Posts Tagged ‘common good’

May magazine article

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Common Good, “the sum total of social conditions  which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily” Catechism of the Catholic Church

As we are only too aware, on the 6th May elections are held. While there is no one party that all Christians will naturally favour, there are concerns that will be shared by the majority of Christians. These are based both on the words of Jesus, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), and the tradition of the early church, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive” (bishop Irenaeus). Within the Christian tradition, enabling people to live fulfilling lives is known as the “common good”.

I would encourage all Christians, and all people, to both vote and to take account of the “common good”. Considering the common good means thinking about what is best for my neighbour, not just for me or people like me. We should remember that Jesus commanded us to love our neighbour and to consider everyone our neighbour.

The mainstream parties may all serve the common good and it is a matter of judgement as to whether we consider big government, big society, or tax redistribution to be the best way forward. (Please forgive a huge over simplification of the parties’ positions). However, a party which makes a judgement about a person based upon their ethnic origin is incapable of neighbourly love or encouraging all people to be fully alive. A vote for the British National Party would be a vote against the common good and against a Christian understanding of society.

We are blest in East Winchester with a number of close and generous communities. When thinking about who we may wish to represent us, it would be good to choose the person most likely to support our local community and encourage human flourishing at a national level. That is a vote for the person who will put the common good into practice.

With love and best wishes