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Opinion – UK General Election; Westminster 2010 Declaration

The UK goes to the polls on 6th May 2010. Commentators are already describing the result of  the General Election as likely to be too close to call. In my view this is proving to be a difficult election for many, including myself, in which to vote – the main parties are really very similar in their positions on so many of the issues and UK politics in general is increasingly mistrusted. There seems to be an air of disillusionment about the whole affair.

Thirty senior Christian (mostly Evangelical) leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and Peter Maiden (OM), launched a Christian Manifesto; ‘Westminster 2010: Declaration of Christian Conscience’ on Easter Sunday.

It’s well worth reading and is, I believe, a positive and useful tool for all in the wider Christian community.

Westminster 2010 is a declaration aimed to appeal to UK Christians of all denominations who subscribe to the historic Christian faith and who hold orthodox Christian beliefs about life, marriage and conscience.

It was initially inspired by the ‘Manhattan Declaration’, which was launched in November 2009 and has now been signed by over 400,000 US Christians. Westminster 2010, however, is a completely independent initiative by UK Christians focused on UK issues.

The Declaration calls upon all parliamentary candidates to pledge that they will ‘respect, uphold and protect the right of Christians to hold and express Christian beliefs and act according to Christian conscience’.

One excellent feature of the site is that you are able to search online to find the various parliamentary candidates in your area and ascertain their likely position on the Westminster 2010 Declaration.

I applaud this important Christian initiative and trust it will be helpful to anyone who, like me, is struggling to work out just who to vote for in May.

For more details log onto www.westminster2010.org.uk

  1. April 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Interesting. I support the ideas of protecting human life and protecting freedom of conscience … but I’m wary of the idea of “protecting marriage” and more than a little puzzled about how that fits in with protecting freedom of conscience. Protecting marriage — from what and from whom? My experience is that most Christians who want to “protect marriage” want to protect it as an institution that excludes the gay community, which then presents gay people with a double whammy: they’re excluded from marriage but then condemned for entering sexual relationships outside of marriage.

    If that’s what the Westminster Declaration seeks to protect (and given the names of the ‘Key Signatories’ I strongly suspect that’s the case), I’m faced with a dilemma because I have quite a few gay friends — most of them Christians — and I’d love to see them free to marry, to see their relationships recognised by the wider Christian community. So I cannot, in good conscience, sign up to it as it stands because it does not protect the freedom of conscience of those such as myself who have come to recognise gay and straight relationships as equally valid…

  1. April 14, 2010 at 1:32 am

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