Government treats believers as 'oddities', says Archbishop
Saturday 12 December 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked the Government for treating religious believers as "oddities", it was revealed today.
Dr Rowan Williams said ministers were wrong to think that faiths were no longer relevant in modern Britain.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he criticised Labour for looking at religious faith as a "problem" rather than valuing the contribution it made to society.
He told the paper: "The trouble with a lot of Government initiatives about faith is that they assume it is a problem, it's an eccentricity, it's practised by oddities, foreigners and minorities.
"The effect is to de-normalise faith, to intensify the perception that faith is not part of our bloodstream. And, you know, in great swathes of the country that's how it is."
Asked if he believed political leaders should be more open about their religious beliefs, the Archbishop replied: "I don't think it would do any harm at all. I think part of establishing their human credentials is saying, 'This is where my motivation comes from. I'm in politics because this is what I believe'. And that includes religious conviction."
The Archbishop went on to propose a new "supermarket ombudsman" to protect Britain's rural economy.
He also dismissed Pope Benedict XVI's invitation for disaffected Anglicans to cross over to Rome as "theologically rather eccentric".
His comments come after he urged the Diocese of Los Angeles to think very carefully about the potential impact before it confirms a lesbian as an assistant bishop.
Dr Williams said the election of the Rev Mary Glasspool raised "very serious questions" for the Anglican Communion.
He added that the decision to confirm or reject her appointment would have "very important implications".
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Evany José Metzker dead: Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist and blogger investigating child prostitution ring found
Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...