Parliament examines marginalisation of Christianity

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker Removal of faith is not good for a healthy society, says Gavin Shuker

The question of whether Christians are being marginalised is being asked in parliament.

MPs and peers are concerned that changes to the law could be pushing the Christian faith to the margins of society.

Labour's Gavin Shuker is a member of the "Clearing the Ground" inquiry, a parliamentary group trying to identify if Christian life is being compromised.

The MP for Luton South said: "Too often it seems like we're living in a world that doesn't understand religion, but it needs to.

"Hopefully this inquiry will help everyone understand religion a little bit better."

He wants to reassure people of faith that parliament is actually listening to them.

"Bits of legislation on what we can and can't do upholds the rights of minorities, which is absolutely right, but the majority has rights too and there are times when they can pull against one another," he tells me.

Faith in society

"It's a difficult area but we are trying to be helpful.

"We hope to make recommendations to create a framework that people can understand and work with."

Mr Shuker, who used to lead a church in Luton, asks whether secularism is neutral.

"Is removing faith from society neutral? I don't think so. I do not think the removal of faith is a model for a healthy society."

Written submissions to the inquiry suggest that there is a great deal of confusion about how the law affects religious belief and activity.

The inquiry hopes to make its recommendations in the New Year.

Deborah McGurran, Political editor, East of England Article written by Deborah McGurran Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I sincerely hope Christians are not, and will not in the future be marginalised, as we have a lot to offer, (given in the right spirit). Sadly sometimes I would have to admit, we haven't...
    But we are at a time in our society when ALL people of goodwill, (faith & none), need to come together.... who's up for the task?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    "... asks whether secularism is neutral."
    I suggest he looks it up in a dictionary. Secularism is the separation of government from religious control. You could turn it on its head, "non-secularism" which would allow religious influence on government. Bang goes neutrality? In the UK we are free to believe what we like. Lets keep it that way and keep religion out of parliament.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The 'marginalisation' of the Christian faith was instigated by Labour via their endless misquided PC & appeasement towards immigrant minorities & Homosexuals etc. etc.

    They may have tried to stifle the Christian faith with their Laws & Rules - but they will NEVER change the HEARTS & MINDS of Christians...

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    From a Christian perspective, faith sees God in charge of every aspect of life and sees his kingdom rule as both a present goal on earth and a destination beyond this. Faith 'contains' politics and society.
    'Secular' is a 'state' which 'contains' religions, it can easily become a faith of its own, trying to limit the extent to which other 'faiths' influence life. This must be avoided.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Faith does not have a place in a modern society. A secular society is the only way to remain neutral, i am sincerely interested to hear the opinions of christians on other faiths gaining any kind of foothold in parliament. Tez's comment represents exactly why religion is harmful to any society, the refusal of debate and reasonable discussion in the creation of laws, to "NEVER change".


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