Friday, May 23, 2008

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

I know it's a few days since the bill was passed, but I'm still busy revising.

I found praying about the bill immensely difficult after it was passed (though I guess it still has to get through the House of Lords). As far as I can tell, the majority of MPs voted for a bill which will probably result in the deaths of thousands of innocents who cannot defend themselves. So what should we pray about it?

The first thing, it seems to me, is repentance for all the times we haven't spoken up, and for our complicity in electing them. As a student, I have two MPs, but only one vote. One of my MPs voted against some aspects of the bill, the other one has been known to campaign for a removal of all time limits for abortion and the legalisation of euthanasia. Did I speak publically against him at the last election? No. Am I therefore complicit? To an extent. And I need to repent of that.

The second thing, which quite surprised me, is how refreshing it can be to pray Psalms about God's justice at times like these. We are witnessing the government largely go against the will of the people, and taking a course of action which they know may well lead to large numbers of innocent deaths. Passages like Psalm 10 just seem so appropriate...

12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
"He won't call me to account"?
14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
call him to account for his wickedness
that would not be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Psalm 10:12-18 (NIV)

This link is great for confirming the right-wing bits of my prejudice. 92% of Conservative MPs voted for children needing a father. 82% of Labour MPs voted against, with only slightly weaker patterns on the abortion issue. I prayed, and I think I was right to pray, that every single MP who voted against the unborn would lose their seats at the next election.


Unknown said...

one day, a woman in your parish may come to you in distress. pregnant, in circumstances i can't begin to predict. you will be called on to say something to her. if what you've put on this blog is all you have to say, all the wisdom you have to offer, then god help her, because you won't be able to.
on the other hand, you may have put yourself in such a place that allows no contradiction, no possibility that you will listen, that people never trust you enough to come to you with their troubles.
i am terrified that one day, soon, you will be a pastor in the church. on the evidence of this blog that will not be a good thing for you or for the people you are set amongst.
you don't seem to me to be a bad person, but you do seem to me to be totally unformed as a future priest.

John said...

Well, it's just as well I never write down everything I think on a topic then, isn't it?

What women in those situations need to hear most is grace. I fear that what the British government now needs to hear most is judgement.

Daniel Hill said...

`god help her, because you won't be able to'

I'd have said: God help the foetus, since the law can help, but won't.