In a remarkable statement, the leader of the Church of England, Rowan Williams, explained yesterday in a lecture to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (as reported by London's Daily Telegraph) that America must recognize how terrorists can "have serious moral goals." Although terrorism itself must be condemned, he noted, those who deploy it might be pursuing "intelligible or desirable" goals. In ignoring this possibility in its criticism of Al-Qaeda, Williams continues, America "loses the power of self-criticism and becomes trapped in a self-referential morality." This observation takes on particular piquancy in light of Williams' previously having described the coalition's war on Iraq as "immoral and illegal."
So, there you have it: Al-Qaeda is moral, George W. Bush is immoral. And this choice bit of stupidity comes from no less an authority than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the UK's leading religious figure! Little wonder the Church of England is fast shrinking into irrelevance. (October 15, 2003)