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September 20, 2005


Mortimer Shy

Could you wipe the foam from your mouth and define "metrosexual". None of us twits know what the hell that is.

Steve M.

I think half of my correspondence on this site ties in with Google in some fashion. Consistent with past practice, I hereby report that PP is number 2 with a bullet in the Google ranking for "metrosexual twit." And I think this "Shy" grump is foaming with evvy.

Howard Dean

One of my prouder moments;


Andrew Cusack

Though I have no intention of elevating the comments of said bishop to any degree of worthiness, one has to admit that the Evangelicals are rather on the odd side and, at the end of the day, not to be trusted. The Evangelicals and the secularists are just two sides of the same modern coin, though all the more tragic since they are, in an imperfect way, members of the Church.

Mrs. Peperium

Mr. P says the same thing only in a more colorful way.

How's Scotland? The view from your rooms is quite wonderful. So are you headed into London tomorrow? Have fun and we want details plus autographs.


I think you worry too much. Richard Harries is a well known twit, although we'd normally change the "i" to an "a." More politely, he has "form," m'lud.

The Bishops' pronunciations are of no great interest to most people - they get reported on the news, but that's about it all. It's one of the upsides of living in a primarily secularised cultures - when the Bishops speak total crap, people are fairly indifferent towards it.

And on the (backbreakingly liberal) Channel 4 News discussion, you'll be glad to know, the US "religious conservative" guy tore him to shreds with great aplomb. You are right that his attack on Evangelicals was most odd, though; especially as Evangelism's a growing force within the CofE (not primarily a good thing, as Andrew points out).

Mrs. Peperium

He's a twit with an a??? My, what progress the Woman's Movement has made in the C of E.

Did you ever think that the C of E's problems could stem from being headed by a Queen?


No, not really. After all, the problems have got much worse as the CofE has become more autonomous. (A curious fact I think Simon Green pointed to once: that from the 1960s to the 1970s, the CofE was probably the only organ of the English state that was granted greater, rather than less, autonomy.)

After all, a more thoroughgoing Erastianism would probably have hardly result in the Harries-like stuff: if anything, it would seek to sanctify and give the support of the pulpit to the actions of the English state. The problems of the CofE is that it's become part of adversary culture.

I think, though, that institutional explanations are less powerful than others. In practical terms, the CofE was functionally autonomous from the 1900s or 1920s really - Cosmo Gordon Laing, let's not forget, was not exactly shy in putting the boot into King Edward III. But, autonomous as it is, the Church drifted along with the society from which it sprang. Rome only managed to avoid this fate (so far, and we trust, for the future) with the elevation of JP2, and because of the ballast provided by growing non-western membership.

Which then brings us to the question of secularisation, etc. Here, there's a whole range of factors to take into account - not the least of which is the cataclysmic impact of World War I (which even today exercises an amazing grip on English society); and of early industrialisation. In England's case, remember, society has been overwhelmingly urbanised for well over a century.

Then there are the doctrinal questions, of course; and the division between High and Low Church has been disastrous, allowing the Broad Churchers to rule the roost. But those are different questions.

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