Tag Archives: jedi

Rowan Williams: still clinging onto exceptionalism

Blink and you might miss it, but someone at the BBC has finally spotted the real problem with Williams’ speech and his repeated clarifications:

He made that clear to the Synod, too: “…as the assumptions of our society become more secular…Christians and people of other faiths ought to be doing some reflecting together.”

That of course lays him open to a quite proper charge by non-believers, that he is seeking to advance the interests of religion however it is defined. But that is quite separate from the criticism assailing him from within Anglicanism.

The point which much of the media has ignored is that Williams has argued for a system of exceptionalism whereby we atheists (or, as he put it in his speech on Thursday, sterile positivists) must abide by the rule of law while anyone of faith can negotiate whatever opt-outs they wish. At the same time, of course, he insists that the Church should be established and retain its existing seats in the House of Lords. Gay marriage, and even same-sex registered partnerships, is apparently a threat that undermines the institution of marriage, yet we should at least be open-minded about the idea of Muslim polygamy. People of faith can say what they like about atheists, but atheists should be locked up for slagging off the religious. In short, he believes absolutely in equal rights with the modest proviso that the religious are more equal than the rest of us.

Sadly, I suspect that because of all the sound and thunder over sharia, we won’t have a wider debate about this most pernicious part of his thinking. Ho hum. The only rational response is to all go and join Charlotte Church’s Jedis.

UPDATE: Another point which I meant to include here but forgot was a reminder that for all Williams’ exhortation about the importance of human rights, it was the Church of England that demanded that they be exempted from such rights when the Human Rights Bill was being debated in 1998.

Tony Blair backs Jedi Rights

I knew the Downing Street epetition service was good for something:

The Government has no overarching role in regulating or recognising personal belief or faith. The UK has a long held commitment to freedom of worship and belief, and people are free to form religions and free to follow their own practices and beliefs provided they remain within the law.

May the Force be with you.

Next stop, the Charities Commission!

Jedi Rights NOW!

The British Council of Jedi are the voice of British Jedi. We exist to represent the rights of all Jedi to the UK Government and to demand that Jedi are given equal rights alongside the other main faiths in the UK.

We want:
* a total ban on religious hatred against Jedi and criticism of our sacred religious texts
* a total ban on blasphemous texts such as The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and a ban on the Great Betrayer, Darth Lucas from being allowed into the UK
* full and equal recognition alongside other faith groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain, the British Board of Jewish Deputies, the Church of England, the Hindu Council UK and the Sikh Federation UK
* representation in the House of Lords alongside other faith groups
* recognition of the right of Jedi communities to enforce their own religious laws, run faith schools and run their own services according to Jedi law

We will work constructively with all faith groups to help achieve these ends. Except the evil Sith.

You can sign up to the British Council of Jedi on Facebook (note: you will need to register on the site).