Has the Church of England really "climbed down from years of political radicalism"?by Andrew Brown / May 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
Before the 2015 General Election the Church of England produced a 52 page document explaining how and why Christians should vote, which told them a great deal but not which party they should actually vote for. We don’t know if anyone read it to the end.
This year, they produced a three page document and at least one person must have read it through: Jason Groves, the political editor of the Daily Mail. He had no doubt what it said: “THE leaders of the Church of England yesterday climbed down from years of political radicalism and support for left-wing causes. Its two senior archbishops sent an election letter to the faithful in which they abandoned their previous criticism of the Trident nuclear deterrent, their opposition to military intervention in the Middle East, and their support for European unity.”
It’s not quite as clear to the rest of us that the leaders of the Church are now in favour of Middle Eastern wars and European disunity, topped off with a threat of nuclear holocaust. None the less, the Mail’s spin was widely read. It looked like news. The picture of the Church as the opposition of last resort to Tory government took root in the Thatcher years, when the One Nation paternalism of Archbishop Robert Runcie and most of his Bishops was set up against the freedom of the market. This was reinforced under Rowan Williams, a self-described “hairy Leftie,” during the Blair years, but nothing much seemed to change when he was replaced by the Etonian Justin Welby.