In the recent referendum in Britain, I was supportive of leaving the EU. The main reason for this was that many of the EU countries see fit to hold their political voting on Sundays.
Sunday is considered such a convenient day for this activity, precisely because it is the Christian day of rest and has been set aside as a free day in these countries. precisely because they have traditionally been Christian countries. Using Sundays for such activities is (of course) a kick in the teeth for Christianity.
A few years ago, I lived in Sweden. I was surprised when, one day, I received a letter indicating that I was eligible to vote in their referendum on whether or not Sweden should join the single currency of the euro. I decided that of course I should vote, then I checked the date, looked at the calendar, and noted that it was on a Sunday – and hence decided not to vote. I told someone back home that I wasn’t voting. ‘Of course you should vote; we have a responsibility to vote in a democracy.’ I then explained that the referendum was to be held on a Sunday. ‘Oh. Well, that doesn’t sound so good. I don’t know what I would do in that situation.’ The idea of voting on Sunday went entirely against my own Christian intuition and the reaction of my friend to the situation was exactly the same.
In the creation ordinances, Genesis 2, God set aside a day of rest; this was for the benefit of the whole of creation. In Genesis, this day of rest was the Sabbath; the apostles placed the day of rest on the first day (there is indication of this in 1 Corinthians). At any rate, the idea that a day should be set aside where the whole society rests is a creation ordinance. As Christians, we have a duty to encourage people to respect this, for their own good.
It is therefore irrelevant that the government allows people a postal vote if, as a matter of conscience, they won’t vote on a Sunday; if you participate in an election where the voting day is Sunday, you participate in an activity where large numbers of people have to work, policing the polling stations and then counting the votes when the polls close, which could be carried out on any other day of the week. There is absolutely no necessity to hold the poll on a Sunday. After all, the electoral procedure in Britain seems to have survived quite well holding elections on Thursdays.
For the Euro-elections, the EU magnanimously granted Britain the right to hold the vote on Thursday, while most of the other EU countries held the election on the following Sunday. The Euro-elections are, in principle, a Sabbath-breaking activity. The British votes were kept in boxes and guarded until the polls closed in the other EU countries on the Sunday evening – and then counting began on Sunday.
A Christian, who takes the creation ordinance of a day of rest seriously, is politically disenfranchised in any country where Sunday is considered the natural day for political voting. This seems to be the situation in most EU countries. This makes BREXIT look like a very good idea, from a Christian point of view.