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Separation of church and state - so how would you go about doing that then?

(9 Posts)
TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Sep-08 16:32:45

Inspired by the thread on collective worship...

I always think when people moan about things "so do something about it".

But it occurs to me that I don't actually know what would be required for a separation of church and state. Constitutionally.

Is it something that people who feel strongly about could lobby parliament for? Or is it bigger than that?

Revolution?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Sep-08 16:47:38

Well, OK, I know it's dull.

I'll just have to continue to bristle with righteous indignation then.

AMumInScotland Tue 09-Sep-08 16:48:51

I suspect there's an awful lot of laws which would have to be over-written to do it. But maybe it could be done bit by bit?

The one that usually comes up on here is faith schools - I think the difficulty with that one is that the church actually own at least some of the buildings, so you wouldn't be able to just "nationalise" them.

There's the position of the monarch as "Supreme Governor of the Church of England", and I think the Archbishop of Canterbury is chosen by the Prime Minister.

There's the right to be married in your parish church (assuming you're not divorced), and I think also rights to baptism and maybe funerals?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 09-Sep-08 16:50:22

Revolution it is then I guess grin

I wonder what overall public feeling would be on it. Rather than MN opinion.

Blu Tue 09-Sep-08 17:24:18

Well, it would need to be planned as a multi-tactical campaign - perhaps involving the creative infiltration of the conservative press and media, a high profile PR campaign, an unpopular and bumbling politician being encouraged to oppose it, and definitely the Muslim Parliament of GB requesting that Imams be given the same right as bishops to have unelected seats in the Lords and a v popular powerful politician supporting that on grounds of inter-faith dmocracy. That would pander to allsorts of anxities and start a panic which could be allayed by saying 'well, tell you what then, we won't have ANY faiths wangled up with state. Actually - the succession of Charles would be a good moment to do this as he has said he thinks he should be 'the defender of fiath' rather thean the 'defender of THE faith'. He could be offered the title 'Head of organic Faring' as compensation.

Then some constitutional unpicking - no big issue, really.

Faith schools would be given a decent period to decide whether to go private, or sell their land and buildings to the local authority at market cost - local authority to be obliged to buy (unless higher bidder steps in) and then decide how to proceed from there.

That just leaves arrangements for the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day (this could be delivered by a different person each year chosen in a TV talent show adjudicated by Simon Cowell - whilst the Queen is offered a new slot for her address to her subjects - perhaps on National No Smoking Day, or Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

The spare places in the Lords would go to Celebrity Chefs.

scaryteacher Thu 11-Sep-08 09:18:36

I thought we had a constitutional separation of church and state...we live in a democracy, not a theocracy...isn't that what the Civil War and the Restoration of the Monarchy was all about?

The title Fidei Defensor held by HM is a courtesy title originally granted to Henry VIII by the Pope, and the title Supreme Governor of the C of E dates from the reformation I think, when Henry was pushing through his divorce.

If it ain't broke (and it doesn't seem to be) don't fix it...and especially don't allow the establishment of Sharia courts in the UK.

AMumInScotland Thu 11-Sep-08 09:29:39

Faith schools
"Act of worship" every day (week?) in state schools
Church weddings (C of E clergy are automatically registrars)
Bishops in the House of Lords by automatic right

Not all that separate!

onager Thu 11-Sep-08 09:53:09

Blu's plan sounds like the way to go though I don't think it will happen any time soon.
I think Celebrity Chefs would raise the tone a bit too.

Really, I'm up for a revolution since there is so much to fix, but that's not going to happen either.

scaryteacher Thu 11-Sep-08 17:34:41

You don't have to choose a faith school.
I've taught in 4 state schools - no 'act of worship' for everyone, everyday, unless you class assembly once per week per year group an act of worship.
There is no compulsion to marry in church - get wed at the register office if you like.
The Bishops are there historically as a sop, as the Lords Spiritual.

I think the system works - leave it alone please. Think of the joys of living under a theocracy like Saudi Arabia for instance.

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