It’s D-day. Decision day. First, you have to decide whether to vote; most of us still do, but just about. It’s about 55-45.

There are, of course, many reasons why 45 per cent of people won’t go to the polling stations today. From “couldn’t be bothered” to “don’t vote, it only encourages them.” From “they’re all useless” to “it won’t change anything.” Despite the establishment view that the media is stirring it and that “real people” will vote, it seems to me that if freedom and democracy is to mean anything, the freedom to withhold your vote is as legitimate as going through the motions of putting an X or 1,2,3 beside someone’s name.

Anway, what about the 55 per cent who do take the time and effort to go out? We will know by the week-end who they all voted for. And I have to say that the election debates, while possibly not as exciting as Jeremy Paxman grilling of Berlusconi’s very rude remark about Angela Merkel (x-rated!), the local debate has had some substance.

Despite the bread-and-butter issues being discussed, it would be a major departure if voters en masse moved away from the usual tribal issues.

That is their right, too.

I’m not going to go over that old chestnut here. What I wondered about this week was: how much of a part does one’s faith play in how you decide to vote for. And I don’t just mean Catholic equals Nationalist, Protestant equals Unionist.

Let’s say you are a Christian opposed to gay marriage? Or against abortion? Do you check the candidate’s stance on this, and should you take that into account.

Those very issues were raised this week by a Catholic church leader and suddenly the debate moved to whether the Church should influence politics.

Why not, I must ask? If we say that the Church (all of them) doesn’t take a lead and speak up on moral issues, how can we say they should keep quiet when they feel they should advise people on their teaching? It’s a matter of conscience, and (again) freedom if you want to follow their advice.

There would, I imagine, be widespread support for the notion that religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Especially here in Northern Ireland, which is seen as a religious conflict.

It’s nothing of the sort, of course.

On a wider front, the British Prime Minister David Cameron caused controversy when he said that the United Kingdom is still a Christian country and people shouldn’t be afraid to say so. Unlike Tony Blair, it seems he does “do God.” Cameron was immediately criticised by a group of influential people for “causing division”. But was backed by Sikh, Muslim and Hindu leaders.

And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby took time out from his Church’s criticism of the Government, to back Cameron, saying that it is an historical fact that UK law, ethics and culture is based on Christian teaching.

This despite falling numbers in the 2011 Census; 59 per cent in England and Wales call themselves Christian – down from the previous 72 per cent. In Scotland it’s 54 per cent, and in Northern Ireland 83 per cent.

And before we get too satisfied with ourselves with that figure, we need to take a look at our ourselves do we really act out our Christianity. Do we accept, even claim, the label of being a Christian, dutifully traipse off the church as many Sundays as we can and not even think about the worship we’re taking part in.

To quote Shakespeare: “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” Do we then go out and lead a Christian life the rest of the week, doing good for others for example? And what about the lack of forgiveness in this country?

The film “The Railway Man” is a biography of a former British Army officer, tortured at a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. He discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him. But then comes a classic quote: “While I cannot forget what happened, I assure you of my total forgiveness. Sometime, the hating has to stop.” Hard, isn’t it? Who said being a Christian would be easy?

I often wonder how a country can be Christian, or otherwise, anyway. I think it comes down to the individual.

But that doesn’t stop you from casting your vote for a candidate whose views you agree with. And that means all your views, including the ones that align with your faith, your moral compass.

After all, according to Psalm 34: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” It doesn’t mean Christians ram their views down the throats of all other sectors of society, particularly in this multi-faith and secular age.

But Christians are entitled to have their views represented too.

Don’t they?