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The Prince’s [Charles] official job description as king will be ‘defender of the faith’, which currently means the state-financed absurdity of the Anglican Church, but he has more than once said publicly that he wants to be anointed as defender of all faiths – another indication of the amazing conceit he has developed in six decades of performing the only job allowed him by the hereditary principle: that of waiting for his mother to expire. Christopher Hitchens
The Bishop of Carlisle [COE] recently ... said that the floods in northern Yorkshire that devastated a large part of England in the summer, and killed and dispossessed a large number of people, were punishment for homosexuality. To connect meteorology to morality seems to me I have to say flat-out idiotic. Christopher Hitchens
A grown person with a beard like the Archbishop of Canterbury dons a skirt to say that he thinks the tsunami may be a judgment on us. This is idiotic. It’s cretinous. It’s not critically reported. Christopher Hitchens, interview Dennis Miller, 2007
This is what you get when you found a political system on the family values of Henry VIII. At a point in the not-too-remote future, the stout heart of Queen Elizabeth II will cease to beat. At that precise moment, her firstborn son will become head of state, head of the armed forces, and head of the Church of England. In strict constitutional terms, this ought not to matter much. The English monarchy, as has been said, reigns but does not rule. From the aesthetic point of view it will matter a bit, because the prospect of a morose bat-eared and chinless man, prematurely aged, and with the most abysmal taste in royal consorts, is a distinctly lowering one. Christopher Hitchens
The wretched church of which he [Peter Hitchens] is a member. He understands as easily as I do that Rowan Williams just does this perfect impersonation of a Welsh trap sheep meeting on some hillside in the rain. And it’s more of a tragedy to me, but you can’t miss a thing like that. Christopher Hitchens, In Confidence
In the aftermath of the recent wave action in the Indian Ocean, even the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williamson [sic], proved himself a latter-day Voltairean by whimpering that he could see how this might shake belief in a friendly creator. Williamson is of course a notorious fool, who does an almost perfect imitation of a bleating and frightened sheep, but even so, one is forced to rub one’s eyes in astonishment. Is it possible that a grown man could live so long and still have his personal composure, not to mention his lifetime job description, upset by a large ripple of seawater? Christopher Hitchens
For over a thousand years they believed that they possessed the greatest asset we could hope for: God. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, How God Made the English I: A Chosen People? BBC 2012
Religion: a force that shaped the English soul. ibid.
At the heart of that change was the Christian Church. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, How God Made the English II: A Tolerant People?
A thousand years of history was going to be junked ... The Reformation was a watershed. ibid.
For the next three hundred years Catholics would be excluded from all positions of power. ibid.
Just like ancient Israel, only better. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, How God Made the English III: A White and Christian People?
Did He also make them White and Christian? ibid.
And a particular kind of Christianity at that. ibid.
An all-embracing Anglicanism ... I knew that the Church of England didn’t mean the same for everyone. ibid.
The English Church was born in the sixteenth century out of that revolution in Christianity we call the Protestant Reformation. ibid.
A continuous reinvention of something much older. You can see it in the nation’s plethora of chapels and meeting houses. ibid.
I see the Church of England as an icon of English plurality. ibid.
You fiend. Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity … Have you ever considered a career in the church? Blackadder II: Money, Bishop of Bath & Wells to Blackadder, BBC 1986
The Church of England now condemned all the doctrines of Whigism as false, seditious and impious, and declared most of them heretical and blasphemous as well. Monarchy by David Starkey s3e1: Return of the King, Channel 4 2006
Henceforth, the universal Church would be the Church of England. David Starkey, Henry: Mind of a Tyrant IV, Channel 4 2009
At the time of the King’s death one in three people in Britain believed the new Queen was chosen by God. Not only head of state and head of the British commonwealth, Elizabeth became supreme governor of the Church of England. The Queen I, Channel 4 2009
The Church is looking for a candidate to maintain the balance. Between those who believe in God and those who don’t. Yes, Prime Minister s1e7: The Bishop’s Gambit, Sir Humphrey at Balliol, BBC 1986
In September 2008 the Church of England issued a belated apology for its attack on Charles Darwin. Darwin hasn’t killed God: religious people have simply found different ways to justify their faith. Has he destroyed morality? Again, no. To understand the origin of morality doesn’t mean you must cast it aside. But Darwin has changed the terms of trade. He’s returned us to Nature. To its wonder, to its glory, and to its danger. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution questions almost everything we thought we knew about ourselves. Where we come from. Why we behave as we do. The origins of our morality. It isn’t comfortable and it isn’t easy but the more science looks at this theory, the truer it turns out to be. Man is the truth-seeking primate. Darwin has given us a great truth. And there is no going back. Andrew Marr, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, BBC 2009
God for many of the Anglicans is nothing more than a sort of awkward geriatric relative. Dr Jonathan Miller: A Rough History of Disbelief I: Shadows of Doubt ***** BBC 2004
The Anglican version of the viruses are a fairly benign one to me. Professor Richard Dawkins, In Confidence
I suppose I’m a cultural Anglican, and I see evensong in a country church through much the same eyes as I see a village cricket match on the village green. I have a certain love for it. Richard Dawkins
The sweet mediocrity of our native church. George Herbert
If the Church of England had been the established and general religion in all the northern colonies as it has been among us here, and uninterrupted tranquility had prevailed throughout the continent, it is clear to me that slavery and subjection might and could have been so gradually insinuated among us. Union of religious sentiment begets a surprising confidence, and ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption; all of which facilitates the execution of mischievous projects. James Madison
We’re now paying the price for the eighties and Lord [Robert] Runcie’s kind of effete, liberal elitism amongst Bishops which has also spread into the theological colleges. There is now a big gap between the faith of those in the pulpit and those in the pews. George Austin, Archdeacon of York
There are two dangers which beset the Church of England are good music and bad preaching. Lord Hugh Cecil, 1869-1956
The archbishop is usually to be found nailing his colours to the fence. Frank Field, re Archbishop Runcie; similar comment cited for A J Balfour
The Church should go forward along the path of progress and be no longer satisfied only to represent the Conservative party at prayer. Maude Royden, address London 16th July 1917
Ahem. How much longer can the Church of England go on stalling and prev-aaaaa-ricating in the face of growing and insistent demands for the ordination of sheep? Spitting Image s2e1, sheep on hillside, ITV 1985