CHRISTIAN COMMENT Royal weddings and politics

So we had the Royal Wedding. And then we had to go and vote.

For one we were just bystanders; for the other, we were key players.

In the one, only two people had to give their word; in the other, we judged how well politicians had kept theirs.

In a way we made judgements about Kate and William too.

What were the chances of this marriage being successful? How well did we feel we knew these two?

Acres of print and hours of broadcasting have been devoted to that last question.

Of course, we don’t really know them at all but we know a heck of a lot about them.

And what we’ve been told gives us the idea that this royal couple have a better chance than most at having a lasting marriage.

They know each other well enough to know that what they have promised is what they really mean.

Enough time has passed for them to know that the other is the best person they have ever met to grow together with.

What about the election and the referendum? Did we know the people involved, the people we voted for?

Not really.

Yes, we read what they said and what they said that they were standing for.

But, generally speaking, none of us really knows the person we vote for.

So what determined our voting choice?

Far too complex to discuss here, except for one thing: no-one trusts people who break their word.

If you say that, under no circumstances, will you do x and you give your solemn pledge – then you do it, well...

That’s not a political judgement: it’s a moral one.

It’s not policies that ultimately determine a government’s standing: it’s integrity.

That’s why Jesus was so clear on this point for people like you and me.

He said “Don’t give lots of exaggerated assurances about what you will or will not do.

“Keep it simple. Let your yes be yes and your no, no. People will come to trust that you’ll keep your word.”

That’s why the loudest cheer outside Westminster Abbey came when two people who had shown over time that each could trust the other said, very simply, “I do”.

Nigel O’Dwyer lives and works in Worthing, where he helps lead a church. He’s taken part in lots of weddings and quite a few elections.