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← Religious do not have monopoly on virtue, Queen tells synod

Religious do not have monopoly on virtue, Queen tells synod - Comments

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 1 by scottishgeologist

Interesting stuff from the Queen!

I cant imagine she would have said this even 10 years ago, which goes to show how secularism has advanced in the UK.

Or religion has shrunk....

Even more remarkable since the Queen is the head of the Church of England.

Another 10 years... I wonder what King William will say?!

:-))) SG

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:22:02 UTC | #552208

danconquer's Avatar Comment 2 by danconquer

Some of the major criticisms against religious organisations concern characteristics such as the lack of democratic accountability; values and behaviour which is out of touch with modern thinking; the hoarding of huge wealth whilst followers are subjugated in crushing poverty.

So it's a case of pot'n'kettle really isn't it.

In the Ridiculous Anachronism stakes, the Royal Family are only a notch or two below garden-variety supernaturalists.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:40:06 UTC | #552223

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 3 by God fearing Atheist

"It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none."

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I read that. Old Queeny has a brain and a political mind after all. I thought she was just a constitutional living fossil.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:42:44 UTC | #552226

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 4 by Ignorant Amos

Around 50 traditionalist clergy and five bishops have announced their intention to convert to Roman Catholicism, following a Vatican initiative, because they are unhappy with the level of protection from female ministry offered in the draft legislation that permits the ordination of female bishops.

Silly old farts, as SG has pointed out, don't they realise that thei current boss is a women, the Queen, head of their church....the dickheads.

@SG

Another 10 years... I wonder what King William will say?!

The writing or should it be King Billy is on the wall lol.

Let's hope "Big Ears" doesn't get a look in, he'll feck it all up!

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:43:41 UTC | #552228

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

Journalists, take heed: paraphrasing runs the risk of making very unclear what was said. For example, the paraphrase

believers and atheists were equally able to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the country

is not quite the same as the quotation

the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none

the principal difference being the “equally” bit. Both being able to contribute is not the same as both being equally able to contribute. Further, the paraphrase seems to conflict with

churches "and the other great faith traditions" retained the potential to inspire "great enthusiasm, loyalty and a concern for the common good".

To say churches can inspire concern for the common good implies in their absence such concern would be at least slightly lesser. Either its effect is zero or it is nonzero. Either we’ve equality here or we don’t. What did the Queen really see? What does she really think? Since quotations may be as wrong as a paraphrase, I don’t know!

Around 50 traditionalist clergy and five bishops have announced their intention to convert to Roman Catholicism, following a Vatican initiative, because they are unhappy with the level of protection from female ministry offered in the draft legislation that permits the ordination of female bishops.

Translation: I can’t stay in a Church which has suddenly become less bigoted than me, so I must leave for another more bigoted one. Note in any case the absence of women from certain RC jobs doesn’t fix the analogous “problem” in the C of E. So why make the move? A matter of principled protest? This would be laughable were it not all so horrible.

Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing.

Where was the growth or spiritual vigour in any religious war, including a civil war? (We should consider as an example how the C of E first formed in the 16th century, with terrible consequences for English Christians, and eventually for Scottish Catholics and Irish Christians. This continues today. The Queen is in her present position as a result of this. The post–1689 permanent anti–Catholic rule for the monarchy is the only reason we assumed the monarchy of Hanover in 1714, which in turn gave way to Victoria’s line.) Or in any civil rights or science movement where religion took the clearly wrong side? Maybe the growth or spiritual vigour is in finally being forced to be right afterwards.

Pete Broadbent, a suffragan in Willesden, said there ought to be a party in Calais "for all good republicans" to avoid the "nauseating tosh" surrounding the royal wedding. After criticising royalty for a history of broken marriages and a "corrupt and sexist" hereditary principle, he then went on to attack the "gutter press" for "persecuting" the royal family.

A man in a Church that still hasn’t given women their full rights talks of a corrupt and sexist principle which IIRC is now fixed, and seems to have no objection to that succession still being limited to C of E members. He also thinks broken marriages in the UK monarchy are a cause for the C of E’s concern. Try telling that to Henry VIII, who invented that for the very opposite effect! Note he has made both anti–royal and pro–royal comments; and so when we hear

Broadbent apologised for his remarks, calling them "deeply offensive"

I am left wondering which ones! Personally, I’m more offended by his selectivity, his omissions.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:44:35 UTC | #552231

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 6 by Stevehill

This is carefully weighed, important stuff from the Queen, who is a thousand times smarter than any of her benighted offspring.

It's a two-fingered salute to the Pope, who so recently graced our shores.

And a marker for politicians who think their job is to indulge faithheads, because we have an established church: she's saying they are a minority voice.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:48:02 UTC | #552232

sgturner59's Avatar Comment 7 by sgturner59

Dog save the Queen.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:52:45 UTC | #552235

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 8 by Philoctetes

The C of E has now had 4 women at its head, you'd think by now they would be accustomed to females in positions of power. It seems they accept women in official positions at all levels from the highest to the lowest with the exception of the rank of Bishop (and presumably Archbishop). I suppose we should rejoice in such critical diversity, the world might be a poorer place were consistency and logic the norm.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:54:30 UTC | #552237

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 9 by Steve Zara

This is important. It directly contradicts the bigoted nonsense about atheism and secularism that we heard earlier in the year from the Pope. I'm sure the words were reviewed and approved by the government too.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:57:13 UTC | #552238

CleverCarbon's Avatar Comment 10 by CleverCarbon

Holy crap, i'm actually quite impressed with the queen, thats about as much of a bitch-slap to the religious as I could ever possibly expect from The de facto head of the Anglican church in the middle of a Church-oriented meeting (ie, even the slightest hint of non-ass kissing).

Though I'd still get rid of the monarchy as a whole in an instant.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:07:22 UTC | #552242

The Plc's Avatar Comment 11 by The Plc

Em, this unexpected... I can assume the Elizabeth Windsor's secretary is an athiest then?

Though the sentiments are still entirely incorrect. Secularists and atheists don't have an equal point of view when it comes to morals, it's rather we actually have a point of view when it comes to morals and ethics. Religion, all religion, doesn't deal with morals, it teaches authoritarianism, irrational taboos and superstition. I look forward to the religious joining us sometime.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:15:17 UTC | #552245

RDfan's Avatar Comment 12 by RDfan

Hahaha, the look on Phillip's face: it's as though the Queen had just announced that one of the corgies had died.

The speech was certainly a, rather unexpected, kickinthecrownjewels to old Popey.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:19:07 UTC | #552248

mmurray's Avatar Comment 13 by mmurray

Comment 9 by Steve Zara :

I'm sure the words were reviewed and approved by the government too.

I was wondering about that. Does she write this ? It's not like the opening parliament speech where she talks about "my government" ?

Michael

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:41:43 UTC | #552257

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 14 by xmaseveeve

Wonderful!

Comment 5 - Oh come on, it's amazing! If she'd said your version, people would've thought she was Stanley Baxter.

THIS IS BIG! And she obviously meant it.

Now is the time people, for the Humanist revolution!

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:45:13 UTC | #552259

ukvillafan's Avatar Comment 15 by ukvillafan

Comment 1 by scottishgeologist :

Interesting stuff from the Queen! I cant imagine she would have said this even 10 years ago, which goes to show how secularism has advanced in the UK.

Or religion has shrunk.... Even more remarkable since the Queen is the head of the Church of England.

Another 10 years... I wonder what King William will say?! :-))) SG

He'll be saying, "Up the Villa - come on you Villa boys."

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:47:24 UTC | #552263

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 16 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 13 by mmurray :

I might be safe in assuming that whoever wrote the speech, and whoever else approved it, the Queen herself approved it.

As others have said, it's a smack down for Benny, and a warning shot fired at "her Church".

While I hope she has little or no real political influence on the Government, it is better her being sympathetic to an atheistic/secular society than not.

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:54:09 UTC | #552267

Pom's Avatar Comment 17 by Pom

"In our more diverse and secular society, the place of religion has come to be a matter of lively discussion. It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none."

Does this mean that the unelected and totally undemocratic bishops in the House of Lords will get kicked out soon, to make way for secular folk? Or does it mean that reserved places in the upper house will be made available to moslems, mormons, zoroastrians, jews, buddhists and perhaps even cathode followers?

I'd have to ask the old girl, if not, why not?

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:00:59 UTC | #552269

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 18 by the great teapot

Good speech I wonder who wrote it for her this time.

Nice to so the cliches still abound. Painfull choices my arse.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:24:58 UTC | #552278

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 19 by Cartomancer

she said churches "and the other great faith traditions" retained the potential to inspire "great enthusiasm, loyalty and a concern for the common good".

I don't think anyone doubts that. The problem comes with what exactly they are inspired to be enthusiastic about, what precisely they are inspired to be loyal to and most significantly what they perceive to be beneficial for the common good.

Many are very enthusiastic about the limitation of female equality.

Many are very loyal to their own co-religionists to the exclusion of everyone else.

Many perceive discrimination against gay people to be beneficial for the common good.

I would much rather the enthusiasm, loyalty and actions on behalf of the common good of the people I dealt with were conditional on the depth of their understanding. Sadly understanding is not something that faith traditions are generally very good on.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:36:02 UTC | #552282

mmurray's Avatar Comment 20 by mmurray

Comment 16 by God fearing Atheist :

Comment 13 by mmurray :

I might be safe in assuming that whoever wrote the speech, and whoever else approved it, the Queen herself approved it.

I would except for the strange convention at the opening of parliament where she reads a speech written by the government but with phrases like "my government" in.

A speech from the throne (or throne speech) is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign (or a representative) reads a prepared speech to a complete session of parliament, outlining the government's agenda for the coming session. This event is often held annually, although in some places it may occur more or less frequently whenever a new session of parliament is opened. The speech from the throne is not written by the head of state, or representative thereof, who reads it, but rather by the ministers of the crown in cabinet, even though the reader may refer to My Government.

I was just wondering if this is another of those strange conventions that go with being Queen.

Michael

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:45:17 UTC | #552295

Saikat Biswas's Avatar Comment 21 by Saikat Biswas

This is exactly what happens when skeptics and free thinkers assume an active and dominant role in the zeitgeist. I cannot thank Richard Dawkins enough for his exemplary activism.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:49:18 UTC | #552297

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 22 by Fouad Boussetta

Very nice! The Queen always did behave in an intelligent and classy way. FSM bless her.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:59:08 UTC | #552304

Layla's Avatar Comment 23 by Layla

Good on her.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 01:14:09 UTC | #552313

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 24 by AtheistEgbert

Monarchs have long understood the conflict and the usefulness of religion. The Queen is sticking up for the people of Britain in light of the disgusting opinions of the Pope in his visit.

I think the Queen is a strong Christian, but it doesn't seem to have clouded her common sense and she seems to value the 50% of her nation that are non-religious.

So I thank the Queen for her comments.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 01:57:32 UTC | #552334

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 25 by Bernard Hurley

I have never been a supporter of monarchy. However if we must have a monarch then the present queen is ideal for the job. She is certainly much better than the rest of her family and for that reason, if no other, I would wish her a long life.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 02:22:21 UTC | #552345

Austin K's Avatar Comment 26 by Austin K

All politics and ideology aside, that's one brilliant outfit! :P

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 02:26:52 UTC | #552348

KJinAsia's Avatar Comment 27 by KJinAsia

It's nice to have the Queen give atheism a nod, but this:

"Some will no doubt involve difficult, even painful, choices. But Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing."

is flat out incorrect. History shows very clearly that when times are challenging, institutions step up the fear and hate in order to solidify their power. It's not only religious institutions that do this, but they're the most practised at it. Of course, maybe she mistakes fear and hate for "growth and spiritual vigour".

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 02:33:14 UTC | #552351

godsbelow's Avatar Comment 28 by godsbelow

This is rather amusing. On the one hand we have Elizabeth, the head of the C of E, indirectly undermining her Church's theoretical monopoly of moral authority by acknowledging that non-believers can also be virtuous. On the other, we have a C of E bishop undermining royal authority and being punished for it.

I'd like to see a lot more of this. Let the anachronistic remnants of old oppression attack and undermine each other until they disintegrate. Maybe then the people of Britain will finally have a genuine democracy.

Though I can't help but recall with pessimism the observation of that great Englishman Thomas Paine:

The prejudice of Englishmen in favor of their own government by kings, lords, and Commons arises as much or more from national pride than reason.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 03:21:00 UTC | #552366

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 29 by xmaseveeve

'Go, go, go Little Queenie'

28 - not fair. eg. (Scottish!) Enlightenment.

27 - yes, outfit is like the Halston Dustin Hoffman wanted to borrow in 'Tootsie'!

She is a nice wummin.

If I wanted to be cynical, she is temporarily stepping sideways to prepare the way for Camilla being Queen. Mention that the unthinkables are okay and then you can make a case for relaxing less controversial rules.

I'm not though. I tink she meant it and I think it is amazing.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 04:29:29 UTC | #552387

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 30 by Peter Grant

"In our more diverse and secular society, the place of religion has come to be a matter of lively discussion. It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none."

I'm impressed, the Queen actually sounds kinda cool. :D

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 06:39:05 UTC | #552404