IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Closing church doors is an abuse of power

12 November, 2020 — By John Gulliver

I AM not a libertarian come what may but I still cannot accept the right of a government to close the doors of places of worship as part of the sweeping powers of lockdown.

I was puzzled earlier in the year and made my views known to a vicar whom I have got to know in recent years. He sounded defensive and with a kind of helpless shrug said it was a government decision.

Well, I am an atheist and a humanist but I respect the rights of people to worship their faith whatever it is – it remains a basic right of an individual, and the government has no right to interfere.

Here I agree with libertarians – including Lord Sumption – that individuals should be allowed to take certain decisions regarding their own conduct without interference of the State. Whenever I think of closed doors at a place of worship I shake my head in dismay – and am disappointed at what could be regarded as the servility of the clerics.

Imagine, their ingrained faith is supposed to condition them as servants of a God – not a government.

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