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Friday, August 13, 2004

At first I thought I'd just try to ignore my annoyance at this:

An Anglican bishop wants to ban the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country - because it echoes Hitler's Germany and is "heretical".

For some reason my irritation hasn't subsided yet. I vow to Thee my Country is one of my favourite hymns, both musically and lyrically, so I suppose I can't really give it a rest. Laban Tall and "Tom Paine" have dealt with some of the key stupidities and so I urge you to give their posts a look too.
But the thing that I want to moan about now is the man's choice. His choice to become a part of the Church, when he quite obviously deeply disapproves of some key elements of it. Why did he join the Church in the first place? I mean, come on, it's even called the Church of England. It is the official Church of the British State and its head is also the embodiment of the State. To suddenly discover, after several decades of serving your way upwards to the position of bishop, that this institution had patriotic elements in it is rather unconvincing now, isn't it. He knew what he committing himself to. If that is not the kind of Christianity he wanted, he was and is entirely free to change his denomination or set up his own church. But there is no reason why he should now be allowed to start changing the C of E just like that. As I've pointed out over at Silent Running, the problem is the gulf between the leaders and the people of the C of E.
No doubt the number of people turning their backs on the C of E in alienation will only be increased by such behaviour of the Church's leadership. But I'm am not one of those who is for turning my back, at Silent Running, Gray Monk, articulates why I don't abandon the Church:

To those who want to see the C of E recover its sanity I say this - please join the congregations, please challenge the vicars, but do so from within the fold. Outside it you are not heard by those hiding inside. Inside you can do some good.

Just so.
Not all the commentary at Silent Running on the issue is quite such worthwhile, however. Opines an Andrew Ian Dodge:

The CoE has surrendered to Islam. They are more concerned about not upsetting Islamists than they are taking care of their own flock.

What?! The C of E's self-destruction has nothing to do with Islam. To insinuate otherwise looks more like an attempt to sneak some mindless Islamophobia through the back door and that is the last thing we need. This Dodge's comment is in fact a syndrome of something else. In a way, as I've argued before, the decline of sensible religion and confidence in our nation is one of the main causes for Islamophobia. While Bishop Lowe's leftist shenanigans can only further add to this, anti-Islamic prejudice would make any alternative to the currently dominant views in the C of E unpalatable.
A wholly disappointing and alienating affair.

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What is wrong with what I said? There are a great deal of reasons with the CoE is in decline, I agree. I was merely pointing out that many of the CoE bend over backwards to molly-coddle even the most-extreme islamists while ignoring the pleas of their own members. I have spoken to moderate Muslims who have complained to me about this sort of thing. The CoE seems to take every chance to bash Israel as well.

If you were a moderate Muslim how would you feel if you saw the CoE rushing off to talk with say the MAB? That is the equivalent to the CoE talking to Meir Kahane and his lot about issues about Israel.

Mindless Islamophobia...hardly.
Look, I agree entirely with your concern that many C of E clerics suck up to any band of fanatics that comes along. That this is highly insulting to Muslims is entirely right. As for the C of E's Israel-bashing, again, I agree with you. And from the looks of it they also are more kean on pleasing the left-liberal opinion of the day, than caring about the wishes of actual congregations.
However, what you wrote does not make this clear. That comment was just thrown in completely out of context. Additionally, even if it had been in some sort of context, the insinuation that some onslaught of Islam or Islamism is responsible for the decline of the C of E would still remain wrong.
I'll take your point that calling that "mindless Islamophobia" was perhaps going too far. But you'll have to agree that the way your view appeared was that it tried to imply a take-over of the Church by some Muslim conspiracy, and calling that Islamophobic is hardly off the mark.
Sorry if I got you're views wrong, but because of the way they appeared I can't really be faulted for drawing other conclusions.

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