By challenging the spread of Islamic law, the archbishop is finally fighting for Christian values
Melanie Philips, a blogger, editorialist, and cultural commentator based in Britain, is not herself a Christian, being of the Jewish faith; but she is more perceptive about the importance of Christianity to the survival of Western civilization than many who claim the mantle of Christ. She writes,
“Our increasingly post-Christian society makes the widespread assumption that secularism promotes freedom and equality while Christianity merely divides us. In fact, freedom and equality are Biblical precepts that bind us together. It is secularism that has divided us into groups jostling for power over each other and which has shattered our sense of a shared national project.”
Indeed. Would that more Christians, including those in high places in the Church, were to realize that as well! Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has been one of those who has been reticent about standing up for Christianity in the fact of the dual attacks by militant Islam, on the one hand, and aggressive secularism and atheism, on the other.
But as my father used to say, “even a stopped clock is right twice a day,” and he has been reasonably outspoken on the dangers of Sharia (Islamic law). Reasonably. But as Ms Philips points out, he goes only so far, and it’s questionable whether it’s far enough:
“Archbishop Welby has spoken with some courage about resisting Sharia. He also wants Britain to ‘reimagine’ its identity on the basis of Christianity. Yet he undermines this by suggesting that different faiths must play an equivalent role. The mouse may have roared — but it remains, alas, a mouse.”
I do wonder what some of the late, great Archbishops of Canterbury – not just the great medieval and Reformation Archbishops, but even more recent holders of the office like the late sainted Michael Ramsey, and even Robert Runcie – would think about the current one! It is at least apparent that Lord Carey (immediate predecessor to Rowan Williams, himself the last Archbishop of Canterbury before Welby) is none too pleased…