Friday, April 11, 2008

God supports more devolution?

The archbishop of Wales says it would be "immoral" for Wales not to have full law-making powers in the near future.

Child labour is immoral, what’s presently going on in Darfur and Tibet is immoral, the continuing suppression of free speech and the imprisionment of journalists dissidents in a country awarded the Olympics is immoral...

Wales not receiving more devolved powers, on the other hand, is not a question of "morality" and the Archbishop (who has previous form in this area) should be keeping his personal views to himself and his church’s nose out of politics.

13 comments:

The Aberdonian said...

If you ring certain organisations based in Northern Ireland there are those who will tell you that God supports unionism. Thats because God is apparently a Protestant, Britain is the only Protestant country in the world (ignoring the Scandanavian states, Netherlands, half of Germany and Switzerland etc) and will save the world from the Papacy (ring Moscow and Athens chums).

Back in 2001 Willie McRae (mocked by the Scottish Press as "Whistling Willie" due to his gospel music) popped over to address the big Orange March on Glasgow Green. In it he declared the Scottish Parliament the work of Satan and compared to the snake in the garden of Eden.

There is a cartoon on the Shankill Moaner showing Jesus saying "I want you to burn the Fennians out for me".

NI of course is a very good example of why religion and politics apart. Unfortunately the UK of course has two established churches (and indeed used to have three until the late 19th century) and this has given them vehicles to go into politics - hence old phrase - CofE - the Conservative Party at Prayer.

I prefer the Swiss phrase - "It is better to keep the gentlemen in black within their four walls"

O'Neill said...

In it he declared the Scottish Parliament the work of Satan and compared to the snake in the garden of Eden.

And 7 years on there's Willie's line-manager cuddling up to Satan's messenger on earth;)

What bothers me most about this outburst from the Archbishop is the blasphemy that somehow devolution is matter of morality upon which he, due to his position, feels fit to comment.

Anonymous said...

speaking from a welsh perspective the reason the Archbishop makes these comments is because we have no politicians with b***s who are willing to discuss the devolution issues in public they're all to scared to rock the boat for their masters in London.

In my opinion its hardly good for a so called western democracy to have a man of God being one of the only ones speaking up on this issue when almost 50% of people in a recent BBC Wales poll support a Scottish style parliament for Wales.

O'Neill said...

In your opinion is the devolving of more powers to the Welsh "government" a question of morality?

Hen Ferchetan said...

The man has a right to give his opinion-or are we now saying that people with powerful positions are not allowed free speech?

O'Neill said...

He's allegedly a man of God, not some two bob pub commentator- but that's not the main gripe on this occasion, it's more his introduction of "morality" into the devolution debate.

Hen Ferchetan said...

So a man of God isn't allowed to speak his mind on non-religious issues?

I can't speak for the Archbishop but things like devolution is much more important to me than pointless things like Religion.

O'Neill said...

Two questions HF:
1. Do you believe in the concept of the secular state?
2. Is devolution a question of morality, ie if wales doesn't get more devolved powers it will be immoral?

Hen Ferchetan said...

1. Absolutely, but that has nothing to do with this. I believe just as strongly in everyone been allowed to give their opinion. If the Archbishop had any power over law-making I'd be aghast - but he doesn't.

2. Only if it could be conclusively shown that the majority wants it (i.e. a referendum). Not giving people the right to be ruled as they desire can be immoral (but since everyone has different morals then it's an empty word really)

O'Neill said...

HF
I don't think we are going to get agreement on this. IMO a churchman should restrict his public pronouncements to solely religious and matters of conscience. Your second point, yes agree with first part, disagree with second- you, I and the vast part of the population will live by exactly the same set of morals (whether we realise it or not), without such a common base then society simply ceases to exist.

Hen Ferchetan said...

"you, I and the vast part of the population will live by exactly the same set of morals (whether we realise it or not), without such a common base then society simply ceases to exist."

Well of course not. While laws do evolve from some form of a common set of morals (e.g. murder is wrong, stealing is bad etc) it is ludicrous to say that we all have the same morals.

My gran thinks it's immoral to use God's name in vain-I do not. Evangelicals think it's immoral to work on a sunday, I do not.

My mam used to think violent video games wre immoral, I do not.

Everyone has their own set of morals, and they wildly vary from one person to another.

(as for your belief that a man of the church should not talk publically about non-religious matters I take it that you would also object to a doctor talking publically about non-medical matters or a lawyer discussing non-legal questions)

O'Neill said...

HF
Everyone has their own set of morals, and they wildly vary from one person to another.
The vast majority live by the core morals dictated by at least seven of the Ten Commandments-

doctor talking publically about non-medical matters or a lawyer discussing non-legal questions

Would that doctor or lawyer be listened to in the media merely because they are a doctor or lawyer? That's the difference.

This is a good article today on the subject:
http://www.newsletter.co.uk/alex-kane/Keep-religion-out-of-politics.4002880.jp

Hen Ferchetan said...

"The vast majority live by the core morals dictated by at least seven of the Ten Commandments"

So the vast majority of people only have 7 moral principles? of course not. While most do abide by some of the commandements, that only forms part of a person's morals. Would you consider the woman's right to vote as a moral issue, or the abolition of slavery? Neither are presentin any form in the commandements, but both would be considered moral issues by most people. You yourself pointed out that the suppression of free speach is immoral - that's not covered by the commandements.

As for the article you quote, I can only agree with it. I don't want religion to have any say in politics and if a politician stated that he was voting along religious lines I'd be angry (as happened with the embryo bill). But that's a whole kettle of fish from saying that an archbishop is not allowed to comment on non-religious matters, of course they should. They are people and have a right to tell people what they believe.