comment like “kids need a mother and a father”???

    Having a mum and a dad has as much potential for being destructive for a child as does having just one parent, or having same sex parents. Likewise there is the potential for a happy and safe family environment in all of these situations too.

    unfortunately this debate gets lost in the issue of marriage when really it is about trying to gain freedom and justice from legally endorsed oppression.

    Why should a same sex partnership, committed to the creation and sustenance of a safe, loving, compassionate refuge where children can be raised to learn to love others with grce and mercy, be treated any differently from any other combination of heterosexual combinations or mono-parent families?

    Although I don’t think a secular marriage union should be held ransom to christians trying to reinforce their religious beliefs, I accept that there is a legal preference held by many that marraige should be between a man and a woman. BUT why don’t christians lobby the government to outlaw cross-faith unions like between a musim and a christian? seriously, wouldn’t many in the church say this is wrong? so why the different standards?

    Ultimately, I’m willing to compromise on the marriage debate, if in exchange same sex couples get legal recognition as “de facto”; and gay couples with children get legal recognition of their status as “families”. Anything short of this is simply wrong.

    And why wouldn’t the greens launch their marriage policy at a gay mardigras, when the issue they are seeing to pass is “gay union”? Where would you prefer he launch it – at a sunday service in Bedford? 😉

    PS – i’m guessing you were referring to the “abortion” debate not the “adoption” debate? 😉

  3. I think the single parent child would say, yes, I wish I did have a mum or dad……but we make do with what we have. There is no judgement from me for the situation they find themselves in, only love and care…..that is what I do with a lot of my time….

    There is no ideal family…and we have a stack of single parent families in our church, that we love and care for.
    I have family like this that I try to love and father…where their own father is a violent drug addict.

    I am not one for campaigning against this that and the other…and will not be voting christian democratic party, nor would I allow any political party to come to church.

    But, my heart aches at the thought of two homosexual parents having legislation passed which would allow them to adopt children. That is abhorent to me, and quite frankly should be abhorent to any Christian. I am almost willing to say that government should recognise same sex unions….(still thinking that through) for financial reasons, wills, tax etc, but there should be a caveat that they cannot adopt. I have friends who are homosexuals, and others who struggle with this, so please dont assume I am so right wing George Bush loving etc etc.

    I sometimes mispell stuff…but I meant the adoption debate. Governments are responsible for who they allow to adopt children.

  4. Yes, it is an interesting one. I agree, a Mum and Dad is obviously the ideal, in fact is God’s ideal based on what he tells us in his revelation, the bible.
    But I guess I struggle with voting for a secular Government wanting them to enforce Christian values in a mostly secular world, sort of MAKING people moral by proxy, by legislated force.

    Hmm, it’s a challenging conversation, I’m not comfortable, with my thinking at the moment on this political stuff, this is a good sort of uncomfortable!!

  5. So Christian values are only good for Christian people? Jesus has no place in the public square? Interesting.

    Obviously you do believe that governments impose their values all the time because of your critique of the Howard government and your call for governments to protect the environment.

    Do I endorse Liberal, the coalition, or the Howard government? Nope. I endorse followers of Jesus to grow in their intimate knowledge of God and the One he sent and allow His Lordship to dictate their behaviour and decisions in the public square.

  6. “Obviously you do believe that governments impose their values all the time because of your critique of the Howard government and your call for governments to protect the environment”

    ha!! has Scott been busted? 🙂

    On your point Scott, are not the Greens advocating a change whereby homosexual couples will be able to adopt? How would you feel if orphaned children were given to this couple? Honestly….?

  7. obviously by my last comment i indicated my ideal and what I believe is best and what I believe is God’s standard.
    I guess my issue is that in a Muslim government they enforce muslim ideals and moral codes and we jump down their thoat about “no freedom” and “religious dictatorship” etc. Yet we (Christians)do our best to get rid of freedom in our own nation by trying to make our government as ‘Christian’ as they posibly can.

    Heck keep shooting me down and ‘catching’ me out boys, I am seriously feeling my way in this debate. Thanks for for genuine concern for me…I think 🙂

  8. Lance, yes Jesus has place in the public square, but I guess I struggle with exactly WHAT place. Is it as a Prime Minister/King or as a agitator/Joker court jester?
    I say this with all sincerity. These rolls traditionally have a real purpose, they were employed in the court to see things from ourside the political haze and stick in the knife when needed. A prophetic type role rather than the head of a party.
    And Christian values have a place for non-christian people as do ‘Buddhist’ values have a place for non-Buddhist (Christian) people.
    Actually I recommend many Christians to look at some of Christ’s values as did Ghandi, who is one of the most inspirational followers of Christ I know…am I just starting up another red hering here?
    Can’t help myself 🙂

  9. if a man can be a good dad and a good husband, and a woman can be a good mum and a good wife, why does their sexual orientation change that capacity?

    If a man or a woman can love another person with all their heart, why does who they love change their ability to do that?

    I too know lesbian couples raising a child and they are more than able to care for one another and for their daughter. Why should their sexual orientation change this?

    My point is – a person’s sexual orientation does not alter their ability to carry the roles in life that we allow any other person to freely do. We don’t stop gay people from playing sport, working as CEO’s, lecturing at universities, crocheting, dirt bike riding or anything else, so why should they be unable to love another adult or care for a child? What are we scared might happen?

    More to the point – why is it abhorrent? Do we think it is abhorrent that non-christians should be allowed to get married or raise a family – or do they somehow pass on strong christian values by osmosis?

    Why doesn’t your stomach turn at the thought of this? Why is it different for gay couples? What are they doing that is more wrong than heterosexual non-christian couples?

    I know the gay debate is the good ol fashioned christian hot topic – but where is our consistency in demanding spiritual values in all aspects of life – why don’t we send emails to christian friends every time two non-christian people get engaged, asking our brothers and sisters in the Lord to pray against such attrocities?

    Why don’t we ask the churches to encourage a politician to pass a bill to stop this from every happening again? It’s the sanctity of marriage that’s being eroded isn’t it? Children being brought into this world by people who blatantly refuse to acknowledge God in their lives is something that must be stopped, isn’t it? Why are non-christian values ok, except for sexuality related ones?

    No wonder, the church will continue to remain mostly impotent in this world – we just can’t seem to get our own rules straighten out (pardon the pun).

  10. Now I get to argue against you Mr OEU not for you 🙂

    I have no issue with your “can a gay couple be just as loving” points or many of the things you say.
    I would simply say it is BETTER that a man and a woman raise a kid.
    BETTER (or ideal…or right?) because –
    It reflects the full personality of God as mankind (male and female) were created in His image. It is my opinion that God intended us to be raised in the context and example of His image. This is the ideal, the best, the thing we would strive for. Not a ‘Christian’ thing, just a ‘the way things work best due to the created order of things’ type thing.
    I would put it in the same category of … say people having sex with many partners. People do it, many people are happy with it, but in the created order of things God’s ideal would be for us to have one partner for life. Not because he is a kill joy but because in His ‘whopping’ wisdom, he sees the mess , pain, disease, heartache multiple partners brings, he has our best interest in mind.
    I could go on with many other things I put in the ‘not necessarily Christian’ list. But they are things that just work better when done that way as this is how God set them up.
    I don’t have a problem with gay people playing cricket, football etc but I put raising kids in a category a little higher than these, something God asked a man and a woman to do as a part of His plan at creation.
    So in summary – am I wanting to enforce my Christian values or be ‘anti-gay’ on an unbelieving world?
    Nope.
    I am wanting what is best for people. And as far as I can see, regardless of Christian values, God knows best.

    I think the Mardigras promotes what my good Christian brain calls licentiousness not stable families regardless of the sex of the parents!

  11. I’m not saying people should all think gay couples are the best option for parents – what i am saying is why should they be discriminated against in a secular society when all the other forms of “not the best option” regarding marriage and parenting get legal validation, and more importantly – NO public opposition from christians?

  12. apologies Scott if you took my ‘hah’ comment as nasty..It was not meant to be…and I got your Ghandi comment, very droll….

    and I think your answer to u-up is very good…

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