Public Affairs News
Sep10FriShould we? September 10, 2021 Mark Braye
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Conventional wisdom says politics and religion do not belong in polite conversation. Unfortunately, this adage and the idea behind it have made it increasingly difficult to have polite conversations about religion and politics, especially politics. Add to it the misconception that the Church, and by extension The Salvation Army, should stay out of politics, and we find ourselves in the unhelpful and unhealthy position of believing we are apolitical.
Reverend Jennifer Butler, in her book Who Stole My Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a Handbook for Resisting Tyranny, observes: “Sometimes people see politics as ‘dirty’ or distant from their matters of faithfulness and spiritual growth. Politics, according to Aristotle, who coined the term, simply means ‘matters of the city’ or matters of communal life.”
When we consider politics in this way, we realize we really do care about politics, or at the very least we should. Our very mission statement presents the case that we care about communal life and matters of the communities in which we serve and find ourselves.
We are not apolitical; we are nonpartisan. To be apolitical is to not be interested, involved, or invested in politics. To be apolitical is to be apathetic and inconsiderate. To be nonpartisan is to care about politics over politicians and parties. It’s caring about how policies and procedures affect people and communities without promoting or tying ourselves to any political party or person. The Church, and by extension The Salvation Army, is nonpartisan. We are interested, involved, and invested in politics.
Here in Canada, The Salvation Army as a church and organization has recently voiced support for Bill C-15 and Bill C-6. Bill C-15 is An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-6 is An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). Both bills aim to uphold the worth and dignity of people made in the image of God, something we are very much interested, involved, and invested in.
This isn’t partisan; but it is most certainly political.
For more election information and resources go to the Public Affairs Election 2021 page.