There will always be a Church of England. Maybe. I should go on the record and admit that, in the long run, I think it's about time for a divorce between the British government and the Anglican establishment, as a simple nod to the reality on the ground.
But you know that Ruth Gledhill of The Times had fun sitting down at the keyboard to pound this one out. Surely there were lots of folks who read the headline on this story and muttered, "There is a God."
A motion calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England has been listed in the House of Commons as 666 -- the Number of the Beast.
Labour MP John Austin, who has repeatedly tabled Early Day Motions urging disestablishment, put down his latest motion last night as MPs debated scrapping Britain's blasphemy laws. It appeared appeared on the House of Commons order paper numbered 666, the number associated with the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation. Scholars believe 666 referred to the Emperor Nero.
The King James Bible renders Revelation 13:8 as: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester and one of the signatories, said: "It is is incredible that a motion like this should have, by chance, acquired this significant number. This number is supposed to be the mark of the Devil. It looks as though God or the Devil have been moving in mysterious ways.
"What is even stranger is that this motion was tabled last night when MPs were debating blasphemy."
Now, let's write a good tabloid headline for The Sun!
Make it short! Punchy! Punny!
(Hat tip to Rod "friend of this blog" Dreher)