When you want clergy to stand up and defend Christian doctrines they won't. But it seems that some are busy interfering in political matters that are way out of their area of competence.
What business has Rowan Williams got telling us to vote to remain in the EU? He and others who claim to represent religious groups - but who are of course not elected by anyone in those groups to represent their views on this issue - have written to the Observer, a newspaper not noted for its Christian credentials, telling us to vote for the EU because the last 70 years have been the "longest period of peace in Europe's history".
Well for most of those seventy years, Eastern Europe was under the protective wing of the USSR, and most of it not in the EU. It does not make sense to me to attribute the absence of war to an institution that those nations did not join until the 1990s or even more recently. East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania were all in the Communist bloc until 1989. When Hungary was invaded in 1956 was that peace?
Is the situation we have got now in Greece worth the name of "peace"? The elected government being sent packing and replaced with puppets who are implementing a regime of pointless austerity and misery to prop up a fiscal policy that is going to fail anyway.
Clearly, Rowan Williams has forgotten another even longer period of peace, under the Roman Empire. When Britain was subjugated by force and its people enslaved by the Roman Emperors, we had peace. We also had a single currency. We had to pay large amounts of tax to Rome for the privilege of being bossed around. Is that what Rowan Williams would like to see again? Roman rule meant we were governed by maniacs and persecutors like Nero, Caligula and Hadrian, but we had peace - on their terms, Under the Roman empire we enjoyed the benefits of slave-markets in our town centres, a huge standing army, the death penalty for almost anything at any moment, and the right to worship your rulers when they were officially made into gods. Those who resisted Roman rule were publicly whipped, raped and crucified,
Most people in Europe were pleased when the Goths and Vandals turned up, and hailed them as liberators. So much for "peace".
There was another long period of peace in English history, namely when we were under Danish domination in the time of King Canute. For a century or more, England had to pay Dane-geld and obey laws made by foreigners, Sounds familiar? Peace, or to put it another way, subjugation.
If we had not broken the peace in 1939 we would have had to accept subjugation by the Third Reich. And as a matter of fact, the idea of a Greater Europe united under German domination was originally put forward by a group of disappointed Nazis in the post-war period.
The British Raj in India certainly kept the peace there for a hundred years, but no Anglican bishops are standing up and defending it.
The EU is a brutally secular institution that is determined to stamp out and eradicate religious belief, It want no such influence in education or policy making. So why would any Christian leader support it? I can only conclude that Rowan Williams is naive.
He should go back to his retirement home and stop interfering in politics, which he is in no way qualified or entitled to do.
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