Posted by lex, on February 7, 2008
The Church of England was a product of the Protestant Reformation, elements of which established the separateness of the secular and religious magisteria. This in turn generated a counter-reformation in the Roman Catholic Church. The creative tension between the two led to an unprecedented eruption of intellectual advances in science, art and humanism culminating in the Renaissance. Secular law had its place in society, with an increasingly liberal social contract developing between the citizen and the state. Religious law more and more became a matter of individual conscience.
Taken together, these influences set the West on a path towards individual rights, democracy and accelerating civilizational progress. We have all profited thereby, not least those who emigrated to the West from more benighted climes.
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable”.
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4’s World at One that the UK has to “face up to the fact” that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.
He says Muslims should not have to choose between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty”.
But Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said “there’s one law for everybody and that’s all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts – I think that’s a bit of a danger”.
With due respect, I can think of things more dangerous still in the course of submission action the Primate contemplates.
Update 2: A less generously titled take – “The Archbishop of Canterbury is an Ass“