Sunday, 6 September 2009

Cranmer nods

Archbishop Cranmer (the blogger, not the compiler of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, &c.) is an interesting character. His concern is the intersection between religion and politics. In religion he is a staunchly protestant, solidly low church Anglican. In politics he is an equally staunch Conservative of a traditional right-wing sort.

Sometimes his commentary is intelligent and perceptive (often when one least expects it to be); at other times, mere empty right-wingery and protestant polemic.

His anti-Catholic prejudices can be virulent, but it is notable that he finds more and more to praise in Benedict XVI. One has a sneaking suspicion that if forced to choose he might prefer his Holiness to any actually-existing protestant church leader.

His Grace has an averagely interesting post this morning, pondering why in a country with an Established Church, its Supreme Governor no longer calls her subjects to prayer, but the President of the United States of America, a country which is notoriously sensitive to the separation of church and state, has no such inhibition.

Sadly, the late Archbishop's enthusiasm for his theme leads him astray, when he alleges that Winston Churchill (the last Prime Minister to advise his monarch to proclaim a national Day of Prayer) was "a sincere, devout, Bible-reading, resurrection-believing Christian."

Would that be the same Winston Churchill who declared that he supported the church, but like a flying buttress - "from the outside"? And who admitted, "I believe death is the end"?

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