Should Christians vote for the Greens?

In the last two weeks I’ve head a lot of viral propaganda against the Greens, suggesting they’re intrinsically unChristian.

Personally, while I agree some of their policies are of concern, they have many policies I agree with, especially on the environmental front. I blanched at the conservative line that “many parties now have sound environmental policies”. ROFL, Oh please! That’s not true of Labour Party, let alone the Liberal Party. What utter rot! Oh, and not one mention of the refugees controversy or the Millenium Development Goals. Some balance please!

Yes, some Green policies are difficult to reconcile with Christian values. But the same could be said of Liberal and Labour. Every choice involves some compromises. So I’d like to hear what candidates have to say for themselves. Fortunately, Hope 103.2 FM has done precisely that, asking Christian candidates from each of the parties to speak on how their faith meshes with their party’s policies. First up was Lin Hatfield Dodds, the Greens Senate Candidate for the ACT. I don’t agree with everything she has to say, but I think it’s important we hear what she has to say for herself.

12 thoughts on “Should Christians vote for the Greens?

  1. What? No pleas for donations? Other than that, it sounded just like something I’d see from one of the so-called “traditional family values” groups over here.


  2. I like how they open by misspelling ‘atheist’.
    And finishing with “This should not be open for debate.” Are they f*$%ing serious? So they really want to just impose their beliefs on others, with no recourse? I thought that was called totalitarianism.


  3. I’m a Green here in America but I’ve never heard any anti-Christian policies or actions over here. A lot of the rhetoric sounded like our ultra conservatives here. What caught my eye was the repealing of the right of religious organizations to employ only within their faith. I don’t think Muslims, Jews, Hindus or Christians would like that one.


  4. Jonathan:
    Here’s my question: Who defines what qualifies as a “religious organization”? What qualifies as a “religious organization”?
    Here in the United States, I know of so-called “traditional values” advocates that believe that a Christian who owns a hardware store should have the right to refuse to hire someone simply because the applicant is gay, for example. Giving such lenient deference to “religious conviction” strikes me as ridiculous and likely to completely undermine any and all protections against discrimination of any kind. (And stop and think about it? Do Christians really want non-Christian employers to be able to refuse to hire THEM by justifying it as a “religious conviction”?
    Yes, I think that churches and possibly certain other religious organizations should be allowed some leniency when it comes to who they choose to hire. But I don’t want to see unrestricted leniency, as religious of those organizations have positions to fill where the applicant’s religion is practically irrelevant. For example, if the Salvation Army finds the perfect person to fill a position that oversees distribution of disaster relief funds and then turns down that applicant simply because they are gay, Muslim, or atheist, I would consider that action to not only be foolish, but downright immoral.


  5. Matthew. An oblique comment on religion and green vs anti-green politics.
    The recent Avatar film provided a suitable parable for our times.
    At a very basic level it was about the “culture” of death versus the culture of life.
    It was interesting to note the entirely predictable right-wing group-think response to this film, especially that of right-wing so called conservative Christians.
    They all came out, and very loudly too, in support of the “culture” of death as represented by the techno-barbarian invaders who had already “created” a dying planet–just like we have.


  6. I’m sorry Jarred I should’ve have been clearer. I agree with you and what I meant was religious organizations like churches, mosques, temples, synagogues. In other words places of worship. I simply was saying that those places (typically) employ people who can embody their message and help to further it in whatever job they take there. I would be very upset to find out that a grocery store owned by a Christian refused to hire a cashier because he was gay or a hospital didn’t hire a doctor because he was Muslim. Likewise I feel like you have said in a roundabout way “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” I’m unemployed and I don’t want the store down the street to not hire me because I’m a Christian so likewise I won’t stand for discrimination against others. Houses of worship are the only religious organizations I had in mind when I wrote my comment.
    I’m not an advocate for Christian exceptionalism. I’m sorry if it came across that way.


  7. Hope 103.2 radio station has had Sheridan Voysey interview a representative of various political parties on the Open House show of a Sunday night, and I imagine that all the interviews are/will be available via podcast from their website.
    I always find election time frustrating because there are so many divergent opinions and mixtures of policies and motivations involved. I’ll just have to see who exactly is standing for office in my local electorate and work out who can be trusted to do the overall best for my neighbourhood… and I do pray in faith whatever my vote is on the day, that the One on whose shoulders ALL governments rest, turns everything to work out for ultimate good… that’s the best I can come up with these days…


  8. What’s important to me is that our representatives, whether Christian, Muslim, Atheist or whatever are fairly representative of all their constituents in broad terms, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish and whatever.
    Being “Green” doesn’t necessarily mean being athiest or anti-Christian.
    The problem is that so many Christians seem to have so little of worth to say about “Green” issues. It is not really a big priority to them, possibly because of how they are taught from early into their Christian faith that “we are only visiting this planet” (Larry Norman)
    and so it really doesn’t matter if it ends in some big apocalyptic judgmental boom etc.
    Theology has a lot to do with it.
    My view of environmentalism and planet care is that is not just going to end in some apocalyptic boom, but it will be transformed into something good, healed and renewed with the inbreaking reign of Jesus Christ. The `new earth’ is a Christ-transformed earth, evolved and restored and renewed from out of the old – a reformation if you like of the old by the Creator into what into something like it was originally envisaged to be like.
    So green activism and responsibility for ecological care becomes a missional priority for Christians as well as sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    The reason that Green atheists dominate in the green argument nowadays is because the Christians have not seen it as all that important as an issue.
    And, that really is outrageous as an oversight and an indication of their irresponsibility and ignorance. I believe that if we really care for others, we must be active in caring responsibly for the planet they live in as well.
    I would rather vote for a non-Christian who genuinely cared for environmental issues, and who was committed to fairly hearing and considering the differing views of all his constituents, than someone who espoused an religious position but who was only going to be there for those who agreed with him religiously.
    Having said that, I would obviously prefer to vote for a Christian, who understood, and stood for, compassion and justice for all, informed by Christian values, and with an environmental conscience, and good commonsense activist approaches to promoting better planet care on local and broader levels. But the reality is there are not many (maybe none) identifiably ecologically-intelligent Christians who will standing for election this time round. So maybe I may end up voting for a non Christian who more out of gut instinct promotes those environmental and social justice values I most believe in than some `Christian’ candidate who doesn’t.
    Just because they are not a Christian doesn’t mean I will not vote for them. It depends what values they stand for and how reflective and similar they are to mine, and whether they are open to mutually respectful dialogue and debate – to sensible negotiation about issues of contention and debate.


  9. I work for a Christian organization in the not for profit sector. It has exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for senior management. This is in order to preserve its Christian character and raison d’etre. If such a law were enacted, no doubt we would be affected. So this is a real issue for us.
    But before anyone gets too excited, note that this exemption does not apply for mid-level managers or general staff. We employ Muslims. We employ gays. The exemptions are not exorbitant.
    But should this exemption be removed the organization would be forced to fundamentally abandon its mission and values … or pull out of the market. Should the latter eventuate, and should similar non-profits follow suit this would have a very detrimental impact on social services. So it is a serious issue.
    But non-profit industries would be in uproar if it happened so I don’t see governments rushing into it. Particularly since we’re only talking about senior management. It would cause a huge uproar with zero benefit for rank and file voters. Hardly a vote winner. So I see a lot of this as hot air.


  10. I noted that ALP PM Julia Gillard has said she will be expanding the school chaplaincy program if re-elected.
    I doubt the Greens would do that.
    Like yourself I could not agree with any policy which discriminated against Christian agencies being forced through policies of “political correctness” to employ key staff whose values and beliefs were conflicted to the Christian ethos of the organisation’s mission.
    I have seen once profoundly Christian NGO’s ruined in terms of their missional credibility through policies which forced them to hire nonChristian staff in order to get adequate government funding. One example was a situation where staff of Christian faith were told it was a sackable offence for “religious discrimination”
    to share the Gospel with their clients, even when the [homesless] clients had requested that to occur. Fear of some bureacrat hearing about it and removing their funding due to “religious discrimination” was why the NGO made that threat to their employee who was also a pastor of a church.
    I’m all for preventing “unfair” discrimination against people on religious grounds.
    But I agree, there must be exemption laws in place so Christian organisations can openly be “Christian” for religious freedom’s sake, especially when it is about faith-based and faith-motivated work in a more direct and explicit way.


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