PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOTE TOMORROW COUNT
'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country'
say 1 in 3 voters
An opinion poll published last weekend found that more than one third of voters (34%) believe that 'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country'.
But is there any basis to this belief?
On the eve of the European and local elections, we look back at some of the actions of David Cameron's Coalition Government over the past four years - in vital areas of life, family and freedom.
Marriage and the family
‘Haven’t you read,’ [Jesus] replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ (Matthew 19:4 - 6)
In October 2011, David Cameron told his party conference: "I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative."
By July 2013 the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act had received Royal Assent and in March 2014 the first same-sex 'weddings' in England and Wales took place.
In less than two and a half years, David Cameron's Government discarded God's pattern for marriage and rejected a definition that had been embedded in our society for hundreds of years - less than two and a half years from first announcing it to seeing the first same-sex 'weddings' take place.
And it's worth remembering:
- There was no commitment to redefining marriage in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, so voters had no reason to expect it.
- The Bill was never in a Queen's speech.
- Over 650,000 people signed a petition against re-defining marriage.
- A majority of Conservative MPs voted against the bill.
- A series of amendments to protect conscience were rejected
- The initial consultation suggested that same-sex 'weddings' in religious services would not be allowed - but this was later relaxed.
In judging the response to its consultation, the Government effectively ignored those who signed the Coalition for Marriage petition (despite earlier assurances that they would be taken into account) but at the same time included bulk responses that were pro-same-sex-'marriage' - leading to huge distortion.
If all petitions had been included, 83% would have been against marriage redefinition; If all petitions had been excluded, 64% of consultation responses were against. But by excluding petition responses that were against redefinition whilst including those that were for re-definition, the government managed to produce a figure that suggested 53% were in favour of same-sex 'marriage'!
In spite of all this, David Cameron said that he wanted to help 'export' same-sex 'marriage' around the world, claiming that "we’ve set something, I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time."
He went on to comment: "I’m personally proud of this. I think I’m probably the only Conservative Prime Minister who’s taken this step [of redefining marriage], but I’m very proud to have taken it."
David Cameron's government has introduced a small tax-break for married couples and those in Civil Partnerships. However it is estimated to be worth only about £200 a year and not all couples are eligible.
The gift of life
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13 - 14)
Around 200,000 babies lose their life through abortion every year in the UK. Many other pre-born children are destroyed through research programmes and IVF treatments.
In September 2011, following a high profile campaign to ensure that all women considering abortion were offered independent counselling, Government minister Anne Milton re-assured the House of Commons: "the Government support (sic) the spirit of the amendments, and we intend to present proposals for regulations after consultation."
However in October 2012, the Government reversed its position. Government minister Anna Soubry said: "the simple reality is as follows - we no longer plan to undertake a separate consultation ... I am sorry if as I say there is some disappointment but the reality is that we now don't intend to change the law so it is now an otiose exercise...there is other work we should be doing on counselling. I take the view that this is not the primary function we should be addressing.”
In February and March 2012, newspaper investigations revealed evidence of sex-selection abortions and of pre-signing of abortion forms by doctors in the UK. However, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute and the Government refused to intervene - despite calls from MPs of all parties.
In the summer of 2012, without any public notification or consultation, the Government had secretly introduced new guidelines for independent abortion providers. This guidance effectively downgraded the expectation, implicit in the Abortion Act, that two doctors would see a woman considering abortion, before reaching a decision 'in good faith'. It was a further liberalising step around abortion procedures.
In February 2014, the Government published draft guidelines to allow 'three parent babies' to be created in the UK. No other country in the world has introduced such measures. If the Government presses forward with its intention, the first babies in the world to have DNA from 3 parents could be born in 2015. For the first time, this would introduce permanent genetic modification to the human race, with altered DNA being passed down the generations.
In April 2014, confidential papers came to light revealing that the British Government had briefed European law-makers against the 'One of Us' proposals. 'One of Us' seeks a ban on European funding for any research that involves the destruction of human embyros. It is the most successful European Citizens Initiative to date, attracting 1.7 million signatures. In spite of this demonstration of public support, the UK Government is opposing the initiative to protect tiny human lives.
Freedom for Christians
In July 2012, David Cameron told the House of Commons, "I fully support the right of people to wear religious symbols at work; I think it is a vital religious freedom."
|Nurse Shirley Chaplin
However lawyers acting for David Cameron's Government argued against the freedom of four UK Christians to manifest their faith in the workplace in crucial cases before the European Court of Human Rights.
In official submissions to the Court (in the cases of Nadia Eweida, Shirley Chaplin, Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele), Government lawyers claimed that neither wearing a visible cross nor acting in line with Christian beliefs about sexual ethics are protected by the European Convention on Human rights - because they are not generally recognised forms of practising the Christian faith!
Lawyers went on to argue that since these Christians were free to resign and find employment elsewhere their religious freedom had not been infringed!
Thousands of people asked Mr Cameron to intervene but he refused to do so - in spite of his public statement in support of 'wearing the cross'.
During the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, Christian Concern sought to hold a conference considering the case for retaining the definition of marriage as between 'a man and a woman'. However, at the eleventh hour we were excluded from the government owned Queen Elizabeth II conference centre on the basis that the event did not fit with the organisation's diversity policy.
And now, thanks to the Same-Sex 'Marriage' legislation we are already beginning to see people face employment challenges as a result of their Christian beliefs about marriage and sexual ethics.
At the Christian Legal Centre, we continue to help many Christians whose freedom to live in light of Christian belief in their employment and service of others has been challenged. A number of these cases have received much public attention. Yet in spite of this - and in spite of David Cameron's public statements about the value of the Christian faith to Britain - his Coalition Government has not tackled the issue of protecting Christian freedoms.
In October 2013, David Cameron announced that Britain would become the first non-Muslim country in the world to introduce an Islamic-compliant bond, known as sukuk. He told delegates of the World Islamic Economic Forum: "I don't just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali explained: "This means that the Government itself will be subject to sharia in its dealings on these bonds. At the moment the issue is pretty modest, but how much will it grow? There’s a lot of liquidity out there and it could grow pretty rapidly, and then you may face a situation where a major part of your financial system is governed by sharia-compliant considerations.”
Ask the candidates
It's not too late to contact your candidates in tomorrow's European and local elections - and ask them where they stand on these important issues.
You can use our 'Quiz the Candidates' facility to contact European Parliament candidates from the bigger parties - and you can find details of the other parties here. Even if the candidates don't respond, contacting them helps them to know about the issues that are important to you.
Please pray that God may raise up godly and courageous leaders for the good of our nation. And please use your vote wisely.
A Christian country
David Cameron says that he is proud of the fact that we are a Christian country and that 'we shouldn’t be ashamed to say so.'
But 1 in 3 voters says that he has undermined Christianity in Britain - and sadly, the evidence above supports that conclusion.
... please make your vote tomorrow count