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Civil religion in the UK, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth

By Norman Bonney,
Manchester University Press, October 2013

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Birth of a Protestant Prince and institutional sectarianism in Scotland and the UK

The arrival of a new born child, third in line of succession to the throne, is a justly celebrated event.

 But this innocent and privileged baby will be shaped by the questionable features of current laws which not only exclude Roman Catholics and those not in communion with the Church of England from succession to the throne but which also require a new monarch, according to the Act of Union of 1707, to profess the 'True Protestant religion' and 'to preserve and maintain the Presbyterian form of Church government in Scotland'. 

In addition, if he comes to throne, he will, like his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, unless current laws are changed, have to declare his Protestant faith and repudiate the doctrines and authority of the Roman Catholic Church before the UK Parliament or at the coronation, according to the Accession Declaration Act of 1910, and swear, at the coronation, according to the Coronation Oath Act of 1688, to be Christian and uphold the privileges of the Church of England.

Those who proclaim that they are against religious sectarianism need to seek to change the several laws that sustain these unacceptable discriminatory arrangements for the monarchy and not just focus on the streets and football terraces. 

Letter in the Edinburgh Evening News 24 July 2013 on behalf of Edinburgh Secular Society