The Queen’s speech

Although the text of the Queen’s Christmas message is generally a well-kept secret, the Daily Mail claims to have sources who say that,

After a year in which the world has been rocked by sickening terrorist outrages and the war against brutal extremists, the Queen has chosen to deliver her most Christian Christmas message yet …

Sources familiar with the broadcast say she will use her traditional annual speech to reflect on her personal faith as well as her belief in the continuing role of Christianity at the centre of British life, despite rising secularism.

This comes weeks after a report two years in the making by the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life recommended changing the tone of public events to reflect a more pluralistic society than in previous eras. The Religion News Service reported earlier in December:

A sensational report released this week by the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life challenges this country’s time-tested moral and public values system. In language that raises eyebrows — and tempers — the report says the United Kingdom should cut back the Christian tone of major state occasions and shift toward a “pluralist character.”

Events such as coronations should be changed to be more inclusive, it says, while the number of bishops in the House of Lords should be cut to make way for leaders of other religions.

The recommendations from the commission, chaired by the former High Court judge Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, highlight major changes in British society, such as the decline in people who say they are Anglicans, down from 40 percent in 1983 to less than 20 percent in 2013. …

At her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth swore “to uphold the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain the Protestant reformed religion established by law and preserve the settlement of the Church of England.”

There is not a single reference in the coronation service to a religion other than Christianity or a denomination apart from the Church of England.

The Daily Mail story did not refer to the Commission’s report directly, but the former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, commented that,

“Clearly extremism is a backdrop to anything that any public figures says at this time. If people in this country gave greater heed to what the Queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it.”

The Queen’s speech is broadcast in Britain at 3 pm on Christmas Day. Read more at the Daily Mail and Christian Today.

Featured image: “Queen Elizabeth Toronto 2010” by dbking from Washington, DC – IMG_2251Uploaded by Skeezix1000. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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