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Politics – Churches told, ‘Keep up!’

September 2017

Equalities Minister Justine Greening has told churches in the UK that they need to keep up with modern attitudes and carry out same-sex weddings.

In an interview with Sky News, the Conservative MP said she did not want to ‘prescribe’ how faith groups deal with the issue, but it was ‘important the church keeps up and is part of a modern country’.

According to the Christian Institute (CI), there has been much criticism of Ms Greening’s comments. For example, in an editorial in The Spectator, writer Melanie McDonagh challenged what Ms Greening said, claiming these comments were ‘evidence of the authoritarian aspect of modern liberalism’. Ms McDonagh said it was only a short step from the minister’s assertion, to ‘enabling the church to conduct those marriages and then obliging them to do so’.

In a statement, the CI asserted the role of the church was to follow God, not the world. A spokesman said: ‘What Justine Greening fails to understand is that the church is not called to follow the world, but to follow Jesus Christ. When the church starts dispensing with the truth, in order to keep up with “modern attitudes”, it has ceased to be the church and is just an inconsequential social club’.