Christian Life 

The Death of Democracy

Is the cross-party determination in both Holyrood and Westminster governments an indication that a form of parliamentary dictatorship is subverting the underlying principles of democracy and accountability?


"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."      Winston Churchill in House of Commons speech; Nov. 1947.

DemocracyLAST weekend one of the Highland capital's local newspapers reported that the widow of a former Scottish Leader of The Liberal Democrats has written to Nick Clegg to intimate her resignation because of “the way The Party is promoting gay ‘marriage’.”

Lady Johnston, who lives in Inverness in Danny Alexander’s constituency, is the widow of Lord Russell-Johnston, a former Leader of The Scottish Liberal Party and Deputy Leader of The Liberal Democrats.

In a letter to Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, she wrote:
“the straw that has finally broken the camel’s back is your claim in a recent e-mail to me, that one of the Liberal Democrats’ achievements by 2015 will have been the first gay marriage.”
Expressing her concern and intentions she concluded her letter: “As a committed Christian, I have no choice but to resign my Party membership forthwith.”

Lady Johnston's actions illustrate the dilemma for Christians who are 'in the world, but not of the world'? Do faith and politics mix. And if they do at what point does a believer compromise his or her Christian integrity

Anyone wishing to bring influence to bear needs to be where the action and decision-making lie: this dynamic is no less applicable than within the political process. And given that all the mainstream parties along with minority groupings seem determined to relegate the time-honoured institution of marriage in order to appease a highly-vocal minority, the incentives to active engagement are increasing. Not least because of the cruel irony whereby the godless same-sex activists, if they achieve their ambition, will effectively destroy the very essence of what they seek to attain.

Commenting on the same-sex marriage proposals Dr. Donald Boyd of the Scottish Christian Party has written:
The major parties in Scotland - the SNP, Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and the Greens - are in a political pact to redefine marriage. Although the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Roman Catholics and the smaller Presbyterian Churches have publicly opposed this humanistic agenda, our Scottish MSPs are holding hands to support each other.
If good government requires a strong opposition, then the composition of this Scottish Parliament will not yield balanced nor good legislation on this matter. This is 'politicians against people' [and] is neither democracy nor truly consultative government. It is the flaunting and abuse of political power.'

Given that none of the mainstream parties had this radical agenda in their pre-election manifestos, the situation is creating an increasing concern; and an inabilility to trust those very people whom we voted into positions of influence to represent the broad constituency view.

The Christian Institute has written to its supporters in the following terms:
"Not only are they seeking to change the meaning of 'marriage', now they're trying to change the meaning of 'consultation'. They should listen to the public before making a decision, not the other way around.
Whatever they say in public, we know the Government has been rocked by the size of the opposition to their plans. The strategy to introduce gay marriage in a low key way is now in tatters. Government ministers now want to discourage people from voicing their opposition. They want to dishearten supporters of marriage like you with a 'resistance is futile' message.'"

Regarding whether or not and how Christians should engage directly in the political process, a range of views are evident across the spectrum of individual believers and denominations. However it should surely be a matter of prayerful concern that those who are calling the shots in both Holyrood and Westminster are either ignoring or cynically abusing the consultative process in a manner which not only illustrates a contempt for the majority position and the views of those who elected them, but also – and much more importantly – flying in the face of the statutes of a Holy God.

Christians Together, 19/03/2012

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > The Death of Democracy