Monday, October 12, 2009

Rowan Williams, Jerk (RETRACTED)

NOTE: I am retracting this post. See below.

[As you can tell by the title of this post, I am not the most tactful man in the world. However, I do have enough sense to know that one usually should not use the sermon at a memorial service for fallen soldiers to grind one’s political axe and to score points against political opponents.

But Rowan Williams doesn’t even possess that much common sense and decency.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, mounted a direct attack on the Government over the invasion and occupation of Iraq when he used a national memorial service commemorating the servicemen killed in the conflict to accuse Tony Blair and his ministers of failing to “measure the price” of military action.

Delivering his address in St Paul’s Cathedral before a congregation including the Queen, Gordon Brown and Mr Blair himself, the spiritual head of the Church of England accused the former prime minister of indulging in rhetoric before the 2003 invasion, while leaving ordinary servicemen and women to pick up the pieces in a campaign which went on to last six years and claim 179 British lives.

Now, I am NO fan of Tony Blair. But a memorial service is not the time nor the place to indulge in such an attack. Dr. Williams can wear all the nice tat and use all the high-sounding language he can muster. What he did at St. Paul’s is still being a jerk.

Oh, but I’ve seen worse at memorial services.]

RETRACTION: Although some of what Dr. Williams said was of questionable wisdom, I now think the Telegraph article linked puts a rather harsh interpretation on his sermon. For starters, it is a bit of a stretch to see the sermon as a “direct attack on the Government.” Indirect, perhaps. But still . . .

As for me, I jumped the gun and went over the top, to put it mildly. I apologize and retract this post. Mea culpa.


Jacob Hicks said... The content is rather different to the Telegraph article. The sermon seems fine to me.

Mark said...

I wouldn't go that far. But I did allow myself to be led too much by the Telegraph article and have now retracted the post.

Thanks for your gentle nudge, Jacob.