Monday, April 12, 2010

Clegg, Cameron and Brown pitch for Christian voters.

A couple of videos with the 3 party leaders talking about how they see the church and faith groups. The first one is put together by Faithworks, with questions put by Steve Chalke.

I have to say that Clegg comes across best from this, even though he's the only one of the three without any stated Christian faith. Cameron sounds more like a sales pitch: he says all the right things, but it sounds a bit rehearsed. Brown's view seems to see faith groups as a potential arm of the state, to help deliver the Labour agenda, from internet access (?) to greening the economy.

And this one, from Christians in Politics

Brown should really quit smiling. Good to be reminded of the Jubilee 2000 agenda, he sees the gospel as the inspiration for social activism, justice, work against poverty and for community. Cameron tries to join the dots between faith and his 'change'/broken society agenda. Clegg deals with some of the same issues as Brown, but his message is a bit different: get involved.

Cleggs piece starts to sketch a possible role for the church in politics: as a broker of honest and in-depth debate. That's not something the individual parties will give us, as they rarely engage fairly and thoroughly with one another in public. It's not something the main TV election coverage delivers either, as they seem more committed to giving airtime to their own pundits than letting us hear what politicians are saying. The 3 party leaders debates will be the exception to this rule. One of the common threads on sites resourcing the church for the election is getting churches to organise local hustings events. But the 'broker' role is only possible if the church itself is sufficiently clued up on the issues and debates.

Ht Church Mouse

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