Monday, March 26, 2007

Church of England Rolls Over Again

From LifeSite News:
23 of the 26 Anglican bishop members of the House of Lords absented themselves from Wednesday's vote on the Sexual Orientation Regulations, a result that has earned them the wrath of the Christian laity of the Church of England. The bishops of Southwell and Nottingham, Winchester and of York attended.

Early this week, Anthony Archer, a Synod member of the Crown Nominations Committee, addressed a letter to the bishops saying that their relevance as members of government was at stake in the vote.

Yesterday Archer told a Church of England newspaper that the bishops by their absence had done nothing to help justify their continued presence in the House of Lords.

Since the establishment of the protestant Church of England as Britain's official state religion, bishops of that church have enjoyed the privilege of holding seats in the Upper Chamber. But as Britain becomes increasingly secularized and anti-Christian trends are rising, many are re-examining the relevance of their presence as bishops in a body of government.

[…] The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, of Ugandan origin and the second most senior cleric in the Church of England was the strongest Anglican voice against the imposition of the Regulations. He said that the government was seeking to have "consciences surgically removed." While the government introduces a "new hierarchy of rights," religious people were quickly becoming a "sub-category" in society.

Dr. Sentamu quoted William Wilberforce, the 18th century slave trade abolitionist, saying, "The time is fast approaching when Christianity will be openly disavowed, in language as in fact it is already supposed to have disappeared from the conduct of men: when to believe will be deemed the indication of a feeble mind and contracted understanding."

Another who attended the vote, Rt. Rev George Cassidy, said, "It is hard to escape the conclusion that the right to freedom of religion is being treated as of lesser weight than other human rights."

Irrelevancy is seldom forced upon people by circumstance; it is usually chosen. The Church of England has now forfeited any opportunity to protest the new regulations, which promise to severely gag the Church’s freedom of speech and limit the Church's actions regarding the moral legitimacy of homoerotic behavior. The failure to show up is not effectively different than a vote in the affirmative. We live. I'm afraid, in a severely diminished age - long on Quislings and dreadfully short on Wilberforces.