She has said that the Church of England (CofE) is "misunderstood" and "under appreciated". I would agree with the latter and question the former - in the sense that the Church is wilfully ignored, rather than misunderstood.
She points to its strong track record in defending the weak and in being interwoven into our society, a society that, as a result, should be defending full freedom of expression and freedom of religion - in equal proportions. The Times reports that "The Queen came to the rescue of the beleaguered Church". Of course, this is exactly what we should expect of The Defender of the Faith. It is also an overstatement since this will take more than one speech, even on her part.
CofE believers are under attack, on all sides, both outside and inside the visible church. Outside, they are being attacked by humanists who are remarkably unEnglish in their methods and vehement opinions e.g. they lack "English tolerance".
Inside the Church, they are constantly being attacked, in more subtle ways, by
- those who have not read the Bible with understanding
- those do not read it on a daily basis
- those who think the Bible is a "myth"
- those who think the Bible can be added to, or edited
- those who think the Bible should be modernised
- those who think the Bible should be proof-texted (using a single verse to "prove" a whole doctrine) or half-ignored
- those who want to turn the Church into a night club
- those who want some other type of modernisation which entirely lacks the validation and certification of two thousand years of developed, mature Christian character either tested by fire or ready to be tested by fire.
The way the Church is being battered today, indicates that fundamental values have dangerously degraded : black is being called "white" and white "black", in a way not unlike the corrupt 1930s, in Europe.
Her Majesty also asks Christians to "defend other faiths" too. I would merely observe that Church members can hardly defend their own faith in British and European courts. Perhaps, she should actually be asking other faiths to defend Christianity?
Nevertheless, we thank her warmly. It is a speech worthy of a Christian Queen.
See her speech here