With the federal election fast approaching, Christians are paying closer attention than ever to this campaign. There already seems to be more focus on the leaders of the major parties and what they are saying, rather than on the policies and issues at stake.
However, it’s important for Christians to pay attention to both the policy details and the media coverage. We need to be informed about what’s happening in politics, and we need to pray for our leaders and our nation.
It’s worth noting that 52% of Australians identified as Christians in the 2016 Census, and many are involved in politics, both as candidates and as voters. So this is not just an issue for the church or for Christians – it’s an issue for all Australians.
The Australian Christian Values Institute has released a summary of the positions of the major parties in relation to the issues of concern for Christians. The checklist has been compiled by an independent team who have no affiliations with any political party.
While the major parties do not always make definitive statements, the checklist contains research obtained from party websites and voting history. It is designed to help Christians make informed decisions about who to vote for in the upcoming election.
There are good candidates across all political parties. It is important for voters to do their own research and support candidates who have faith, no matter what party they represent. The Australian Christian Values Checklist rates the political parties based on some of the following issues:
1. The Economy.
All the major parties are concerned with building a strong economy that benefits all Australians. They claim to support job creation policies and want to help reduce poverty and provide care for the poor.
2. Social Issues.
Christians are particularly concerned with representation on issues such as opposing radical late-term abortion laws, opposing gender fluidity being taught in schools, recognising women’s rights and affirming biological sex. However, apart from One Nation, the major parties are largely silent on these issues.
Equitable funding for state and private schools, and religious freedom are also areas of significant concern. Christians support Christian schools being able to employ staff who share their beliefs, and want to see people given permission to express their religious views in public. But again, these concerns are generally overlooked by the major players.
3. The Environment.
Christians believe that we are stewards of God’s creation, and have a responsibility to care for the planet. Most political parties claim to be in agreement that we need policies to take greater care of God’s environment.
4. Family Values.
Christians support continued funding of school chaplaincy programs, Family Law Court reform and policies that protect our children from the evils of pornography. However, aside from One Nation, these are matters that the major parties do not seem to engage with.
The issues we are facing today are complicated and diverse. There are many who believe that voting for a Christian party is the best way to ensure that Christian values are represented. Others argue that it’s more important to vote for the party that best aligns with their own personal values.
Whatever your perspective, it is important to remember that as Christians we are called to love our neighbour, engage in thoughtful dialogue, and pray for our leaders. With that in mind, may your choice on election day be made with wisdom, humility, and grace. Visit www.christianvalues.org.au or click here to view the checklist.