Defender of the Faith or defender of faith? by Linda Rose for Christian Today
In a reception at Buckingham Palace on Friday evening, King Charles assured assembled faith leaders from various religions that he would work to protect the space for faith.
Waxing lyrical, he continued that it was his duty “to protect the diversity of our country, including by protecting the space for faith itself and its practice through the religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us as individuals.”
He went on to say that, as a member of the Church of England, his personal beliefs had love at their very heart, so that he was committed to respect those who follow other spiritual paths, as well as those who seek to live their lives in accordance with secular ideals.
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Interesting. At her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the Anglican Church, swore to do her utmost to maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, doing all in her power to maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion. She further swore to maintain and preserve the settlement of the Church of England and its doctrine, worship, discipline and government, as established by English law.
This oath, taken by the sovereign, was laid down by statute in 1688. Since that time there have been occasional attempts to amend it, but the legality of such amendments remains questionable. Are we to infer, however, that Charles is now proposing a radical rewording of the oath that will fundamentally undermine our constitution?
Our new King is undeniably well-meaning and attempting to continue the tradition of faithful service to the nation so well exemplified by his mother. We both applaud and support him in his commitment. But, in this area at least, his approach appears to be misconceived. The UK remains essentially a Christian country. Our laws and culture are founded on Christian values and belief – which values have rightly made us the envy of the world. In the national interest, they must be upheld.