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100 years ago: Brother-in-law of the bride

09 July 2021

July 8th, 1921.

[The Deceased Wife’s Sister Act had occupied many column-inches in the Church Times over the years. Now the deceased husband’s brother got a mention.]


IN THE course of the debate on the Deceased Wife’s Sister Amendment Bill, to legalize by statute law a marriage between a woman and her deceased husband’s brother — which passed its second reading in the House of Lords last week — Lord Haldane showed his Hegelian bias. A miner, he says, often had a younger brother to lodge with him, and in some cases the miner had been killed in the war. The younger broth er lived on in the same house, and on grounds of decency there should be a marriage between him and the widow. Lord Haldane, like his master Hegel, evidently believes that the State has power to make wrong right. Christians hold that such a union is incestuous and immoral, not to be made respectable by State law. Considering the immorality of some acts which have been sanctioned by European statesmen, it is astonishing that a man of Lord Haldane’s ability should seriously believe that their fiats can make any act either moral or immoral. The superstition of the Hegelian whose spiritual home is in Germany is indeed pathetic.


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