A Fundamental Attack on Marriage
The Christian Institute today lent its support to cross party attempts to amend the Family Law Bill.
Under the Bill, a husband or wife will be able to divorce their spouse merely by giving one year’s notice. Consent will not be required.
Speaking today the Director of the Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said:
“The Bill is a radical liberalisation of the present law and constitutes a fundamental attack on marriage. Currently an innocent spouse can only be divorced against their will after five years’ separation. The Bill only requires one year’s notice.”
“The Institute warmly welcomes the amendments by Lady Young to retain fault and responsibility in divorce. These amendments have attracted cross party support. It is a matter of profound regret that the Government have decided to impose a two line whip on Conservative peers. It is quite wrong to do this on matters of conscience.”
David Holloway, Council Member of the Christian Institute and Vicar of Jesmond said today:
“The government’s proposals to bring in ‘no fault’ divorce is a further erosion of the institution of marriage. The long term consequences of the gradual destruction of marriage since 1969 are with us now. The primary casualties are children. When one of the Law Commissioners behind these proposals can say ‘we should consider whether the legal institution of marriage continues to serve any useful purposes’, it is time for the moral majority of the nation to say ‘enough is enough’.”
“This is not a matter of party politics or even of the Christian faith. It is a matter of common sense. But that the current government can support ‘no fault’ divorce shows a level of moral bankruptcy.”
“Marriage as the Church teaches is ‘an estate, instituted of God’; it is not a relationship. This ‘estate’ (or legal public arrangement) gives opportunity for a relationship. But the relationship is not the only reason for a marriage. In the self absorbed moral climate of today’s ‘me generation’ we forget the care and nurture of children. The great Book of Common Prayer Marriage Service teaches this as the first concern – before sexual fulfilment and the relationship. If the relationship breaks down it is tragic. But the structure is still necessary for the children. The duty of government is to help protect that structure.”
“I hope members of both the Lords and House of Commons will reject the government’s proposals.”
Note for editors The Christian Institute seeks to promote a Christian perspective on social and ethical questions and to defend Christian freedoms.