I certainly don’t expect us to agree on everything when it comes to religion. After all, you believe in God and I don’t.
But I am surprised how different the view of our country’s history seems to be. You and your colleagues talk about the prospect of equal marriage – a prospect it is worth remembering that other strands of the Christian family are welcoming, not to mention many members of the Church of England – as if it is one of the greatest threats to the Church of England in the last 500 years.
Greater than the threat of being conquered by a Catholic nation and having the Catholicism imposed by force on the country? (I give you the Spanish Armada.)
Greater than the dissolution of the monasteries and seizure of all their assets? (I give you Henry VIII.)
Greater than the scientific discoveries that upended completely the literal chronology of the Old Testament? (I give you the creation of geology as a field of study.)
Greater than the idea that God may not be required to explain the emergence of humans? (I give you Charles Darwin.)
And that is without getting into other threats such as other invasions, the spread of secularisation, the declining Church attendance numbers or the rise of other religions in the UK.
I am sure before entering into such a grand and sweeping statement you will have given it careful thought. After all, chasing a headline with a piece of hyperbole wouldn’t really be fitting for such an important issue.
So please – would you mind explaining?
UPDATE: It looks as if the specific 500 years reference was a phrase coined by a journalist, although it has been widely quoted in the media as being what the Church of England has said. The more general point about relative threats still stands of course.