King's Evangelical Divinity School

19 July 2011

What Is Your MP Doing About It?

Recently the Equality and Human Rights Commission's (EHRC) chief Trevor Phillips defended the traditional liberties of Christians caught out by equality legislation, going on to highlight several cases are currently with the European Court of Human Rights. It may have taken Phillips a while to realise just how far the pendulum has swung to one side, at the expense of religious freedom, but at least he has now recognised how the interpretation of equality legislation in this country is firmly and institutionally discriminatory against Christians.

On his blog yesterday Cranmer took up the matter, highlighting how a Member of Parliament has sponsored an Early Day Motion supporting the EHRC's intervention and the need to defend religious liberty. Yet His Grace noted with alarm how so far only nine MPs had signed the EDM. Today the situation has improved only moderately, with 14 MPS supporting the EDM. And while in years past Conservatives would have strongly supported such a motion, so far only three Tories have signed.  Meanwhile, where are the DUP signatures?

Few EDMs get debated in Parliament, regardless of whether they have the backing of a great many MPs, so strong parliamentary support doesn't necessarily guarantee the issue will be discussed in the Commons or translate into a re-examination of how Christians in the UK are currently discriminated against (though there is a chance it might). Conversely, however, a lack of support for an EDM such as this could easily be interpreted by liberal elites as evidence that Parliament has no concerns whatsoever about the continued erosion of religious liberty. On the other hand, several hundred signatures might well serve to act as a shot across the bows of those elites aggressively seeking to push religious views firmly into the private sphere. So what is your MP doing about this? Signing an EDM costs very little, and who knows what a short email or letter might do.