Further to my post about marriage and cohabitation , it is interesting that the subject was debated at length at a recent meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod. The bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt , complained that marriage was being "airbrushed" out for reasons of political correctness, and that even his own church was not immune from the practice of doing so. He noted that neither Labour nor the Conservatives had mentioned the "M" word in their respective manifestos at the last general election.

Alas, however, the honorable bishop was criticized by many of his own Anglican colleagues for seeming to suggest that the Church of England "did not approve of unmarried couples." In the end, the Church of England’s governing body surrendered once again to the meretricious zeitgeist, affirming that marriage was "important" but that it should not be given preferential treatment over cohabitation or lone parenthood. In reality, therefore, according to the powers-that-be in the Anglican Church, marriage is no more "important" than any other lifestyle choice.

Compare the Church of England’s abject surrender to the time-spirit with the spirit of times past that still prevails in the quiet English village of Great Dunmow . For more than nine hundred years, the ancient tradition of the Dunmow Flitch has been honored in this corner of Essex, in which married couples appear before a counsel and jury to prove that they have honored their marital vows steadfastly and that they remain truly devoted to each other. The victorious couple are carried through the town on a special chair and presented with the "flitch," a salted and cured side of bacon. One wonders how much longer such a healthy tradition can be maintained before it is condemned by the local Anglican vicar as an archaic remnant of a society that discriminated between marital fidelity and fornication.

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Articles by Joseph Pearce

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