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← Queen 'should remain Defender of the Faith' - BBC poll

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Jos Gibbons

Almost 80% of people in England support a religious role for the Queen

That’s a shockingly high level of the wrong answer being picked. But why were only the English polled? Come to think of it, why wasn’t the whole Commonwealth polled?

79% of respondents said she still had an important faith role

How come every time this “they like it” assertion is made, the wording changes? They can’t all be accurate quotations of what the put-words-in-their-mouths yes/no question said! “She has an important faith role” could simply acknowledge her current legal status, as opposed to approving of its maintenance.

73% said she should continue as supreme governor of the Church of England and keep the Defender of the Faith title first given to Henry VIII

Interesting how this figure is lower. BTW, Henry VIII “was given” that title by himself when he invented the Church in question.

She said the Church was often misunderstood and under-appreciated.

Examples? Frankly, given the automatic place of CoE Bishops in the House of Lords before and after the upcoming reforms, it’s appreciated too highly.

Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of all other religions, instead the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country

The only way to protect the free practice of all faiths is to institute secularism. A state religion is antithetical to this. By definition, an Anglican Church has to think it is more accurate and eschatologically more strategic than other faiths.

if you disestablish the Church and disconnect the Church from the monarchy, it gives the impression there are almost no values we share in common at all.

The only way that could be true is if we already have the impression the only values we share are religious ones. But it is a simple demographic fact that religious values, insofar as those exist, are less of a matter of consensus in the UK than various secular values are. In any case, the UK shares many such values with other nations, e.g. it shares the valuing of human rights with, in theory, every UN nation (in practice, probably only a large percentage of them).

the Queen's role in the Commonwealth meant other faith communities felt at home with her leadership of the Church of England

Here’s the thing – the entire idea that there are “faith communities” of monolithic opinions, accurately represented by summaries whose authors are unelected “leaders” thereof, is a myth.

we feel strong Christian values are good for us, we are very much on the same grounds

Any issue with regard to which Anglicans and Muslims are on the same grounds are, by definition, not Christian values. They might be Abrahamic values, or altruistic values, but they aren’t specifically Christian. And in any case, if you challenge people to give specific examples of which values they have in mind, they end up being ones that are prevalent among the non-religious too, which means it’s offensive to claim even that they are religious values as it implies the non-religious are unethical.

Canon Anthony Kane has monitored the Queen's Christmas broadcasts and said her personal faith remained strong.

Things not changing isn’t news. The opinions of someone who’s not mentioned on Wikipedia isn’t news. What happens when a person listens to a view they already agree with isn’t news, especially given the answer is “nothing”.

The fact that she speaks with a personal faith is in itself a significant action

I’d rather it be a good action.

Chartres … warned of the danger of doing away with the Queen's title. "If you have a political culture which rigidly excludes the voice of faith from rational dialogue in the open

Which is a different policy altogether. Indeed, it is exclusionary, or at least discriminatory, with respect to other faiths to have one of them be the state religion.

that is one of the ingredients for growing fanaticism

Occasionally, Muslims – not CoE members – blow stuff up in Britain. We still don’t fully understand why that happens, but we know this much: they wouldn’t do it more if the Church of England lost its unique privileges.

The poll found opinion divided on the suggestion Charles might change the religious role of the monarchy. He has called for greater understanding between people of different faiths and said he would personally rather see his role as Defender of Faith, not the faith. When asked if Prince Charles should change his title if he becomes king, only half of the respondents thought that he should.

So basically, about 30 % of the English think that the CoE should remain the state religion not so much to serve all religions’ interests as to serve just its own. At least they understand what implications the CoE’s status has, then honestly acknowledge their plans.

Tue, 15 May 2012 11:48:18 UTC | #941570