Oh, Rowan...

Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, has changed his mind about homosexuality.

In 1989 he said, "The pressure that some church figures put upon people of differing sexual identities is a greater disgrace than anything else seen in the church." Now he's the one putting on the pressure.

People often take the position that changing one's mind is itself some kind of moral transgression (unless they agree with it, of course). I'm not one of those people. It takes a measure of humility to acknowledge that you were previously in error.

But I have to question the sincerity of this about-face. Williams is too smart to be reverting to a Biblically fundamentalist position on morality. It's hard to shake the feeling that he's just appeasing the malcontents on the right.

I'm not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing. If you're the Archbishop of Canterbury, and you have to alienate a segment of your church population (which is inevitable in this situation), it's better to alienate those with a progressive mentality. Why? Consider the alternative: when you alienate conservatives, you risk driving them away into fundamentalist sects. And the last thing the world needs is more fundamentalists. Most progressives won't go anywhere, and the ones who do will go to a more progressive church. Less harm is done that way.

You can read the story here.


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