The current flap about Rowan Williams, head of the world-wide Anglican Church, over his remarks about Sharia Law in Britain, has rightly brought a loud cry of debate, but I'm struck by one of the voices consistently heard when a clergy makes a suggestion that runs counter to accepted practice - "he's naive."
I chuckle when I hear it. And I counter: "Who's naive?"
Rowan Williams isn't naive; he may be wrong, he's likely bold and brave, but naive? Never!
I think politicians and bureaucrats, corporate and government attorneys, and all the machine functionaries are naive, surprised when someone counters their take of things, when someone dares to offer a alternative scenario.
I suspect the bigwigs of Jerusalem said of Jesus, "He's naive" as they patted one another on the back, had another martini and checked their portfolio.
But history amply proves the point: they were tragically naive - they couldn't see the handwriting on the wall, they couldn't add up the realities cascading in upon them, they were blinded by the narrow boundaries of their own power and temporary success.
Pilot was disgraced and banished. Jerusalem fell under the iron fist of Rome, and Rome went the way of all empires.
Certainly not Rowan Williams!