The overriding theme of today seems to be politics, but what better opportunity to advertise the next activity from the St. Augustine parish for students and other young people here in Groningen. It’ll be a lecture on faith and politics, read by Professor Alfons Dölle, member of our parish council, senator for the CDA, and professor at the law faculty at the University of Groningen.
For me personally, my faith is a decisive factor when making decisions, including about whom to vote for. To some extent that limits the field already, since some political parties are incompatible with Christianity. On the other hand, some of the Christian parties present their own problems, since a party’s name not always reflects their record in parliament.
And from the opposite end of the issue, there is the question of how politics can and should influence faith. Christ taught us to “pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar — and God what belongs to God” (Matt. 22, 21), seemingly indicating a clear separation of the obligations we have to government and to God. But what if the government intrudes upon the faith, when it limits or otherwise influence the duties, practices, beliefs and teachings of the Church?
Interesting – and unavoidable – questions.
The lecture was already planned with the upcoming municipal elections in mind, of course, but now that we can suddenly expect national elections too makes it extra topical.