Below is the Hansard transcript from a recent debate on a few Statutory Instruments relating to the Same Sex Marriage legislation – in particular, the Use of Armed Forces’ Chapels Regulations 2014 and the draft Overseas Marriage (Armed Forces) Order 2014.
His Grace is of the view that what’s done is done, and it is now the law of the land. The state’s definition of marriage diverges from the ontological reality and the historic sacrament of Holy Matrimony: the vernacular will adapt to Parliament’s decree. This will not be undone. But there are loose ends (many, many loose ends) and these Statutory Instruments aim to tie up a few.
This debate is interesting for the way that the Ministry of Defence Minister Anna Soubry treats those of a Christian conscience, in this case Sir Edward Leigh (Roman Catholic) and Sir Gerald Howarth (Church of England), with utter contempt and rudeness. Those who witnessed the exchange were shocked and appalled at the Minister’s arrogance. His Grace reproduces the whole exchange because context and primary reasoning are important.
The transcript is a typical Hansard version of the truth – the words are correct, but they cannot show the disdain and sheer nastiness of the Minister. For that, you need to watch the video above. Like them or not, both Gerald Howarth and Edward Leigh make sense of the world through the lens of Christianity: the Church is woven into their lives, and Christ provides their moral compass. While many may believe that compass to be skewed – or, rather, that it does not point in a ‘progressive’ direction – at least they have a moral sense. Ms Soubry is a relativist and a modernist, and in this her third career (after TV presenter, and criminal barrister) as a politician, she is being used by others to do their dirty work – in both the House and on TV. She is personally quite charming, but with a majority of just 389, she is fighting for every vote, and if that means trimming her ‘conscience’ to the secularising zeitgeist and slapping aside a few pesky Christians, that’s exactly what she’ll do.
But it may, of course, be more than that. Perhaps, as with so many of her ilk, she simply does not recognise for a second that someone who disagrees with her might be right. And certainly not a Christian.