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America - A Christian Nation? Options
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:29:23 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Probably the rest of this thread should shift to the politics forum!

The Constitution of the USA definitely includes clauses involving freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. I believe the first ammendment is quite specific.
The Constitution limits what the government can do by establishing only what it can do in certain instances. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

This has been interpreted to mean separation of church and state, but isn't expressly stated. But as I said to Romany in another post, though many people say the U.S. is a "Christian Nation", is was never supposed to be. It was just that the Christian religion was the religion of most of the new people who came here.

However, one of the things we see here in the UK is A LOT of rambling, screaming and shouting (by Americans) about how the USA is a Christian country and Muslims should be moved out and shot and are all enemies. That not being a Christian is anti-American. That atheists are anti-American and should all be shot/dismembered/incarcerated . . . We see it in the news (which is always suspect) - but also on forums like this one. Look on Quora for questions from Americans like "My neighbour doesn't go to church every week. Why won't the police shoot him like I ask?" or "My twenty-five-year-old son expressed a doubt about Jesus. Can I disinherit him?" and THOUSANDS more.
Well, that is disheartening, and quite depressing to hear. That makes me ashamed to call them Americans. However, I can't find it too surprising, given the fact that our educational system has been neglected for many years now, while ignorance and hatred is being stoked among so many of our people. We are being divided as we have only see one other time in our history - during Lincoln's Presidency. I believe it is by design, as a house divided against itself cannot stand, and that is the ultimate goal, IMO.

I know (though probably many Europeans and British people don't know) that the requisites for the President of the USA are three only, and none of them mention religion. So why was there so much noise from Americans about the (maybe false) news that Barak Obama was a Muslim, and that he didn't qualify to be president because of that? Why was it a scandal that he visited a mosque?
For many Americans, Obama was an embarrassment because he was seen as not standing up for our people and our country. This was especially true when he bowed before another world leader, a Muslim. He made America look subservient, which really offended many of our people. Then when he sent over one billion dollars in cash to Iran by the plane-load, as well as the appearance of giving them tacit permission to create nuclear weapons with that deal he made, that didn't help. Too, his relationship with the radical Christian minister who implored, "God damn America!" didn't go over well.

It's like the legal statements about the USA and the reality stated by Americans just don't match up.
This is why education is so important. We really must get back to learning and understanding our history, and I think we will. It's just going to take some time. In the meantime, don't believe everything you hear from those Americans over there. They don't represent the whole country. Just as radical loudmouths here don't represent their home countries either, I suspect.



Hope123
Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 11:17:49 PM

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Alert - There are several pieces of incorrect information in the above post by FounDit:-

1. Photo of Obama bowing was fake. Pants on fire lie.

https://www.politifact.com/facebook-fact-checks/statements/2019/may/23/viral-image/photo-barack-obama-bowing-ayatollah-khamenei-fake/

But LOL, I just watched a video where Trump received some sort of special necklace from the Saudi leader - and he curtsied or genuflected, bending his knees as he straightened up.

https://twitter.com/Scout_Finch/status/865955240897597441

2. It is a lie perpetrated by Trump and spread by his supporters that Obama GAVE Iran money - or permission to build nuclear weapons. In fact he did the opposite.

FounDit wrote: "...over one billion dollars in cash to Iran by the plane-load, as well as the appearance of giving them tacit permission to create nuclear weapons...

The money paid back to Iran was their own money and it was in foreign, not US banks. The diplomatic treaty Obama HELPED get Iran to sign was working according to other world leaders. Trump reneged on the deal only because of Obama's part in it. The US policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran through sanctions was launched last year and is causing hardship and protests by the people have broken out.



https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/obama-didnt-give-iran-150-billion-in-cash/

"The nuclear agreement included China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, so Obama didn’t carry out any part of it on his own. The deal did lift some sanctions, which lifted a freeze on Iran’s assets that were held largely in foreign, not U.S., banks. And, to be clear, the money that was unfrozen belonged to Iran. It had only been made inaccessible by sanctions aimed at crippling the country’s nuclear program."

What is the relationship between Iran and US now? How's Trump's "negotiating" ability working for ya? All that winning.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/07/tehran-pushed-too-far-iran-may-hit-out-in-disastrous-ways

:::::

3. BTW - Since when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political? Besides it basically is, when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism.

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

Also some Americans, Republicans I would guess, seem to think that a member of a church congregation believes every word the minister utters. So Obama had to renounce the minister and go to church elsewhere. He couldn't win - some still accused him of being Muslim. A lie once told takes hold.

Here's the full story- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright_controversy

Drago, it should not have mattered whether Obama was Muslim or not, which he wasn't, but it did matter to those Americans who are afraid of Muslims "taking over their country" and instituting Sharia law. Plus Trump started the "Birther" movement and harrassed Obama saying he was not born in the US so his presidency was not legal. I guess Trump didn't realize Hawaii actually is a US state.


Hope123
Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 11:39:23 PM

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As for the lack of education FounDit brought up in the US, here is a tweet I just read:

My son, who is a Marine told he cannot go anywhere on base with TV that is not playing Fox News. He said they are not allowed to change the channel.

He went on about how everyone around him seemed completely brainwashed.

Well that’s scary.


Yes, it is scary - Have a look at what Fox News said after Trump tweeted something similar to the fact that Trudeau must be upset he made him pay more for NATO. All the snowflakes including Trump are upset that CBC cut Trump's two second part in the movie 'Home Alone 2' to make room for commercials.


https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/cbc-removes-donald-trumps-scene-from-home-alone-2-broadcast

As if the PM controls the media. If he did they wouldn't have tried to embarrass him with the NATO video from Buckingham Palace.

In fact the cut of Trump was made in 2014 before either Trudeau or Trump were leaders. (BTW - the online hashtag #TrudeauMustGo was mostly from MAGA movement trying to take Trudeau down and it fell short. Talk about interfering in the elections of other countries.)
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 1:33:08 PM

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There is a difference between the intention of the Founding Fathers and how America has developed, Foundit is undoubtably true in saying that the intention of the constitution was to separate church and state.
However despite the ideals they have and the attempts to ensure they do not mix in practise America is a far more religious and Christian than many other countries.
It is one of the ironies of life in England nominally a Christian country with an established Church religion plays less of a part in everyday life than one that is supposedly not.
whatson
Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 8:05:47 PM
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Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 5:06:11 AM

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What is truly sardonically laughable about the idea that the U.S. is a truly Christian nation is the outcry against most social welfare programs by many who claim it to be so. The worst of which is the objection to socialized medicine. The U.S. is if anything a hypocrit nation, as it currently stands.
thar
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 7:18:15 AM

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Oh, I don't know -
Mark 2:11 "I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home." Your insurance has topped out.


But yes, between the intention and the execution...
What they meant (about the right to bear arms)
What they meant (about keeping the Church separate from politics)
Has very little to do with the reality in modern America.

Altbogh it is not 'The Church' as any great establishment, is it (apart from in LDS Utah and possibly in some Catholic cities) - it is people using religion to legitimise themselves or defame others.


As Sarries says, you would never know the Queen of England is the head of the state Church unless you looked into the technicalities if it.
British coins bear the initials F.D. after the name of the monarch - Fidei Defensor - which is actually so ironic because it was a title bestowed by the Pope on Henry VIII for saying nasty things about Martin Luther and all his heretical ideas - eleven years before Henry had some divorce troubles and split from the Catholic Church and founded the Protestant Church of England. Oy, no fair. - The Pope wants his medal back.

But the US notes bearing the words In God We trust? Separation, what separation?

Edit - I checked to see this was still the case, not just from an old film. Apparently on coins, too?
Romany
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 12:13:34 PM
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I simply have no idea at all why - or how - anyone could be unaware that America contains the largest Christian population of all developed countries?

As I said when this bizarre claim about America NOT being a Christian country and the "separation" of Church and State was brought up on the original thread: FD has taken issue with this before and on each occasion people have explained the whole thing to him. He can't, therefore, be surprised that, having brought it up once more, once more people refute his idea.

So what confounds me is why, if he really hasn't taken any notice of anything that's been said to him before on the subject, he doesn't just go to his server and look it up? It seems pretty inane that we should be called upon, once more, to defend this fact. All one has to do is go and look it up. What's the problem?

FounDit
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 3:03:52 PM

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I shouldn't have to explain this, but apparently I do.

Drag0nspeaker
wrote:
Probably the rest of this thread should shift to the politics forum!

The Constitution of the USA definitely includes clauses involving freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. I believe the first ammendment is quite specific.
FounDit wrote:

The Constitution limits what the government can do by establishing only what it can do in certain instances. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

This has been interpreted to mean separation of church and state, but isn't expressly stated. But as I said to Romany in another post, though many people say the U.S. is a "Christian Nation", is was never supposed to be. It was just that the Christian religion was the religion of most of the new people who came here.
End Quote

Since the topic is separation of church and state, the Constitution says that the state cannot MAKE A LAW establishing a state religion. It says nothing about what religion(s) are permitted, only that the state cannot ESTABLISH A PARTICULAR RELIGION, NOR PROHIBIT the free exercise thereof. I feel I have to shout to be heard through the fog that is passing for thinking on this subject.

That most Americans have always been Christians, DOES NOT make this the official religion of the US. THAT is the topic, state-run, state-established, religion, not what the majority of citizens adhere to.

So when people say the U.S. is a Christian nation, that means the majority of its citizens are Christians. The motto of the country is "In God We Trust", but this also does not establish a state religion because it mentions no particular God, and at the time of the motto's adoption, most everyone on the planet believed in some God, and, apparently, a great many still do, despite the best efforts of professional atheists.

So, no, I do not need the Constitution explained to me, nor what we mean by a Christian Nation. I understand what is meant by the separation of church and state, and no one can refute that this, no government-established religion, is what is meant. But I do have some serious doubts about the understanding and motivations of those who would school me on the subject.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2019 7:56:40 PM
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Foundit wrote:

"That most Americans have always been Christians, DOES NOT make this the official religion of the US. THAT is the topic, state-run, state-established, religion, not what the majority of citizens adhere to."

No, m'dear, that is NOT the topic. Could you find anywhere on this thread, the other thread, or any of the threads in which Christianity in America has been mentioned where anyone, at any time, has ever, even once, suggested, implied, mentioned, talked about, "state-run, state-established religion" . That's completely absurd and I couldn't imagine anyone even thinking about such an idea. And the topic, despite the sudden change direction IS, indeed, about the religion the majority of the USA adheres to. As each reply indicates. No-one else seems to have been confused at all about what the topic is.

This is unarguable as it was MY comment about it being the largest Christian country which sparked off this silly repetition of FDs refutation of the fact.

Thar: "Altbogh (sic) it is not 'The Church' as any great establishment, is it (apart from in LDS Utah and possibly in some Catholic cities) - it is people using religion to legitimise themselves or defame others."

Epi: "What is truly sardonically laughable about the idea that the U.S. is a truly Christian nation is the outcry against most social welfare programs by many who claim it to be so. The worst of which is the objection to socialized medicine. The U.S. is if anything a hypocrit nation, as it currently stands."

Sarries: "There is a difference between the intention of the Founding Fathers and how America has developed, Foundit is undoubtably true in saying that the intention of the constitution was to separate church and state.
However despite the ideals they have and the attempts to ensure they do not mix in practise America is a far more religious and Christian than many other countries.


Hope:-"Since when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political? Besides it basically is, when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."

Drago: "However, one of the things we see here in the UK is A LOT of rambling, screaming and shouting (by Americans) about how the USA is a Christian country and Muslims should be moved out and shot and are all enemies. That not being a Christian is anti-American. That atheists are anti-American and should all be shot/dismembered/incarcerated . . . We see it in the news (which is always suspect) - but also on forums like this one. Look on Quora for questions from Americans like "My neighbour doesn't go to church every week. Why won't the police shoot him like I ask?" or "My twenty-five-year-old son expressed a doubt about Jesus. Can I disinherit him?" and THOUSANDS more.

Please indicate where ANYONE - including yourself - has said a word about "state-run, state-established, religion."
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2019 10:50:37 AM

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Romany wrote:


Foundit wrote:

"That most Americans have always been Christians, DOES NOT make this the official religion of the US. THAT is the topic, state-run, state-established, religion, not what the majority of citizens adhere to."

No, m'dear, that is NOT the topic. Could you find anywhere on this thread, the other thread, or any of the threads in which Christianity in America has been mentioned where anyone, at any time, has ever, even once, suggested, implied, mentioned, talked about, "state-run, state-established religion" . That's completely absurd and I couldn't imagine anyone even thinking about such an idea. And the topic, despite the sudden change direction IS, indeed, about the religion the majority of the USA adheres to. As each reply indicates. No-one else seems to have been confused at all about what the topic is.

This is unarguable as it was MY comment about it being the largest Christian country which sparked off this silly repetition of FDs refutation of the fact.

Thar: "Altbogh (sic) it is not 'The Church' as any great establishment, is it (apart from in LDS Utah and possibly in some Catholic cities) - it is people using religion to legitimise themselves or defame others."
Non sequitur

Epi: "What is truly sardonically laughable about the idea that the U.S. is a truly Christian nation is the outcry against most social welfare programs by many who claim it to be so. The worst of which is the objection to socialized medicine. The U.S. is if anything a hypocrit nation, as it currently stands."
Non sequitur

Sarries: "There is a difference between the intention of the Founding Fathers and how America has developed, Foundit is undoubtably true in saying that the intention of the constitution was to separate church and state.
However despite the ideals they have and the attempts to ensure they do not mix in practise America is a far more religious and Christian than many other countries.

Being "far more religious and Christian than many other countries" may be true, but the First Amendment still holds. There is no state-established religion. Sarriesfan is correct in that.

Hope:-"Since when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political? Besides it basically is, when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."
You ask when is it political to ask the question, then state that it is "basically" political because of the make-up of the country. You answered your own question.

Drago: "However, one of the things we see here in the UK is A LOT of rambling, screaming and shouting (by Americans) about how the USA is a Christian country and Muslims should be moved out and shot and are all enemies. That not being a Christian is anti-American. That atheists are anti-American and should all be shot/dismembered/incarcerated . . . We see it in the news (which is always suspect) - but also on forums like this one. Look on Quora for questions from Americans like "My neighbour doesn't go to church every week. Why won't the police shoot him like I ask?" or "My twenty-five-year-old son expressed a doubt about Jesus. Can I disinherit him?" and THOUSANDS more.
Another non-sequitur to the establishment of religion.

Please indicate where ANYONE - including yourself - has said a word about "state-run, state-established, religion."


Did you miss this part; the very beginning of the OP?

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Probably the rest of this thread should shift to the politics forum!

The Constitution of the USA definitely includes clauses involving freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. I believe the first ammendment is quite specific. [Emphasis FD]

The First Amendment deals specifically with "state-established" religion. And in no place did I ever refute the idea of the U.S. being the largest Christian country. In fact, everything I have said supports that, as I mentioned the fact that the majority of people who came here were Christians.

You are conflating two different ideas: state-established religion (the U.S. as a "Christian nation") and the descriptive term of Christian nation to mean the majority of religious belief of the people.

DragOnspeaker began with the First Amendment to our Constitution which deals with the first part, but then the beliefs of the majority became mixed into the discussion which is the second, separate idea part.

Under normal circumstances, we could have a rational discussion of these topics, but in today's climate of political hate, where everything is politicized, such a subject becomes an opportunity to criticize and condemn, and logic and reason suffer for it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2019 11:33:31 AM

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HopeWhistleSince when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political? Besides it basically is, when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."
FounDit: You ask when is it political to ask the question, then state that it is "basically" political because of the make-up of the country. You answered your own question

This seems a deliberate misunderstanding and mis-reading of Hope's note.
"Since when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political?
Besides it basically is (a Christian Nation), when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."


The percentage of Americans who are Christian does not, in any way, give evidence of the statement being basically political.
It DOES give evidence of the USA being Christian.

The topic is "America - A Christian Nation?" not "Is there a STATE-ESTABLISHED religion in America?"

If a very well qualified and generally personable person ended up on the ticket for the Presidential election - a genius in politics - but said that he was a total atheist . . . would a large number of Americans vote against him because of his atheism? I believe they would and that this would evidence the lack of separation between church and state.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2019 12:14:50 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
HopeWhistleSince when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political? Besides it basically is, when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."
FounDit: You ask when is it political to ask the question, then state that it is "basically" political because of the make-up of the country. You answered your own question

This seems a deliberate misunderstanding and mis-reading of Hope's note.
"Since when is mentioning during a discussion about religious profanity that the "US is a Christian nation" political?
Besides it basically is (a Christian Nation), when 70.6 % Americans say they are Christian, 15.8% say none in particular, while that leaves 13% or so other religions or atheism and agnosticism."

Ah, you're right. I read it as, "Since when is [it] political", then saying, "Besides it basically is". She was referring to the profanity aspect, while I was focused on the divide between the First Amendment/Christian religion aspect. Somehow I missed the "profanity" word. Reading too fast, I guess.

The percentage of Americans who are Christian does not, in any way, give evidence of the statement being basically political.
It DOES give evidence of the USA being Christian.

The topic is "America - A Christian Nation?" not "Is there a STATE-ESTABLISHED religion in America?"
But my point in creating the topic was to discuss the idea of what we mean by "A Christian Nation". Does that mean a state-sponsored religion of Christianity, similar to the Theocracy of Iran, for example, or does it mean a nation of Christian believers? Too many people seem to think it is the former, and I am saying it is the latter.

If a very well qualified and generally personable person ended up on the ticket for the Presidential election - a genius in politics - but said that he was a total atheist . . . would a large number of Americans vote against him because of his atheism? I believe they would and that this would evidence the lack of separation between church and state.
I've no doubt many Christians would vote against him for his atheism, and you might justifiably say this creates a de facto sense of establishment, but the reality is that the people are simply voting for the person they think represents them and their interest. The separation of church and state is an established fact. We would simply be acting on that fact by voting in accord with our personal beliefs, as we always do anyway. But this in no way establishes a state religion.

Religious belief seems to be on the decline so it may be possible one day to have an atheist on the ticket. And because we do not have an established religious requirement, such a person could be elected. In that case, the once so-called "Christian" nation would have elected an atheist, especially if such person was felt to have the same goals for the country as its citizens.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:19:16 PM

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Now . . . I see a third meaning for Christian Nation - one which the people consider was god-inspired and is guided by the Christian god.

I mean - look at Scotland or the UK. December 2018 found 53% of the UK population considered themselves Christian. More than 70% came from a "Christian family".
But that doesn't make the nation Christian. Very few people would take the religion of a candidate into account when voting - no candidate would talk about "the Christian values of England/the UK". No speaker would go on about how the Prime Minister is "godly" or talk about the "Christian values of our great nation".

Any government press secretary who said anything like “I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times, and I think he wanted Donald Trump to become president and that’s why he’s there.” would be out of a job the next day, if not sooner. Yet that quote is from the White House Press Secretary a couple of years ago.

As historian John Fea notes, “If the Treaty of Tripoli is correct, and the United States was not ‘founded on the Christian religion,’ then someone forgot to tell the American people... The idea that the United States is a ‘Christian nation,’ has always been central to American identity.”

Historian Larry Schweikart notes, “The founding documents of every one of the original thirteen colonies reveal them to be awash in the concepts of Christianity and God.” Youth learned to read using Scripture. Universities were chartered to teach doctrine. Students could not even enter Harvard, Yale or Princeton without assenting to the Westminster Confession.

John Adams wrote, “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the mind and hearts of the people: and change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.” . . . “Freedom sprang because the pulpits thundered.”

The USA was created as a Christian nation. Politics and religion are intermingled.

The UK has a head of state who is also head of the Anglican church - but that's nothing to do with politics.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, December 30, 2019 3:20:57 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

The UK has a head of state who is also head of the Anglican church - but that's nothing to do with politics.


Hello, Drago!

What an interesting insight. Is this because the monarch has been largely sidelined from politics?
Romany
Posted: Monday, December 30, 2019 6:37:19 AM
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I see Drago hasn't been back yet to see your question Kirill.

One of the main reasons it's nothing to do with politics is because the UK is the least religious of contemporary population groups. The state of the Anglican church and its place in today's UK is only of interest to about 14% of the population. You might like to read this article which will give you an idea of the role religion plays (or doesn't play) in today's UK, and what the ongoing discussion about Church/State looks like here.

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/oct/07/church-and-state-an-unhappy-union

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 12:35:56 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Hello, Drago!
What an interesting insight. Is this because the monarch has been largely sidelined from politics?

I was a bit slow.
Romany's right, religion and the Anglican church have very little influence on anything beyond the church itself. But - yes - as you say, the monarch is 'sidelined' from politics.

It's a 'symptom' of the system of constitutional monarchy. It's more a "feature" than a "symptom" really.

constitutional monarchy n
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a monarchy governed according to a constitution that limits and defines the powers of the sovereign.


Though the UK doesn't have a written single bit of paper called "The Constitution", there is a whole system of Common Law, which is basically traditional but is codified - plus more specific laws enacted by a millenium of governments.
The monarch in the UK cannot invent a law - but CAN dissolve Parliament if they're about to enact a law she doesn't like. But it would then spark a general election, and "we, the people" would have the chance to choose a new government - or the same one again (which would be a vote of no confidence in the Queen and would have consequences . . .). Look what happened to an unpopular king a couple of centuries ago.
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