In this report, written by the staff of
The Christian Institute
we consider 20 major moral issues of our time.All of the issues have been voted on by the House of Commons. Part I of this report outlines the basic facts of each issue, then considers the Biblicalarguments and concludes with some key points which can be used insupport of the Biblical position. Some additional statements from some of the main Christian denominations are also included.Part II explains the technical details of the votes themselves and how wehave recorded them on our on-line database of MPs’ votes.
The scope of this publication
The subjects covered comprise
The sanctity of human life (embryo experiments, human cloning,abortion, euthanasia)
Marriage and the family (divorce, parental right to smack, the ageof homosexual consent, civil partnerships and the rights of siblings, adoption by unmarried couples or homosexuals)
Education (religious education and worship in schools, Section 28)
Religious liberties (incitement to religious hatred, religious broadcasting, protecting Churches from transsexual rights laws)
Public morality (blasphemy, homosexuals in the armed forces,reclassification of cannabis, gambling deregulation, transsexualrights)For twenty separate moral issues we have carried out an analysis of theways in which Members of Parliament have voted. The issues wereconsidered by the House of Commons in a total of twenty-three votes.Most of the votes involved a free vote. It is a matter of concern that some political parties have used the party whip to require MPs to vote for policies which many Christians would see as morally wrong (e.g. therepeal of Section 28, or the introduction of homosexual civil partnerships).Some votes have had to be excluded. For example, the votes on Sundaytrading have proved too complex to analyse in the time available.The vote on the introduction of the national lottery was also excluded asnone of the main political parties opposes the principle of the nationallottery. The main vote in Parliament on the legislation bringing in thelottery was not actually on the principle, but rather the particular schemefor implementation. An analysis of MPs votes would yield very littleinformation about their beliefs on this question and hence has not beendone.