Chaplain Protests Church’s Quran Reading

The Reverend Gavin Ashenden has resigned his honorary position as a chaplain to the queen after criticizing a Glasgow church for reading from the Quran during a worship service.

The church, St. Mary’s Cathedral, canceled its Jan. 6 Scripture reading and instead had a Muslim law student read a passage from the Quran as a “bridge-building exercise.” As appalling as that idea sounds, it was made even more galling given the occasion and the passage chosen. Jan. 6 was Epiphany, the celebration of Jesus Christ coming to earth as God incarnate. The law student read from Surah 19 of the Quran, which expressly denies the divinity of Christ.

When Ashenden learned of the incident, he publicly criticized the church. But in his honorary chaplain position, that was a problem.

Ashenden explained on his website that he has come under fire in the past for defending the Christian faith, but when he criticized St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Quran reading, it became clear that he would be seen as dragging the queen into the dispute, even though the chaplains to the queen—there are more than 30—do not actually have direct contact with the queen or speak for her.

Now free from the constraints of his honorary position, Ashenden has continued to defend the Christian faith and to challenge secularism, hedonism and relativism.

He called it both offensive and heartbreaking that “there are senior clergy in the West who have bought in so deeply to the nonsense that all religions are equal and teach more or less the same thing.”