A little flurry of online activity on this topic over the past few days.
First, there was Gillan Scott’s post on Archbishop Cranmer, entitled Green Party: Christians welcome, but only if you ignore your faith. His post was based on a narrow focus and anecdotal evidence (which is quite out of character for Gillan), and concluded as follows:
Those who keep a close eye on party politics will be fully aware of the Green Party’s narrow-minded approach to inclusion. But for those who are disillusioned with the mainstream parties and looking for a fresh political vision, going Green on May 7th would be a profound delusion.
This provoked numerous responses from Christian members of the Green Party in the comments section, giving alternative anecdotal evidence, and a broader perspective. (Warning: there are well over 500 comments on the post, of varying quality, but it is not hard to skim through looking for the sensible ones.)
The more I discovered about the Green Party, the more I realised that I might finally have found a political home for my theological conclusions. A party that has dared to paint a picture of world where our economy isn’t based on crippling personal debt; where the creation of money is democratised; where true economic equality is feasible; where the playing field for all people is level. I think I’d call it – not the American Dream, but the Mosaic Dream.
Another response came from active Green Party member Stephen Gray, with a post called Faith and the Green Party DO mix. He discusses three issues on which he sees the Green Party as providing a good fit for his Christian beliefs: creation care, poverty, and immigration, and concludes:
So I’ve outlined three issues that are (or at least should be) massively important to British politics in 2015 where I think that the Green Party is more in line with a genuinely Christian approach than the other mainstream political parties. In all three cases, my faith leads me to support the Green Party approach above those of other parties. Given that all three are far more salient to today’s politics than abortion, same-sex marriage, or euthanasia, Gillan’s assertion that Christians should leave our faith at the door before joining or voting for the Green Party looks a little bit silly.
Finally, and unrelated, KLICE published the sixth of their Ethics in Brief election series, as part of their 2015 election coverage. This was a paper by Tim Cooper and Colin Bell on A Greener Faith: Christianity and the Green Party. It makes fascinating reading, as they trace the history of the Green Party, and the points of connection and tension with the Christian faith. Here’s the final paragraph:
The Church of England was for many years described as the Tory Party at prayer. In future, might the Christian church, Anglican or otherwise, be portrayed as the Green Party at prayer? Time will tell. Striving for peace, justice and sustainability while challenging undue concentrations of power and excessive materialism, the Christian church and the Green Party are logical allies. A good proportion of Christians will consider supporting the Greens in the coming election, many for the first time. Is there empathy in both directions? The Green Party certainly needs support from sympathisers within the church, which environmental scientist Sir John Houghton refers to as ‘the nation’s largest NGO’. The Party seeks a renewed and transformed society in which people seek ‘the common good’; many Christians will rightly share their vision.