Friday, February 11, 2005


It's always fascinating to look at what really causes a stir on Ekklesia. Right now we have stories up about oppression in Zimbabwe and brave Archbishop Tutu; world poverty and how to end it; Christians working against nuclear weapons; Christian-Muslim cooperation on nonviolent change in Iraq; anti-Catholicism, and Christian social vision. (You can always consult the news archive if it has moved on by the time you read this.)

However, what is really making people click away at the moment is the monumental question over ... what the Evangelical Alliance has to say about how naughty Charles and Camilla have been. Yes, that's right: more people are apparently exercised about this than all of these other issues put together.

Now don't get me wrong. Adultery matters. And what the EA says is not insignificant, because it represents a big swathe of opinion, whatever we think of it. Ekklesia reports, it doesn't just comment. Moreover people surf in for particular stories, so the direct comparison may not be entirely fair. But even taking these factors into account, the capacity for a bit of Royal nothingery to dominate our consciousness is truly amazing.

Or perhaps not. Maybe the magic word is 'evangelical'. Either way, the idea that 'a new way of thinking' (let alone a new way of behaving) is any easier for Christians than for others doesn't wash. We all feed from the same trough, and we all fall short of the same glory. This is one reason why easy moralism about Chuck and Cammie's second chance should remain circumspect about its own interests. Moats, beams, that kind of stuff.

Anyway, following on from my acerbic comments yesterday (for which I feel some penitence, but not too much), here are links to previous articles about liberating the church in England from monarchical illusions, the question of disestablishment, and more on the Royal bug.

The review of Ian Bradley's book is a lot more even-tempered than the comment below, by the way. But these issues do, I think, cut deep -- and the wound is barely noticed (to re-employ another metaphor-of-the-moment on this weblog). So maybe the odd prod with a sharp stick isn't out of place.

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