Today, Easter Sunday, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England has stated that the proposed UK’s plan to deport some illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda (Central Africa) for processing is ‘opposite the nature of God.’ What does he mean? Does anybody care what he thinks? Will anything come of his statement? What exactly is the point of making such a statement?
I don’t believe the Rwandan plan has a cat in hell’s chance of succeeding. Already, the lawyers must be circling, preparing their legal challenges, and rubbing their hands at the thought of the extra income the court cases will bring to their bank accounts. But, be that as it may. I am more interested in exploring Welby’s remarks.
What is meant by ‘opposite the nature of God’? What is the nature of God? Presumably, this is the same God who has ‘allowed’ the atrocities, the horrors, and the devastation wreaked by the Russian invaders in Ukraine? Or the oppression of females and the extrajudicial executions of former government employees by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Or the unprecedented violence, destruction, and resulting destitution in Yemen. Or…
I don’t understand why someone like Justin Welby says these sorts of things. Is it because this is what is expected of him, similar to the verbal guff spouted by the Queen at Christmas, or does he really expect that the UK government will sit up, take notice, and react accordingly? I can’t envisage Boris and Carrie having a serious discussion about Welby’s remark over the breakfast table this morning, or any morning in the future. I am not religious so, for me, the statement is meaningless. But even if I was a believer, I would still question why Welby can say this about his God but ignore the terrible things that his God allows.
Oh, that last bit is not quite true. In the same sermon, Welby has also called for a ceasefire in Ukraine. I am sure President Vladimir Putin is considering Welby’s request with the respect it deserves.