Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Marking the Jubilee
'It is time to separate the civil function of the monarch which relates to all UK (and some Commonwealth) citizens from any religious functions which are recognised only by some of them. To come clean, the Queen is not, never was and never will be a sacred figure for me or for people like me. I see no biblical or theological justification to support this, and indeed, have never seen any offered. The Queen is a civil power and as such worthy of respect and prayer, but not a religious one in any other sense than that as a devout and dutiful Christian (for which much thanks) she is a fellow-member of Christ's church. Granted that some Anglicans may have difficulty recognising in Charles (or William?) a similarly sacred figure, the issues are actually much larger. A head of state needs to be a focus of unity. While an explicit denominational religious loyalty is integral to the monarchy as currently understood the religious dimensions of that role militate against the civil ones... The inclusion of the religious dimension in the coronation has constituted a kind of English imperialism. Even within England, historic Nonconformity has always expressly denied a religious function to the monarch, although generally supportive of the civil aspects of monarchy. And in an increasingly religiously diverse and secular country, the religious dimensions of monarchy are not exactly relevant.'