Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Christian Voters Urged Not to Fall for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats at General Election

Campaigners from across the churches are urging their fellow Christians not
to fall for the lure of the Liberal Democrats by voting for Nick Clegg's party in
a week's time. The Christian Peoples Alliance party has carried the backing
of bishops in previous elections and has 150 parliamentary and local authority
candidates standing around the country. It is warning in a message to Church
leaders and Bishops around Britain (see below) that every vote for the Lib
Dems will take Britain closer to an illiberal Britain, hostile to the faith
communities and the place of a free conscience in Parliament.

In a message to church leaders pointing out the Lib Dem's anti-Christian voting
record, Party Leader, Cllr Alan Craig, says that too many Christians risked
falling for Nick Clegg's soft-sell, on the basis that he is neither Labour nor
Conservative. According to the Christian Democrat leader, behind the religious
mask adopted by some leading Liberal Democrats, is a heart of values hostile
to the Liberal Party's history in non-conformist Christianity:

"The tough questions simply haven't been asked of Nick Clegg's party-stance
on moral issues, so many Christians don't know that the Liberal Democrats have
led the way in opposing traditional church teaching in votes in Parliament. This is
because the media, David Cameron and Gordon Brown are all culpable in their
own approach to many Christian ethical priorities, which is to marginalise them
to the sphere marked 'private'.

"Great Liberal figures as Gladstone and GK Chesterton would fail to recognise
the modern face of Liberalism as a party committed to Christian conscience. The
only hope on the horizon is that PR will deliver a Christian Democratic party on
European lines into Westminster."

The CPA came into existence a decade ago to bring Christian hope and
transformation at local level and to offer a choice of conscience in politics. It is
backed by other Christian Democrats around Europe.

In his message, Cllr Alan Craig, who is Leader of the Opposition on Newham
Borough Council, picks out where Christians should be concerned:

Why the Christian Peoples Alliance has concerns with Nick Clegg and
the Liberal Democrats...

...party policy supporting abortion
...party policy supporting destructive experiments on human embryos
... party policy supporting the cloning of human embryos
... whipped votes in Parliament denying a child the right to know their biological father
...whipped votes in Parliament taking away the right of some parents to take their
children out of sex education classes
...whipped voted in Parliament in favour of amoral sex education lessons for five-year-olds
...whipped votes in Parliament to change school catchment areas and, through this, the
character and ethos of church schools

A former Lib Dem Education Spokesman, Don Foster said "In an ideal world there would
be no more faith schools." Some ideal, some world.

If YOU don't agree with Nick's Party, please use your vote to say so. And please
warn your church members of the facts.

The email summarises analysis on Nick Clegg's voting record in Parliament, produced by the Christian Institute. Although it doesn't cover issues that matter to millions of Christian voters, such as international aid or homelessness, it does underline Nick Clegg's record in Parliament in a "for and against" format:

Religion as protected characteristic in public equality duties: AGAINST
More narrow employment protection for faith group member in Equality Bill:FOR
Religious harassment offence: AGAINST
Criminalising religious hatred. AGAINST Abolishing blasphemy laws: FOR
Medically assisted dying: FOR, but MPs should have a free vote
Abortion: Free votes (Clegg voted against reducing the present limits) Availability of morning-after pill in schools: FOR
Animal-Human embryos: Free vote (Clegg voted for)
Saviour siblings: Free vote (Clegg voted for)
"Need for a father" requirement for IVF children: Free vote (Clegg voted
against)
Tax breaks for married couples and civil partners: AGAINST
School freedom to employ Christian staff: AGAINST
School freedom to seek pupils who share school's ethos: AGAINST
Freedom of faith schools to teach sex education according to religious beliefs: AGAINST
Compulsory national sex education curriculum: FOR
Right to withdraw children from sex education classes: FOR - but should be curtailed "long before [children] are 15"
Labour plans to regulate home education: AGAINST
Present ban on religious bodies holding TV and radio licences: FOR
Civil Partnerships: FOR
Gay marriage: No policy, but Clegg is FOR
Adoption by gay couples: FOR
Sexual orientation regulations: FOR
Incitement to homophobic hatred: FOR, but free vote in Lords
Prison for drugs' possession: AGAINST
Downgrading ecstasy's classification: FOR
Downgrading cannabis' classification: FOR
24 hour drinking: AGAINST
Licensing brothels: FOR
Lowering age at which alcohol can be bought to 16: FOR
Pornography now available to 18-year-olds to be available to 16-year-olds: Conference voted FOR
16-years-olds to be able to visit sex shops: Conference voted FOR
Scrapping super casinos: FOR

ENDS

For more information: Alan Craig 07939547198
Or call 07873 625396 or email press@cpaparty.org.uk or visit www.cpaparty.org.uk

NOTES

The Lib Dem manifesto commits the party to stopping Catholic, Anglican and Jewish schools from selecting pupils on grounds of faith, which will effectively spell the abolition of schools that have succeeded in delivering high quality education over generations. Earlier in the campaign, Roman Catholic bishop, the Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, the Bishop of Nottingham, accused the Lib Dems of seeking to destroy the partnership between the state and the churches in the provision of education.

"Catholics should give it very serious consideration before they vote Liberal Democrat," said Bishop McMahon, the chairman of the Department for Education of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. "Our position is that every person should have the right to bring up their children according to their consciences."

The policy is contained in a section of the Lib Dem election manifesto entitled Freeing Schools for Excellence.
"We will ensure that all faith schools develop an inclusive admissions policy and end unfair discrimination on grounds of faith," the policy states.

If implemented 4,470 Church of England, 2,300 Catholic and 85 Jewish schools would lose control of their admissions process.

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