Monday, March 30, 2009

Wise As Serpents, Tame As Doves

A great man once said: "Be wise as serpents and tame as doves." When you put it into practice, you understand how remarkably perceptive it is.

To be honest, the ACDP is a meeting point of some potentially divergent views. Some of the views could be regarded as conflicting, but in truth, when you bring them together, they form a more complete picture of the kind of government I believe God expects. Let me explain.

Some ACDP members join the party because of its hardline values. End abortion, bring in the death penalty, punish criminals. Others join the party because they believe it cares for the community, that it will all alleviate poverty and help the needy. A study of politics usually finds these two fields of thought on opposite sides of the fence. Not so with the church, and not so with the ACDP.

The same Bible that tells us to kick divisive people out of the church, tells us that true religion is feeding the widows and orphans. The same Bible that tells of Annanias and Saphira being struck dead instantly for lying (in the New Testament don't forget) also reminds us that Jesus saved the adulteress who knew her actions would require her life.

The truth is both simple and complex. There is a time to be moved by anger over the sin of your country, and there is a time to be moved with compassion as you see the suffering. And very often the two work hand in hand, where the very suffering that moves you is caused by the corruption that angers you. The obvious complexity is to know the time for compassion and the time for wrath, and so often parties like the ANC get both wrong.

The end result of the ACDP's melting pot is that we cater remarkably well for both sides of the equation. We are very strong in the area of tough action and we're very strong in the area of compassionate care. Of course our moral stance has never been in doubt, but a brief visit to the ACDP's website will reveal how intensely the party has campaigned to defend the weak, coupled with its continuous emphasis on community projects. It's a rare combination, but then the ACDP is a special party.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Criminal Proceedings: The Parliamentary Hotlist

There's admittedly a lot of fictitious junk mail that goes around, but I did like this one. I'm not sure how accurate these stats are - if they are true then some serious research has been done with access to detail that the general public probably can't see. Either way, there is a lot of truth here, and while some details are possibly exaggerated, no doubt many are guilty.

29 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

That's 373 in total or approximately 70% of the 535 South African parliamentarians. Nobody in South Africa is perfect, including ACDP politicians, but some are certainly more honest than others. If politicians have a bad name, then look no further for reason.

The question is: what do politicians measure themselves up against? Without a moral framework, you could argue that the number of votes you get justifies your actions. Similar excuses might do, but at the ACDP we keep measuring ourselves against the Bible, which has been a worldwide authority on moral values for millenia. We regularly fall short, but at least the standard hasn't moved when we pick ourselves up again.

With a liberal party like the DA, the moral fibre of society keeps getting stretched and worn thinner. If it's not abortion, then it's gay marriage. If it's not disarming of parents, then it's disarming of churches. Very often the ACDP is painted as a group of far-right extremists. The truth is that the ACDP has simply held firm to its values, while the non-value-based parties have drifted so far by now that the difference is scary. And if you don't think the DA are that liberal, do your homework.

DISCLAIMER: This blog serves as a commentary and the views presented are not necessary the official views of the ACDP. For official statements and contact details, visit: