Why I care about this election

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I am not particularly political. I joined a political party once, in my twenties, but let it lapse a year later. Like lots of people, though, I listen to the news avidly and I care deeply about people, especially the vulnerable. And, as our grandchildren grow, I care more and more about what sort of world they will inherit.

That’s why, although I am not really a political animal, I care about this election; somehow, it feels like a real turning point.

Some things are already decided. We shall be leaving Europe; how we shall leave remains to be seen, and I am concerned about what our policy and behaviour will be towards the migrant and the refugee.

What is also bothering me are the things that are being said, in all sorts of quarters, about our sisters and brothers who have been through hell and are still struggling, wherever they are. Our problems are not the direct result of immigration or refugees. It is much more complicated than that.

As we prepare to vote, we each bring our own conscience, values and loyalties. But as Christians we all share a calling to love God and to love our neighbour. As Christians, we need to listen hard to what is being said, and what is not being said, and to observe how people behave. We have a common calling to listen with our hearts, as well as with our intellects, and if we can, to ignore the spin and the post-truth politics and the fake news stories; the slurs and the cheap shots, and to pause to remember that when God made the world, He saw that it was very good; and when God’s Son died for the world, He did so because He loves it so much.

Rt Revd Andrew Proud
Bishop of Reading