Brethren Archive

Tuesday February 12, 2013

William McCrea's Contribution in the House of Commons Debate on (sic) 'Same Sex Marriage'

Was good to hear an MP still standing up for Bible truth in the House of Commons debate last week; despite the hostile enviroment.

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William McCrea (South Antrim, DUP)

I rise to oppose the legislation presented by Her Majesty’s Government involving the redefinition of marriage. I know that many people inside and outside the House have desired a slanging match across and around the Chamber, but I feel that the issue we are discussing merits an honourable and considered debate. There are long-lasting implications for the nation, which will be felt when many Members of the House of Commons are no longer here.

I trust that the Bill’s supporters appreciate that those who oppose it do so because of genuinely held beliefs and convictions, many of which were taught to them at their mother’s knee. Most people, even to this day, regard the United Kingdom as a Christian country. To some that is an embarrassment, while others thank God that our nation still has some gospel light and enjoys freedom of thought and speech. Each day, hon. Members gather in this Chamber to hear the Scriptures read and prayer offered to God, humbly asking for God’s blessing upon our Queen, her Government and our deliberations. We as leaders among our people still acknowledge God’s sovereign throne, the authority of His revered word and our need for wisdom far greater than our own. Sadly, after doing so today, we are turning from the teachings of that same book, and placing our wisdom and knowledge above divine wisdom.

It is true to say that to mention Scriptures in debate in this Chamber often brings scorn, laughter, mockery, isolation and intolerance, but Scripture reminds us that God said it was not good that man should be alone, so he brought Eve unto Adam. For thousands of years, in almost all cultures, marriage has been defined to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman. Marriage is an institution given by God for the good of all mankind in every age and has been the bedrock institution of family and society, but today our Government intend to sweep away a definition that has served our nation well for centuries and to impose new standards and values on the whole of society, irrespective of religious beliefs or personal convictions. Surely religious liberty and freedom of conscience are not to be cast aside on a whim, simply because political parties perceive that by doing so they will get some electoral advantage?

Recently we have witnessed people throughout the United Kingdom experiencing persecution for freely expressing support for traditional marriage. We had a debate in this House last week in which Mr Leigh mentioned Adrian Smith and Lillian Ladele, and we should not forget Arthur McGeorge, Dr Angela McCaskill, Dr Bill Beales, and Peter and Hazel Bull. Many of those people faced or endured suspension from their job, dramatic loss of earnings, demotion, disciplinary action and court hearings simply because they dared to express their belief in traditional marriage. Redefining marriage will have serious consequences, far beyond those intended by the Bill.


Sammy Wilson (East Antrim, DUP)

Does my hon. Friend agree that thousands of teachers across this country could find themselves on the wrong side of the law in so far as the legislation requires them to teach the nature of marriage? If the nature of marriage is changed in this Bill, those who refuse to teach that new nature could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.


William McCrea (South Antrim, DUP)

I thank my hon. Friend for that timely intervention. In recent times, I have witnessed intolerance against Christianity. While people do not dare to speak against other religious figures, the precious name of the Lord Jesus is often tramped into the gutter. Many regularly look at our nation and wonder what is happening to it. I say to a Member who spoke earlier that the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I love and worship, was not an illegitimate child, but was and is the son of the living God.

When the Minister came to the Dispatch Box to introduce her Bill, she was asked about the rights of teachers who fail to endorse same-sex marriages in the classroom; she was asked whether they could be dismissed. Do parents have the legal right to withdraw their children from lessons that endorse the Government’s new-found definition of marriage across the curriculum? What is the position for charities that promote traditional marriage values? What protection can they expect?


Jeffrey M Donaldson (Lagan Valley, DUP)

Is my hon. Friend aware that the minister of Holy Trinity church, Brompton approached the Government equalities office to ask whether marriage courses run by churches for the community could be affected by this legislation and was advised that they will be? Therefore, the Bill does impinge on the work of Churches and their beliefs on marriage.


William McCrea (South Antrim, DUP)

I thank my right hon. Friend for his intervention, and I will deal with that point in a moment. 

What will be the position of youth organisations that depend on assistance from public finances to exist? Will they have their finances withdrawn? What are the implications for religion, liberty and freedom of speech? Is the Bill not the thin end of the wedge that will take us down a pathway that will lead to ministers of the gospel being dragged before the courts to prove themselves innocent, and perhaps even facing imprisonment? We are sending troops across the world to fight for freedom, yet we are on the verge of losing ours. The God-given covenant of marriage, as God defined it, is not ours to undermine; it is ours to protect. 

Although the Minister for Women and Equalities sought to allay some of the fears expressed, we know that she was not able to reassure Members on both sides of the Chamber. As I have stated, I expect unintended consequences. We are taking a journey—that must be emphasised, because it means that we are not at the end of the road. We will take further steps. Ministers might not be imprisoned or persecuted, but that day could come. I have no doubt that charities will face increased pressure to comply with demands and to drop their policies and firmly held beliefs. They will have to close their doors. The day of persecution is not here in this country, thank God, but, sad to say, it could come.

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Comments:
SALLY said ...
Interesting. There are those wNt to tear apart what God has ordained. Thanks for being courageous to stand for the truth.
Thursday, Nov 2, 2017 : 04:30


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