This article is written by Fast_Leader, Conservative MP for Manchester City and South.
It is inconvenient to be a desecularist. The great feeling within the Parliament is that this country was liberated from itself when we, as an institution, adopted the roles of apostates and iconoclasts in the passage of the Secularisation Act 2016. Ironically, this Act has now been deified in its own right, seen as a tradition of the most ancient order, and it must be thusly preserved. The maintenance of tradition and the protection of the sacred relics of our British way of life — why, secularists are almost starting to sound like traditionalists in their own right.
As a Conservative MP for Manchester City and South, one of my campaign planks was restoration of British culture, which is in a current state of great rot and decline. We cling to our parties and our social influencers, our means of common ground growing ever scarcer. Yet, as a thoroughgoing Pittite myself, I summate my beliefs as “God, King, and Country” — how fitting for a Conservative. These are the three pillars which maintain our Union, the pillars which have seen us through the Glorious Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and both World Wars to great success. However, the foremost of the trio, God, was conspicuously missing when I was sworn in as an MP. Because of this, I introduced the Anglican Renewal Bill to the floor. This might surprise political observers, given my strongly written opening speech, but I am not an Anglican myself. It is without a shred of personal gain or motive that I stood where I did and implored by colleagues to think of the Britain we’ve inherited and where it must go. I simply believe in desecularisation as a matter of principle.
So far, the debate has ranged from the unserious and patronizing — such as amendments about renaming the Supreme Governor as the Pontifex Maximus or the act’s coming effect upon divine intervention — to ideologically extreme. Some see the proposed bill as a means of installing a theocracy. Some pontificate about the separation of church and state (and utterly Jeffersonian and American idea, mind you), while simultaneously ignoring the utter state of religious terror our Danish, Greek, and Norwegian counterparts suffer under the yoke of their state churches. (Let a healthy dash of sarcasm be read in the previous sentence.)
There is an importance to having the Monarch, as Head of State, occupy the role, versus just that of another bishop. The entirety of the Monarch’s role is embodying the nation, through religion, through politics, and through national life. This is why we look to them to serve as our national symbol of unity, our anchor in difficult times. This is why a great necessity exists in standing on tradition, especially with the historical role the Church of England has played in our history. Remaining steadfast to tradition does not tyrannize non-Anglicans, as some have noted. What it does do is act as a bastion against those who wish to engineer Britain as they wish.
The Anglican Renewal Bill is a compromise on the matter of desecularisation and the Secularisation Act, as it does not reinstate state funding of faith schools nor the Lords Spiritual, while it allows the shortsighted removal of the Monarch as Supreme Governor to be reversed. Until then, I will let the principles of the Anglican Renewal Bill, no matter how politically inconvenient they may be, to stand on their own as the good fight toward desecularisation is fought.
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