Moral focus for Christian voters
In the second story in our ‘Souls to the Polls’ series, we look at what the leaders of South Auckland’s religious communities are doing to encourage their faithful to vote in this year’s general election, on September 23, and the political issues they’re facing.
Voluntary euthanasia is one issue a church’s members will be asked to consider when voting in the general election.
Manukau New Life Church pastor Stephen Miller says his congregation will also ‘‘absolutely’’ be encouraged to enrol to vote and to cast a ballot on polling day.
‘‘We think if you don’t get out there and vote, and have your say, you don’t have the right to complain if you don’t like what happens.
‘‘It’s a tremendous privilege to have a democracy. We always encourage our people to vote and we always pray for our [country’s] leaders, whoever they are.’’
The moral issues church members will be asked to consider include same-sex marriage and voluntary euthanasia, Miller says.
‘‘We look at the way each party voted in the past on these issues, as they will make our society a better or worse place. But we don’t tell people ‘you have to vote for this person or that person’.’’
Miller says about a week before the election an announcement will be made during a church service encouraging people to vote.
Housing is the biggest political issue faced by the church’s members, he says. ’’It’s huge. You’ve got young couples who find it extremely difficult to buy a house.
‘‘That’s a real battle, and you get people who are renting and [prices] have gone up and up and up and have got to be an unbearable level for them.’’
Politicians should consider what impact their policies will have on families, he says.
‘‘Take Easter trading. It sounds like a business decision, but it’s not, it’s a family decision. People want that time off, but now they have to go to work.
‘‘It puts pressure on families, just because they’re [the Government] trying to make more money in the economy. Marriages break apart and children pay for it. Any time you break a family apart the social cost is huge.’’
Go to elections.org.nz to enrol to vote or to check your enrolment status.
Manukau New Life Church pastor Stephen Miller says members will be encouraged to vote in this year’s general election.