Party leaders - general election 2017
Politicians

Right to Life: where do the Party Leaders currently stand?

Lord Alton has done a useful (and very interesting) bit of digging on how the current party leaders have voted over recent years on a series of Right to Life issues. It is reproduced here with permission and no further comment: their voting records rather speak for themselves.

Where They Stand – the political leaders, their parties, the candidates, and the right to life

2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act. It went through its Second Reading in the House of Commons with only 29 MPs voting against. Since then more than 8 million British babies have been aborted and millions of human embryos experimented upon – with laws even allowing the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos. The next Parliament will almost certainly vote again on whether to permit euthanasia and today many more MPs now support the right to life.

When voters come to use their votes on June 8th they will not only be voting for a new Government, they will be voting for individual Members of Parliament who will hold in their hands the gift of life or death.

A voter who wants to affirm the right to life of an unborn child, stop destructive experiments on human embryos, and safeguard disabled people from the dangers of euthanasia, needs to establish where their individual candidates stand and weigh up the positions of the political parties.

Beyond all other questions, this one is about the right to life itself.

2017 Johnson Bill to further liberalise the Abortion laws
Theresa May – Abstained
Jeremy Corbyn – For
Tim Farron – Abstained

2015 Bill to Ban Sex Selective Gender Abortions
Theresa May – For
Jeremy Corbyn – Against
Tim Farron – Abstained

2015 Creation of 3-Parent Babies
Theresa May – Abstained
Jeremy Corbyn – For
Tim Farron – For

2008 Information for Disability Diagnosis
Theresa May – For
Jeremy Corbyn – Against
Tim Farron – Abstained

2008 Ban on Creating Animal Human Hybrid Embryos
Theresa May – For
Jeremy Corbyn – Abstained
Tim Farron – For

2008 Vote to Reduce Abortion to 20 weeks
Theresa May – For
Jeremy Corbyn – Against
Tim Farron – Abstained

2015 Vote on the Bill to legalise assisted suicide
Theresa May – Against
Jeremy Corbyn – Abstained
Tim Farron – Abstained

In Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, for the SNP, has called for women from Northern Ireland to be given free abortions on the NHS but she has consistently opposed the legalising of assisted suicide. The leader of the SNP at Westminster, Angus Robertson, abstained on the 2015 Assisted Suicide Bill, abstained on the 2017 Johnson Bill to further liberalise abortion, voted against the banning of sex selection abortions, and voted in favour of three parent babies and animal human hybrid embryos and voted against any reduction in the upper limit for abortions.

Caroline Lucas MP, of the Greens, was not in Parliament when some of the votes were taken but in 2015 voted for assisted suicide and voted for the 2017 Johnson Bill to further liberalise abortion, voted against the banning of sex selection abortions, and against independent abortion counselling.

A Question of Conscience

In both Houses Conservative Government Ministers have repeatedly insisted that beginning and end of life issues are a matter of conscience for individual Members and that there is not Party Policy.

The Labour Opposition says that MPs may follow their conscience but the Party has policy in favour of abortion.

The Liberal Democrats have made being pro-abortion a commitment of their party, favour an extension of the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, and their spokesperson in the Lords recently said that it is their policy to permit assisted suicide.

For the SNP, Carol Monaghan (MP, Glasgow North West) says “The party Constitution enshrines freedom of conscience and meant I could join the SNP without compromising my faith.”

The Green Party has party policy supporting abortion and “non animal experiments” which includes support for experiments on human embryos.

Men and women gave their lives that we should have the freedom to live in a democracy rather than a dictatorship. When casting our votes we owe it to them to carefully consider where individual candidates and parties stand and to vote to protect the most vulnerable and defenceless among us.

  • Dolphinfish

    The Greens support abortion and human embryo experiments, but are against animal testing? Tells you everything you need to know, really.

    • Inspector General

      In the last Election, the Greens manifesto seemed to want acquiring and owning a pet, any pet, to be on the same level as human adoption. Although not mentioned, it can only be assumed that visits by ‘animal social workers’ are on the cards. For the feeblest of our human stock in the mind department, the Greens must be an attractive party to vote for.

      • CliveM

        The Greens, the party of the insane.

        • Inspector General

          They rely entirely for their one seat on the goodwill of the homosexual community in Brighton. So those two persuasions are de facto in alliance. One muses what would happen if a high profile homosexual (man, of course) was to stand as an independent there. Elton John for example. The seat would go back to the Conservatives then by the splitting of the vote.

          • CliveM

            They are proof, if needed, that the Left has an almost unlimited capacity for generating stupid ideas.

          • Manfarang

            The Greens won the seat from Labour. A lot of Labour activists had deserted the party because of the Iraq war.

        • Anton

          They don’t give a damn about the birds killed by wind turbines.

      • Anton

        My cat adopted me; what would they say about that?

      • Manfarang

        I will adopt a pet red panda in that case.

        • Inspector General

          Should think you’d have to be a Party Member to do that…same goes for eating meat. That will be off the menu for most after a few years of Green Fascism…

          • Manfarang

            The Bharatiya Janata Party is taking meat off the menu and putting the Muslim butchers out of work.

          • Inspector General

            Something tells an Inspector that annoying muslim butchers of all people is not the brightest of things to do…

          • Manfarang

            That’s the Hindu nationalists for you.

          • CliveM

            Snort, the countryside will be full of opportunities for convinced carnivores.

          • Inspector General

            That kind of talk will see you in a Green re-education camp, sir. And yes, they will be residential….

          • IanCad

            Custodial more like.

          • Inspector General

            Custodial is not a favoured word with Green totalitarians. A school of thought has it that very few should be incarcerated. Most criminality they say is caused by the offender needing to be educated on why his behaviour is wrong. So, a few months in a classroom and he’s reformed enough to be released back to his loved ones who’ll keep an eye on him. You see, the REAL victims of crime are the miscreants family, don’t you know.

            The local drugs dealers who are picked up around here almost daily will rejoice at that approach because at present, they’re finding 3 years in chokey not at all conducive to their chosen line of business…

          • Royinsouthwest

            There has been talk of re-introducing wolves in the Scottish Highlands. They would probably thrive in upland areas in England and Wales too. Bears could be re-introduced too. After all, it is unfair to expect Sir David Attenborough to go on long overseas trips at his age just to make programs about wildlife when that could be done on our doorsteps.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Are pandas Maoists? I thought they would have junked their old ideologies like most Chinese by now.

          • Manfarang

            A red panda is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.
            As they are unrelated to pandas they may well be supporters of such movements as the Sikkim Democratic Front.

    • Royinsouthwest

      In fairness to them (one does try to be fair) the Greens have not yet started to sacrifice animals to Gaia, let alone sacrifice humans.

  • carl jacobs

    What’s a good Liberal Christian to do when it comes to the great moral issues of the day? Heroically abstain, I guess.

    Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.

    Of course, I’m also standing over there. I’m actually sort if in two places at once. Now, about those books you wanted me to recant … What if I just abstained on that matter?

    • Anton

      It’s worth pointing out that “abstained” almost certainly means “was not present for the vote” rather than “chose not to walk through either the Aye or the No lobby but made a point of going through the centre doors”. One may speculate on MP’s reasons for non-attendance at any particular vote, but these are certainly busy people. (Life might be a bit better if they weren’t so busy, in fact…)

      • carl jacobs

        Does that really matter? If it’s important, you show up. And not showing up is a convenient excuse for not having to take a position.

        • Anton

          I too think that these are important motions, but even the best MPs have to be overseas at times, or are ill, or whatever.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            The Commons only sits for c. 30 weeks per year. No MP except a minister on official business has any excuse for being out of the country during that time.

          • Anton

            I’m merely pointing out that “Abstained” and “Absent” are not identical. I didn’t plan to get into debate about whether different things can be inferred about an MP from one or the other.

          • carl jacobs

            It seemed to me you implied I was being unfair to Farron by suggesting he was ducking these votes in a cowardly manner. The density of abstentions in the above record is remarkably high compared to the May and Corbyn. Coincedence?

          • Manfarang

            Well Corbyn is a bit of a pacifist so when killing people is an issue he would come out top.

          • Anton

            I didn’t mean to imply that.

          • As Jack understands it, an abstention in Parliamentary procedure is when a Member is present during the vote but does not cast his/her ballot. In the House of Commons, a Member of Parliament may also actively abstain by voting both “yes” and “no”. Absences are recorded separately.

          • “Coincedence?”

            No not a coincidence – you’re American.

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm …. LOOK! A SQUIRREL!

          • The presence of nuts (and there are plenty where you’re from) does not a squirrel make, Grasshopper.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s no ordinary squirrel! That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on! Look, that squirrel’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer!

          • Grouchy Jack

            Could Manchester City’s defeat today be the cause of this thinly veiled irascibility?

          • carl jacobs

            I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew it all, didn’t you? Oh, it’s just a harmless little squirrel, isn’t it? Well, it’s always the same. I always tell them–

          • Royinsouthwest

            Is it a red squirrel, and hence a native of Britain, or a grey squirrel and therefore an immigrant from North America?

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        In addition to what carl jacobs said.

        “but these are certainly busy people”

        No, not really. A very large number (a majority?) have outside jobs. In principle I approve of that as it may help to make them aware of life outside the Westminster bubble. But no MP can reasonably have an outside job and yet say they don’t have time to attend parliament.

        Also I might accept a Minister being busy, perhaps even out of the country, and maybe a party leader. But for most of those votes Corbyn was a backbencher (with a London constituency) as was Farron for all bar one of them.

      • chefofsinners

        George Osborne seems to have plenty of time on his hands…

  • Inspector General

    Monstrous creations are in the planning. The DNA from 2 homosexual men to produce a ‘human’. The mother’s DNA cleared out from her gamete. The resulting zygote will be considered a triumph of man…over God and Nature. Horrific stuff. Sure you’ll all agree.

    • Dolphinfish

      Well, I certainly do.

      • Inspector General

        Any politician who objects will be marked down as a ‘hater’. This word is replacing tired old ‘bigot’ one notices…

    • Pretty sick stuff that Inspector. Let’s hope resulting zygote grows into a monster and kills its creators, that’ll teach the perverted bunch.

      • Inspector General

        Hopefully it will end up the same way as cloning did, Marie. Some thing that lives for a short time only. But so long as there is a demand, research will go on…

    • Royinsouthwest

      I haven’t heard of that. Is that really being planned? Wouldn’t it be an infringement of the human rights of the child for him or her to be the product of a medical experiment that has absolutely nothing to do with either saving life or improving human health?

      • Inspector General

        All true Roy. And you can put money on research continuing even after, so that not even one cell from a female is involved. Some male homosexual couplings would want that. As for the rights of a not yet born experiment of a human weighed up against ever increasing LGBT uber rights, it’s not even going to be close…

  • CliveM

    Interesting. Honestly however, it doesn’t change how I’ll vote.

  • chefofsinners

    A picture of Paul Nuttall at the top of the page, but nothing about UKIP policy, or their voting patterns in the European Parliament.
    Conspiracy or cock-up?

    • Manfarang

      With only one MP in the last session not much of a voting pattern.

      • chefofsinners

        The Greens only have one MP, and UKIP are the largest UK party in the European Parliament.

        • Manfarang

          But Ukip do little or nothing in Parliament.

    • As the title of the post makes clear, the topic is concerned with “party leaders”. The opening sentence reiterates this, and expands: “..how the current party leaders have voted over recent years on a series of Right to Life issues.” Paul Nuttall is featured because he is a party leader, but he has no voting record on Right to Life issues. Unlike all the other party leaders, he is not (and was not) in the House of Commons to have voted on any of the specified Bills. It is not possible to discern how Paul Nuttall would have voted from the record of Ukip’s sole MP, as these are conscience matters for each individual. So, no conspiracy and no cock-up.

      • chefofsinners

        Alright. In the interests transparency and democracy, Paul Nuttall’s voting record can be examined in detail here: http://www.votewatch.eu/en/term8-paul-nuttall-2.html

        The EU parliament does not legislate much on ‘reproductive rights’, to use the current euphemism. However, the ECHR is very much involved. The ECHR has in recent years determined the following:
        1. Member States are under a positive obligation to create a procedural framework enabling a pregnant woman to effectively exercise her right of access to lawful abortion. (Tysiac v. Poland Application no. 5410/03)
        2. A potential father has no right to participate in the decision-making as to whether or not to carry out an abortion. (Boso v. Italy Application No 50490/99)
        3. The rights of the foetus do not have protection under Article 8. (Right to respect for private and family life). However a ‘view has been expressed’ that the right to life protected under Article 2 may extend to protecting the life of the foetus.

        UKIP is the only party to seriously advocate withdrawl from the ECHR prior to Brexit, because withdrawl could not happen without Brexit. The current Conservative position is now that the matter will be considered once Brexit has been completed.

        UKIP will be deciding on a constituency-by-constituency basis whether to field a candidate against incumbent Brexiteers. In many cases they are likely to choose not to fight the seats. Let’s face it, a big Conservative win is the inevitable outcome of this election. The only thing we can influence is the balance of Brexit supporting MPs. The more of these there are, the better Theresa May’s feet can be held in the fire.

        • Inspector General

          Do you have any sway in UKIP?

          It would be better if they decided on a national level which seats to contest or not. Leave sitting Conservatives alone unless they are raving Remainers for example. The same applies to the few Labour Brexit types.

          • chefofsinners

            The logic is explained here: http://www.ukip.org/putting_our_country_first
            The outcome will be pretty much as you describe.

          • Inspector General

            Thank Christ for Nuttall.

          • chefofsinners

            It will make a massive difference to the Conservative majority. May owes UKIP – and not for the first time.

      • Simon Platt

        I understand, but can’t remember from what source, that Paul Nuttall is a member of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (as am I).

  • Anna

    Abortion overturns the duty of parents to sacrifice for their children, and the duty of society to protect the weak. Like all humanistic solutions, it prioritises the happiness of the fittest and strongest over the rights of the weakest members in society. The underlying principle seems to be that the stronger party in any given equation must be spared all struggle, while the weaker one pays the ultimate price to uphold ‘the rights’ of the former. So the expectant mother aborts her helpless foetus who apparently has no rights, but is seen as an extension of her body, like an unsightly wart and therefore denied any voice in the decision to end his or her life. And those who support this act of unbelievable cruelty to a defenceless baby cleverly describe their position as pro-choice rather than what is really is – pro-death.

    • Keith Towers

      Very well said.

      • Anna

        Thank you.

        • “So the expectant mother aborts her helpless foetus who apparently has no rights, but is seen as an extension of her body, like an unsightly wart and therefore denied any voice in the decision to end his or her life.”

          Anna, this is the awful reality but let’s not be too harsh on those women who submit to the grave offence of abortion.

          Abortion is the single most monstrous reality that plagues Western nations. The cultural corruption rampant in our society means many if not most women now understand abortion is a legal and acceptable procedure, and have done so for their whole lives. Some vague idea of their baby being just a “potential person” eases their conscience. The voices proclaiming the truth about abortion are not easily heard above the noise of the liberal, relativistic agenda. Physicians and medical organisations support the practice, and many women choose abortion when it is suggested or imposed upon them by family, friends, social workers, or doctors. Though there must be some element of wilful ignorance involved in any abortion, that wilful ignorance is so ingrained in society that it is an almost invincible ignorance, and therefore an almost innocent ignorance. What woman in her right mind would actually choose to kill her child? Women who choose abortion simply do not wish to be pregnant. The link between sex and procreation has been long broken – just as the link between sex and marriage has.

          • Anna

            I agree. Both the baby and the mother are victims in this terrible culture of death. There is no greater horror than when the hands that were meant to protect and caress a baby are used to destroy. Yet, the pressure on her is intense. She is told that the baby in her womb is only a mass of cells with no feelings. She feels unsupported if she decides to go against the current trends, and decides to keep a baby she is ill equipped to care for. I feel sorry for any mother forced to make choices under such difficult circumstances, though she does bear some responsibility before God, but mainly I blame the medical profession (to which I belong), the state and society for being criminal accomplices in the murder of the unborn.

          • And women are not given the truth about abortion on their future health:

            Not only does every abortion kill an innocent human being in the womb; but abortion is also more dangerous to the mother than if she were to give birth to the child. The evidence overwhelmingly proves that the morbidity and mortality rates of legal abortion are several times higher than that for carrying a pregnancy to term.

            http://www.abortionfacts.com/facts/11

          • Lucius

            In the United States, 44% of all abortions are repeat abortions, and most abortions (57%) are done by women between the ages of 20-29. (Ctr. for Disease Control, 2008). I have sympathy for the teen who unexpectedly gets pregnant. But I find myself having less sympathy for adults and even less for those adults who engage in repeat abortions. There is simply no excuse for it given the widespread availability of pre-conception contraceptives (e.g., condoms).

          • Abortion is the back-up plan if contraception fails. A contraceptive mind-set leads to the acceptance of abortion, among other evils.

          • Sarky

            Yet without contraception the abortion rate would be unimaginable.
            Whats your plan then Jack?, bearing in mind people are going to have sex.

          • Anna

            Natural methods?

          • Too inconvenient in a world focussed on satisfying immediate wants in the moment when the consequences of our actions can be avoided – except they can’t, of course.

          • Sarky

            Do you honestly think that’s a realistic option?
            I live in the real world and I’d rather see mass contraception than mass abortion.

          • Busy Mum

            But mass contraception has developed hand-in-hand with mass abortion – the evidence suggests that it’s a case of neither or both, rather than having one or the other.

          • Sarky

            Unfortunately education didn’t develop at the same speed.

          • Busy Mum

            Education is the big red herring when it comes to this topic.

          • Sarky

            Are you for real??? Education is ‘the’ answer.
            Please explain to me then, how an increase in sex education coincides with the lowest teenage pregnancy rates we have had?

          • Busy Mum

            Lowest rates since when?

          • Sarky
          • Busy Mum

            “Since record keeping began in the 1960’s.” Oh, so since teenage pregnancy became a problem (caused by the abandonment of self-control??)
            Please let me know if they have been as successful with reducing STDs as they have pregnancies.

          • Sarky

            So, do you think education on self control or contraception will help?

          • Busy Mum

            The implication of that question is that both methods of preventing pregnancy are of equal value. I know you don’t do God, so there’s no point talking about sins against the body etc so let’s just think about it from a resource angle; conduct a cost-benefit analysis if you like.

            Which of the two creates an industry? Allows people to make money out of the incontinence of others? Diverts resources into the production of contraceptives and STD treatment? Leaves one extremely vulnerable should the supply of contraceptives and/or treatment dry up?

            Which of the two leaves one gloriously independent of the state and of all other human beings?

            If one cannot control oneself, one will be controlled by others.

          • Sarky

            And which one is totally unrealistic and leaves people vulnerable to pregnancy/infection if they do decide to have sex??
            As for the whole ‘sex is a sin’ thing, that’s part of the problem.
            You make people ashamed of sex, then they won’t get help with contraception etc and what does that lead to?? Abortion. Have you ever thought that your views might be part of the problem instead of the solution?

          • Busy Mum

            You keep assuming it is ‘totally unrealistic’ to restrain oneself yet you talk about a rational ‘decision to have sex’. If you can decide to have sex, you can decide not to have sex.
            Pregnancy and/or infection are consequences of sex. Just don’t expect the taxpayer to pay for the consequences. Do not expect the taxpayer to pay for contraception either.
            Sex is not a sin, provided it takes place within marriage. The ‘problems’ arise when people go beyond those bounds.

          • Sarky

            It is totally unrealistic to restrict sex to marriage. It just wont happen…ever. therefore, your starting point is floored before you even start.
            Do you condone abortion??
            Because by restricting access to contraception, abortion will be the consequence.
            You really need to think through the consequences of what you propose.

          • Busy Mum

            No, I don’t condone abortion. Restricting access to contraception need not result in abortion; an alternative consequence could be a baby.
            I agree that fornication and adultery have been around since time immemorial but that doesn’t mean we have to condone extra-marital sexual activity.

          • Sarky

            But it happens and we should therefore be responsible how we deal with it.
            Your view is based on an ideal that will never exist. When the church gets involved in reproductive rights its a disaster. How many lives could have been saved if the catholic church had allowed the use of condoms in africa?

          • Busy Mum

            Why should ‘we’ be responsible for what ‘they’ get up to in bed?

          • Sarky

            I dont understand??

          • Busy Mum

            You said that ‘it happens and we should therefore be responsible how we deal with it’. Why should ‘we’ be responsible for dealing with the consequences of others’ behaviour?

          • Sarky

            If you’d seen the pictures of orphans whose parents were wiped out by the hiv epidemic, you wouldn’t even ask!

          • Busy Mum

            Is it really any different from the ‘orphans’ I see at school every day? Those who are children of the state?

            It is highly irresponsible and extremely selfish to indulge in behaviour – sexual, drugs, whatever- which is going to lead to a burden on society.

            And the argument about the RCC not ‘allowing’ condoms in Arica is just nonsense. Why were those people so particular about obeying the church diktats about condoms yet quite happy to ignore the church diktats about fornication and adultery? (And I am not RC!) Just think how many lives could have been saved if people had exercised self-control……

          • Sarky

            We are never going to reach agreement.

          • Busy Mum

            I agree:)

          • CliveM

            You need to show causation as well as correlation. Surely changing patterns of work with regards women can give an alternative explanation? Women want a career not babies?

          • Sarky

            Doesnt that come from education?
            (Also see link provided to busy mum)

          • CliveM

            I had assumed you were talking sex education.

          • Sarky

            Both.

          • CliveM

            But it’s not what you typed. You specifically said sex education. Never mind, I’m happy to agree that general education has helped change woman’s expectations in life, which has impacted fertility rates.

          • CliveM

            So would I.

          • Anna

            In Uganda, they managed to reduce HIV levels by teaching teens the importance of abstinence until marriage, and then being faithful to one’s spouse.

          • Sarky

            The A,B,C approach of which you conveniently forgot condoms!!

          • Busy Mum

            How can you be sure of that? Maybe they would rediscover a bit of self-control.

          • Sarky

            Don’t be so naive.

          • Busy Mum

            Why dismiss self-control out of hand? Why have such low expectations of people?

          • Sarky

            Because evidence gathered from the dawn of man would show that self control isn’t an option.

          • Busy Mum

            What evidence would that be?

          • Sarky

            Look, whether you like or not people have sex. They always have and always will, contraception will ‘always’ be a better option than self control. If you think otherwise you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Which one’s the Busy Mum, you or her? Are you being rude enough to suggest that she doesn’t know where her children came from?

          • betteroffoutofit

            Because they’re so good at fulfilling them?

          • If they are going to have sex, use artificial contraception and this fails, then let people shoulder their responsibilities rather than killing children in the mother’s womb.

          • I’d say the mother is to some degree a casualty of culture and to some degree in collusion with the culture. It is the collusion element that makes her responsible.

            We are all creators of culture to a greater or lesser extent. The only question is what kind of culture our life choices are promoting.

          • Anna

            True. Sadly, it is impossible for people people who do not have a Christian worldview to understand things as we do. Most mothers make their choices based on their circumstances and the assurances given by health workers. Many of them struggle afterwards, but by then it is too late. As another commentator suggested, we need someone like Wilberforce to keep up the fight for decades to change people’s perspectives on abortion.

          • Jack read this yesterday and thought of your posts on suicide and the dangers of under emphasing its eternal consequences. In some respects, too harsh but there’s much truth in it.

            (Pretty Much) Whoever Commits Suicide Shall Have Eternal Death

            https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/pretty-much-whoever-commits-suicide-shall-have-eternal-death/

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes. And another essential question is – “Is it fair to bring a good and innocent soul into this overwhelmingly evil culture?” — especially if the mother can’t afford to provide the support and protection necessary for the early part of the child’s life.

            After all, quite a lot of married couples are deciding not to have children.

    • chefofsinners

      And yet society believes that the human race became so much superior to the animals through genetic mutations. Curious, then, that all these mutations seem to lead to disabilities so awful that the child must not be allowed to live.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I am afraid that that sort of argument would not convince anybody who knew the slightest thing about evolution. In any species harmful mutations would tend to reduce that creature’s chances of survival and of passing on its genes. A neutral mutation, i.e. one that is neither harmful nor beneficial, would not affect the likelihood of the relevant genes being passed on. A beneficial mutation would increase the chances of survival and of the genes for that mutation being passed on.

        The argument used in favour of eugenics (not a subject that you hear much about nowadays but it is relevant to abortion) was that modern medicine allows unhealthy children to survive who in past ages would have died and therefore increases the risks of harmful mutations being passed on. That argument does not fit in very well with Christian morality, but nature is “red in tooth and claw.” A common argument used by Dawkins etc. (although it is far older than him) is that creationism is obviously wrong because a benevolent Creator would not have created parasites that cause blindness in children, or viruses and bacteria that do untold harm, etc. etc.

        • Anna

          “A common argument used by Dawkins is… a benevolent Creator would not have created parasites…”

          I wonder why such intelligent people can’t see that there are 2 separate questions. First you need to ascertain whether there is a Creator, before you decide on His character, whether He is benevolent or otherwise.

        • chefofsinners

          My point is: Name a benevolent mutation.

          • Whilst rare, those that reduce susceptibility to certain diseases and threats:

            http://bigthink.com/daylight-atheism/evolution-is-still-happening-beneficial-mutations-in-humans

            From: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Mutation#Beneficial_mutationsVivid examples of beneficial mutations

            Beneficial mutations

            A beneficial mutation is exactly what it says it is: a mutation in an organism’s genome that produces a beneficial effect. Specifically, it affects the organism in some way as to increase its chances of reproductive success, and therefore the chance of the mutation in question being passed along. It is safe to say that the vast majority of mutations in an organism are not beneficial. Often a mutation is neutral, producing neither a beneficial effect nor a negative effect, although it could be a potentiating mutation (see above). Many are negative mutations – producing a disorder in the organism that significantly lowers its survival and reproductive capabilities. In the case of species depending on sexual reproduction, a negative mutation can prevent the embryo being correctly conceived or even the gametes being functional.

            [edit] Relevance to natural selection

            Despite the odds against an individual mutation being beneficial, the driving force of natural selection means that when one does appear, it can quickly dominate a population. This is the entire point of natural selection, which invalidates any argument that “beneficial mutations” are too rare to ever have any effect.

            In 2008 microbiologist Richard Lenski produced a beneficial mutation in the lab, when his E. coli developed a trait that enabled them to utilize citrate as a carbon source. While E. coli has internal cellular mechanisms that can process the citrate, one hallmark of the species is that it cannot transport citrate across the cell wall. This mutation enabled them to do so.

            Vivid examples of beneficial mutations
            Lactase persistence – why humans with significant European or Kenyan ancestry can digest milk as adults.

            Antibiotic resistant bacteria — at least beneficial from the point of view of the bacteria.

            Radiation-resistant fungi (and perhaps other lifeforms) inside Chernobyl[3]

            “German Superboy”,[4] an individual example of a human mutation that not only doesn’t cause any visible disfigurement or impairment, but if anything will probably make it easier to maintain a muscular physique and/or low weight.

            These are characteristics that could be considered desirable in the modern day, when food is abundant.

            The ccr5-Δ32 mutation confers HIV-1 resistance to those with a double copy of the allele (homozygous)[5]. The mutation also confers resistance to plague and smallpox while increasing susceptibility to West Nile virus.[6][7][8]

          • Anna

            The examples given in the link are most likely normal variations similar to eye colour and there is no evidence that these new mutations.

          • chefofsinners

            Where to begin with such a ragbag if half science?

            Superboy is the most sensationalist. Doctors are worried that this super-muscly 7-month-old will die when his heart muscle refuses to stop growing.

            In fungi and bacteria, previously existing genetic variation is being selected, just like when slow runners get eaten by bears.

            Lactase regulation is governed by dominant and recessive genes, like eye colour. There is no mutation involved, just flexibility built into the human genome by the creator.

            The case of Lenski’s e-coli is complicated. Read here to begin to understand https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/mutations/a-poke-in-the-eye/

            “When a beneficial mutation occurs… it can quickly dominate a population” you say. Give an example.

      • Anna

        We hardly know of any beneficial mutations. Nearly all of them are harmful.

    • Holger

      Well if consent is your only objection, then I for one wouldn’t oppose a change to the law requiring clinics to attempt to obtain the fœtus’s consent before being aborted.

      A nurse could read out a consent form and hold it and a pen near the woman’s vagina waiting for a hand to shoot out and sign on the dotted line.

      In the absence of any reaction however, the fœtus would have to be deemed as incapable of making a conscious decision. It would then be up to the woman carrying it to make that decision on its behalf.

      I believe this is how the law currently stands. But if you demanded that clinics be required to go through the motions of obtaining fœtal consent, you’d probably get lawmakers in Texas to give you a hearing.

      • Anna

        Consent is not my only objection, just one of them.

      • chefofsinners

        So we can kill anyone incapable of objecting?

        • Holger

          You can’t kill anyone who is a legal person because the law doesn’t allow it.

          Legal persons are human beings in a state of vital functioning, which (legally speaking) starts at birth and ends at death. A fœtus is not a person because it hasn’t been born.

          In some jurisdictions a fœtus is recognised as a potential person when it becomes capable of life outside the womb, which is why abortion is banned in some countries after a certain point in the gestation process. Before that point however, it is considered as an adjunct of the body of the woman in whose uterus it is located. If she wants it removed, she has that right.

          Once born, a fœtus becomes a person and its life is then protected by the law. There is some argument over whether people should be allowed to take their own lives, but most of us seem to be in agreement that the killing of one person by another is unacceptable. The law certainly forbids it.

          To get early term fœtuses protected by the law, you’ll have to change the legal definition of personhood. Some fundy Christians tried to do that in the US I believe, but they lost their case. How successful do you think you’ll be?

  • Inspector General

    {KNOCK KNOCK}

    “Good afternoon sonny. Is a parent in? I understand there’s a kitten in this household. I’ve come to make sure it’s thriving. All animals have the same rights now, remember. Same as human animals”

    “Mum! There’s a talking dog at the door!”

  • dannybhoy

    off topic.
    There’s a very Christian message from this London Marathon incident..
    https://twitter.com/LaborneRacing/status/856114706498691072/photo/1

  • len

    Hardly an inspring performance from any of the politicians that ‘do God’?.
    Any society that ‘terminates’ its young will one day look at the other end of the scale and wonder how it can ‘relieve society of the burden ‘of its aged population?.
    As one who is fast approaching’ advanced years’ I hope I am not around to see’ termination’ of the elderly.

  • Those results paint a scary picture, and they said the ‘slippery slope’ argument against legalising abortion in the first place was scaremongering. Seems like we’re heading towards a world of three parent babies who can be aborted up to term for being disabled or being the wrong sex. Or is it gender? I’m can’t keep up.

  • In both Houses Conservative Government Ministers have repeatedly insisted that beginning and end of life issues are a matter of conscience for individual Members and that there is not Party Policy.

    Surely an abrogation of duty on the part of our Conservative Party leaders. At least the Labour Party has a policy (as reprehensible as it is) and yet permits freedom of conscience.

    In his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis Pope Benedict identified “not negotiable” values as being of central concern to Christians involved in politics. These are: “respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.”

    As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a 2002 Doctrinal Note approved by Pope John Paul II, he wrote: “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals ….

    “When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person.

    This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death. In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo. Analogously, the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce: in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such.

    The same is true for the freedom of parents regarding the education of their children; it is an inalienable right recognized also by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

    In the same way, one must consider society’s protection of minors and freedom from modern forms of slavery (drug abuse and prostitution, for example).

    In addition, there is the right to religious freedom and the development of an economy that is at the service of the human person and of the common good, with respect for social justice, the principles of human solidarity and subsidiarity, according to which “the rights of all individuals, families, and organizations and their practical implementation must be acknowledged”.

    Finally, the question of peace must be mentioned. Certain pacifistic and ideological visions tend at times to secularize the value of peace, while, in other cases, there is the problem of summary ethical judgments which forget the complexity of the issues involved. Peace is always “the work of justice and the effect of charity”. It demands the absolute and radical rejection of violence and terrorism and requires a constant and vigilant commitment on the part of all political leaders.”

    • Sarky

      I think the pope has been to the ‘trump’ school of speachmaking.

      Pope Francis: Europe migrant centres ‘concentration camps’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39685253

      • Lucius

        Liberals worldwide have found that gross hyperbole, as well as absurd historical analogies, are effective at rallying their base and scaring the opposition into silence.

        • Manfarang

          Such as in the speeches of Jo Grimond?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Jo Grimond is an historical figure now, like Gladstone but not so eminent. It is noticeable that you could not think of a contemporary liberal who would command general respect.

          • Manfarang

            John Alderdice

      • Manfarang

        A largely British invention in South Africa. Similar measures were used to defeat the communists in Malaya.

        • Royinsouthwest

          The aim of the British “concentration camps” was too cut off guerrillas from their sources of support. It was not to wipe the population out. The policy worked well in Malaya.

          • Manfarang

            Not so well in South Africa unfortunately.

  • John

    Farron abstained on five out of seven votes. What’s the point of that? What a pathetic wet. Where is the man’s backbone? What kind of leadership is that? Why not issue him with a white flag and a cuddly stuffed unicorn? And we are told that having more Evangelical Christians in politics can actually make a difference. No, when push comes to shove, political ambition outweighs moral conviction for Tim Farron and his like.

    • He cannot claim he’s a Christian with that voting record, shocking. I suspect he only said he was to get their votes.

      • Inspector General

        Good Evening to you Marie. Every year, this man stays with friends in his constituency in the Lakes. They say he escaped the great Lib Dem cull because “he’s a damn good MP who does a lot for up here”. Maybe so then, but it’s unlikely his leadership duties allows much time for that these days.

        • So what exactly has he done for his constituents then? I doubt it’s very much at all.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t know how he’s done it, but he’s earned himself a personal following. When his party took over Cheltenham, the blighters closed all the public toilets save the ones at the bus station. In the name of sanity, why!

          • Jack wonders how the inhabitants of Pink News reacted to act.

          • Inspector General

            When the Inspector was a boy, the population of Cheltenham was 70,000 and there were public toilets at strategic places in and around the town. The population is half as much again now, and we can’t afford them, apparently. How does that work!

            Of course, junket trips by the council to so called twinned towns on the continent and even Sochi in Russia were affordable still. What a liberty!

            Damnable liberals….

          • Anton

            The Gents at Cheltenham Coach Station in the 1970s was the only time and place I have been groped by a man.

          • Inspector General

            If you got yourself over to Gloucester Bus Station around then, you might have ‘met’ Jason King.

          • Manfarang

            Today public conveniences are often vandalized, very dirty and full of things such as used needles. Many have been closed because of cuts in government spending.
            There are not many in the city where I live, it doesn’t seem to be a big problem.

          • Sarky

            Probably something to do with the holes you kept drilling!

    • 1649-9-11again

      LibDems were always unprincipled opportunists.

    • Anna

      It is sad that he was forced to say that homosexuality is not a sin. Perhaps he meant to suggest that the inclination is not sinful, and secretly believes that the lifestyle is indeed sinful.

      • David

        That’s exactly what I read into it.

      • Anton

        He wasn’t “forced” to say it. He chose to say it.

        • Anna

          For months now, the media have been after him with the same question – one they wouldn’t dream of asking a Muslim MP – hoping to get an answer that they could use against him.

  • David

    There’s nothing in any of these voting records that I can warm to.

    More Christians needed in politics is a frequently heard point, and indeed is one I’ve made myself in this parish. But for a genuine Christian, who lives the faith and doesn’t just wear the badge alongside many others, a career in politics would have to be outside the conventional I think. In fact it would need to be a vocation, to serve as lowly MP term after term, because following your Christian conscience would render promotions unavailable.

    To successfully oppose the ‘harvest of death’,we need another Wilberforce, a dedicated individual who consistently puts God and principle before party or career.

    • chefofsinners

      Support Christian Concern, who run a ‘Wilberforce Academy’ aimed at producing just such individuals.

      • David

        Good advice ! That’s two of us in this parish then. I have supported them for almost a decade now. Andrea is an inspiring speaker.

      • Mike Stallard

        Thomas Clarkson wrote his essay on slavery and was converted to devoting his life to anti-slavery at Cambridge. I went there this week. It is not now the kind of place where such a conversion is very likely although the Lord moves in mysterious ways…

      • Dominic Stockford

        Closing date for the next set of lectures later this year is April 30th – so get in there quick if you know someone who might benefit from being part of this.

    • Mike Stallard

      Wilberforce in parliament but it was Thomas Clarkson who did the spade work.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Be fair – Theresa May’s record is astonishingly different from that of the others. But unless you live in Maidenhead you won’t be voting for her.

      • David

        You are easily pleased. Her record is not different enough for me.

        • Merchantman

          No she is incoherent on Islam.

          • David

            Clearly !
            She probably thinks naively that it is like her faith only slightly different – how wrong she is !

  • Albert

    2017 Johnson Bill to further liberalise the Abortion laws
    Theresa May – Abstained

    Did the PM actually abstain or just not be there because, as PM she was somewhere else?

    • carl jacobs

      Welcome back, Albert.

      • Albert

        Thank you.

        • Don’t trust him, Albert ….

          • Albert

            Who? Our Carl?

          • He’s been rude to Jack, accusing him of all sorts. Plus, he’s American.

          • carl jacobs

            Rude? Moi?

          • Albert

            Being rude is one thing, but being American is outrageous.

  • Mike Stallard

    Other matters which need to be examined:
    The scandal of the Family Courts where injustice is apparently normal and where children are regularly taken from their parents in accordance with government targets. Who knows? It is all secret.
    The bland acceptance that global warming is TRUE and that it cannot be questioned in any way at all. The scandal of how we get our electricity needs looking at too. As does the inefficiency and cost of the solar and wind farm epidemic. And the subsidies for the very rich (underfloor heating on the state).

    • David

      I agree that ugly, bird killing wind turbines are an appalling misuse of technology and rob the heat-poor to benefit large landowners, which is all wrong morally and technologically. But I wasn’t aware that underfloor heating was necessarily wasteful or cost inefficient. Are you referring to a specific case or energy source ?
      In some cases, where the structure and other conditions allow, underfloor can be driven by a ground source heat pump, which can be be very efficient thermally and financially. I would investigate underfloor heating for any new structure that I was about to design and build. But for our mid-ninteenth century cottage underfloor was very impractical, so I linked the new ground source boreholes I drilled to an existing wet radiator system, previously powered by oil.

      • Mike Stallard

        That still doesn’t bring electricity into your house though. What is actually wrong with old king coal (properly processed) to run the generators?

        • David

          Obviously ! For unless we have access to a non-seasonal steam we all need to buy in electricity to our houses.

          But new technology like air source and ground source heat pumps easily double the energy available for heating and general power needs, per unit of electric power brought into the house. So it is ultra efficient. But that is on the consumption/demand side. What of the production side of the equation ? That’s the tricky bit.

          Coal is, in principle, fine. I have been down a few coal mines, old and new, and working practices have improved beyond comparison. But if the coal has a high sulphur content, burning it will produce acid rain, which often falls over Scandinavia. To remove the SO2, lime is needed. Our source of that is the limestone of our most beautiful National Parks. To that huge dilemma there is, as yet, no easy answer. All generation methods have distinct advantages and equally disadvantages. There is no free lunch !

          • Mike Stallard

            No free lunch – but no electricity either!
            Thank you for your informed comment. Much appreciated!

          • David

            And may all your internet conversations be fully powered by endless electricity !
            See you about.

    • “The scandal of the Family Courts where injustice is apparently normal and where children are regularly taken from their parents in accordance with government targets.”

      Children and parents are entitled to legal representation in Family Courts and full appeal processes are available to them to challenge decisions of the lower courts. The only “injustice” is that these courts are not open to the public or the press to protect the identity of the child and parents.

      And there are no “government targets” for receiving children into State care; it’s the reverence, with an emphasis placed on preventative strategies and reducing numbers of looked after children, not increasing them. This in its self causes some children to suffer who might not otherwise do so.

      • Mike Stallard

        How do you know this? The courts are completely secret. The Social Services and the other agencies work in secret too.

        • Jack “knows” many things.

          The Family Courts are open to the press. You call it “secrecy”. Others call it protecting the confidentiality of children.

          • Anton

            The way it protects their genitals?

          • Below the belt.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Christopher Booker has written lots of articles in the Telegraph about injustices perpertratrated by Family Courts.

        • This being the same Christopher Booker who a High Court judge deemed articles written by him as “unbalanced”, “inaccurate” and “wrong”?

          • Anton

            And judges are never wrong, are they?

            You have already shown on this blog that you are part of the Establishment to your boot heels.

            Ad Hom rather than reasoned argument.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Christians must, they really must, look further than the so-called ‘main parties’ if they are to cast a vote which reflects Christian morality in any way at all. It should be clear to all where both the Christian Party and the Christian Peoples Alliance stand on these issues. For life, and not for meddling. In general, if you have a candidate of one of those parties in your constituency then vote for them if you think the matter of life itself really is important. Remember, you are not voting for any of the above mentioned Party Leaders unless they are the MP for your constituency.

    There are a few Tories who are notably good as individuals on these issues, David Burrowes and Fiona Bruce, for instance. The CP supports such people and doesn’t stand against them.

    If you don’t have a clear candidate who suports life and opposes meddling with it in your constituency, then you have two choices. Compromise your beliefs when you vote for the least distasteful candidate, or spoil your ballot paper. NOTA BENE: All spoilt ballot papers are read through by the returning officer, in the presence of the candidates and/or their agents. A short and succinct point written on the ballot on this matter will be noted by them all.

    • Sarky

      People didn’t fight and die for you to spoil a ballot paper, thats something i really believe in.
      As for voting for the christian parties, isnt that just a wasted vote? Why vote for someone who has zero chance of getting in?
      Isnt the best bet, to vote for someone who has got a chance and then lobby them to get your view heard?

      • Dominic Stockford

        People fought and died so that I might have a choice. And I am allowed to make use of that choice how I see best. And no, when it comes to life there is no point even trying (as with other things too) – lobbying isn’t going to change the mind of some daft person who thinks that abortion or euthanasia is good. Only God might do that, if he wants to.

        • Sarky

          ‘No point trying’. Typical christian attitude. Also an attitude that is plainly untrue. Nigel Farage pretty much single handidly got us out of Europe, despite being written off as a nutter.
          Gay people now have equal rights. Nelson Mandela broke apartheid….do you think any of these people thought ‘there’s no point trying’???
          If you feel strongly about something, grow some balls and do something about it.

          • Anton

            He’s stood in previous elections on a ticket that includes pro-life policies. How about you?

          • Sarky

            Like i said, what was the point? You’re never going to get voted in.

          • Anton

            C’mon Sarky, when he tries you castigate him for it and when he doesn’t you castigate him for that. You generally come across as fair-minded here, but not this time.

          • Sarky

            Its how you try isn’t it?
            He must know that he wouldn’t get elected. To then turn round and say its not worth trying, isnt really good enough. If somethings worth fighting for you try another way and if that doesn’t work you try again. You don’t quit and blame others for your failure.

          • Anton

            How do you know he isn’t trying another way?

          • Sarky

            He said.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Nigel Farage (and lots of other people) getting us out of Europe is not a ‘life’ matter. Properly understanding the immutable value of life depends on holding faith. So, knowing that it is God alone who saves, gives faith, I pray to him to do something. Having said that, I chair an organisation that stands up for serious issues, lobbying government, and so on. We fly the flag for Truth. But flying the flag does not change people’s hearts, only God does that. We do seek to encourage others, however, not to break before the tidal wave of filth and immorality that threatens to engulf our nation.

          • Sarky

            Todal wave of filth and immorality??
            Sorry but i don’t see it. If anything i think the tide has changed and the kids are becoming more moral. I think they have seen the excess of the last few decades and are taking a differnt path.

    • Holger

      For once I agree with Mr Lost Deposit.

      All you Christians, vote for your local Christian candidate. That way he may double or even triple his score. It won’t make a blind bit of difference to the outcome of an election. 50 votes doubled, or tripled, or even multiplied by 10, isn’t going to change the result. But if the major parties know that God-botherers only vote for God-bothering parties, they won’t even try to attract their votes by pandering to their superstitions.

      So, if you want to seelaws allowing euthanasia, human embryo experimentation and anything else that goes against Christian dogma, vote for your Christian candidate at the next election. It won’t be your fault when all those bedridden grannies are put down for their own good. Your pristine Christian conscience will be clear.

      As will Mr Lost Deposit’s. In fact he may even be able to change his name. Imagine if in an atmosphere of increasing “persecution” (aka “being laughed at”, which Christians seem to experience as a form of martyrdom) you all gathered together to live in Christian community in one particular constituency. He might then have the numbers he needs to keep his deposit. Clearly that’s his life’s ambition, and if a few grannies have to be helped on their way to eternity to make it happen, well wouldn’t that be a price worth paying? They’ll get a shortcut to paradise and Mr Lost Deposit will get his name – and his pride – back.

      Of course I’m not intimating he would ever play any kind of active role in bumping off your great-grandmother. That would be against his Christian principles. Far better to let the heathen take care of that particular detail and then rant and rail about how evil they are…

      • chefofsinners

        Lost Deposit savaged by Lost Sheep.

  • TropicalAnglican

    To compare with the US side, then candidate Trump said in an Oct 2016 interview that he was anti-abortion (had a change of heart after hearing about the experience of a couple he knew). He also spoke out specifically against late-term abortions during one of the debates. Hillary Clinton, patron of the decidedly pro-abortion Planned Parenthood, failed to agree, which makes you wonder exactly what their planning for parenthood consists of. It is quite strange that the very people who are pro-death to unborn babies tend to be the same people who are anti-death penalty for murderers.

    Anyway, the link for the clip of the interview is below (abortion bit at about 4:00) (and I also kind of liked his reply when the nosey-parker reporter asked, “When you pray, what do you pray for?” (11:42)):

    • David

      “It is quite strange that the very people who are pro-death to unborn babies tend to the same people who anti-death penalty for murderers”.

      Yes that it is the very point I made somewhere, way below.

      The link between these two, on the surface, contradictory positions, is that the group referred to is basically anti-justice, especially our Christian derived concepts of justice.

      So they reject the idea that we are responsible for our own actions. So the murderer always has some social excuse, like deprivation – as they define it, or whatever is the latest fashionable thinking to excuse them, thus negating the principle that adults should be treated as responsible adults, and therefore responsible for their actions.

      On the other hand when it comes to their sexual pleasure and convenience, a ” little matter” like the life of an innocent unborn person must not prevent them from behaving just as they wish, again rejecting any sense of responsibility.

      They claim that the believe in freedom, which is right in the sense that they demand that everyone is free of responsibility. Unfortunately such false freedoms come at the great expense of others, as in that pesky thing called reality, – “there ain’t no free lunch”

      • The Catholic Church’s position is that in a “culture of death” capital punishment ought not to be used when life imprisonment is an option. This is in the context of children being murdered in the womb on an industrial scale. The reasoning is that execution in today’s culture is about revenge and vengeance, as opposed to its proper function as a punishment making reparation to God for a life unjustly taken and offering the killer an opportunity to repent.

        The left in the Church also advance the “single garment” argument – i.e. all life should be valued from conception to natural death, meaning support for pregnant women and parents to remove the temptation to abort, and no capital punishment.

        • David

          I see the value of the death penalty as being about both justice, the “reparation to God” you mention and deterrence.

          • Protection of the public and the maintenance of good order, is of course a legitimate function for the criminal justice system. It is questionable whether

          • David

            “Can you…..euthanasia?”
            Yes, it is about moral consistency essentially I think.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Lex Talionis is the basis of Restitution for Murder. Once The State seeks a monopoly on executions it must adhere to a principle which makes Lex Talionis no longer an individual responsibility

        • carl jacobs

          Punishment is not about reparation. It is about vicarious retribution. The problem with Life Imprisonment is that there is truly no such thing. While there is life, there always remains the hope that the sentence can be commuted. What is required is not imprisonment for life but punishment without hope.

          • Agreed that capital punishment is about retributive justice – i.e. an objective “balancing of the scales” of justice. Guilt requires punishment in proportion to the seriousness of the offence. Death has been traditionally regarded as the proportionate punishment for the wilful taking of innocent life. This should not be confused with vindictiveness or vengeance. There is also a reparative dimension.

            This understanding of retribution and justice is presented in the Catechism:

            “The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behaviour harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offence. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offence. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.” (CCC 2266)

            Saint Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae called for a re-examination of the issue in a “climate of widespread moral uncertainty” and observed that “we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterised by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable ‘culture of death’”. He pinpointed murder, genocide, abortion, and euthanasia as core evils of this culture, lamenting that “conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.”

            John Paul II’s argument was not that the death penalty is objectively evil (like abortion, euthanasia, murder, etc.) but that modern, liberal societies have largely rejected objective truth, a commitment to protecting human dignity, an appreciation of natural law, and a traditional understanding of the State. This makes it impossible to carry out the death penalty in a manner attuned to justice and exhibiting moral rectitude.

            How can a State that ignores natural law regarding the killing of unborn babies go about executing criminals? This is moral schizophrenia. If the State has the right from God to use the death penalty, it does not have the duty to do so. When to use and not to use it is a prudential decision. John Paul II argued that in a ‘culture of death’ we must find other bloodless means of retributive justice. We have the means to contain and punish criminals without resorting to the death penalty. Authority must impose on the offender an adequate punishment for crime, but there is no need to execute except in cases of absolute necessity.

            As you say, the difficulty then arises about life imprisonment, what it means and is intended for. Should life mean life in order for retributive justice to be satisfied? And, if so, should the human dignity of the imprisoned be upheld, even though they denied this to their victims? Is warehousing prisoners, without hope, meaning or purpose, appropriate? In other words, should it be a “living death”, a form of torture? Then, if they are released, some murderers do commit other murders or violent crimes. In such cases, has the State failed its obligation to protect its citizens from harm or effectively defended innocent lives in such situations?

          • Anton

            So many words! In ancient Israel the death penalty was to ‘purge evil’ and that is a precedent that should continue today, unless you are in a denomination that thinks it knows better than God.

          • We’re not in ancient Israel, are we? As Jack recalls, those with skin diseases were separated and isolated from the community. Now we treat them. We don’t execute adulterers or children who disobey their parents either.Today people can be imprisoned and the population protected from them.

          • Anton

            False analogies; human nature moral law hasn’t changed since those days although thankfully medicine has.

          • And executing adulterers and disobedient children?

            The death penalty for serious breaches of the moral law was indicative of God residing in the land of Israel and its special holiness.

          • Anton

            So you think that God demanded harsher penalties in ancient Israel than are just?

          • Don’t be daft.

        • Anton

          The reasoning is that execution in today’s culture is about revenge and vengeance, as opposed to its proper function as a punishment making reparation to God for a life unjustly taken and offering the killer an opportunity to repent.

          A huge assertion! Capital punishment was commanded after the Flood to all mankind for murder, and that covenant (in Genesis 9:3-6), unlike ancient Israel’s, has never been refashioned in Christ. Hence St Paul wrote, after the Crucifixion, that rulers do not wield the sword for nothing (Romans 13:4). In ancient Israel the death penalty was to ‘purge evil’ and that is a precedent that should continue today, unless you are in a denomination that thinks it knows better than God.

          • Should we execute those involved in the abortion industry?

          • Anton

            A very good question, to which I could give an extended reply – none of which has anything to do with what I said. We could start by obeying God in regard to murder of the born. Then we might be in a moral position to discuss what to do about murder of the unborn.

            Don’t forget the mention of the sword in Romans 13 either.

          • It’s the other way around. Modern man doesn’t execute in the name of God or to restore moral order. As Saint Pope John Paul II observed we live in a “climate of widespread moral uncertainty” and “we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterised by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable ‘culture of death’” with “conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.”

            The State has the right from God to use the death penalty, it does not have the duty to do so.

          • Anton

            It has a direct command of God to do so in the specific instance of murder (Genesis 9:3-6).

  • I used to campaign vigorously against our wicked laws and practices of abortion, until the failure of the Alton Bill proved what a huge majority of the press, lawmakers, professions, judiciary, opinion formers and yes the general public were in favour of it. Including people like Margaret Thatcher, although it was convenient for her to be two faced about it in the interest of conniving the Christian vote.

    This Britain is a nation of adulterers and fornicators. The idea that the sin of abortion will be lifted from this nation by anything less than a huge sovereign act of God is a non starter. The great effort behind the Alton Bill ( I was there lobbying Parliament with 100,000 others, it never made the newspapers or TV) could not be equalled today, yet it not only failed but left Britain with a more liberal abortion policy than previously.

    All there is to fight for is the right to freedom of conscience and speech.

    We need not fear,the believers under Nebuchadnezzor, Caesar, Stalin and Pol Pot had it worse. The little ones go to Christ who will surely receive them, while vengeance will be The Lord’s.

    It has begun. Where do people think the otherwise inexplicable leftist-Islamist alliance against Western Civilisation comes from? Hooks in their noses. Poetic justice.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Campaigning vigorously is useful in trying to stem the tide – but that tide is now one which is bringing euthanasia our way. Abortion removal will require an act of God, thus our task is to pray for the nation, and for revival of true faith. There still need to be a few of us keeping our fingers in the dyke, however, to fly the flag for Truth in the face of the tide of moral turpitude sweeping over our nation.

      • David

        Agreed. Daily we must pray for our nation, and the west as a civilisation, to turn back to the ways of God.

      • Fly the flag for truth, yes.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It is interesting that the NHS funded by taxpayers pays Marie Stopes clinics to perform abortions yet IVF is rationed

    • Paul Greenwood

      185,824 Abortions in UK in 2016 making the Replacement Ratio dependent upon Imports in the form of Immigration for 53% population increase 1991-2015. Of course it is not clear how many foreign parents or foreign grandparents are required to produce babies in the UK to replace the 185,824 which are terminated in any one year.

    • betteroffoutofit

      You’re so right, Stephen. The “adulterers and fornicators” never bother about the consequential babies – until the females have to bear the loss and the blame; even then, most of the males probably don’t even admit/know their part in the tragedy. If they do, they may ‘pay it off.’

      Without abortion — Oh dear, we’d be overflowing with even more bastards than we have already.

    • As Jack wrote elsewhere, if we you do certain things that are wrong, no matter what civil law or custom says, we ought to suffer and we will suffer. If a person divorces unjustly, procures abortions, practices homosexuality, kills, sells drugs, bribes, lies, or steals, against the moral order, sooner or later, even in this life, that person is going to suffer and so will others too. Nature has its own ways of punishing us. Do something against the natural order of our being – our Created purpose – and we suffer for it. And if a society institutionalises such practises into “structures of sin”, then that nation will suffer the consequences.

      • Agreed. I cannot help but reflect that the number of immigrants (and I wish them well) is about the same as the number of abortions- 7 million or so. We have made a choice about the future population of our nation. Oh well, empires and civilisations come and go, look at Babylon, Greece, Persia and Rome?

        The immigranys will look after their own frail elderly, but will they pay tax into welfare for the ageing indiginois population in their old age? Maybe not.

        As Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship says about the growing demand for euthanasia, ‘The generation that killed its children will be killed by its children.’

        We shall see.

      • David

        Yes, I agree with the broad thrust of all that.
        “Do something against the natural order of our being – our God created purpose – and we suffer for it”.
        Yes, again I agree, but most people will continue, I anticipate, being sexually attracted to the opposite sex, although of course God instituted marriage as the proper place for that to be expressed in love, with responsibility.

  • npbinni

    Who were the 29 MPs to vote against the act?

  • IrishNeanderthal

    It seems to me that the core of degenerate matter onto which the whole star of the West may collapse is found in this quote from US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:

    At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life….

    Now I may be like spaceship out of control, often sailing far too close to black holes, but I have found one at the centre of this concept, which is that some people’s definition of those things may forcibly redefine those of others.

    The quote itself refers to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, concerned with induced abortion. However, something even more alarming has suggested itself. Many comments earlier, the IG raised the possibility of the nuclei of two men (envisaged as a male homosexual couple) being used to generate a zygote. Outside the worlds of Doctor Who (cybermen) or Star Trek (the Borg), a clearer example of forcible redefinition of the concept of existence for any child who may result would be hard to find without considerable brain-scratching.

    And to think that Justice Kennedy was appointed by President Reagan.

    (source of quote: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anthony_Kennedy)

    • People are at liberty to think as they wish – it’s when it comes to denying objective reality and morality and damaging the common good, that we run into serious trouble.

      A person is free to believe s/he is a cat, a visitor from Mars, or a lamppost, but it doesn’t make it so.

      • David

        Exactly so, Jack.
        Wanting to be something will never be the same as, being it.
        Objective reality continues despite what we say, believe or pass human derived laws asserting.
        To quote the MD of Asher’s Bakery, Belfast, as he emerged from the trial, having been accused of “discrimination”, for refusing to decorate ones of his cakes with a pro-SSM slogan,
        “God is still in His heaven”.

        • He is indeed and the Universe runs according to His will and purpose whatever man thinks, says and does.

          • David

            Amen.

        • Holger

          Unless the statement “god is still in his heaven” can be objectively proven and demonstrated to be true by means of solid, peer-reviewed evidence, it remains an unsupported opinion.

          “God is still in my imagination” would be how I would translate that remark. You have to translate Christianese into plain English to have any hope of understanding what all the ritualised nonsense means.

          • David

            Holger, I shall temporarily suspend my approach of ignoring your comments, to say just this to you.

            So now you attempt to recruit your perception of the scientific method to deny God’s existence. Like many Christians, with some knowledge of science, I find this a far from novel approach. Often there then follows a time wasting sequence of exchanges in which the Christian, with knowledge of science and the scientific method, demonstrates that there is no clash between true science and the Christian faith, but that to the contrary, science and theology are complementary, the one underlining the truth of the other; God’s glory being reflected in an universe He created. The only clash is between scientism and theology, scientism being the distortion of true science into a false tool for atheism, so beloved of much of the popular media, itself usually woefully ignorant of the real nature of science.
            Why do I say “time wasting”, because in almost all cases the atheist is not in the slightest bit interested in a genuine investigation, of whether science can help us understand if God exists, but only wishes to exercise their ‘talents’, draw attention to their atheistic credentials and wind up the person of faith. So I am not playing that game. God has privileged and tasked me with other, far more effective ways of reaching out the lost to bring them to faith. If you really want to investigate the relationship between science and theology, looking at ways of understanding how science points to the existence of God, then I can suggest tools that will help you to do this. But otherwise, as our friends across the Atlantic say,
            Have a nice day !

          • Holger

            Placing “theology”, otherwise known as the study of spooks, on an equal footing with science is one of the tricks used by religionists to try and manipulate others into according respect to their superstitious nonsense.

            You might as well call the study of little green men “alienology” and pretend that it too is worthy of attention.

            Theology is nothing more than demagoguery dressed up in a cap and gown. Those who engage in such playacting are either fools or knaves of the worst kind. It’s no coincidence that it attracts the most self-obsessed and manipulative personality types. Off they go to university and spend 5 years or so learning how to pull the wool over people’s eyes and coerce them into obedience, the better to lead them by the nose and tell them what to think.

            Theologians are frauds, mountebanks and petty control freaks. Their “discipline” belongs in the same category as astrology, magic and alien abduction. It has no role to play in the modern world, except perhaps as an amusement for a particular kind of personality type that enjoys wasting its time on mental masturbation.

          • David

            As I suspected. I’ve flushed you out into the open on your seemingly innocent deployment of the scientific method argument. As I previously thought, you have a closed, inflexible and bigoted mind and are simply not interested in evidence, only vitriol.
            I now revert to ignoring you again.
            Good day to you.

          • Holger

            You have offered no evidence. You’ve merely said “theology is the equal of science” without giving any justification for that claim.

            This is standard religious behaviour. Truth is established not by the presentation of evidence, but by unilateral fatwa. “I say theology is equal to science, therefore it is. I say the bible is the word of god, therefore it is.”

            When pressed for justification you may cite artificial rules and fictitious notions like “intelligent design” and “natural law”, but when asked to justify those concepts, your arguments will boil down to “they’re true because I believe them to be”.

            Every thought, notion and idea in religion ultimately springs from your mind and its arbitrary decision to believe. No independent, tangible, verifiable evidence backs up any of your claims.

            If I’m wrong, show me some. And if the first thing you say is “we all agree that human beings consist of a body and soul” then expect to be pilloried mercilessly. No, we do not all agree. The religious propensity to try and hijack discussion by framing debate along arbitrary lines that attempt to place unsupported claims and assertions beyond question completely suffocates a true spirit of enquiry.

          • Anton

            Your criteria for acceptable evidence are deliberately designed to preclude God. Pointless.

          • Holger

            Your criteria for acceptable evidence are deliberately designed to force acceptance of the imaginary. There’s as much evidence for Allah, Brahma and Amaterasu as there is for God. There’s as much evidence for fairies and leprechauns. If that’s not pointless, I don’t know what is.

            In any case, my criteria for acceptable evidence do not preclude god. If he exists and is omnipotent, he must be able to indicate his existence in a way that admits of no other explanation. A pillar of light with a booming voice would be difficult to argue with. Or a beardy patriarch sitting on a cloud hurling thunderbolts about willy nilly. Seen any evidence like that lately?

            Of course you have. In your dreams.

          • Navarth

            The scientific method is constrained by available evidence as well as by the existential limits of human perception. See Wittgenstein for constraints upon our language, for example. Said constraints apply to all hypotheses. It is a common error to assume that science can offer any proofs whatsoever and in fact this popular fallacy is anti-science. Formal proofs are available only through mathematical logic. The formal proof for the existence of God has been presented by Kurt Gödel. It’s also well worth considering Pythagorean mathematics.

          • David

            Exactly.
            These people worship science as infallible because they are not scientists, but adherents of scientism.

          • David

            Such types are only interested in circular arguments that defend their world-view. They ignore all evidence that may undermine that fixed position.

          • Navarth

            There are no proofs in science…and evidence doesn’t depend on peer review! Climate “science” being a great example of confirmation bias IMHO.

          • Holger

            Scientific fact relies on verifiable evidence, for example retreating glaciers, disappearing Artic ice and rising temperatures.

            Religionist’s gibbering relies on what you pre-determine as the truth based on nothing but your own desire for it to be true.

  • Hi

    How do we check whether the abstaining is being absent (e.g. hiding in the loo or being away from parliament for legitimate reasons ) or being in the chamber and able to vote, but ducking difficult moral choices?

    • As Jack understands it, an abstention in Parliamentary procedure is when a Member is present during the vote but does not cast his/her ballot. In the House of Commons, a Member of Parliament may also actively abstain by voting both “yes” and “no”. Absences are recorded separately.

      • Anton

        Your first sentence is the correct usage of the word, but whether the records given above conform to it is not clear to me.

        I’m not convinced that your second sentence is correct. Once you’ve exited the chamber through the door of your choice during a vote, I doubt that you may re-enter it.

        • TropicalAnglican

          I am afraid Andrea Leadsom did just that, as recorded in her Wikipedia entry:
          “Leadsom was one of five MPs to abstain from the Government’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill by voting in both lobbies.”
          Btw, she is also pro-choice and supported Hillary Clinton against Trump (may as well include since I had to read the Wikipedia entry before I could find the info to copy and paste).

          • Busy Mum

            Yes – one MP who did that justified her positive abstention by saying that she voted no in order to represent her own constituents (who had made clear to her via the postbag that they were not in favour of SSM) and then she voted yes in order to represent the rest of the country who she believed were in favour of SSM. In effect, she ensured that her own constituents were not represented.

        • It’s a part of Parliamentary procedure in the Commons but not the Lords.

  • Liz Perrott

    The church needs to not try and influence people which way to vote. The right to life is only one aspect to consider amongst many, I did not agree with abortion for myself but I wouldn’t tell another woman what she should do as I am not walking in her shoes.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Life is the most important possible issue that there is. Killing children in the womb, before they are born, is a most heinous act against them and against their Creator. I WILL tell people that the God who ‘knew me before I was in the womb’ says this is utterly wrong.

      “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5, just as one example of several.

      • mollysdad

        You’re in good company. Parliament has enacted the International Criminal Court Act 2001. Section 51 makes it an offence to commit what in international law is a crime against humanity.

        That includes murder. In the case of United States v Greifelt & others [1948] the Nuremberg Military Tribunal identified abortion as a crime within its jurisdiction.

    • Beeswax

      So your occupying the space on the fence that Farron just vacated?
      You think, “Right to life is only one aspect to consider..” But what is the point or value of any other ‘right’ unless your right to life is preserved?
      How would your non-interference play out in other situations of power exercised over the weak, a rapist for example. “I’m not walking in (his/her) shoes”.

  • Tim Farron has now declared gay-sex is not a sin.

    • Inspector General

      He’s abandoned Christianity for a few votes then…

    • Joseph Lonsdale

      I heard this on PM tonight. I am disappointed. However,how you vote cannot be determined so easily,(if only)

    • len

      Sold himself out pretty cheap then…a few votes which will get him nowhere..

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes, he’s a goner.

    • Saint Sean

      As a prominent Christian in a position of influence I would not be surprised if this betrayal of Jesus has far-reaching consequences for Farron lest he repent. God cannot be mocked and Farron will reap what he has sown: Galatians 6:7

    • Peter Lidstone

      He’s chosen career over evangelical faith. But let’s not pretend this is anything other than a witch hunt from the media. Plenty of Christians in parliament not being asked this on a daily basis

  • wisestreligion

    When everyone is online saying what is or is not a sin, you would have thought the bishops of the C of E might jump at the opportunity of guiding the conversation. The microphone is there, if they choose to step up to it. The media’s ears are twitching on this subject.

    No, there is a deafening silence from the C of E. They don’t have much fear of God but they are petrified of being on the wrong side of the LGBTQ lobby.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Farron comes off the fence, throws the Bible in the bin, and outs himself as a fake ‘evangelical’. “I don’t believe gay sex is a sin.” Direct quote. Definitely, the emphasis is on the ‘jelly’ with this man.

    • Saint Sean

      It seems he is Liberal in all senses of the word then. Perhaps his past refusal to answer the question was actually an attempt to protect his evangelical credentials. Today, they lie in tatters.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Then he’s down in the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun,
        Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning career….

  • Neil Harvey

    It seems odd that the NHS continues to provide both free abortions and free fertility treatment (which almost contradict each other) as well as, potentially, farcical attempts to change the sex of patients, in a time when it is short of money.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The horror is that there are women losing their unborn babies STILL in the same wards as women doing what they want to kill theirs…

  • Anton

    The Christian Institute maintains an online record of how every MP voted on matters of particular relevance to Christians, here:

    http://www.christian.org.uk/mpvotes/#/

  • Jon of GSG

    None of those voting records seems even slightly surprising to me.

  • maigemu

    Farron is a major disappointment.