The difference between Britain, Russia and Iran

Yesterday there was a debate in the House of Lords in which the Archbishop of Canterbury made a speech.

I doubt if I agreed with a single word of that speech. Indeed, I vehemently disagreed with everything I heard. That is not the point of this article.

That point begins with the fact that the Archbishop had every right to make his speech and that, as someone who strongly disagreed with him, I am very glad that in this country he was able to do so.

Because the fact that in this country the head of the government and the head of the most influential church can take completely different positions and hardly anyone bats an eyelid is one of the most important things which makes this country a better place to live than Russia or Iran.

In Russia it seems as though there is nothing President Putin could do which is so obviously evil that it would not get the blessing of Patriarch Kyril. I do not know for sure whether it is more frightening to imagine that the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has been coerced into supporting the crimes of the Putin regime or that he is so morally bankrupt that he actually believes that the cause of Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine is just, but I do know that one or the other must be true.

Or at the other end of the spectrum, there is Iran. Where in Russia it appears that the President tells the church, and everyone else, what to do and what to think, in Iran the head of the Church tells the President, and everyone else, what to do and what to think.

A society where government and church alike can be listened to if people wish it and ignored when people wish it is likely to be a more just and pleasant society than one where either gets its' way all the time.   



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