Downgrading of family life by the Government
THE teaching of Scripture about family life is clear: God requires that the family unit consist of one man married to one woman together with any offspring from that union. Sadly, this primary building block of society is being increasingly discounted by our present government.
It seemed otherwise when in June the Government shelved the Family Law Bill with its provision to grant no-fault divorces after only a year provided couples attend compulsory advice sessions before the final break. The Bill was flawed in being not only potentially damaging to family life but also at variance with the Word of God. Legislation which is contrary to Scripture, while it may seem attractive in the short-term, must inevitably have damaging effects.
Was the Governments abandoning of the Bill a reflection of its pro-family policy published in its green paper Supporting Families? Clearly not. In the same month, Mr Straw, the Home Secretary, at a conference in London to discuss the Governments family policy, said that it was a myth that there had ever had been a golden era of marriage, and that “we shouldnt get into a paddy about the decline of formal marriage.” He added, “We know other kinds of families, including single-parent families, parents who live together without choosing to marry, and step-families, can do just as well for their children.” He is perversely closing his eyes to the incontrovertible evidence that the traditional family is ordinarily the best environment in which to rear children. We cannot but agree with the social commentator who said at the time, “The benefits of the family may seem deeply old-fashioned in Islington, but in the real world they make all the difference between a coherent society and one that is divided, amoral, unhappy and downright cruel.”
Successive governments have not supported family life by their fiscal policies as they ought to have done. While the present government gives criminal injury compensation to married couples adversely affected by certain crimes, it also gives it to co-habiting heterosexual partners. Worse still, government ministers are now considering the proposal to do likewise in the case of homosexual partners. It looks as if government ministers are now prepared to make social policy decisions which accord the same rights to same-sex couples as those enjoyed by married men and women, even although this will strengthen those forces which are opposed to Scriptural marriage.
It is depressingly clear that our rulers are more resolved than ever to ignore the Word of God and use human ideology as the ultimate standard of government social policy. As it was in Israel in the days of Jeremiah the prophet, so it is in our nation today: “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jer. 8:9).