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Thursday, 4 February 2010

The inequality of the House of Lords

An audience in the UK’s parliament heard this week that having unelected male religious leaders from one denomination in an unelected legislative chamber is unfair, inappropriate and contrary to the Christian message of equality and justice (see the religious think tank Ekklesia’s take on that here).

Well, it’s contrary to any justice, in fact, not just Christian. Indeed, there are patches of Christianity where justice is severely lacking.

Baroness Hayman, the Speaker in the upper chamber, the House of Lords, has given permission for the first ever debate to be held in the Palace of Westminster on the future of the 26 unelected Church of England bishops, who – known as the “Lords Spiritual” – are allowed to sit in the chamber by default.

Not only is it unfair from the point of view of how they got there, it also means that only men can take that position, since only men are allowed to be bishops in the Church of England.

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