Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Established church aims to re-evangelise us all

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

John Sentamu
The Church of England's General Synod has been meeting this week, and in his speech yesterday the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, spoke of the Church's "God-given duty" to re-evangelise the country.

Which is fair enough, I suppose. This is a church we're talking about – if they didn't have a desire to turn everyone into good Christians, they would hardly be doing their jobs properly. But the Church of England isn't an ordinary church – it's an established church, which, if you hold a wish to re-evangelise a nation, is quite a useful position to find oneself in, as Naomi Phillips of the British Humanist Association points out:
"This is a tension at the heart of the Church of England which demands resolution. The Church of England wishes – as a church – to promote Christianity and of course it should be free to do so, but it should not be privileged in doing so, and it is not legitimate for it to enlist our shared and publicly-funded schools, social services and our parliament in its evangelistic task."
It'd be odd for a blog to adopt too many fashionable 19th-century ideas, but isn't it time for disestablishment?
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