A Covenantal Politics

“In a global age, the very idea of a national identity has become problematic. We can no longer build national identity on religion or ethnicity or culture. But we can build it on covenant. A covenantal politics would speak of how, as a polity, an economy and culture, our fates are bound together. We benefit from each other. And because this is so, we should feel bound to benefit one another. It would speak about the best of our traditions, and how they are a heritage we are charged with honouring and handing on to future generations. It would be warmly inclusive. A nation is enlarged by its new arrivals who carry with them gifts from other places and other traditions. It would acknowledge that, yes, we have differences of opinion and interest, and sometimes that means favouring one side over another. But we will never do so without giving every side a voice and a respectful hearing. The politics of covenant does not demean or ridicule opponents. It honours the process of reasoning together. It gives special concern to those who most need help, and special honour to those who most give help. A covenantal politics would emphasise our responsibilities to one another.”

Morality, Chapter 23, p. 334