unexpectedly political values | redemption

29 03 2015

When you believe anyone and everyone is loved by God, and he would willingly adopt them into his family; when you know Jesus saw nobody as beyond hope; when his very name means ‘the Lord saves’; then, hope; then, redemption.   

Good theory. For good people. In practice? Let’s think politics. Justice. Hope for the convicted criminal? Redemption for the perpetual reoffender stuck in HMP Revolving Door? Aren’t they just criminals?

Is the addict who reoffends to steal for drugs a criminal by nature? No. They are addicted. Take away the addiction, they no longer need to steal. For example.


Redemption means we see cause, not just effect; a victim, not just perpetrator; a son, not just a criminal. Out-working redemption theology in political practice, this means not consistently criminalising. It means early intervention. It means good long-term support. Proper probation.

Speak ‘son, not ‘criminal’. Or daughter, of course. 

This isn’t going soft on crime. Early intervention is not soft; it’s hard, it’s labour intensive, it involves treating people as people, not cattle or economic entities. But for those for whom money is the overriding value, it’s cheaper in the long run. 

So. Sure Start centres. Social services. Youth provision. Early intervention. All unused with hope. And the easiest to cut. But theologically unjustifiable. 

Redemption: an unexpectedly political value. 

This is part of a mini-series looking at values in the run-up to the election.




One response

29 03 2015

Reblogged this on webstercamino.

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