Phil Woolas MP: The Church of England will be disestablished
Politicians with crystal balls are almost invariably intellectually deficient or mentally imbalanced. But Mr Woolas is joined today by the eminent Dr Sean Gabb, who, also writing in The Times, is of the opinion that the Church ‘should be disestablished because it has, in a sense, disestablished itself. It has made itself an object of derision where not of contempt. It should not be allowed to continue representing itself as England at prayer’.
Cranmer finds Dr Gabb’s argument far more cogent than that of Mr Woolas, not only because Dr Gabb has a grasp of history and of the constitution (not to mention the pathological Socialism of the bishops), but because there is a sense in which Mr Woolas is simply pandering to minority votes without any consideration of the undeniable fact that there are many Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Roman Catholics who value the place of the Established Church. A multi-faith society can certainly accommodate a privileged position for one religion, especially if that religion is as accommodating and benign as Anglicanism. It provides a canopy of religion under which all religions may find a voice in the public political sphere.
And Dr Gabb understands perfectly that the disestablishment of the Church will lead inexorably to the destabilisation of the monarchy. Yet he asserts that ‘the monarchy has destabilised itself. The settlement by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was that we would regard the monarch as the Lord’s anointed. The monarch would, in turn, safeguard our liberties. Without mentioning any other dereliction, Her Majesty this year allowed ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, despite its implications for how we govern ourselves, and despite the promise by the Government in 2005 that what became the treaty would not be ratified without a referendum’.
Cranmer made this point some months ago. When the monarchy abdicates its authority and voluntarily subjugates itself to a higher ruling power, it loses its raison d’être. It can no longer defend the Protestant Reformed Religion any more than it can defend the rights, liberties and traditions of the people.
Yet what interests Cranmer in respect of Mr Woolas’ statement is the slap he received from a Ministry of Justice spokesman, who said: “The government remained committed to the Church and valued its contribution.” And this is followed by a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman who said: "The Church of England is by law established as the Church in England and the Monarch is its Supreme Governor... The government remains committed to this position and values the establishment of the Church of England.”
If this is true, there can be no tampering with the Act of Settlement 1701. For that is the rock upon which the Act of Union was established and upon which the whole religio-political house of cards is constructed. Fracture that, and a myriad of carefully-woven constitutional threads will unravel at an alarming pace. Sinn Féin representatives will be able to take their seats in the House of Commons, members of the Privy Council shall be free to serve the higher purposes of Brussels, and Cranmer will be among the first to take advantage of a provision within the Act and declare that he can no longer swear allegiance to his Monarch.
Karma? Proverbs 29:23?