6 Things That Should Have Been Discussed In This Election (But Weren’t).

Imagine having to listen to Donald Trump’s electioneering for 18 months.

If you’re in America, that’s how long his election campaign for President will be, come the November election (it’s ‘Yuuuuge!’).

Thankfully Australian election campaigns are much shorter. (It’ll be nice having my FB feed and letterbox back to normal!)

But throughout the recent election campaigns, I noticed the following 6 issues didn’t get much, if any, airtime.

Which is a shame, because we’d be better off if they were discussed:

Interview Picture

1) It’s Impossible To Keep Religion Out of Politics

Because all morality is faith-based.

Should we have same-sex marriage? Should abortion be allowed?

These political questions are moral questions, which means they’re ultimately ‘faith’ questions. As Christian scholar Tim Keller writes:

Underneath all notions of [morality] is a set of [non-provable] faith assumptions that are essentially religious, and these are often not acknowledged.’ [Emphasis added].

(If you want to see faith in action, just talk to an Atheist who believes human beings have inherent dignity.)

Keller continues:

[But] the rules of secular discourse that reign…in government, politics, and the academy [do not allow anyone] to ever bring religious beliefs into public argument.’

Put simply: faith and politics don’t mix (or so we’re told).

But what happens when we can’t talk about the beliefs that undergird our morality?

Gridlock. Polarisation. Politics as usual.

Which is why it would be better if we could first admit that everyone (Atheists included) has beliefs that underpin their morality. We could then discuss those underlying beliefs, and come to a better understanding of justice, morality, and truth.

Now THAT would be a conversation worth having.

2) We Have So Much To Be Thankful For In Australia

Why Can’t We Admit It?

Whenever my Eastern European relatives come to visit, they’re amazed by how good we Aussies have it. But what surprises them is how much Australians whinge about Australia.  How can anyone complain about living in this beautiful country?  they say.

Great question.

Why aren’t we voters immensely thankful for our Australia? Why do we whinge so much? 

3) The Next PM Won’t Be the Messiah

Government can’t fix all our problems.

We expect so much from our political leaders. Whether it’s fixing the environment,  crime, family breakdown, education, poverty, social injustice…the government MUST fix it all.

Or so we think.

And so, our party’s leader becomes the next Messiah, who’ll (hopefully) be elected to reign at the right hand of Her Majesty, and usher in heaven on earth. And many politicians happily bear that expectation.

But of course, within a few weeks after the election, we realise they just can’t do it. Our political leader – the one we really believed in – isn’t the Messiah after all.

And so we get angry. We become cynical. We complain.

Oh that a politician would stand up on QandA and say:

I’m sorry. That’s a serious problem that government can’t fix.’

Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change?

4) Good Governments Can’t Bring Heaven Down To Earth, But Bad Governments Can Bring Hell Up from Below

Just look at the 20th Century.

Although good governments can’t bring heaven down to earth, bad governments, at their worst, can bring hell up from below. (If you don’t believe me, just read the short story ‘Night’, by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.)

Which means we need to be wary of giving governments more power, even for worthwhile purposes.

5) Government Needs To Stay Out of the ‘Religion Business’

It’s bad for everyone: for both the religious, and the non-religious.

Millions of refugees (including my family) came to this country in search of one word: Freedom.

In particular, the freedom to have own your religion – and practice it openly – without undue government restriction. Religious freedom is the basis for all other basic freedoms: freedom of conscience, speech, and association.

And yet, for the first time in living memory, that freedom is being challenged.

Speaking of the religious freedom to proclaim the gospel, Christian scholar Tony Payne writes:

In [previous] elections, as far as my middle-aged brain can recall, the issues that divided the major parties had very little impact one way or the other on gospel preaching. Should we have Medicare or not? Or a GST or not? Or tax cuts or not? Or WorkChoices or not?

He continues:

These were huge questions that helped determine the outcome of elections—but none of the policies of the major parties on these issues made any material difference to the opportunities or space Christians had to preach the gospel that brings salvation. 

This time, however, there’s a good chance that they will.  [Emphasis added].

Speaking as a former refugee,  it baffles me that supposedly pro-refugee parties want to erode such basic freedoms: freedoms  that attracted millions of refugees here in the first place.

6) Why Aren’t We Talking About Families?

If families break down, so does society.

Do you want less crime on your streets?

Or better educational outcomes for schools? Less poverty? Less child abuse? Better mental health? Less welfare spending? Less Government Debt?

The solution to these problems involves intact, healthy, mother-father families.

Oh, and it wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a cent: keeping families together would only save money.

That’s the disproportionately large impact families have on society. 

(Of course, many couples and their families break up for legitimate but tragic reasons: domestic violence, adultery or abandonment.)

And so a  family’s large impact on society raises the obvious question:

Why aren’t governments making it their urgent priority to help families stay together?

Conclusion: The Best Political News Is Found In An Unlikely Place

And it’s not Parliament House.

It’s easy to get frustrated with politics. Broken promises. Incompetence. Cynicism.

But the Bible has the best political news ever:  the real Messiah is seated at the right hand of God, and will one day bring heaven to earth:

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”…I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

No matter what Saturday’s election brings, the real Messiah will one-day return. May that day come soon!

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6 thoughts on “6 Things That Should Have Been Discussed In This Election (But Weren’t).

  1. Nice one Akos. I was having a look at the ABC website election coverage, and the comparison between parties “in depth analysis”. There is a section on FAMILIES. I thought that was interesting, maybe the different parties are funding relationships support programs etc. It was actually just about Family Tax Benefit minor changes, and whether or not you’d get another $10 per fortnight. Apparently all that matters about Families in this election is the economic angle and how much $$$ the government will give you to if you have kids.

    • Wow. Thanks for that Dave. II’ll check it out.

      Although families receive generous handouts from their fellow taxpayers, there’s more that could be done to support and uphold them.

      God bless,

      Akos

  2. Thanks, Akos. Your questions help Christians as we recognise that no political party is perfect. I want to suggest 3 ethical principles to guide Christians, not only when we vote but also if we join and participate month by month in the political party of our choice.

    1. Truth in public life. How can I expect my non-Christian friends to take me seriously as I hold out the truths of the Gospel if I show no concern for the erosion of truth in the mainstream media?

    2. Community. God meant us to live as individuals in a community and to seek the common good. This is the ethical reason for supporting our public schools which provide high quality education for talented pupils as well as for slow learners, for pupils from wealthy families as well as from struggling families and for pupils from migrant and indigenous families as well as from well established families.

    3. Care for the environment. God created it and given us the privilege of being stewards of it. So Christians are concerned to keep water supplies free of contamination, to keep productive agricultural land free of coal seam gas mining and to maintain the beauty of the Great Barrier reef.

    If we promote these 3 values in political discussions I believe we are well on the way to a society that is more just.