Rowan Willams: Right on the money, wrong on the message

IT always seems strange to me that, even in an increasingly secular society, the words and opinions of religious leaders retain such an unique impact.

I would attribute to senior clerics a purely ethical desire to speak the truth were I not as versed as I am in the reality that they too are politicians, playing to a slightly broader constituency with a very slightly different agenda.

Religious leaders are almost as well schooled in the impact of effective messaging as politicians are these days and despite the bookish, academic approach of the present Archbishop of Canterbury, one can rest assured that some effort went into weighing and measuring his words prior to delivery.

In a sense, it doesn’t really matter what the Archbishop of Canterbury believes and, in every sense, he is entitled to his opinion.

What is perhaps more important and more instructive in terms of the state of the nation, is the reaction his words have received. I suspect the fury of the reaction was inspired by a soupy mix: part willing ignorance, part real ignorance, all sprinkled with a healthy dose of Anglo-Saxon suspicion.

APOLOGIES: the rest of this entry is unavailable, most likely because of a corrupted database.