Hapless Rowan #2

The thing is, what the ABC needs right now, is a bunch of clever left-leaning liberal intellectuals in sympathy with the church sorting all this mess out and standing up for him and spinning the story in a different direction.

It could be done. Those kind of people are people like me.

Such people, he has alienated so very thoroughly.


  1. I am confused with all this. I was under the (possibly misguided) impression that the Archbishop of Canterbury was the defacto head of the catholic reformed christian church (otherwise known by some as the Anglican Communion). Consequently I find it puzzling why he is tacitly accepting that non christian legal principles are inevitable in the UK. What is he doing about it? After all there are Islamic countries which would not tolerate christian principles, and in some cases professing the christian faith in these countries is not permitted. However I am now more confused than ever.

  2. Soooo, what you’re saying is the ABC needs the Anglican Blogosphere (Liberal Branch) to be his advisors?


    And if he needs us, the 82nd Division of the Churchlady Handbag Brigade is always ready, willing, and very able to mobilise at the drop of a hat to march forth into battle and smack the ever-loving sense back into folks.

    Metaphorically, of course…

  3. kelvin says

    Thanks for your comments Mary Sue and Stewart.

    What I’m saying is that Rowan Williams has alienated the people who could help him to such an extent that they are not helping him.

    He has managed to unite most publicly expressed opinion against him but the folk who would formerly have been his natural supporters are either keeping quiet or joining in with the baying mob. Us liberals ain’t rallying around and there are reasons why we ain’t.

    It is an ugly sight, but RW has created some of this situation himself. He is the captain of his fate and the author of his own tragedy.

    All I would say to Stewart, is that if we take a long historical view, there may well have been more sympathy in Islamic states for the Christians to manage their own affairs than there has been the other way around.

  4. Andrew says

    The full text of the lecture is a painful and very very lengthy ‘must read’. Then the mist clears and it seems that Rowan is only illustrating the main issue with islam. The main issue is some pages later and long after the hacks switched off their recorders and brains. Tonight’s newsnight wandered around sharia again (when you could hear what was being said above the shouting). The Lambeth Palace minders who did not spot that this would go nuclear , should be fired. Hope Kelvin that you will encourage the sane debate. I have to speak in the ‘secularism’ debate on Sunday week at the Museum of Religion – help! But more important, Columba and all celtic saints, help Rowan.

  5. kelvin says

    Thanks Andrew.

    I listened with some discomfort to the Newsnight debate. This debacle have given public space to some loud and angry voices which are pretty unpleasant.

    I was moved to hear Tariq Ramadan say amidst the shouting, “British law gives equal rights to everyone – it is our Sharia.” Having watched how he was shouted down, I don’t find it difficult to see why Muslims complain about the way they are treated in the media in the UK.

    I agree that the Lambeth Palace minders should be fired though I’m inclined to think that this should have happened a long time ago.

    I’ve read the lecture. It is an excellent piece, though one with a number of points that I disagree with. I’d love to sit with RW and discuss it. However, I’m hardly likely to jump to the defence of a beleaguered RW who is arguing for more religious exemptions in law than we currently have. I disagree with him about the relationship between law and conflicting identity and I’m very suspicious of the way he treats the enlightenment in his lecture.

    Religious exemptions seem to me too often to favour the strong over the vulnerable. Women, children, gay men and lesbians, non-conformists, victims of rape etc are all in my view more likely to receive better treatment in secular courts than religious ones. (Though that is not to say that all is well there either).

    I think that RW really has said something (albeit something clever) that threatens the social cohesion of the UK. That is a very serious thing for an ABC to do and this story is not likely just to disappear. To some extent, I fear that this hullabaloo is justified.

  6. I really can see what the ABC (albeit naivly worded and delivered) meant.

    I can only guess that the media and critics are jumping on this and feasting by thinking that RW is intimating at a change in our law when in fact he is talking about its integration.
    I was listening to some views from BBC Radio 1 listeners on the news and one Muslim lady said that we are aiming for intergration of communities and this will only cause division and contention.

    This won’t be going away anytime soon.

    And yes, I agree with Kelvin, he needs the Anglican Bloggers. I think most of us are looking on and commenting, not many launching a Save ABC’s PR Campaign ™ .

  7. The word that stands out there for me is `identity’. I don’t care where a law might come from (the source of the furore – people being angered by “other”) if it’s a reasonable law for the good of society in general. That nukes `christian’ as an origin/identity of laws as much as anything else, of course.

  8. Robin says

    > Religious exemptions seem to me too often to favour the strong over the vulnerable.

    Got it in one; and it seems to me that +Rowan has aligned himself with the strong ever since he betrayed Jeffrey John in 2003.

    Of course, the Archbishop of Canterbury hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of Scotland. In no sense do I owe him allegiance, any more than I do to the Archbishop of Timbuktu (if he exists). But he’s a coward, a turncoat and an embarrassment. I wish he’d go.

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