Thinking Anglicans

Reforming the House of Lords – 2

See earlier article here.

From Cif belief Goodbye to the bishops by Polly Toynbee:

Today an ICM poll for Power2010… shows that 74% of voters think unelected bishops should have no place in the legislature, and only 21% believe that they should. Even more persuasive is that 70% of Christians want the bishops gone, and only 26% are in favour of keeping them.

And, from Ekklesia ICM Survey of attitudes to bishops in Parliament and religion in public life:

The population of the UK is equally split over the importance of institutional religion in public life, but three-quarters believe it is wrong for bishops to have reserved places in the House of Lords.

The findings come in an ICM poll commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, as part of the Power 2010 initiative of which the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia is a member.

They are the first major survey of public opinion with regard to the place of bishops in the House of Lords. It was carried out on 10-11 March 2010.

Findings included:

  • 43% of people believe it is important that institutional religion plays a role in public life, whilst 41% feel it isn’t important.
  • Many more Muslims (84%) than Christians (50%) believe that it is important that ‘organised religion should play a role in public life’.
  • 74% of the population – including 70% of Christians – believe it is wrong that some Church of England Bishops are given an automatic seat in the House of Lords.
  • 65% say it is important that anyone who sits in the House of Commons or House of Lords and votes on laws is elected
  • Support for the place of Church of England bishops in the Lords is least in Scotland, where only 20% of the population believe their presence is significant.

Read the full survey results here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/survey_on_bishops_icm.pdf

13
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
13 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)Cynthia GilliattAchillesevensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)Father Ron Smith Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Kahu Aloha
Guest
Kahu Aloha

So much for the bishops’ sense of self-importance. We here in the US never got to kick out the bishops along with the aristocratic governors for the simple reason that in the 160 years prior to our declaration of independence the CofE never saw fit to send a single bishop.

Judith Maltby
Guest
Judith Maltby

Very interesting. At any point do they break down the Christian stat? I wonder what the figures would be amongst English Anglicans.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

To Lutherans mixing Church and State damages both irretrieably. Both Rome and Calvinism does that.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“74% of the population – including 70% of Christians – believe it is wrong that some Church of England Bishops are given an automatic seat in the House of Lords.” – ICM Survey – This particular statistic – if verifiable – should give the Church of England cause to reflect upon the present inequitable situation of ‘automatic’ seats in the House of Lords for ‘certain’ Bishops. This will no doubt encourage debate on the present system of the legislative power available to un-elected members of a specific faith community. The question for everyone is whether or not this system can… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I am glad about this. This automatic right is against the principles of a modern, egalitarian society and in practice, of course, a majority of our bishops spend their time and energies defending the indefensible and bringing our church into disrepute. Perhaps some of them will now begin to acquire a bit of much-needed humility. Expect much squawking, but the unwelcome knowledge that a majority of their flock think they should go (from this particular venue – though perhaps also full stop!) may sober them up a bit. (Not T Wright of course.)

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

” Even more persuasive is that 70% of Christians want the bishops gone, and only 26% are in favour of keeping them. We are the only western country with theocracy in its law-making.” – Polly Toynbee, Guardian Comment – Theocratic States (ruled by Religious Law) have never been very successful from Constantine onwards. They guarantee neither domocracy nor justice. The sooner Church of England Bishops withdraw peaceably and voluntarily from their toe-hold in the house of Lords, the better for both common justice and democracy. After all, we know the problem of the dominance of religion in other, Muslim, theocracies.… Read more »

Nick Lincoln
Guest
Nick Lincoln

I think it’s a bit much to describe the UK as a theocracy simply because there are bishops in the House of Lords. In fact, the comparison between the UK government and non-Western theocratic states is just ridiculous. I realise that the present system is not entirely satisfactory (ie. it gives certain bishops a soapbox upon which to stand) but ideally, the HoL ought to provide a system of checks and balances to the elected House of Commons. Rather than inventing a new Second Chamber, which will be as politically polarised as the HoC, we ought to increase representation in… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I don’t have enough trust left in me to support

‘increase representation in the Lords (including other Christian denominations and faiths).’

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“I realise that the present system is not entirely satisfactory (ie. it gives certain bishops a soapbox upon which to stand).” – Nick Lincoln, on Tuesday – And this, Nick, is precisely why those of us who do not support the anti-gay statements of certain of the Bishops who are misleading the House of Lords (from a privileged position within that House) on ‘bogey-man’ issues like the entirely spurious potential of clergy of the Church of England being subject to prosecution for not agreeing to host a Church Blessing for Civil Partnerships. The movers of the amendment have made that… Read more »

evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)
Guest
evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)

Now here in ‘Uhmerka we gots J.D. Heyworth who is challenging John McCain, Senator from Arizona who is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages altogether. He likens gay sex to bestiality (likens same-sex recognition as marrying your horse). Do you think this guy is any better than +Winchester? Warning: You could do far worse, so be careful. My guess is that +Winchester has dug himself a hole deep along the L&SW mainline between Basingstoke and Portsmouth so deep he couldn’t see the whites of a horse’s eye. Meanwhile, we’ve still ‘gots’ cowboys over here. Ye-haw. Be careful for… Read more »

Achilles
Guest
Achilles

I think I agree with Father Ron Smith. There’s hardly a thing from these figures that would leave one to rely on there being in the short- or mid-term a secular Muslim constituency in the UK.

We don’t need theocrats of any stripe: the Bishops may find that they become, if they stay, the thin end of a very large wedge.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Now here in ‘Uhmerka we gots J.D. Heyworth who is challenging John McCain, Senator from Arizona who is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages altogether. He likens gay sex to bestiality (likens same-sex recognition as marrying your horse).” True enough – elections can result in idiots in the Senate and in the House. They can also result in a Teddy Kennedy, a Barney Frank. Lately our elected scoundrels – all male so far – have been mostly randy rather than outright crooks, but we’ve had those too. It’s one of the risks of democracy. Luckily, many of the… Read more »

evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)
Guest
evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh)

Thing of it is Cynthia, is how they get IN there…by slandering groups of people and lying outright in countless paid television ads. At least a member of the House of Lords probably had to at least behave themselves to get into the club. Granted, getting them out is a problem, but I suspect the British tradition of cold-blooded politeness deals with it quite effectively.