I WILL VOTE FOR CHANGE

Steve BellI’m not going to tell you who, precisely, I’ll be voting for on Monday because frankly, I don’t yet know.  I realized with a laugh the other day that I’m one of those people who falls under the label “promiscuous voter”—in that I am certainly no card-carrying member of any particular party, and can’t imagine ever becoming one.  As a Christian, I feel no necessary affiliation with any one ideology. A healthy theology of “the fall” assures me that politics is pretty much always going to be a broken response to a broken situation—necessary, but broken.  No ideology can carry the full freight of truth, goodness and beauty, and to expect anything different borders on idolatry.

No, it’s not “Christian” to vote this way or that. It’s simply Christian to vote, because we are mandated to care for our neighbours and to steward the earth so that all might flourish. Voting as wisely and selflessly as we can is something we must do.

I suppose I could call myself a conservative in that I believe there are all sorts of good things worth conserving. And I can undoubtedly see myself as a sort-of socialist, in that my understanding of God’s triune (social) nature—Father, Son and Spirit—suggests to me that what emanates from God would logically bear the stamp of God’s intrinsic sociality.

That Christianity has somehow been mistakingly mis-aligned with a commitment to capital “C” Conservatism betrays shockingly short memory. We shouldn’t forget that what has become the NDP was not started by a young, radical anarchist reading Marx, but rather by a young evangelical preacher reading the bible. Indeed, that young bible-reading preacher (Tommy Douglas) was recently voted “Greatest Canadian” by citizens of every stripe.

So…I think that thinking, believing Christians can vote the wide gamut with sober concience knowing that each party will deliver something of the good, and something of the bad.  The real question is what do we need now, at this particular time?  And who can deliver the most of that… or at worst, who is least likely to stand in the way?

This is where I can only say that I feel I have to vote for change. It seems to me, in the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that we have a historic opportunity to reset a deeply broken relationship between Settler Canadians and First Nations people, and throughout the years I’ve been trying to learn about this relationship and its sorry history, I’ve never come across a single person engaged in the issue who would laud our current government’s record in championing this cause.  It saddens me that Canadians didn’t make this THE election issue. Instead we got sucked into fear politics surrounding the economy and issues of security.

I somewhat agree with the adage “it’s about the economy stupid,” but only with the caveat that there is more than one currency in play—money being only one of those currencies, and by far not the most significant. Because, if I’m reading my bible right, it seems to suggest, quite strongly, that the currency of justice, well managed, will deliver well-being in every other aspect of life. In other words, a healthy economy and the security of a nation is something that flows from a people committed to just and fair relations at every level.  And, as a (Conservative) friend once pointed out to me, it is no accident that the word “fair” (as in “fair play”) is the same word as “fair” (as in “fair are the meadows”). In other words, a just nation is also a beautiful nation.

The phrase Truth And Reconciliation should have been a trigger for Christians. If our bibles were to have a subtitle, as books often do, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect one than this. The bible, taken as a whole, could easily be said to be almost solely about truth and reconcilliation on a cosmic scale. That is: a divine concern that stems from the very nature of God who is Christianly understood to be a dynamic, loving relationship of mutual flourishing from which issues mutuality, joy, delight and every other good thing.

This morning I read:

“…the communitarian dynamics within the Trinity, carried out among the Father, Son and Spirit, are a necessary blueprint for human affairs, be these political, familial, sociological, or interpersonal. The logic is inexorably easy—what is true of God is incumbent on humanity…” (italics added)

—Roderick T. Leupp, The Renewal of Trinitarian Theology: Themes, Patterns & Exploration

I don’t know for sure how a change in government will fare in respect to a tangible commitment to repairing and re-setting the relationship between First Nations and Canadian Settler peoples, but I have been terribly disappointed with our current government’s record.  And for this reason, with respect for other legitimate concerns, and for my local Conservative candidate , Jim Bell (who is a really good man – no relation), I feel I have to wager on change.

Steve Bell

And why not end with a song?  🙂

FASHION FOR ME
music and lyrics by Steve Bell

Fashion for me a desert of peace
A land that is empty of endless disease
With no one to suffer, hate or appease
With nothing to covet, desire or compete
But You alone

Grant to me Lord by Your sovereign hand
To wander forever in this boundless land
Where all of my yearnings, fears and demands
Are abandoned and lost to the great desert sands
Surrounding me

Fashion for me a desert of peace
Where Father, Son and Spirit meet
Together as one – together release me
Free from sin to enter in
To life forevermore

Fashion for us a city of love
Where the lamb and the lion together lie down
Where all of the wandering pilgrims are found
Rejoicing in song for the Saviour is crowned
As Lord and King

Grant to us Lord by your sovereign hand
A city of joy in the heart of the land
A home for the weary alien man
The fatherless children, the widow whose hands
Are tired and worn

Fashion for us a city of love
Where Father, Son and Spirit live
Together as one – together allow us
Free to take and celebrate
The Life forever more

57 thoughts on “I WILL VOTE FOR CHANGE

  1. I appreciate your perspective as a fellow Christian. I too believe that it is our social responcibility to vote, and therefore to make a difference. There are two points where I differ from your opinion. One: The NDP have strayed about as far as is possible from their original ideology as espoused bt T.C. Douglas; and two: the current government has historically done more to attempt reconcilliation with Native Canadians than any other past government. Before voting for change, please take time to check all of our history. Cherry picking history will lead to the same consequences that cherry picking scriptures does.

  2. Dear Steve, I respect your decision. I would love for you to come back in 4 years and let everyone know how your vote for “change” has changed anything for the better. If I am wrong, I will definitely say so. If Justin Trudeau leads our country, we will have another Godless (and yes “C” if not for Christian voting only) but he has no values that are mine. And, if you vote for NDP, that will only help the LIberal vote to win. That is my opinion and I hope you respect it as I do yours. A debate among Christians is good and we can choose to disagree in love.

    The way the world is going today, we need to have a government that most closely aligns with my values. No government is perfect or ever will be.

    We should look to the USA and see what happened there with their love affair for change and watch what is happening to Christian persecution. Things are only going to get worse as the months go by.

    As I woke up this morning, I prayed that God would help our nation to get the right government for the times we are living in. But, sometimes God gives us a government we deserve when we don’t follow HIS rules.

    Blessings

  3. Regardless of who founded the current political parties, which party is the one that truly supports the Biblical foundation of this country, toady? Which party openly supports the murder of unborn babies, and which party has the history of bringing about an economic nightmare wherever they have managed to get into power. Before you vote for change, just for the sake of change, think about, and pray about, what the results will be for your Canada, and for your descendants. What will the results be for the people that support you as an artist? Don’t vote for change… vote your from your conscience as a child of God!

  4. I agree that at Christians we don’t have to be conservative to a fault but we do need to be aware of the morals of the other party leaders. Steven Harper is not perfect at all but if I look at the alternatives, that to me is scary. Tom mulclair wants all our kids in daycare, Tom and Justin Trudeau say their MP’s have to vote prochoice… How can I agree with that?

  5. What a wonderful, thoughtful, courageous post! You put your heart out there, and I am saddened by some of the comments you’ve received. I too have received a mailbox full of rants and chants, attacks and counterattacks, lies and half-truths (which are the same as lies.) It could drive a thinking person to despair. Then I read these words by Parker Palmer, and I try to keep them always in front of me: Palmer says, “Understand that it’s more important to be in right relationship than it is to be right. This does not mean compromising your convictions for the sake of “niceness.” It means holding your differences with others in a way that can sustain dialogue over time, giving everyone a chance to speak, listen, and learn. The issues that divide us are complex; if we don’t hang in with each other long enough to sort them out we will never get anywhere near the best solutions.” http ://www.onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-breathing-new-life-into-we-the-people/7965

  6. “Because, if I’m reading my bible right, it seems to suggest, quite strongly, that the currency of justice, well managed, will deliver well-being in every other aspect of life.”

    Amen. and Amen.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  7. I always like to hear what other Christians are thinking and can appreciate that this subject is an important one. I agree with Rick however in the fact that our conservative government has done more than any other government in a very long time and that the current NDP is far from it’s original origins. It does sadden me that abortion does not seem to be as important issue. On those grounds alone I would never vote for the NDP which appears you are leaning towards. I know our conservative government isn’t perfect but no one except Christ is. Change can mean many things that can be more harmful that what you have now.

  8. I am not voting for a Party but rather who would be the best MP in my riding regardless of party.
    Now I do wish that parties would not “whip” their MP’s so often so that they would be free to vote for what their constituencies want more often.

  9. Abortion is a dead issue in this campaign for ALL the parties. The Conservatives won’t touch it, either. They say they will let their MPs vote with their conscience but they have repeatedly said that they won’t bring it up either. It’s an easy promise to make Christians in this election – here’s a voice, now shut up. I don’t think NDP, Liberal, or Green are better options on this topic, but they aren’t any worse.

  10. It does sound like he is voting from his conscience as a child of God. God has commanded us to be good stewards of the earth. The Conservatives are actively working against this. In he end, I guess you have to decide which part of the Bible is more important to you during this election. Because none of the parties follow it all (or even mostly).

  11. Mulclair wants to give us access to affordable daycare. Very different than forcing us to enrol our kids in it. As a woman who needs to work to be a healthy mom, I’m super happy about that particular platform, if not all of me. And abortion… None of the parties will touch that issue. Not even the big C’s.

  12. Thank God we live in a democratic country. Because of this, I can vote my conscience, and I should be able to do so without flack from those who may disagree with my choice. Let’s remember, that no one is in authority outside of God permitting them to be in authority like Pilate, for instance… We need to chill out, vote authentically based on our own values and then move on. Period.

  13. — If you’re voting conservative because you think they will move to ban abortions in Canada…http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/harper-says-he-won-t-reopen-abortion-debate-1.1010714

    And, from the official Party Declaration: “A Conservative Government will not support any legislation to regulate abortion.”

    A lot of Christians get shanghaied into voting for the Conservatives because a lot of their members are anti-abortion, but politically, that means nothing, as the official party policy is to not do anything on the topic, other than maybe cluck their teeth and say “man, that sucks, I’m with you, brother…”

    I’m not saying don’t vote Conservative. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’m voting for any of the three big parties, because they’ve all been acting like a bunch of playground bullies this election.

    But to say “I’m going to vote for this party because they share this one belief that I do, even though their STATED POLICY is to not act upon that belief,” seems a bit silly.—

    I’m quoting a friend & fellow Christian there because I appreciate how he words that. Getting stuck on one or two issues and sticking with a party because of that, while disregarding a host of other very problematic issues is something the Conservatives count on. They are playing Christians – because their party stance on abortion is exactly the same as the other parties- just like they are playing Quebec’s secularism with the niqab issue. – exactly 2 people have requested to wear it during the citizenship ceremony in the history of our country & it’s a dead issue because the Courts have ruled –
    So, to review: the Conservatives count on the far religious Right & the far secular (nobody should display religious things) Left to become allies, unwittingly uniting folks who would never voluntarily agree with one another, & latch onto divisive issues & pay zero attention to anything else.
    The Conservatives are not standing up for morality, but rather manipulating both ends of spectrum to gain votes.

    Let’s try not to be played like this. Your vote is worth more than that.

  14. Throughout the Old Testsment, God honoured national leaders who gave Him recognition of some sort. Leaders who didn’t honour God, saw their nation eventually fal…lack of rain, defeated by enemies. This is a repeated theme. Important! I am very much about Aboriginal issues but God calls believers to act. We, the church are responsible. We cannot expect the government to pick up where we have failed. First Nations single mothers are at the bottom of our socio economic ladder – by MANY rungs. What are WE doing about it? I feel this is, in a sense, neglecting the widow and the orphan. We are walking around Samaria when Jesus went straight to it and lingered and engaged. However, if Isis sneaks in with a Trojan horse called “charter of rights and freedoms” who will have any time or energy for caring for the widow and the orphan? Harper has made many mistakes. I think he is the best option but we need to commit ourselves to prauer that he will make wise judgements in the areas we believe he has failed.

  15. Thanks Steve, for the thoughtful, gracious words you share here. It is always risky sharing your political views!
    I am, however, surprised at your conclusion based on the issue you think is most important. The long-awaited apology to our First Nations people was made by this government. This is also the government that has called for financial accountability from FN leadership, a necessary step in bettering the lives of the people they lead. It was also this government that created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
    Must more be done? For sure. But I see the current government at least moving forward on these issues, if only slowly, in a direction no other government has.
    Nevertheless, I am going to do some more digging into this issue, including a query to a FN relation, to see if I may be missing something in this regard.

  16. Steve, your biggest voting point has been answered more in the last four years than any time before, with any other government. Now I’m confused about the change you want…

  17. I guess my biggest concern about voting for the “best” of the worst resides on who will defend the defenceless ie babies in the womb, and with the new liberal policy which mirrors the NDP policy which means you will, 100% follow abortion on demand no matter what your conscience says or what your constituents say, is a major fail. When will anyone in this country be able to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

  18. I think equating the historic Tommy Douglas era NDP with the current NDP is short-sighted at best. They are certainly not the same.

    While I hear you about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, let’s not forget all the time the Liberals had to do something positive with the situation and did anything but. Their record with Aboriginal issues has not been good. I sadly have no good and credible reason to believe that it will be any better.

    All that said, I’m not happy with the conservatives. But the reasons you state for change I don’t see as good logical reasons. I’m quite confident the change you are seeking will not come through the other parties.

  19. I am sure that the party that Ivote for should not only be against abortion but against All acts of violence!. Very often we preach against abortion but then make war where not only our grown up children die , but also the children of our enemies perish. War cancels our ante -abortion stance!

  20. Stephen Harper is definitely for war but against abortion! One cancels out the other. Olga Regehr

  21. yeah…I’m a little confused as to why folks keep bringing up the abortion issue as if the Conservatives are running on it, or as if a vote for the Conservative party is a pro-life vote. That ship sailed awhile ago…Mr.Harper has said publicly and unequivocally that he is not reopening it. Here’s the statement he made in 2011: “As you know, in our party, as in any broadly based party, there are people with a range of views on this issue,” Harper said. “But I think I’ve been very clear as party leader.… As long as I’m prime minister we are not reopening the abortion debate.”

    I hope folks take this blog as it was meant… not to tell people how to vote, but to offer my opinion for the sake of dialogue. I can appreciate—and suggested so in the blog— that there are miriad reasons why one might come to a different conclusion than me. I also stated quite clearly that I don’t know how the other parties will fare on the issue that’s a burning one for me… my only point was to say that staying the course with the current gov’t under it’s present leadership is the one option we know won’t get us very far with respect to a “healing of the nations.”

  22. I very much appreciate your thoughtful reflection. Thank you. Christians should be in the business of reconciliation and I personally don’t see that value reflected in our current government.

  23. Why “CHANGE” what is going well? Only a country as prosperous, free and secure as Canada would take such accomplishments for granted — and that’s exactly what too many of us have done.

  24. Your thoughts on Truth and Reconciliation are to the point, Steve. I hear echoes of Rex Murphy, Point of View, June 4, 2015: “this should be not an election issue, but the election issue.” Perhaps Habakkuk ‘s approach might be help :focusing on the One who thinks change, is the blazing light at the heart of the whirling chaos. But for that we need the desert – thanks too, for the song!

  25. As I understand it, you cannot even run for the NDP or Liberals if you are not pro-choice. That policy effectively removes Christians from being a part of their governments. Harper has a lot of very decent God fearing people who are MPs or staffers, plus many ethnicities, regardless of the racist tag that is placed on him. Christians have a moral compass, generally, and will look at issues like prostitution, drugs, and many other things, thru a different lens than non-Christians. For that reason alone I could NEVER vote for those other parties. I do however appreciate the respectful tone in which it was written…things have become very nasty in so much of what I read.

  26. Well, Steve, I won’t be able to vote at all, since I didn’t make proper provision for the advanced polls out here at BFA- and that irks me because it IS a great privilege – however, the only two close acquaintances I have who actually work (a nurse who works the clinic in the Far North), and live (a resident on a “island” not so far away) both have rather different stories about the actual happenings on reserves. I won’t go into details here about the poverty and the luxury that live side by side as the chiefs and their cronies “manage” the band money (my island friend works at the local food bank where malnourished band members come). But I will say this, with the same rapaciousness that marks the most dedicated white corporate businessmen, the current problems are exacerbated and continued. Perhaps your knowledge is greater, but, it appears that the T&R Commission may not be a completely reliable source of Truth and their recommendations will do little to obtain Reconciliation.

  27. As a child, any time a wrong was done, an apology accepted, I also was taught that for the apology to mean anything and to ring true, actions that followed showed an honest expression that required change and action for each apology made by anyone in our family.
    It saddens me that although apologies have been forthcoming, the follow-through seems to not matter. As a christian…I have real trouble understanding how that can be.

  28. All I can say is that it is too bad that someone like ben Carson isn’t running for Prime Minister. He is clearly outspoken about the abortion issue (he was on The View). Justin Trudeau says that Anti-abortion critics can’t even run as Liberal candidates! This is scary. If a person is against abortion they seem to be seen as crazy. What is wrong with society? All these so called women libbers crying out for choice, what about all the future women leaders that will never have their own voice or “choice”? I suppose that if a person does not have any Judeo-Christian belief I can understand. But, if you claim to believe in a God that creates life, there is no way you can vote for any party that thinks it is ok to abort a baby. This is the moral question to me in this vote. Maybe Harper isn’t really saying what he believes because he is afraid to say anything. Maybe there isn’t anyone left to vote for period.

  29. Kerry, there are so many important issues in this election. Why would you only consider one, and base that on your decision? I do agree with you that justin should not have made a requisition like that. As its a democracy and people should be able to make choices like that for them selves. I do disagree that you would vote to protect a life that has nevermade a breath, but would not worry about the lives already living. The lives with out clean water, the live of murdered aboriginal women, that this goverment is neglected. The live of the poor and hungry, the selfless and the needy. What is the point to save a life, thatlife has no chance at life. Should we not make the priority to better every ones life here, then worry over a life that is yet to exist?

  30. I am very disappointed in this blog Steve, it un fortunately reviels a puffed up view of your own theology based on musical success within a small niche. I have long since become disappointed with the Christian music industry as it is chock full of Liberals who use the grace of God as license to abuse said grace. Regardless of how the NDP was founded it is now an anti- Christian party. Regardless of how the Liberals started they are now an anti-Christian party.
    Truly the only flexable, tolerant and inclusive party is in fact the Conservatives.
    We have a choice tomorrow; the moderate conservatives, or one of two Publicly anti-Christian radical parties.
    Of all the social injustice issues that you could have taken a stand on this election (the baring of Christian lawyers in Ontario, planned parenthood, the muder of EVERYONE by ISIS, the demonization of the Jews by the UN, etc,etc) you chose a strange one.
    Your cherry picking scripture AND history is sadly disappointing.

  31. Wow. I wasn’t expecting this, though. I am suspecting Steve’s post didn’t hit the “talking points” so many Christians think should be present in a party’s agenda. But then again, your response demonstrates perfectly what is at issue here.

    In my opinion, a government that has the power and resources to honor promises made to Canadian communities for decades, and lets the situation rot, is less likely to honor other promises made.

    Seeing how this present government has gotten in bed with other countries who share similar and even worse human rights denunciations from within, and without, you have to wonder if Jesus would want our voice to be counted to support the status quo of such un-Christian governance, or if our heart beat in harmony with His concerning the treatment of those among us who are denied basic access to food and water, education and most importantly – hope that is within reach.

    There is no “dominionism” (top-down religious authoritarianism) in God’s kingdom. Thing is – every party in a democracy has a mixture of socialist, communist and capitalist measures. That’s how they appeal to so many, and because every society is composed of people who favor more strongly one or the other, usually for practical reasons. A healthy mix of each of these perspectives basic tenets represents a desirable compromise.

    What will count, however, is their record in how they act with public funds, corruption in their midst, their priorities with regards to education and culture, military and foreign policies, helping the needy, and which countries they do business with and how seriously they act to protect our natural resources.

    I am voting vote for the candidate that has acknowledged and responded to the pleas and aspirations of First Nations, isn’t confusing human rights issues (treatment of women) with the rise of religious proselytism from countries holding some of the worst record in terms of human rights, women’s rights, foreign workers rights and who fund war efforts across their regions.

    Education, and support to Arts and culture is also key.

    There is little I want to conserve from the present administration. Granted, they govern in one of the most confusing era ever, if the new “free-trade” agreements are any indication.

    Thank you Steve for articulating your opinions so clearly, on YOUR blog. We greatly need the wisdom of our elders to weigh in and help us think more lucidly.

    Grace and peace,

    Andre Lefebvre
    Picture Butte, Alberta

  32. “…it unfortunately reveals a puffed up view of your own theology based on musical success within a small niche.”

    Wow…Cory…insult isn’t argument. It’s just insult, and as such it serves no redeeming purpose. I would sure rather folks stick to respectful, thoughtful dialogue.

    However, that being said, no one should worry (or hope) that I, in any way, feel personally wounded by such attempts otherwise.

  33. @ Kerry: Among other things, one thing you got very right, is that ABORTION ON-DEMAND is not about choice, period. The number of abortion done as a measure of convenience seems astronomical, compared to cases where it would be logical to support it.

    I support abortion for babies affected with pre-natal severe chronic conditions like ‘neural tube defect.” I wish we had faith to pray for healing and see results, though…

    There is a right to choose that just makes sense. And there is a definition of abortion that redefines the value of a human life. But I think the biggest and most immediate difference that can be made in the lives of those women who consider this a viable option, has to be made locally through crisis pregnancy centres and health clinics.

    This being said, I respect your right to use any “algorithm” to help determine your vote. We all do that , anyway. It’s just a human thing…

    Peace,

    Andre

  34. “My friends, we live in a dangerous world that’s uncertain and it threatens our economy, our prosperity, our jobs, and everything that depends on those things. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and welcome the Prime Minister of Canada…….”

    This was read word for word by an Ontario candidate who was tasked to introduce Steven Harper. Source below.

    What is the Christian perspective on using fear as a call to action?

    What is the Christian perspective on calling sacred that which is not? Since when is prosperity more important than caring for the poor or liberating the oppressed?

    It is not only the current government that is guilty of these, but under their current leader have embraced and fostered these sins.

    Go to the 2:20 mark. I also encourage fellow Christians to consider what happens at the 12:00 mark. http://www.vice.com/en_ca/video/matty-matheson-on-stephen-harpers-trail

  35. @ Cory

    The teachings of Jesus will make more sense to me and you when we view it from the perspective of the powerless and the oppressed.

  36. I agree with the point that they should not “whip” their MP’s so often. You should check out Brent Rathgeber (an MP from Edmonton area) he’s on Twitter and has an opinionated blog as well. I really like his perspecive.

  37. Change?? What are things to good?
    It’s Christian to stand up for what is right. To vote against parties who want to indoctrinate our children with sexual orientation LIES that will only hurt or destroy them. It’s Christian to vote against the MURDER of babies.
    it’s not only Christian to vote for what is good. It’s the right thing to do. It’s right to vote for freedom and the protection of our country (right now we have one of the best economy’s in the world with a brilliantly bright future). And to support the fight against terrorism and support those who are under attack. And I’m not talking about handing out Parkas. Its right to vote for the protection of our people (bill c 51), the protection of our morals (by not pandering to those whose moral deficiency has destroyed their own country) and the protection of our economy (by not running a deficit). Vote against those who want to destroy what makes Canada great. There is only one man running for prime minister of Canada who has ever proved that he is the man for this job. He also wrote a pretty good book on hockey.

  38. Thanks for this thoughtful blog post. 13.5 hours until my poll opens – and I am still not entirely decided. First Nations issues are one under-discussed issue of this campaign – working in an inner city setting, it is one I think about a lot.
    Another is the supreme court Carter decision, one that will affect me directly as a physician – and all of us eventually. I tried to chat to all my candidates about it, not expecting a set answer from anyone, but looking for a potential MP who will be approachable and reasonable in dialogue, and not falling back on sound bites and platform rhetoric. As I said, 13.5 hours to go, and still trying to decide…

  39. Good thoughts from Steve as well as from others. I struggled with the option of not agreeing with many Conservative social policies, but unable to bring myself to vote for parties who flat out deny their MP’s to be pro-life.

    Surprisingly, I discovered the Green party this election. We have a great candidate in Provencher, a theologian who speaks wisely and sees issues as more than black and white. And as a party, the Green party will never whip their MP’s votes, so they always have the freedom to represent their constituents properly.

  40. I enjoy your music. I appreciate your heart. I have heard you live 2 or 3 times. But you are so wrong in this article it is unbelievable. Stephen Harper is the reason there even was a Truth and Reconciliation Commission! He is the only PM in Canadian history to apologize for residential schools. The idle no more crowd actually got stirred up because of changes where Harper was actually giving the reserves MORE autonomy by them not having to get Ottawa to sign certain things. He actually got job training going on reserve with Chief Atleo andf or that Atleo was canned. You can’t have the politics of grievance go on forever as soon as you become part of the solution. Harper brought matrimonial property rights to reserves so that the man didn’t get everything in the divorce. And I could name you numerous other things, the most important being mandatory disclosure of reserve salaries.

    I find it interesting to invoke the memory of Tommy Douglas, the man who wrote his master’s thesis on eugenics and who told Pierre Trudeau on national television in the 1968 debate that homosexuality was a disease as he protested the fact it was legalized. Does Bell even notice that Thomas Mulclair said in 2013 evangelicals who oppose homosexuality are “completely against Canadian values” or that Justin Trudeau has banned anyone pro-life from running in his party that for decades was dominated by Catholics?

    I hope Christians will beware of this idea they are somehow more thoughtful than their brothers and sisters because they don’t vote for right-wing parties. Our nation is at stake here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NIR7Kzq5eI

  41. Mr. Steve Bell, I have enjoyed and appreciated your music for a long time and was surprised to find your blog post on my facebook wall today but encouraged to be able to follow it. I think you are so right in so many ways in this post. I was encouraged to read your call to Canadians and particularly Christians to consider carefully and not vote simply for fear’s sake (or tradition’s sake as has often been the case with many in the communities I am involved with) which has seemed to be a large factor in this election’s campaigning. In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord calls us out to ‘Come now, let us reason together…’ and Paul worked to win many into the Kingdom by reasoning with them (Acts 17:17). It caused me to wonder, after reading some previous comments, the warnings given you for arrogance or ignorance when to my eyes you are encouraging men and women to think for themselves. Thank you for your courage to honestly share your views and to stand against agendas and rhetoric to create a venue for meaningful dialogue and consideration.

  42. I had the same thoughts about the PC’s not supporting pro life as well. But they aren’t pro choice…they have just chosen to ignore the subject. For me it’s the worry that things will get worse if NDP or Liberal win. At what point will the killing stop? Once you have had a few weeks to see how you like your new baby?

  43. I regret to say that this country has lost its moral compass starting with Justin’s father.I have no respect for a man whoever he may be that would stand by in the slaughter of the unborn.I was left in a cupboard to die but by the mercy of God I was found.Why change when it does not need to get fixed

  44. I think we have a glimpse here as to why one shouldn’t bring up politics in polite company. Yet the issues raised are important ones to raise. By skimming through a number of the posts it seems to be clear there are some strong differences as to what people consider, what it means to be Christian, or what moral concerns should be at the top of each Christian’s list.

    As a relatively conservative evangelical pastor I feel as though I go through a crisis of faith each time I am called to cast a ballot. The truth is that each party that runs often have certain platforms that I appreciate, and others that I disdain. I also can’t understand why certain political positions seem to always follow party lines with little openness to dialogue: Why do conservatives fight for the life of the unborn valiantly, but have no interest in curtailing guns and military spending? Why are they often pro-big-business and have little interest in protecting the environment, yet still want to fight to hold on to the traditional values of small town life? Why do liberals fight against violence and are so intent on gun control, but will not even speak about any limitation on abortion (completely refusing to address the Planned Parenthood scandal). Why do they support rights for all, except for rights of conscience on matters of human sexuality.

    What is curious is that even in our faith traditions we probably, to some degree, all hold, or should hold that each area mentioned above has some value for faithful consideration. However it seems that many want to chose a certain position as the “most Christian,” which they think all Christians should agree on. I guess life and politics would be a lot simpler if we could always reach a consensus on every issue. In the end I hope we can at least agree that Christ died for the Aboriginal and the European, the straight and the gay, the Christian and the Muslim, the militant and the pacifist, the conservative and the liberal.

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