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Elizabeth’s method | the paper

Are you sure that it really is a contradiction between the UK’s pluralism in religious matters and Christianity rooted in the royal funeral?

Even the always sharp Jonathan Friedland points out the contrast between the United Kingdom’s pluralism in matters of religion and the established Christianity of the royal funeral: the abbey, passages from the New Testament, sacred hymns, the cross over the globe, the cross over the world. The Book of Common Prayer … But are we sure that it is a contradiction? Finally Religion plays a private and public role at the same time. On the private side, there is no doubt that the Queen was a Christian – and frankly, to read her letters – so I see no reason for her to receive a spiritualist or a Pastafarian funeral instead. On the public side, the Queen as such is the defender of the faith, that is, the non-spiritual head of the Church of EnglandSo it is correct and ordered that according to this tradition she was buried. It has been nearly three hundred years since Voltaire wrote that “in England there are at least thirty religions, and all go to heaven in the way they like.” I don’t see what ought to be different now: Shouldn’t an increasingly multi-religious nation allow anyone to hold a funeral close to their heart, even if a Christian? Unless tolerance has made such progress in these three centuries that if today one wants to go to heaven, one must go the way others prefer.

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Earl Warner

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