The Guardian is carrying some quotes from Lord Carey, former archbishop of Canterbury, about the recent High Court ruling that councils do not have the power to formally impose prayers as part of official business.
Carey says the ruling will have "incredibly far-reaching consequences" and he gives the example: "Will the next step be scrapping the prayers which mark the start of each day in parliament?"
I am not sure what counts as a "far-reaching consequence" - let alone an "incredibly far-reaching consequence" - but it is difficult to see prayers in parliament (used often by MPs just to reserve seats) as a consequence worthy of even an adjective or an adverb, let alone the ones he chooses.
The former archbishop goes on.
"These legal rulings may also mean army chaplains could no longer serve, and that the coronation oath, in which the King or Queen pledges to maintain the laws of God and the lessons contained in the gospels, would need to be abolished. This is a truly terrifying prospect."
Well, this is a rather heady interpretation of a judgment on the scope of the Local Government Act.
It is, of course, legal nonsense.
There is no such prospect from this ruling, still less a "terrifying" - indeed, "truly terrifying" - one.
The former archbishop is simply using words which he cannot mean or does not understand.
"It is clear that these sensitive matters can no longer be left in the hands of judges."
So that's a former archbishop coming out against the Rule of Law then.
This is all hysterical silliness from someone who - worryingly - remains one of this country's legislators.
Prayers should have no part in official civic business, just as religious oaths should have no part in the practice of law.
Law and public policy should be free from the formal trappings of religion.
Perhaps one day soon they will be.
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