The Archbishop of Canterbury should stop playing Che Guevara in a frock

Rowan Williams is known for supporting Sharia law in Britain, and being “uncomfortable” about the killing of bin Laden. Now he’s after Cameron.

Che? Rowan?
The Commentator
On 9 June 2011 09:16

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Church of England was routinely dismissed by the British Left as “the Tory Party at prayer”.

Not anymore. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is slowly but surely carving out for himself the role of standard bearer for every liberal-left prejudice in the book.

His latest foray is a piece for the New Statesman (published in full on Friday but already widely leaked) in which he lambasts government cuts and reforms to health and education as "radical, long-term policies for which no one voted." “At the very least, there is an understandable anxiety about what democracy means in such a context”, he adds.

What is he talking about? This is a coalition government representing a solid majority of voters made up of a party of the centre-right and a party of the centre-left. It came to power following elections that took place only just over a year ago. Who elected him?

If he means that not every twist and turn of policy was written down in advance, then what he says is true, but trivial. We have a representative democracy. A manifesto is not a contract, it’s a broad statement of intent. Anyway, this is a coalition which had to work out its governing programme after the elections had taken place.

But it’s pointless trying to make sense of this rubbish. The Archbishop’s remarks were not designed to be coherent, they were designed to assure the liberal-left pseudo-intelligentsia in Britain that Rowan Williams is one of them, and that he shares their concerns.

He certainly has form in this regard:  

”I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn’t look as if justice is seen to be done,” he said last month lamenting the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US special, forces.

In 2008 he was spouting off in praise of the adoption of Sharia law In Britain, while in 2003 he was again reaching out to the Muslim community with a warning to the government to stop “targeting Muslims”. That was two years after 9/11 and two years before the 7/7 bombings in London.

And it’s not just Williams. Back in the 1980s, one of his predecessors, Robert Runcie, caused a major controversy after publishing Faith in the City, an outspoken attack on Margaret Thatcher and her policies.

What is wrong with the Church of England?

You can get a long way to the answer to that question if you take a tour of its churches on any Sunday morning of the year. They’re half or three quarters empty and populated mainly by people in their 60s and 70s.

The Church has been aware of this trend for a long time now and has been desperate for a cause to attach itself to in order to make it “relevant” again.

Ponder on that word. “Relevant” to whom? “Relevant” to what?

The answer they appear to have come up with is: “relevant” to the people and institutions that have the most influence across society. Given that the opinion forming classes in modern Britain have been dominated by the liberal-left for decades, it is with them that they have chosen to ingratiate themselves.

To be sure, this may be oversimplifying the matter somewhat. It may have been a subconscious as much as a conscious set of decisions that took them in this direction. But it can hardly be disputed that this is where the hierarchy of the Church of England has ended up.

Fine. That’s up to them. But we would like to suggest that they go the whole hog and stand for parliamentary office themselves.

That’s surely better than playing Che Guevara in a frock.

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