Religion, law and the constitution

Balancing beliefs in Britain

In writing Religion, law and the constitution, people from many different backgrounds gave us their views.  All spoke personally rather than representing an organisation.  The insights are fascinating and diverse and we invite you to explore them.  We also encourage you to check out our blog.

Lady Brenda Hale

“Unless and until Parliament so says, it is an individual judgment, whether or not you feel morally obliged to vote. I myself think that one should feel morally obliged to vote. Part of it is that you can’t complain if you are not prepared to do the one thing you can do to try to influence matters.”

Dominic Grieve QC MP

“I don’t think that the way in which politics is debated in the House of Commons can be seen to have any religious underpinning. Of course religion suffuses culture and we are culturally a Christian country, interpreted through Anglicanism, but it is not what underpins debate.”

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

“I do worry about the hijacking of certain civic occasions for political ends. For example, Holocaust Memorial is a civic occasion and stands above party political divisions on matters relating to contemporary politics, whenever you politicise a civic occasion you begin to kill it.”

Roque Santa Cruz

“Everybody needs to live without fear and given the circumstances, we all know that extremism is a plague that need to be controlled, and we all are involved in that. I don’t think that it’s possible to limit a religion, even one with a worrying history behind it, restrictions might only make things worse. “

Lucy Skilbeck

“Instinctively I think I am bound by the Rule of Law and in general the Rule of Law provides a mechanism by which society can function peaceably. That said, I think there are countries where I’d say that the Rule of Law is immoral and unethical and counter to human rights and religious freedoms.”

Alison Steadman

“It is very important to not put yourself in an isolated box, you have to reach out and see that decisions have repercussions right down the line to the poorest person begging in the street. “

Sir Gareth Edwards CBE

“I think that you are better to have a mixture and benefit from other people’s views. You have to be able to understand and compromise. One of the most difficult things for human beings is to understand each other.”

The Most Reverend Professor Rowan Williams

“For any contemporary society, universal human rights are crucial. Every citizen needs to be assured that they have the same level of redress, the same level of justice, guaranteed.”

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss

“I think the most important thing that must be done in this country at grassroots level, not from the top but in local areas, is to encourage religious communities not to be distrustful of other communities. They must tolerate others at least and if possible, engage in dialogue and find things in common, work together.”

Professor Lord Robert Winston

“If you don’t act within the law even if you don’t agree with it, you run the risk of having anarchy. It’s as simple as that, and if you don’t agree with the law then you have every right to try and change it and in a free society you can demonstrate against it. “

Read the interviews and find out more about the people involved.

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