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Reform Magazine | October 19, 2017

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Commitment-Phobe: Politics vs prayer

Commitment-Phobe: Politics vs prayer

commitment-phobe-crop“I put the anti-austerity march in my diary,
 then my vicar asked me to help with mission”

Having decided to move on from atheism, Commitment-Phobe is trying God

Politics and religion, some say, should stay apart, and you definitely shouldn’t talk about either in polite society. In the lead up to the general election, I subscribed to newsletters from the Show Up campaign, which asks Christians to get involved in politics (Christian Activist, Reform, April). The newsletters talked about the many ways to engage: Attending local hustings, council meetings etc. I felt inspired by this, but still ended up missing all my local hustings, although I didn’t miss a single Sunday at church.

Post-election, and in shock, I joined a political party for the first time. Possibly because said party is one of those that not only lost but is in disarray, it has ended up feeling like another exercise in clicktivism. (Clicktivism, aka slacktivism: Taking part in activism via your computer; signing online petitions and sharing them with your social media set.) It seems that trying to become actively involved in a political movement is not as simple as signing up to become the member of a party. Signing up doesn’t suddenly give you involvement in changing that party’s policies or even finding out who’s who. In much the same way that (some) MPs canvassed you on behalf of their party, I feel that you have to canvass your party to find out how to help, get involved or get some information on what is happening. I know more about my party through reading any one the daily papers, than through direct communication with my party. But perhaps I am impatient, because after all, the election is pretty recent, and my party is in disarray…

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This is an extract from the July/August 2015 edition of Reform.

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