At last an opportunity to work the word antidisestablishmentarianism into everyday conversation. Well, OK, then disestablishmentarianism, but there must be Anglicans who’ll argue against Rowan Williams on this, so the magic longest-word-in-the-English-language should get a few airings over Christmas.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed himself to be pretty much in favour of disestablishing the CofE, according to the Times and the Guardian.
It seems that the Archbishop has been swinging like a pendulum do, being alternately for and against the disestablishment of the church. Now he’s edging to the side of disestablishment. From the CofE’s perspective, establishment seems to come down to whether they have the monarch as their head and whether they have to turn up at state events. I can’t see that they would lose much from a formal separation of church and state. Nor, it seems does the right-wing of the CofE.
Reform, a network of mainstream Anglican evangelicals, at odds with Williams over the divisive issues of gay clergy and women bishops, agreed that disestablishment could be a positive step.
Yesterday its spokesman, Paul Dawson, said: “There are many advantages of being an established church and to lose these would be no small thing. To become disestablished would mean, as Rowan Williams seems to be suggesting, a rethink and sharpening of the prophetic voice of the church to the nation and this would be something welcomed by many.” (from the Guardian)
If these people favour disestablishment, it seems to be because they believe they could take the CofE more easily down their militant “traditionalist” path. In which case, continued establishment looks surprisingly appealing.
Blimey, there may be a reason for liberally-minded non-believers to favour Antidisestablishmentarianism after all.
The archbishop also praises Richard Dawkins’ “panache” and appears to compare himself to Josiah Bartlett, the fictional president played by Martin Sheen in the West Wing.
Oh, and he seems to quite like the Muppets, according to the Guardian.
.. he also discloses that his favourite films are The Muppet Christmas Carol and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev. (from the Guardian)
Oddly unique combination of favourite film choices there. Muppet Christmas Carol? We’ve all heard of it but it would be difficult to squeeze it in to your Top 1000 best films, even if you’d only ever seen 100. The Tarkovsky one? IMDb it and find it’s a 1966 Kruschev-era film about an icon painter. IMDB reviews say it’s brilliantm but even its ardent fans say that it’s not exactly an easy movie to watch. For example:
It is a difficult movie to follow. One might liken it to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake as a work of genius so monumental and complex, and so disdainful of traditional narrative form, that it requires extensive thought and study to understand it. And even after studying it, watching it repeatedly, and reading Tarkovsky’s own comments about it, one still finds it opaque in many ways. (from IMDB)
Don’t all rush out and get the DVD, then.