Rowan Williams warns that fixation on equal rights will 'fragment' society

Dr Rowan Williams, the soon to depart Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned that a fixation with equal rights threatens to ‘fragment’ society.

Dr Williams announced he was stepping down as Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this month. In an address to teenagers at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff the Archbishop warned that fixating on equal rights of gays, ethnic minorities  and women threatens to ‘fragment’ society and went on to predict the ‘pendulum’ was swinging away from such campaigns.

‘Identity politics, whether it is the politics of feminism, whether it is the politics of ethnic minorities or the politics of sexual minorities, has been a very important part of the last 10 or 20 years because before that I think there was a sense that diversity was not really welcome. And so minorities of various kinds and … women began to say ‘actually we need to say who we are in our terms not yours’ and that led to identity politics of a very strong kind and legislation that followed it.

We are now, I think, beginning to see the pendulum swinging back and saying identity politics is all very well but we have to have some way of putting it all back together again and discovering what is good for all of us and share something of who we are with each other so as to discover more about who we are….Once we start saying this is my identity and that’s it then I think we are in danger of really fragmenting the society we belong to.’ – Dr Rowan Williams quoted by the Daily Telegraph

Dr Williams’ comments are bound to draw criticism from some especially gay rights campaigners and feminists. Dr Williams is opposed to the governments plans to allow gay couples to marry in Civil wedding ceremonies.

The Church of England and the Catholic Church are both opposed to the plans but other religious groups such as Quakers, Liberal Jews and Pagans have openly welcomed the proposals.

Via Pink News {jcomments off}