Remember our Christian values

Stained glass windows at St. James Cathedral depict Jesus and his followers helping others.
 on June 1, 2018
Michael Hudson

Ontarians will be going to the polls on June 7 to choose who will represent us at Queen’s Park for the next four years. Not only do elections give us the right to have a say in choosing who will lead our province, but they give us the opportunity to consider what makes for a society of justice and dignity in which all can flourish.

There are two temptations that commonly arise during election campaigns. One is to cast our votes for those whose platforms appeal to our self-interest, without considering the impact those policies will have on those who are in greater need than ourselves. Many politicians directly pitch their platforms to those whose principal motivation is “what’s in it for me.” This can lead to the second temptation, which is to become cynical or apathetic about the process and decide not to vote.

Both these temptations represent an abdication of our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbours as ourselves. To vote only for those who benefit us, or to leave the choosing of those in government to others, squanders one of the chief opportunities our society affords us for contributing to the common good. It also fails to take advantage of the greatest form of influence we have over our political leaders.

Anglicans have a long history of contributing to and engaging in the public sphere. Many public institutions – hospitals, schools and universities, libraries and social service agencies – were originally founded by Anglicans. Today, we continue to serve our neighbours through outreach programs at the parish and diocesan level. But Anglicans have also had a long history of using our voices to amplify the concerns of those in need, and for pressing for long-term, systemic changes that address social injustices.

Scripture calls us to seek the welfare of the communities in which God has placed us (Jeremiah 29:7) and to speak out and judge righteously on behalf of those in need (Prov. 31:8-9). In the same vein, our baptismal covenant calls us to “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” to “respect the dignity of every human being” and to “strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation.” These are values that we should carry with us at all times, including into the voting booth.

Before election day, take the time to learn about the various parties’ platforms. Ask what their impact is likely to be on those who are most vulnerable, and on the natural environment that sustains us. Share your concerns with candidates who come to call, with friends, family members, neighbours and fellow parishioners. Don’t forget to pray for those who will be elected, that they be given a spirit of wisdom and compassion to exercise their responsibilities for the good of all.

Finally, get out and vote! Whether or not your preferred party or candidate is elected, you have registered your interest in the life and future of the province – and of your community. At the same time, remember that, as important as it is, voting in an election is only one aspect of the ongoing work of civic engagement. Continue to pray for the government and other elected representatives, continue to learn about the issues that arise, and continue to speak up and to act for the building up of our common life.

The Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario has prepared an election backgrounder on housing and income security, with suggested questions for candidates. Visit


Keep on reading

Skip to content