Dear Sir/Madam/Whomever it may concern,
I write as, until now, a life-long communicant of the Church of England, or whatever it is called here these days.
This is a painful letter to write but one I can no longer in full conscience delay.
I admit I have stayed remote for some time from the public profession of the faith which was mine by accident of birth, but with which I had been happy to identify.
I’ve tried a private word with God, who has not responded in kind or symbols, though I suspect, like me, his omnipotent triumvirate is no longer comfortable with earthly interpretations placed on their word by those who seem to have assumed that right.
For example, Father Rod Bowers in Gosford, who considers it appropriate to display defamatory public signs accusing politicians holding opposite views to his own of being “paedophiles”.
Apart from my struggle with this blatant confusion of church and state, there’s a certain irony about blokes from a profession requiring them to prance about in brocaded silk gowns who seem to be unhealthily fascinated by the abominable practice.
At least the individual defamed apparently understands the concept of turning the other cheek.
Look it up.
My doubts commenced about the time the Roman persuasion considered the familiar Latin rite no longer appropriate.
Confused, their faithful stopped attending or simply went underground, a long tradition among those Christians whose faith and public profession has been unreasonably threatened by authority.
You lot then began tinkering with the liturgy, removing much of the comforting mystique from one’s weekly period of quiet contemplation.
I really had no experience of the bells and smells faction, but the so-called “plain English” liturgy failed to excite.
When you favoured guitars and happy clapping over traditional forms of praise I was disappointed.
After all, I wouldn’t want to experience Wagner’s Ring Cycle sung in English accompanied by a Hawaiian steel and ukulele band.
You changed the name of the faith several times for whatever reasons and I was neither consulted about nor informed of those impending changes.
Your practice of the beliefs which I had publicly professed left a lot to be desired.
I had marvelled afar at the work of the missions, and the well-meaning biddies who collected old clothes to cover the heathens’ nakedness.
Then I lived among the natives, comfortable in that nakedness, who were confused and embarrassed at being dressed publicly in cast-off undergarments that no self-respecting “European” would have been seen dead in, let alone in public.
I felt their shame, and was ashamed both of you and for them.
Living in Jerusalem, the spiritual, if not physical home of the three monotheistic religions, seriously challenged my understanding of my own.
Then came the Australian anti-Christ, a politically meddlesome Melbourne priest who relentlessly self-promoted until he was appointed governor-general.
When it was finally realised he wasn’t the Messiah reincarnate but a very negligent priest administrator, he was removed from the post to which he should never have been appointed.
I think the earthly church lost all remaining moral authority that day, at least for me.
We had married in the church, had our children baptised but allowed them the freedom to make up their own minds about their individual spirituality.
For some time now I’ve not felt the need to attend what is now an unfamiliar public worship, so perhaps it’s no surprise for me enough is enough.
I have no idea what a “Christian progressive” is but if it involves hate speech against those who chose not to identify as such, I am not one.
I am sick of zealots who insist I and others have no earthly right to regulate what happens to our bodies, for example, to choose when we might procreate.
I loathe those who insist I am unable to choose the time and method of my departure and attempt to legislate to prevent me from doing so.
I am over those clergy, administrators and church-based educators whose purity of spirit is in contrast to the putrescence of their flesh.
I have enough remaining stubborn Scandinavian Lutheranism in my genes to decide now is the time to nail my theses to your door.
I have old and close friends whose beliefs and practice of faith remain inspirational and hope those friendships will remain so.
As for myself, I have checked the Book of Common Prayer and, apart from an obscure 1549 form of exorcism under Corinthians 8 and Mark 1, there doesn’t seem to be a contemporary service of renunciation, while excommunication hardly seems appropriate given the current state of play.
However please accept my resignation with immediate effect, and I will return my various certificates if required.
Alternately I can request a notary public to stamp them as cancelled and inform you appropriately.
I have the honour to remain, no longer your obedient servant.
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