A very interesting debate has been going on about the Alternative Vote in the last 24 hours, since ten Church of England bishops (three of them retired) came out in support of an empowering reform of the system at the upcoming referendum on 5 May 2011.
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has suspended ("withdrawn from public ministry" in church speak) the Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, over remarks he made on Facebook about the engagement of Kate Middleton and William Windsor. Whatever view you or I take of the monarchy, the Church of England or the opinions of Pete Broadbent, this news raises some worrying questions.
Christian groups who fear discrimination say they want a "level playing-field" for British Christians. But if we are to take this concept seriously, let's not only support religious liberty for all people but also give up the privileges that are granted to Christians and denied to others. This would be a powerful demonstration of Christian love in action.
The Church of England is reported to be about to propose a change in its rules that will allow priests who are divorced to become bishops. Journalists looking for negative reactions to this news have not found them hard to find.
Most of the public think those who sit in the House of Lords and vote on laws should be elected, and 70 per cent of Christians believe it is wrong that some C of E Bishops are given automatic seats in parliament, an ICM poll shows.