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My religion, my politics

I'm a Christian. I'm a supporter of the Greens. The two are by no means incompatible.

I believe firmly that church and state must remain separate bodies. They do, of course, interact. Religious organisations must conform to the laws of the land. Conversely, they are entitled, as much or as little as any other group, to provide input to the democratic process and to provide feedback to Government. Neither side of the ledger should abuse this relationship.

Government's role is different to that of the church, and in some cases it has a responsibility to implement laws that are not, on the surface at least, consistent with Christian values (or, for that matter, the values of other faiths). I'll just use one example here: abortion.

While I believe that "abortion on demand" is an abhorrent idea, it is nonetheless a reality, and must remain legally available within the public health system to prevent a return to "backyard" abortions. What the Church and State should both be working towards, is elimination of the causal factors behind abortion. Curbing sexual conduct is a superficial approach... eliminating poverty is the answer.

You don't have to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to believe in the things he said. Even through all the years when I didn't support religion, I held dear the values that Jesus espoused in the Sermon on the Mount. Have a read of Chapters five, six and seven of the Gospel According to Matthew.

There is no political party which is fully compliant with Biblical scripture (and that includes the self-styled Christian political parties). Conversely, there are some religious-based groups whose role in the political process can be best described as dubious. For my part, I'm happy to accept that my political views and my religious beliefs are compatible and consistent rather than inter-twined.