Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What place for Sharia Law.

So that's cleared things up then. No more 'clumsy' or 'misleading' talk. Let everyone know exactly what he meant in language that every man on the street can easily comprehend. Speaking to the opening session of the Church of England Synod earlier this week, Dr Rowan Williams said

"While there is no dispute about our common allegiance to the law of the land, that law still recognises that religious communities form the consciences of believers and has not pressed for universal compliance with aspects of civil law where conscientious matters are in question. However there are signs that this cannot be taken quite so easily for granted as the assumptions of our society become more secular."

Trouble is, this mitigating clarity (which must have been just about the most carefully prepared speech of Dr William's life) leave some questions hanging in the air. And reading Rachel Sylvester's article in the Telegraph deepens the furrows on my brow. It seems that the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Established Church is accepting that Britain is becoming a secular state, (as well as that British law will inevitably accommodate legal systems based derived from faiths other than Christianity). No point in denying the trend towards 'secularism', the most obvious signs of which are the meagre numbers attending Anglican churches. But it still seems a surprisingly defeatist conclusion by Dr Williams. Perhaps he doesn't realise that he's an opinion leader in our country.

Is Britain any longer a Christian country? Is there any longer any case for the existence of the Lords Spiritual? Should the Church of England become disestablished? These are just three of many important questions that flow from this can of worms that Dr Williams has opened. Until last week I'd have expected the Archbishop of Canterbury to have answered Yes, Yes and No. After reading his 'clarification', I'm not at all sure which way he seeks to lead the Anglican Church - or what how some elements of the Church will react. And then there is the position and opinions of the Supreme Governor of the English Church in all this. This story has a long way to run yet.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

If we didn't already know the welsh blogsphere is full of paid party political hacks reporting on message from Head Quarters every day, just look at the welsh blogsphere this week, its half term in Cardiff Bay and Westminster and all but a handful are regularly updating and debating the issues that matter for Welsh Public and raising issue that the media often ignore, even BBC Wales Political Editor and Westminster reporter are on holidays, the rest of Wales is carrying on without them.

If our politicians, political parties and civil servants don't take the National Assembly for Wales seriously, why should the rest of Wales care?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - well I'm still blogging - and I do take the Assembly seriously - perhaps more seriously that som eof the AM!! I do think that the Welsh blogosphere has lost a bit of its bite of late. I take your point about who writes blogs and I don't know what truth there si in it. Personally, I don't mind if a blog is written by a paid employee, as long as it interests me. There is not much commenting this week, though surprisingly, visitor numbers have not reduced as I would have expected. Suggests that its not politicians who are reading my blog now.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I don't like anonymous bloggers.

There is a Labour blogger called Normal Mouth who sounds off about anyone and everything but won't reveal his identity. He may well be a Labour emplyee, so any opinion of his will be diluted by the fact he is anonymous and won't put his head above the parapet. Which is why, incidentally, I don't blog myself.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Peter Black is probably reading your blog. Peter's a good fellow. Just a pity he's in the Lib-Dem party. *ducks for cover*

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

For some strange reason the established Church in Britain ended up with a 'leader' instead of a leader.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - at least Normal Mouth is open about his/her political loyalty. I don't object to his/her remaining anonomous, if he/she wants to. Its possible to build up a profile if someone blogs under a distinctive identity - better than anon. It is not possible to tell whether the same person is making a series of ccomments if just anon is used. And of course there are some who give themselves more than one identity. Personally, I cannot understand why a politician would not want to comment under their own name. Its the only way to develop a strong identity and influence things.

Anonymous said...

peter black is a speccy tosser

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I allowed your comment through because I've no idea what a 'speccy tosser' is. Sorry Peter , but I also thought that you can look after yourself. It doesn't sound very polite though. In my opinion Peter is a good and consistant Lib Dem blogger - and I find the descriptive adjective 'Lib Dem' to be far more insulting than 'speccy', and than the derivative of 'tosser' for that matter!

alanindyfed said...

There is a place for Sharia Law. It is called Saudi Arabia. I was there for a time and witnessed it. One thing can be said for it :
it keeps the rabble in order!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

But Peter is such an up front, hard-working, honest, cat lover, friendly, looks like a loveable teddy bear you could squeeze and shake upside down kind of cutie. Imho, Peter's wasted on the Welsh Lib-Dems. But if he stays I hope he becomes leader. I kind of like the guy. Of all the Welsh Lib-Dems to me he is the most approachable and he’s always willing to listen to new ideas; Peter goes the extra-mile, makes an effort to be outgoing and questioning and willing to change his mind based on facts and evidence. In short, to the extent that Peter Black is a tosser, he is a very rounded, honest, hard working one. There, I've said it, 'I kind of like the guy'. Hip, hip, hurray for Peter Black.

Anonymous said...

alanindyfed's comment is horrible and I am surprised you have allowed it.

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - I hesitate to lecture other states about their legal systems. The world is full of legal systems that those of us who live in liberal democracies find deeply offensive. But I find it impossible to say a good word for a system of law which allows the level of discrimination that Sharia law allows.

christopher - There is an honesty about Peter Black that I like myself - but there is also a lack of realism, in my opinion. He is a very good properly opinionated blogger.

anon - I allow all comments through, unless I feel that they are actionable or deliberately aimed to damage individuals. Alan's comment was one that I disagreed with - but I did not think should be centured. A lot of people hold his opinion. I would not even ban comments suppporting capital punishment in our legal system, even though I personally find it unacceptable.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: it's probably fair to say that I have bugged Peter a few times - and though sometimes I get the feeling I've peeved him off, after a while he warms up again. When he gives grudge, the episodes don't last too long. I always admire a person who can "come back". So I like the guy even though as you have observed Peter can shall we say, have his own version of realism up too many notches. But name me a politician that has never exercised some selective memory at some time and I will live to 200!

Anonymous said...

Britain a Christian country? No thank goodness. The sooner we get away from Iron Age superstition and become rational and secular and recognise that humanity doesn't need an old man in the sky the better