Friday, July 09, 2010

Two pieces of note in today's Guardian

The first is an editorial which I've nominated elsewhere for best opening sentence in an editorial. Ever.

Entitled "The state and religion: The church risks looking absurd" it begins:
England's state religion is an accident sustained by apathy: lacking any logical existence at the heart of the nation, it survives because it is already there.
Read the rest here ... but here's the heart of the editorial challenge:
The Church of England now expects both the benefits of establishment and the cultural freedom of private religion. At the very least, a national church should not become disconnected from the best values of the country it serves. But as the general synod, which begins tonight, will again confirm, the Church of England is strangely unwilling to do this. It devotes a shocking amount of energy to debating the supposed inferiority of women, gay men and lesbians. These issues matter intensely to some believers inside the church, but they make it look intolerant to the much larger number of people outside it.
And to one of its conclusions ...
The internal agonies of a church caught between its Protestant and Catholic, and its liberal and conservative, tendencies cannot excuse this official institutionalisation of intolerance.
... I can add only a hearty "AMEN!"

The second piece of note is what we would call an op-ed by Jim Naughton ... who is always worth reading and never more so than today.

Entitled "Rowan Williams destroys his credibility," Naughton writes:
It isn't clear that Williams or other Church leaders understand how thoroughly this undermines their credibility nationally and internationally, or how wide a gulf it opens between themselves and the English public. It isn't evident that they grasp the impossibility of speaking truth to power when one has so clearly capitulated to the power one's self.
You'll want to read it all here.

And for those of you wondering if perhaps all this critique isn't a wee bit strong ... maybe a trifle overstated ... possibly even verging on harsh, my response is that John 8:32 doesn't say anything about the truth being easy to hear.

Let those with ears to hear, listen.

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