Christian Life 

The Death of Democracy

Is the cross-party determination in both Holyrood and Westminster governments an indication that a form of parliamentary dictatorship is subverting the underlying principles of democracy and accountability?

 



"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."      Winston Churchill in House of Commons speech; Nov. 1947.


DemocracyLAST weekend one of the Highland capital's local newspapers reported that the widow of a former Scottish Leader of The Liberal Democrats has written to Nick Clegg to intimate her resignation because of “the way The Party is promoting gay ‘marriage’.”

Lady Johnston, who lives in Inverness in Danny Alexander’s constituency, is the widow of Lord Russell-Johnston, a former Leader of The Scottish Liberal Party and Deputy Leader of The Liberal Democrats.

In a letter to Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, she wrote:
“the straw that has finally broken the camel’s back is your claim in a recent e-mail to me, that one of the Liberal Democrats’ achievements by 2015 will have been the first gay marriage.”
Expressing her concern and intentions she concluded her letter: “As a committed Christian, I have no choice but to resign my Party membership forthwith.”

Lady Johnston's actions illustrate the dilemma for Christians who are 'in the world, but not of the world'? Do faith and politics mix. And if they do at what point does a believer compromise his or her Christian integrity

Anyone wishing to bring influence to bear needs to be where the action and decision-making lie: this dynamic is no less applicable than within the political process. And given that all the mainstream parties along with minority groupings seem determined to relegate the time-honoured institution of marriage in order to appease a highly-vocal minority, the incentives to active engagement are increasing. Not least because of the cruel irony whereby the godless same-sex activists, if they achieve their ambition, will effectively destroy the very essence of what they seek to attain.

Commenting on the same-sex marriage proposals Dr. Donald Boyd of the Scottish Christian Party has written:
The major parties in Scotland - the SNP, Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and the Greens - are in a political pact to redefine marriage. Although the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Roman Catholics and the smaller Presbyterian Churches have publicly opposed this humanistic agenda, our Scottish MSPs are holding hands to support each other.
If good government requires a strong opposition, then the composition of this Scottish Parliament will not yield balanced nor good legislation on this matter. This is 'politicians against people' [and] is neither democracy nor truly consultative government. It is the flaunting and abuse of political power.'


Given that none of the mainstream parties had this radical agenda in their pre-election manifestos, the situation is creating an increasing concern; and an inabilility to trust those very people whom we voted into positions of influence to represent the broad constituency view.

The Christian Institute has written to its supporters in the following terms:
"Not only are they seeking to change the meaning of 'marriage', now they're trying to change the meaning of 'consultation'. They should listen to the public before making a decision, not the other way around.
Whatever they say in public, we know the Government has been rocked by the size of the opposition to their plans. The strategy to introduce gay marriage in a low key way is now in tatters. Government ministers now want to discourage people from voicing their opposition. They want to dishearten supporters of marriage like you with a 'resistance is futile' message.'"

Regarding whether or not and how Christians should engage directly in the political process, a range of views are evident across the spectrum of individual believers and denominations. However it should surely be a matter of prayerful concern that those who are calling the shots in both Holyrood and Westminster are either ignoring or cynically abusing the consultative process in a manner which not only illustrates a contempt for the majority position and the views of those who elected them, but also – and much more importantly – flying in the face of the statutes of a Holy God.

Christians Together, 19/03/2012

Feedback:
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Phil (Guest) 22/06/2012 20:49
Christians in the UK are having to live with a whole new reality in 2012, and that is our views, concerns, opinions are no longer either welcome or even relevant to the average voter.

Such has been the shift over the last 5 - 7 years in this country away from basic Christian ideals that it is likely to continue regressing at an even faster rate.

We are surly in the end times, and we are seeing the evidences all around. So, in the meantime what is to be our response as individuals and in the collective?

Simple really, the answer is found in Matt 28: 18 - 20. So, let us not get sidetracked, and instead get on with the Master's business.
Dave (Guest) 23/06/2012 17:03
Too true Phil. Just like the fiancial situation throughout Europe, things for true Christians will never be the same again. That creates a real problem for the church because of the snails pace way of doing things. Change is often slow and painful to watch in church circles, so our ability to adapt and change to the shifting scene is not good. Is it a case of - extinction here we come?

I know that Jesus has promised to build his church, but it won't necessarily be the one that we have lived with for far too long. If the true church is to survive in a changing policical and social culture, it has to become leaner and keener than it has ever been.
Penny Lee 23/06/2012 17:14
Dave says, "I know that Jesus has promised to build his church, but it won't necessarily be the one that we have lived with for far too long."

Maybe that's no bad thing. It has become bogged down with officialdom, ritual, and PCness. God - set us free from it!
Dave (Guest) 23/06/2012 17:56
Amen Penny! We really have lost the plot between what the bible says that church is, and what people think it should be. In far too many cases it has become no better than a social club with rules and regulations that would have attracted the Pharisees who Jesus scorned in Matt 23.
John Parker (Guest) 25/07/2012 21:52
The decision by the Scottish Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage against the opinions expressed in the 'consultation' is a sure indicator of the contempt for the democratic process whereby the MSPs hold office.
Dave (Guest) 26/07/2012 05:23
John,

This is nothing new. Had it gone the other way, i.e. had the majority of the consultation been in favour and the govt ignored their wishes, would Christians call that democratic? I think not! Our hope is in Jesus not democracy.
Seumas 26/07/2012 09:47
You have to remember that this was a consultation, not a plebiscite. The results were NOT legally binding. I dont know what feedback the consultation produced - the Government had to take a rounded nuanced view encapsulating many other factors.

There is also the fact that evangelicals in particular are good at "rent a mob" Just look at how quickly the online petition against Scott Rennie took off a few years ago (The Fellowship of Confessing Churches) And the scores were dutifully announced on this website:

http://www.christianstogether.net/Articles/150113/Christians_Together_in/Christian_Life/Fellowship_of_Confessing.aspx

As if to say, "Gosh look how many evangie people hate poofs"

Incidentally, the FCC website is now down.

With that sort of "previous" and with the memory still fresh of the undiluted hatreds that tainted the "Section 28 / Clause 2A" debate, the Government IMO has shown wisdom in this issue, being caught in a cleft stick (as would any other administration have been)

Every other political party in Scotland supported SSM. The only viable alternatives to the current encumbant SNP administration would be:

Labour
Labour / Lib Dem
SNP / Lib Dem
SNP / Conservative (highly unlikely)

Thats the political reality.
Dave (Guest) 26/07/2012 09:59
"You have to remember that this was a consultation, not a plebiscite"

Whatever it was it was a rigged game from the beginning, from the outset the Scottish govt had decided it was happening. Democracy or not, every system in the this fallen world is flawed. True Christians have to accept this, that is why we must keep looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith :)
iMAC (Guest) 27/07/2012 11:54
We criticise and are flabbergasted at countries with a government that acts as it pleases and ignore it's people. Is this now Scotland ?

Regardless of whether it was a consultation or not the Scottish Govn have ignored it - WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE VOTE WAS THE OTHER WAY ROUND AND WAS THEN SUBSEQUENTLY IGNORED !!



Dave (Guest) 27/07/2012 12:43
iMAC,

Why are you shouting, and could you clarify your second paragraph please?

Thanks :)
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