Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Religion and the law (again)

"All that can be contended in favour of this Bill is, that the present is the age of liberal principles, and that this Bill suits the liberal principles of the age.... Whilst I fully admit the respectability and propriety of conduct of a large portion of the Jewish nation, I cannot, as a member of a Christian assembly, advise the Christian King of a Christian country to pass such a Bill. The noble and learned Lord has said, that the Christianity which is the law of the land, is merely the Christianity of the Church of England. I differ from the noble Lord, and think that the law of England derives its code of morality from the Christian dispensation generally, and regard that dispensation generally as part of that law."

Bishops in the Lords

At present, 26 serving bishops of the Church of England have seats in the House of Lords.  They are known as the "Lords Spiritual", as opposed to the "Lords Temporal" who make up the remainder of the chamber.  They are properly classed as Lords of Parliament rather than as peers (though there is some dispute about this).  They last hit the headlines a couple of months ago when they prominently opposed the Government's plans for welfare reform.