I am a Christian, and this is why I joined Labour!
One of the most central theological, philosophical, and ideological beliefs I hold is that mankind is sinful! Human beings can be incredibly greedy, selfish, tyrannical, nasty, and just plain vile, when put in certain circumstances. We have seen more than enough evidence for this with the various wars, dictatorships, acts of crime that we see. To put simply, I am one of those people who is very cynical about human nature in general and as a Christian I cannot be otherwise, taking into account Christ's death and resurrection.
This is not to say that mankind is capable of great things. We have seen great examples of people showing love and care for others before their own comforts, on a monumental scale even! But it still holds that mankind can be cruel, and that must be guarded against where possible
In terms of Left and Right therefore, it does sometimes seem like there is a difference between corporate greed and tyranny (the Ayn Rand view that selfishness is okay), or Marxist tyranny which saw it's vileness in full flow under regimes such as those under Stalin, Mao, and in some cases worst of all, Pol Pot! On the far Right we have also seen some of the most evil tyranny under the likes of Hitler! But some on the Right, with that smugness of "We are better and superior!" will argue that Hitler was on the Left! Whether right or Left (and Hitler was anti-Marxist) the fact he was a monster towards those who opposed him, or did not fit in with his worldview, is surely the most damning indictment.
So why is it then, coming from this, that I support Labour? Well the Labour Party, in spite of what some say, is a broad church Party with some strong Centrist leanings! It's origins were hardly Leftist in the secular sense either! Harold Wilson, (Labour's leader from 1963-1976, and Prime Minister from 1974-1970, and again from 1974-1976), once stated that the Labour Party owed more to Methodism than Marx. Many of it's founders and it's activists through the decades hold highly the need to put the poor and vulnerable in society first and to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity in life. Labour may have made some dreadful mistakes in it's 114 year history, but those of us in the Party have always tried to make sure we are in the Centre of British politics, helping those in need!
For me being in Labour as a Christian, means I am ideologically attached to a Party, many of whose members are pragmatic Social Democrats. It is not so much important that an industry is privatised or nationalised, as to whether it treats it's employees and customers well, and is accountable, and to me a Centrist approach, a Third Way, mixing the best of privatisation and nationalisation, making sure there are checks and balances and all face accountability, is helping the Gospel in so much that it helps protect the vulnerable. While that does not mean there is zero decency and good people in the other main parties, it is for me that approach of pragmatisam and accountability best aimed at helping the poor and vulnerable is best found in the Labour Party!
This blogpost is an answer to the God and Politics blogpost found here.