Is God a white man? How many frumpy Fingal feminists can dance on the head of a pin?
Such theological questions and more may be meditated upon by Dr Lucy Michael as she is tasked by the Anglican Church in Ireland to address the matter of diversity among the Protestant faithful.
An initiative of the Anglican Primate of All Ireland the Most Revd John McDowell, Michael has to that end been engaged to conduct an online survey to read the room on racism within the Anglican Church.
Consisting exclusively of an online Google survey, the move comes amid global discord in the Anglican Communion as well as the thorny matter of racism being raised at the General Synod of the Church in 2021.
The questionnaire asks practitioners about their ethnicity as well as opinions on the manner in which the convocation addresses racism and welcoming ‘people of colour’ to their pews.
Previous to this the Church of Ireland examined the issue of structural racism through a 2020 report looking at cultural and ethnic diversity within the parishes of Dublin and Glendalough.
Wetting her beak in all causes progressive, one would have imagined Michael’s pro-abortion activism would exclude her from any chance of performing such a role, nevermind earmarking her soul a one way ticket to the warm place post mortem.
Not so, and it appears Michael has added the prods to the checklist of institutions to which she has extended her tentacles as Ireland’s premier NGO busybody.
Meandering her way from Trinity’s Sociology Department and Young Fine Gael to the front lines of working class anti-racism, the rather sour-faced Michael is something of a star figure within the diversity lobby.
Sitting pretty on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission as well as a side hustle of her own consultancy business, Michael has made her name as the veritable quango queen of the industry.
Last heard of assisting protests amid the Nkchecho affair, Michael enjoys a rather rich media diet existing as a figure both loved and loathed by fellow anti-racists for her intrusive style of bourgeois project management.
Michael made her voice heard at an October meeting of the Church’s Society Commission where she elucidated on her support for Black Lives Matter amid discussions of the removal of racist statues.
We hear Michael is partial to a saunter around the Malahide yachting scene, a feat she couples with pontificating to working class Fingalians about the merits of unbridled migration in a benighted housing market.
Learning her trade in the UK, Michael has been known on the Burkean grapevine to have raised holy terror in the universities she get her talons into with her pro-diversity initiatives.
Surveys are the saving grace for the diversity scholar, avoiding any hard research and simply providing activists with a statistical stick to lobby for more power.
A betting man I am not, but if I were I’d imagine the findings of Michael’s endeavour will validate pre-existing notions of a crisis within the Church around racism and be used as fodder for further reforms.
Theoretically, there is nothing stopping 100 Zulu war chiefs going straight from this article to filling out the anonymous poll to scupper Michael’s findings, though in reverence to the academic’s iron clad research techniques I’d tactfully argue against.
However whimsical these surveys may be, remember that INAR’s similar iReport feature on reporting racism, which Michael had a hand in creating influences Irish policing to this day.
Without wishing to bang the sectarian drum and with due reverence to the Protestant friends and the philosopher who gives this publication its name, surely it is a bit rich for Anglicans to moralise on racism without addressing the Ascendancy sized elephant in the room
If there is a degree of ethno-masochism to be felt surely it ought be directed to the generations of papists from whose pockets the Anglican Church extracted tithes while acting as the designated religion of occupation.
Cheeky Gaels may submit requests to have Christ Church Cathedral returned rightly to the auspices of the Holy See or even reparations for generations of Catholics who laboured under Ascendancy diktats.
As someone of presumed Anglican heritage and a graduate of Trinity College no less, one should be asking semi-seriously if Michael has ruminated at the extent she herself has benefited from historical anti-Catholic racism instead of importing the latest American radlib trends on race.
Not that us Catholics have gloating rights considering the Church of St Peter appears to be following the same ecclesiastical dead end in the diversity stakes. More theological and socially intact than our Anglican brethren, Irish Catholicism still runs the serious risk of being further hijacked to serve liberal needs.
The private faith of Lucy Michael is her own business but one gets the impression she is more motivated so much by the church of St George Floyd than she is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Regardless, such measures underline the extent to which Anglicanism has ceased to function as a living religion, instead operating as an institutional step ladder for the liberal agnostics keeping the beacon going after faith has departed.
A century and a half since Saint John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement blew the whistle on the hollowing out of the Anglican rite, the residium of that faith allows itself to be stomped into the ground by the likes of Michael and her ilk.
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus? You bet your right arm they wouldn’t have allowed a simple Google survey to influence matters in Bishop McQuaid’s day.