Sunday, June 5, 2011

Another year closer

Tomorrow (as I write), perhaps today (as you read) is the celebration of the Queen's Birthday, the first Monday in June being the designated day for Kiwis to drink to her good health and (for nearly all) to drown their sorrows in missing out, once again, on a knighthood. But increasingly this day can be viewed as involving another celebration: it is another year closer to NZ becoming a republic!

I think our ecclesial leaders could put their backs into supporting the change to being a republic. It would be a small but significant step in reducing the inequality between the rich and the poor, the Queen being one of our richest citizens, and a republic meaning that she would no longer be one of us.

However I would understand if they do not have time to support a republican campaign at this time. I imagine they may be busy contacting other Anglican churches around the Communion, enquiring diplomatically as to what is going on and raising graciously the possibility that the Communion is not best furthered as a coherent global entity when Desmond Tutu' latest book is called God is Not a Christian, the Diocese of Nova Scotia is authorising same sex blessings, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is not disinviting Canadians from Communion committees nor downgrading their status to that of 'consultant' rather than 'member'. (The same concern for justice motivating us to urge the reduction in inequality between rich and poor should drive us to seek fair treatment for all in the Communion. If TEC is being 'punished' for failure to abide by the Windsor Report, then so should the ACCan. Or, if you prefer, if mercy is shown to one church, why not to the other?)

It is hard being consistent on matters of justice. Is it more difficult for we Anglicans? I note that yet another Al-Qaeda leader has been assassinated (or is being killed by a drone an 'act of war'?). Is the ABC also discomforted by this?

Still, here is a comforting thought: if God is not a Christian, perhaps we Anglicans do not have to live up to as high a standard of consistency as we previously thought?

While reflecting on Anglican standards of behaviour, Cranmer has a withering critique here of an Anglican whose toying with destroying the privacy of certain individuals is alarming; yet also revealing of the dark side of liberalism, when its obsession with progress relies on trashing the freedom of people to choose.

(Incidentally, I do understand that Archbishop Tutu's publisher can expect to sell way more books when they are entitled God is Not a Christian than if they were entitled God is a Christian. I have been known to come up with a few provocative titles myself. Let's face it, would anyone buy a book with the latter title?)


Father Ron Smith said...

"I think our ecclesial leaders could put their backs into supporting the change to being a republic."

- Dr.Pater Carrell -

Then I'm very glad you didn't attend the Solemn Mas at St. Michael and All Angels in the city today, Peter. You would probably have been quite distressed to hear our congregation stand and sin "God Save the Queen" after the Blessing.

I find it quaint that, though you want to cling to the 1662 Prayer Book and the 39 Articles of Faith, you are reluctant to recognise Her Majesty the Queen as 'Defender of the Faith' you aspire to, which hardly recognises the theological changes made to the Liturgy, and it's understanding of the KJVersion of the Bible.

Suem said...

Would anyone buy a book entitled "God is a Christian"?- is the Pope a Catholic? But seriously, shouldn't you read Tutu's book first and see what he says? After all, God is not a Christian, God is God!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I too sang God save the Queen in church this morning. She is our Queen and I am quite happy to pray for her. That is quite different from the matter of whether our beloved country should be a state whose head resides on the other side of the world. How long do you think we should keep going like that: one more year, ten more years, 100 more years?

(I have no idea why the BCP or 1662 has anything to do with the question of NZ becoming a republic or not).

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Suem,
I think I get the gist of the book, e.g. by reading Ron Smith's column,

It looks like a very worthwhile book. But I wonder why an Anglican Archbishop would be happy with a book to his name with a title such as that.

Paul Powers said...

"It would be a small but significant step in reducing the inequality between the rich and the poor, the Queen being one of our richest citizens, and a republic meaning that she would no longer be one of us."

That's a novel approach to narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, but you may want to take it a step further. Why not strip all Kiwis whose net worth is below or above an acceptable range (let's say under $20,000 NZ or over $50,000 NZ) of their citizenship? That way you can truthfully say that the gap between New Zealand's poorest and richest is among the narrowest in the world. Problem solved.

WV=cheaks (a misspelling of a location where many tongues are firmly placed)

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,

Maybe NZ will become a republic even before Aus...the shame!! We've at least got rid of some of the royal trappings - titles, oaths of allegiance, HM's picture in govt buildings, although we still keep the holiday and her face is on our coins! You might recall we had a referendum in the early 90s, which came out with a resounding No to a republic - mostly because the republicans couldn't agree on a model. Would NZ need a referendum, or just an act of parliament to do the deed?

She will still be head of the AC's mother church even if she's not Aus or NZ's head of state. Frankly, her statements about Christian faith are often more profound and orthodox than the Bishops of the CofE!

Andrew Reid