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Marcus Small's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Marcus Small

Comment 2 by Corylus :

I would want those Twenty-six bishops are entitled to sit in the House of Lords, there in order to vote on legislation affecting the whole state to voluntarily give up their right to be there. Why?

Because no government is going to give legislative time to disentangling the Church of England from the state. It is not just secularists who want it done. But there you are, we are stuck with it for the foreseeable.

It would be better following Melville, to find some means of dialogue, to persuade the Religious people that they have no automatic right of place in government. But as ACG puts it

Religious organisations and movements should be seen, and should see themselves, for what they are: self-constituted special-interest groups, civil society organisations of the same stamp as political parties, trades unions, lobbying groups and NGOs. They have every right to exist and to have their say, but no greater right than any other self-constituted civil society group.

Rowan Williams said last week

We do not as churches seek political power or control, or the dominance of Christian faith in the public sphere; but the opportunity to testify, to argue, sometimes to protest, sometimes to affirm – to play our part in the public debates of our societies. And we shall, of course, be effective not when we have mustered enough political leverage to get our way but when we have persuaded our neighbours that the life of faith is a life well lived and joyfully lived.

Perhaps that sentiment needs testing but that can only be done in dialogue.

In other words, if you want someone to do something only they can achieve, you have to talk to them.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 15:52:47 UTC | #524339