No longer Defender of the Faith?
For the second time in a week, a bill before Parliament has caused mayhem in the streets. In what seems an odd grab at the republican vote before the coming general election, the Conservative PM, Geoffrey Walmsley, tabled before the House of Assembly a bill to disestablish the Reformed Church of Isselmere (RCI). The small Loyal Monarchist Party gathered the support of a faction of RCI ministers as well as a few thousand protesters.
"This is just blatant vote-grubbing," Neville Blackridge (MP, LMP-Daurmont West) said. "It demeans the monarchy and all we loyal subjects fought for over the centuries."
Neither the Labour nor the Liberal Democratic parties have indicated which way they will vote. Labour has long supported disestablishment of religion but may vote against the bill to register its displeasure with the Space Agency Act. The Liberal Democrats will likely grant its members a free vote.
The Reformed Church of Isselmere has been the established church since 1552 in the reign of Hortense II.
In an historic gesture towards modernity, King Robert VI gave royal assent to the bill to disestablish the Reformed Church of Isselmere (RCI) and renounce his title of "Defender of the Faith."
Republicans view this as one step towards the abolition of the monarchy, whereas staunch monarchists, particularly those of the Loyal Monarchist Party (LMP), are demanding the King's abdication.
Despite the actions of several Church ministers, the General Assembly of the Reformed Church indicated it wouldn't rally against the measure so long as the Crown would guarantee to cover this year's deficit. The PM, Geoffrey Walmsley, revealed today that disestablishment would free up funds for this year. "Disestablishment illustrates to the world that the Kingdom of Isselmere and Nieland is a modern State, and will provide the funds necessary to support the recent mobilisation of our armed forces."
The Reformed Church is concerned that without its usual government support it will be forced to close churches and dismiss ministers. "If only we had known earlier of the government's intentions, we could have prepared for this." The bill's passing occurs at a time when church attendance is increasing dramatically. The King has, however, offered to grant some assistance to the Church.
In Raysia, the Restored Church of Christ (AKA the RL Mormon Church, AKA the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is tightly symbiotic with the Government. The Church has a say in almost everything in Raysia, and all the Called (Non-Elected) Officials are members of the church.
This brings much peace and harmony, given that 89% of Raysia is Mormon. But of course, there is some unrest, but people rarely complain.
The church has established some unusual laws, such as ones banning high Caffeine and Alcohol, as well as some forms of public display of immodesty, and even the Internet and TV and radio is heavily censored.
A Brief Report on the State of Religions in Isselmere and Nieland:
There is a wide cross-section of faiths in Isselmere and Nieland:
Christianity - 56.5%
--Reformed Church of Isselmere - 58%
----Conventional Symbolist, Statist, Pre-destinarian (i.e. Calvinist)
--Dissenting Churches - 15%
----Conventional Symbolist, Statist, Anti-Pre-destinarian (Reformed Calvinist) - 35%
----Conventionalist Statist (Reformed Lutheran) - 23%
----Conventionalist Anti-Statist (Lutheran) - 21%
----Symbolist Statist (Zwinglian) - 12%
----Symbolist Anti-Statist (Reformed Zwinglian) - 9%
--Roman Catholic - 20%
--Other - 7%
Islam - 6.3%
--Sunni - 87%
--Shia - 13%
Sikh - 5.7%
Buddhism - 5.6%
Judaism - 5.4%
--Reformed - 82%
--Hasidic - 18%
Paganism - 2.4%
Deism - 2%
None (Agnostic or Atheist) - 14%
Thank you for your interest,
Alice Gervais, MP, Minister of State for Faiths and Diversity, Ministry of Culture and Communications, Isselmere and Nieland