If you've not heard, there's to be a royal wedding this spring to rival that of Charles and Diana. Here's just a sampling of the news and views.
As if the opinion of a Yank matters, Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, who is ordained in the Episcopal Church, writes,
Central to Christianity is the idea that God created humans with freedom, yet those born into the royal family are birthed not so much into freedom as a destiny—to one day be king or brother to the king or two cousins once removed from the king and hence never to be king.A bishop who was punished for predicting the marriage wasn't likely to last is defended in a letter to the Church Times,
The misogynistic structure of the monarchy is also problematic from a Christian standpoint. If Kate and William birth a girl followed by a boy, it is the boy who will ascend the throne. If they are parents to three charming female prodigies and one antisocial boy with uninspiring intellect, it is he who will be privileged. Such a system of succession implies that women are not made in the image of God equally with men but rather are inferior, a last resort.
Finally, the royal family needs to ask itself whether it strives to be true stewards of God’s creation and whether its actions exemplify love of neighbor. For instance, is it necessary to have an engagement ring worth half a million dollars, more than a majority of families in the United Kingdom save during their entire lifetime? Is it necessary to live in multiple mansions with heating bills that must reach into the tens of thousands each month, to charter yachts that deposit toxins into oceans, or fly private jets that leave a carbon footprint the size of a brachiosaurus? Does this lifestyle serve the British people who not only pay for such excesses but who do so when they cannot afford to pay for their own basic necessities? Put more succinctly: it is difficult to justify this lifestyle in terms of Christian values.
Even more difficult when one is said to be the figurehead of a denomination.
Apparently, Church of England bishops can:It was revealed yesterday that the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury will share pre-marital counseling duties.
i) refuse to attend the Lambeth conference and hold a press conference to draw attention to their lack of confidence in the Archbishop of Canterbury (News, 27 June 2008);
ii) engage in employment practices towards gay people which are unlawful, and proceed to a tribunal resulting in tens of thousands of pounds in legal and settlement costs’ being unnecessarily borne by their diocese (News, 27 July 2007);
iii) be chairman of the governors of a training college that, before an employment tribunal, is obliged to admit to systematic failings in its employment practices resulting in thousands of pounds in out-of-court-settlement costs (News, 11 January 2008);
iv) announce in the media that they regard the C of E as “fascistic” and that they intend to leave in future (while still happily continuing to draw their stipend in the mean time) (News, 12 November);
v) draw an analogy between the “threat” to the Church caused by the possibility of female bishops and the threat to our nation of invasion by the Nazis in 1939 (News, 5 November); and
vi) lambast the Archbishop of Canterbury publicly at any and every available opportunity, ideally in the media.
And they can do all of this with apparent impunity. But the one thing that finally swings the Church into action is a bishop who has a moan about the royal wedding on his (semi-private) Facebook page. You couldn’t make it up.