At the same time, those who now dissent from the Church of England’s “official” views on women, homosexuals, and some other moral issues would at least know clearly where they stood. The Church of England is currently being offered the opportunity to choose its own bishops and senior clergy. Its present discriminatory practices will probably continue, despite the law of the land.
In Britain, we now live in a society where women and homosexuals in civil partnerships are treated equally by the law, but continue to be treated unequally by the Church. Moral authority should be earned rather than given automatically to one denomination.
Changes in Church and society will happen according to the ethos of the people in different generations. A theocratic Church and other faith organisations can provide moral balance when such decisions are impending, but a parliamentary democracy needs to heed the voices of all people of faith and those of none, through its elected delegates.
Laws exist for the protection of individuals and communities, especially those who are vulnerable to oppression. This is one very good reason why in Britain there needs to be an end to parliamentary involvement by any religious denomination.
Otherwise, the Church of England may be using religious conscience to mask sexism and homophobia. It is time for the Church of England voluntarily to let go of its special relationship with the state, and to join other religious organisations on an equal footing in contributing to political, ethical, and social discussions.