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Alistair Burt outlines why he thinks Christians should vote Conservative

BURT Alistair Alistair Burt, the Conservative frontbencher, is one of three MPs from each of the main parties to have contributed to a new book called Votewise Now! which is subtitled "Helping Christians engage with the issues".

Mr Burt, along with Sharon Hodgson for Labour and Tim Farron for the Lib Dems, was given the task of answering the question: "Why should a Christian vote for your party?"

Here's a taster of why he thinks Christians should vote Conservative:

"I have always been wary of advising Christians how to vote, based on Christian values. There are believers in all our major parties, influencing our respective policies, and I agree with John Gummer who once wrote that we must distinguish between religious truth and political views otherwise ‘we shall claim for our mundane partialities a divine authority which ought not to dignify them’. But, with that caveat, perhaps I can help readers to feel at ease with a modern Conservative Party."

"There is no doubt that the Conservative Party has been renewed through David Cameron’s leadership, demonstrated in the direction which he has given, firmly rooted in the needs and concerns of the society we see around us. Care for the poor, the underprivileged and the downtrodden has characterised the Christian response since Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, and is at the heart of His teaching.  At home, we have worked very closely with the Centre for Social Justice, led by Iain Duncan Smith MP, in its analysis of where parts of contemporary society has broken down. We have examined poverty, family breakdown, addiction, the care system, crime, prison, punishment and rehabilitation looking not solely at the problems but at the solutions available through innovative work involving statutory agencies and increasingly the independent, faith and voluntary sector.

"We are finding hope in the work going on in some of our poorest communities, but that work is often stifled by bureaucracy and a mindset which puts process before outcome. We are determined to change that, just as we are determined to make good our conviction that there is such a thing as society, it is just not the same as the state, which our opponents too often confuse. Mending those parts of our society which are broken is a priority, and where we expect to work hand in hand with many Church agencies."

"I have long believed that the Conservative approach to choice has a more than acceptable Christian basis. There was once a vogue to confuse absolute equality in all things with universal state provision as some exemplar of the ‘New Jerusalem’, until the sweeping away of Communist Europe exposed the reality and cruelty of such thinking. God allows us freedom of choice, and prizes the diversity of men and women. That there should be deemed just one way to provide essential services, from housing and health to education seems odd, yet our opponents still seem reluctant to reward the citizen with real choice in public services, a sensible way of improvement."

You can read his contribution in its entirety in the book, which is available to purchase through the website of the Jubilee Centre.

Jonathan Isaby


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