Saturday, 6 July 2013

Morals Post - a qualification

On the Other Hand, Maybe I should qualify that !

I've just been reading Justin Welby's (Archbishop of Canterbury and whilst not the head, definitely a leading light in the worldwide Anglican Church) address to the English Anglican general synod. The link is

Reading his speech I really thank God that he has got Justin to be in that leading position. However one cultural difference struck me.

His English background is one where the “Church of England” was very closely linked to the government of England. Even in the olden days when Kings of England ruled without a parliament the church wielded a great deal of power. So the idea of the Anglican Church through its committees or bishops directly influencing government policy is part of their inherited culture.

As an Australian born and bred (my forebears came here in the early 1800's – some as free settlers, some in chains as convicts {one stole a sheep!}) I have a different cultural inheritance. From its inception as a colony, Australians refused to have any “established church”. This was to be a free country where no denominational church had the government in its pocket (or vice versa!). Well that was the stated intent. In practice human nature being what it is there has been “argy-bargy” and horse trading between government and denominations.

In Australia today there is a paradoxical situation. Denominational leaders do try to push their own political views – which are not necessarily those of their adherents, or particularly “Christian”). Often they try to tell the people who really have been elected to run the country how they should do their job. (which in my previous post I said was not how I thought churches should act).

On the other side we have very vocal groups who oppose Christianity and everything it stands for. They push the idea that “separation of church and state” means that people who hold Christian beliefs should be gagged and not allowed to make public comments or if elected to parliament not allowed to let their Christian faith influence how they run the country. This is an even worse situation!

My arguments leading up to this point have been aimed at this false secularism ideology. This is the ideology which has been infiltrating the western world. I suppose its effect is strongest in Europe – especially the “Eurozone”. Closely followed by England. Australia seems to be about 40years behind England in this influence.

I am not supporting an “established church” as a political power. Historically that has worked out very badly. I am not advocating the sort of regimes we see now being imposed by Islamists with their draconian “Sharia Law”. The military intervention we have seen this week in Egypt with the army deposing a “Muslim Brotherhood” president who was not ruling in the best interests of the majority Egyptians, has shown that even Muslims do not necessarily want this sort of state.

So I had better spend the next few posts examining what I do want to propose as a model for Christian ethics in a modern democracy.                

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