I delayed blogging about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s editorial in the New Statesman because I wanted to read what he had actually written and then I wanted to wait for the dust to settle after all the ludicrous coverage in press, broadcast media and blogosphere. Now several acutely observed pieces have been published on the subject and rather than repeat what has been said much better by others I want to draw attention to those I found most helpful.
The Church Mouse did an excellent job of examining what Rowan had written compared with the reporting from The Telegraph who broke/hyped the ‘story’. Mouse has also posted the five silliest things said about the issue.
Graham Tomlin has pointed out that the attention given to the Archbishop suggest that the voice of a Christian leader in the public sphere is still important.
Nick Baines argues that when the feeding frenzy around ++Rowan’s words has died down then the more reflective will realise that the Archbishop is raising questions and challenges we need to address as a society.
Giles Fraser also argues that ‘the voice of the theologian is back in the public square’ while suggesting that the attention given to the Archbishop is because of the paucity of argument coming from the political opposition. Giles and the others have pointed out that ++Rowan’s critique of government is also a critique of the political argument in general.
My own additional comment is that I’ve been disappointed in those Christians, including some bloggers, who have taken the line that ++Rowan has no right to speak because they don’t like what’s happening over other matters in the Church of England and Anglican Communion. This suggests that these commentators are so blinkered in their outlook that everything is brought back to their own issues and they cannot help but see all through the prism of their agendas. The Archbishop is speaking out for the poor, marginalised and fearful in our communities and I would have thought that was a cause to support rather than sneer at or score petty party points over.