Lord Harries, aka Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford, suggests that the Koran should be read at the next Coronation. He says this will make Muslims feel “embraced.” Well, you hug who you like, Richard, and I’ll hug who I like.
This suggestion is a form of apostasy, a sin not unusual among the modern bishops – for the Coronation is a Christian rite and the holy oil with which the monarch is anointed is sacramental. Islam is an alien ideology. If Muslims want to feel embraced, then they had better embrace the traditions and customs of our Christian nation, for these and nothing else are our British values. We live under a political settlement which dates back to Elizabethan times when it was summarised by Richard Hooker: “Every man of England, a member of the Church of England.” This was not an onerous imposition, for it required only that people should attend church three times in the year and keep the peace. The Elizabethan Settlement instituted the monarch as head of both state and church. This arrangement has given us a decent set of political freedoms these last 400 years and when refinements were added to accommodate Dissenters (1828) and Roman Catholics (1829), it provided for a broad and tolerant society. Everyone in England has freedom under the Crown. This goes for Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists as well as for RCs, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists and Scientologists.
If we are to read the Koran, then should we also read from Mary Baker Eddy’s barmy book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures or perhaps those passages about being “cleared” from our “engrams” by the charlatan L. Ron Hubbard who declared, “if you want to be seriously rich, start your own religion.” Which is exactly what he did.
When it comes to iconoclasm and the practice of godless materialism, Harries has got form. He is a strong supporter of embryo research, although this practice necessarily results in the death of the unborn. Harries justifies this on the grounds that “many embryos die anyway” – which is like saying that because some people are killed in traffic accidents, it’s OK for me to shove you under a bus. Harries, though formerly one of the most senior bishops in the land, is hardly a Christian at all. After murdering the unborn, he then announces that we should not use Our Lord’s words, “This is my Body….this is my Blood” in the Holy Communion. Why not? Why should we renounce the words of the Saviour? “Because visitors will think we’re cannibals. We should use phrases such as ‘angel bread’ instead.” Chuck him out!