If you may or may not be aware, the official religion of ‘Great Britain‘, and one that’s politically supported, and headed by the monarch, ‘Queen Elizabeth II‘, is the ‘Church of England‘, and by default they get an automatic number of seats in the government’s ‘House of Lords‘, which currently stands at 26 seats. What this means is the Church of England has 26 ‘Lords Spiritual‘, who represent England, but the ‘Presbyterian Church‘ that represents Scotland, and the ‘Anglican Church‘ that represents Wales and Northern Island get no say. The full title of the House of Lords is ‘The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled‘ and the majority aren’t voted in, they are appointed. The House of Lords is responsible for scrutinising and amending bills and laws created by the ‘House of Commons‘, so their impact on British and Commonwealth decision are extremely significant.
‘Disestablishmentarianism’ is a political campaign to separate church and state; that will essentially secularise Great Britain, and remove the Church of England as the state religion; thus removing their automatic right to sit at the House of Lords.
What’s the big deal?
Why should one form of religion have more importance over another? We are forever being told that Great Britain is multicultural, so if that’s the case, then why don’t ‘Muslim Clerics‘, or ‘Jewish Rabbi‘, or representatives of ‘Humanism‘ get automatic seats too if we are multicultural?
“Secularism would require an end to bishops sitting as of right in the House of Lords and a substantial reduction in permissible discrimination based on religion or belief. No other democratic sovereign state gives seats in its legislature to religious representatives as of right. ” – Humanists U.K.
It’s the 21st century, not the 18th, and no religious group should be able to make decisions that affect everyone in Great Britain with bias from their faith, or beliefs. It matters not if voters make their decision based on faith or belief when they choose political candidates, as we live in a democracy, but there’s no way people should get automatic seats because they belong to a particular church.