What a headline from someone who voted for the Green Party. Why would I say such a thing? And why would I put a picture of David Cameron as my desktop background?
The problem with our country is not that we don’t have the right political leadership, but that the citizens of our nation have abdicated our responsibilities as human beings to the government. And now we have a government that is unwilling to fulfil those responsibilities.
This abdication of responsibility has been very attractive. If my neighbour loses his job, her house or gets sick, I can sympathise with their situation and blame the government. I don’t have to do anything practical myself. When a civilised nation is relying on food banks, we bear no responsibility for the situation.
Why do I thank God for the election result?
Because we must now accept that caring for those who are the most vulnerable in society cannot be left to the government. We now have to take responsibility for our neighbour. We now have to all ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’.
We have been given a wakeup call, and we need to respond – and when we do, it will make us better people.
Most of us will help out our friends and immediate neighbours if they are in trouble, but we are likely to be in similar financial circumstances to them. It seems unfair that we have to help them out when those who are much better off than us don’t. The political argument says that the big things should be covered by taxes, and the tax system should ensure that the better off help out the worse off. The election result is telling us that we cannot rely on a political solution. The world is not fair, but we still need to show love to our neighbour.
Who is our neighbour? Two thousand years ago Jesus was asked that same question, and in his parable of the Good Samaritan, he pointed out that everyone is our neighbour, the poor and the rich are neighbours even if they don’t live next door.
Loving our neighbour means that in all our dealings with others we must remember that they too are human beings and deserve to be treated as such: whether they are richer or poorer than us, doctor or patient, banker or borrower, unemployment officer or unemployed, teacher or pupil. We are all fellow human beings – yes, even Mr Cameron.
The political solution – the tax system – means that the richer do help the poorer, but cuts will inevitably affect the day-to-day lives of the poor.
Less than a lifetime ago, when the government was not able to provide enough services, private individuals did their best to fill the gap. Wealthy people of the day took the responsibility of wealth seriously and responded by providing the money for essential services. It is time for the wealthy today to do the same.
It is also time for everyone to accept that having one’s living provided free of effort by the state is not a right.
Both rich and poor deserve the opportunity of being able to contribute to society through work, and through sharing resources. Of course there are times when many will struggle, through losing a job, sickness, or other mishap, and in those times we need to continue to treat everyone as human beings, worthy or respect and dignity.
So, thank God for this reminder that we are all members of the same human race, all on this lonely planet together, and that we need to take up the responsibilities that we didn’t realise that we had neglected. May each of us to respond as best we can.
If you like the way I think and want to find out more, why not buy my book “The Big Picture”