Friday, February 08, 2008

Dr Archbishop Williams,

My, you do seem to have caused quite a stir with your comments on Sharia law being used in parts of this country; but as you are an intelligent man I am sure you knew it would. It is therefore quite refreshing, even inspiring, to see you exercising one of our longest and jealously guarded rights, freedom of speech, despite knowing that you would probably cause offence in many quarters.

Indeed, it is quite clear from the comments on the blogosphere that a large portion of those who believe in freedom of speech and the freedom of the individual are quite offended by your suggestion. As an intelligent man I am sure you can find them but here's a hint, do a search on Devil's Kitchen, Longrider, Mr Eugenides, Guido and Prodicus, to name but a few, and read their blogs. Just in case you think it is a small number of people, not that quantity matters, follow some of their links and you will find it quite a lot. The fact you also appear to have offened all three political parties, the Fourth Estate and even the BBC are offended is also to be commended.

So, given the offence you have caused to people's deeply held philosophical beliefs, I hope you forgive me if I point out it is somewhat ironic that recently you called for the curtailment of the freedom of expression of others when, in your opinion, their views offend you and the followers of your philosophy. Furthermore, I also find it ironic that you use your freedom of speech to suggest allowing another group to further curtail the freedoms of some its own believers, who are not allowed to renounce their philosophy on pain of death, and thus rely on the protection of the law of the land.

Interestingly, your comments do seem to have run in to the law of unintended consequences, at least I assume it is unintended. It seems that one group who have deeply held beliefs in the philosophy of self protection and the carrying of guns are supporting your ideas. Another who believe in the literal translation of parts your own philosophy, ie an eye for an eye, are also grateful to you for allowing them to reintroduce capital punishment.

Yours, etc


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