I hope it’s been clear in the blogs I’ve written so far that I believe one of the main ways Jesus call us to follow him is in fighting injustice; standing up for those who have no one around them; feeding the hungry; clothing the naked; giving water to those that thirst.
But what ways can we go about doing that?
Well, in my next blog I want to set out some of what we are called to do. by looking at the famous story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan. This time though, I want to talk about politics.
I’m not a great fan of politics just for politics sake. But what I have come to understand is that if we really want to solve injustice and break people out of the chains of poverty, then politics has a very big role to play.
Look at the great things this world and the people in it have accomplished. A lot of these things have happened because, eventually, there was a political will and desire to see the change happen. Abolishing slavery, ending apartheid, eradicating smallpox, the women’s suffrage, civil rights movement, human rights, and landing on the moon! Those are just a few off the top of my head.
The reason I believe Politics plays such a big role in fighting injustice is because the systems we are often fighting against are ‘man-made’. People created poverty, whether on purpose or not, and they created the systems that hold it in place, so it’s people that can end it!
In 1 Peter 2:16-17 we read:
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.
In Romans we are told to respect the governments and authorities over us; in Timothy we are told to pray for them. I believe that as Christians, women and men following Jesus, we should be involved in pointing out the injustices, in appropriate ways, to our governments and politicians.
So what is it that you care about? What are the injustices you see around you?
Would you think about bringing these things up with the candidates’ that will be knocking on our doors in the next few weeks?
The Irish Government can’t make the changes we desire if they don’t know what we are facing. Below are some questions, if you are struggling to find words, you may think about asking on topics close to my heart.
But can I just make sure you know, you don’t need to be articulate or to have the answers when talking to politicians. Just say what you think, tell them how you feel. Don’t expect a solution straight away, that’s unrealistic. But our government will not spend time figuring out solutions to problems they don’t know exist. So let’s get the ball rolling, let’s highlight the injustices we know, see and experience.
1) What steps will you take to ensure that Ireland make a fair contribution to the goal of keeping the average global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celcius?
2) How will you ensure that Ireland meets its fair share of international climate finance obligations in addition to our existing overseas aid?
3) What will you do to tackle corporate tax evasion and avoidance and to ensure that developing countries, in particular, can claim the tax revenue that they are due?
4) How will you ensure that Ireland’s tax policies do not contribute to tax avoidance and evasion in developing countries?
5) Will you support the development of a tax and human rights policy to help guide the development of Irish tax policy?
6) Will you look at increasing the amount Ireland gives to helping the poorest communities around the world?
7) In what ways will you, in government, work towards the full integration of refugees into Irish society?
8) Can you commit to an improvement of services for those in direct provision?
Maybe if you have questions you are looking to ask, put them in the comment box below and others could ask them too!