Can a Christian vote for the Greens? Many Christians argue that the Greens are anti-God and anti-religion, with policies that conflict at a deep level with Christian values. Usually singled out are Green’s policies on homosexuality; religious exemption from anti-discrimination laws; decriminalisation of drugs; support for the safe schools program, and their advocacy for euthanasia.
The Greens support is not driven by hatred for God but empathy for the wounded
Sure there may be some militant atheists who have hitched themselves to the Greens but that no more makes the Greens anti-God than the Christians who are allied to the party mean it is a Christian party.
I know many people who support the Greens, both Christian and not. None of them hate Christians or Christianity or any other religion. They are attracted to the Greens because of their progressive social policy. Their vision is not a society where religion has been eliminated but one where the environment is protected, where vulnerable groups are not subject to humiliation and exclusion; where drug addicts receive treatment not imprisonment; where children whose sexuality is not straight are not bullied; and where those who are at the end stages of life are able to die with dignity. I agree with the sentiment behind all of these, even though I don’t agree that every Greens policy will achieve what they desire. And some policies, such as the attitude to exemption from anti-discrimination laws concern me, but it is sheer nonsense to argue that the Greens are somehow committed to the dismantling of religion.
All Political Parties Fall Short of the Will of God
On comparison with the teaching of Jesus all political parties fall short. Why is it the Greens’s policies on sexuality and euthanasia are singled out as making them anti-God, where the major party policies on refugees, environment, and foreign aid are not? When we observe the Coalition’s uncompromised commitment to economic growth why do we not name it as the idolatry of greed, something the Bible sees as wicked?
Neither the Coalition, nor the ALP, nor the Greens should be characterised as pro-God or anti-God. The Constitution, common law and the liberal tradition mean they have no power to legislate for or against religion, so they can never be anti-God in the way that totalitarian regimes that persecute people for religious faith have been. They all have policies that are far removed from the vision of Jesus and policies that fit with the vision of Jesus. It is an act of futile moral calculus to say that the Greens’s stance on anti-discrimination laws is more or less godless than the Coalition’s stand on refugees, or that the Greens’s stance on euthanasia is more godless than the crass materialism that stands at the centre of the ALP and Coalition policy making, let alone try to weigh up the combined basket of policies of each party.
So let’s put an end to this nonsense that the Greens are somehow more opposed to Christian values than the other parties. As one might expect in a fallen world, all the parties have policies that foster living that is strongly at odds with the teaching of Jesus and policies that are compatible with the teaching of Jesus. Let’s rather have a sane and measured discussion around which set of policies will best further justice & the common good.