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Posted on Tue 6 March 2012

Press Release: +Michael Nazir-Ali speaks in Parliament on marriage and family

Issued by Rehman Chishti MP and OXTRAD

Press Release

For immediate release

5th March 2012

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali speaks in Parliament on marriage and the family

In an example of Christian-Muslim co-operation, Bishop Michael will address a gathering of MPs, Peers and family workers tomorrow (6th March). The meeting is being sponsored by Rehman Chishti, the Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham who said: “Strengthening marriage and the family are key elements in strengthening our society, recognised by people of all faiths and of none, and certainly in my eyes as someone from a Muslim background. I have huge admiration and respect for Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, and the work he does both nationally and internationally in strengthening communities and inter-faith dialogue.”

Bishop Michael will welcome the many initiatives on strengthening marriage and the family but will say: “We cannot defend marriage and the family without knowing what they are.” He will discuss results of studies which reveal the nature of the family and how this has been seen in different cultures and down the ages.

Christians should seek to support all aspects of marriage, whether that is the growing together in unity of two persons, the ordering towards the birth and nurturing of children or the ultimate commitment which these require. He will show how both Christian and Enlightenment thought does this.

Humans have many different kinds of relationships and some of these may need to be recognised and supported but the integrity of each should be respected and they should not be confused with marriage which is, rather, a special kind of relationship for specific purposes.

Bishop Michael says: “I am calling for a fresh commitment to marriage preparation both by the State and the Church. Such preparation is particularly needed for those choosing civil marriage. I am also drawing attention to the importance of parenting support and especially for a better recognition of the role of fathers. We should consider the possibility of the partners agreeing at the outset, a more solemn view of marriage than the one divorce law currently encourages (this happens in some US states). I am calling on the Conservative party to fulfil its election pledge to support marriage and the family through the tax system.”

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