The problem of dirty hands and Christian participation in politics

Stephen K. Otite
Keywords: Christian, dirty, participation, politics, morality
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2021 3(2), 33-41. Published: May 11, 2022


Today, politics, in all its forms and kinds, has been negatively construed by many as a “dirty game,” so that anyone involved in it must at one point or the other soil his/her hands with evil deeds (immorality). Consequently, it is usual to find numerous individuals in the society especially Christians, refusing to participate or get involved in politics. Recognising the manifold fatal implications of Christians‟ refusal to participate in politics, this paper, adopting the expository, analytic and critical methodologies of research, argues that the inescapable moral dilemmas in politics should not deter Christians from participating in politics. Besides, it is also argued in this paper that the task of political leadership is one that Christians should and must embrace as a way of fulfilling their vocation as “salt of the earth and light of the world.” Fundamentally, this paper, using the four approaches to Christian participation in politics identified by Lesie Griffin as basis, argues that it is possible for a Christian politician to refrain from immorality (doing evil). By so doing, this paper refutes the negative standpoints of Niccolo Machiavelli, Max Weber and Michael Walzer with regards to the possibility of a Christian politician keeping his/her hands clean.