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Righteousness exalts a nation

Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
Proverbs 14:34

Today Australia went to the polls to vote for our Federal Government. I went with steam coming out my ears, because I hate compulsory voting. Every party advocate handing out "how to vote" cards got a little of my steam, with an "Absolutely not" being the reply to a request to "Vote 1 Green". I was more polite to some others, "Thanks but no thanks" being the response to their how to vote papers. If I must vote, I certainly don't need help.

What has been notable to me in this election campaign has been the total lack of information about where candidates stand on moral issues. I can only assume that this is because people just don't care. In this election campaign, prosperity and good economic management exalt a nation.  Sin, apparently, consists of distributing the wrong amounts of money to the wrong people or fudging its administration. The only moral issue that gained much coverage during this campaign is the question of how we treat strangers, termed "asylum seekers" or "illegal immigrants". On this matter, sin seems to be letting any of these dangerous folks set foot on our shores or enter our waters.

Once I got into the polling booth, I realised that I would have been there even if it had not been compulsory. No, none of the candidates for the House of Representatives deserved my attention (or a pencil mark on the ballot). I might have to turn up, but no one can force me to put numbers in boxes. When it came to the Senate, though, I cared desperately about voting 1 for a man I know to be godly and whose seat may be threatened. This is a man whom I know "exalts" our nation. As I consider the vote count tonight, I am grateful that no matter who is elected I will continue to be free to teach our son as we see fit, have babies, and go to church. Right now, we still have much to praise God for in this nation. The future is uncertain though, when   we seem to have forgotten that sin and righteousness matter in public life.

Anonymous –   – (August 23, 2010 at 4:09 PM)  

Don't be too hard on the party advocates Sherrin. Some people really do appreciate the help and encouragement.
Border protection and immigration are certainly moral issues, and issues that the government has to deal with. Are you advocating an open-border policy, with no legal requirements? I'm really glad that people are thinking about this issue.


Sherrin  – (August 24, 2010 at 9:19 AM)  

Hi Ellen,

Yes, I am sure I ought to be kinder to people. Its pregnancy, you know . . . I find myself mad/upset all of a sudden. No excuse, but a matter for prayer :). I don't really regret it in the case of the Greens though!

I am not advocating a particular policy. I'd have to do heaps more research in order to know the ins and outs of modern asylum seeker and refugee issues, in order to recommend anything remotely intelligent. That is not going to happen any time soon. I am sure I've done more reading on this than most, but that is not saying much. I do think the politics on this issue is often ridiculous and lacking in moral insight. What I would like to see is more discussion about our attitudes to needy strangers, and I'd like that discussion to refer to God's standards of righteousness in regard to how we treat strangers.

Anonymous –   – (August 24, 2010 at 11:47 AM)  

Hi Sherrin,
I appreciated your post - don't be too hard on yourself, most politicians don't attract good feelings towards themselves. I also feel that myself, and so many Australians don't know or research either the candidates or the "issues". We so easily let the media tell us what is important, which is just plain stupid! I support the idea of compulsory voting, but am disappointed that we do it so apathetically! No matter who the representative of our area is, we should make ourselves known to them, and let them know our views. Also, there is a time and season for all things in our family life.

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