Weekly column from Italy: Christian has a responsibility with conservative government
Chiara Lamberti, CNE.news
After an intense campaign, the far-right coalition won the election. This victory represents a great novelty for Italy. So much is new and different.
Abstentionism hit the record of 64 per cent. The far-right coalition won decisively, and for the first time in a long time, there could be a government with a stable majority. Most votes went to "Fratelli d' Italia" (Brothers of Italy, ed.), the party led by Giorgia Meloni. She could become the first female prime minister in Italy. Finally, for the first time in the republic's history, Parliament has shifted far to the right.
The situation in the country is also new and uncertain. After six governments in 10 years, Italians are very distrustful of politics. Yet, they are looking for answers because the crisis situation is becoming unsustainable after two years of the pandemic and with the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Chiara Lamberti (1992) was born and raised in Naples, Italy. She studied Communication Sciences and has a master's degree in Information, Publishing and Journalism. She also has a degree in theology. She writes for the Italian Evangelical Alliance and contributes to the Protestant magazine Loci Communes. With her husband, daughter and son, she lives in Rome.
The first problems the incoming government will be forced to solve will be the high cost of utility bills and other economic measures to deal with the crisis. However, there is also the civil rights issue that immediately came up.
After so many years of mixed governments in Italy that eventually took "centre" positions, with the advance of the far right, the entire progressive movement is already concerned about the positions the government will take.
For instance, after what happened in the U.S. with the Supreme Court ruling, the issue of abortion in Italy, too, had re-entered public discourse.
In Italy, there is a law for abortion: Law 194 of 1978. The main points of this law are that counselling centres must inform women of their rights, helping them overcome the causes that lead them to choose abortion, and that termination of pregnancy can take place within the first 90 days of pregnancy. The law also allows doctors who wish to declare themselves conscientious objectors.
In the public discourse, however, the pro-choice movements think that the second part of the law should be emphasized, increasing the right to abortion by removing conscientious objection or guaranteeing at least one non-objector doctor in each facility. Women's right to choose their own bodies is always put first by them. These movements have already taken to the streets on Sept. 28 to protest the future government and to complain about the leftist policy of not increasing the right to abortion.
Also, in the field of same-sex marriages and LGBQT+ rights, there is a preoccupation. The progressive part of society is worried because of Meloni's old statements in favour of the natural family.
As evangelicals in Italy, this is an important time to learn how to exercise stewardship properly. Certainly, we are happy if the government challenges some of the issues that the progressive movement wants to bring forward. It might be a good time to proclaim biblical truth on the issues of 'abortion, sexuality, marriage.
Nevertheless, we must not forget our other responsibilities. Many are frightened by the new government's possible "fascist" legacy. Probably, Meloni and prominent senior party members do not have totalitarian aspirations. But we should not forget that a part of the country, pressed by the crisis, economic and social problems, in recent years has found more and more inspiration in fascist ideas and has begun expressing worrying nationalist tones. This part of the country, which supports Meloni, uses nationalism, family, and the pro-life theme more as methods to despise those who have different ideas.
Christianity (different from Biblical Christianity) is even often used to refer to migrants and foreigners as "different" or "inferior." In this context, evangelicals have a responsibility to preach the true biblical gospel that not only points to sin but also proclaims charity and is sensitive to the different, the foreigner, sinners.
If we think that a conservative government will save people and proclaim Biblical truth, we are wrong. We must remember to pray for the authorities but also proclaim that the true ruler is God, regardless of a conservative or progressive government.
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