Monday, October 31, 2011

Damned if you do...

I see in the news today that the Dean of St. Paul's is to resign his position after the row over the last couple of weeks about the removal (or otherwise) of protesters outside the Cathedral. I'm not really qualified to talk about the politics of employees of that particular organisation or the individuals concerned, but it did strike me as an interesting situation with respect to the idea that Britain is a secular country (or not). Clearly the Church, or at least some members of it are in a position where their ethics may well be at odds with their organisation's legal standing; essentially the Church needs to decide whether it's inside or outside the establishment.

Of course any religion in a properly secular and tolerant country would not have this problem; the members of that organisation would be free to support any legal position and truly follow their conscience, to me the Church of England in this case seems to be suffering from a case of wanting their cake and eating it. Their political privilege and proximity to power is clearly intoxicating (and useful) for them but by accepting the "King's shilling", members shouldn't really feel surprised when their independence is compromised.

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