Yesterday I received a request from Change.org to sign a call to oppose the Bishops in the House of Lords. The text and the link is below but I am in favour of the House of Lords operating with a wide range of people who are not connected to political groups and for me that would include the Anglican Bishops and indeed I would call for people from a range of settings other . I have met a significant number of Bishops in the past and I agree with many of them to participate in the House of Lords. I am aware that there are some people who want the House of Lords to be Party Political but I totally disagree with that. We need to involve people from a wide range of settings and I would certainly be very keen to retain the Bishops in the House of Lords. Here is the Change.org setting – it would be great if we could endorse an alternative approach.
The piece from the Change.org was submitted by Sandi Toksvig and it can be obtained from here but I disagree with it because I have received positive comments from Bishops in recent weeks such as this one from Stephen Cottrell who is the Archbishop of York although I met him many years ago before he was such as significant Bishop. I agree with Sandi on some themes she states in public but this is not something I agree with and I hope other people agree with me and perhaps we can find a way to promote the Bishops.
Remove Bishops From The House Of Lords
26 bishops from the Church of England, selected by the church, sit as a matter of right in the House of Lords. No other faiths have this privilege, and nor do the other UK regions.
These bishops can vote on every law that is passed – even laws that the church doesn’t have to abide by because it has legal exemptions from Equality legislation. The only other country in the world where representatives of the state religion automatically get a seat in the legislature is Iran.
Whatever goes on inside religious organisations, the Church should not be allowed to hold sway in the Houses of Parliament. It doesn’t matter what your faith is or even isn’t, it’s discriminatory and it has to stop.
This petition calls for the removal the Church Of England’s privilege to appoint bishops into the House of Lords, and remove existing bishops currently sitting in the House of Lords.