Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Banish the Bishops

If ever there was a slap in the face to the idea of a separation of Church and State, it is the privileged position of the phalanx of Bishops in the House of Lords - a deeply undemocratic institution to begin with.

Next week the House of Commons will be debating House of Lords reform and the British Humanist Association is calling on people to let their MPs know their views on the place of Bishops in a 'reformed' House of Lords.

The BHA says:

"The Government proposes to retain the right of Bishops to sit in parliament and even to give the Church new powers to decide precisely which Bishops will represent them. The BHA and our supporters in Parliament will be arguing that the right of Bishops to sit in the Lords must be removed."

The BHA has also produced a briefing paper on the issue, which is worth reading. It sets out all the arguments for giving the bishops the boot.

They are urging people to write to their MPs urging them to support initiatives to remove the bishops from the Lords, especially by adding their name to EDM 998.

For those with limited time, the BHA has produced a pro forma letter which can be automatically sent to your MP with two or three mouse clicks. It literally takes 30 seconds to do.

Also encourage your friends to write in. We can be fairly certain that the organised religious groups will be engaged in heavy lobbying. This is a rare opportunity to get this unelected and unrepresentative group out of parliament.

1 Comments:

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Andrew J said...

Couldn't agree more. I don't have as big a prob as I used to do with unelected members of the Lords (provided they would be selected on merit and by a scrupulously independent body), but bishops are there by right and that ain't on.

 

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