I'm impatient to see how my Anglican compatriots in Australia, not to mention their Catholic mates, are going to react to the suggestion of Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, that certain elements of the Islamic sharia system should be introduced into everyday British law, enabling Muslims to choose between having certain cases resolved either in normal courts or before Islamic authorities. Similarly, I would consider that Catholics should be free to bring their legal conflicts before a traditional papal tribunal of the kind that once dealt with Galileo.
As for atheists, I believe it would be fitting if judicial affairs concerning humble beings of my kind were to be submitted to a charming court on the other side of the looking-glass in which I would be seated between Alice and the White Rabbit, and defended by the Mad Hatter.
Talking about weird English notions of personal freedom [which we weren't, really], I watched an amazing TV documentary last night on the Mitford sisters. Wow, what a crazy family! Unity Mitford [1914-1948] was a devout groupie of Adolf Hitler up until she botched up an attempt to blow her brains out with a revolver that the Führer had given her. Diana Mitford [1910-2003] was the enchanted wife of the British Fascist leader Oswald Mosley [1896-1980]. Jessica Mitford [1917-1996], who had married a leftist nephew of Winston Churchill who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, ended up as a member of the Communist Party in the USA. Individuals of that kind make me feel so terribly dull and undistinguished.
I realize that, from time to time, I get so carried away with my Francophile sentiments that I no longer think of myself as an ordinary Australian. On such occasions, to return abruptly to reality, and convince myself that I can't escape my cultural roots as a genuine 6th-generation small-town Australian, far removed from England and certain kinds of British behavior, there's no better personal antidote than to sit in on a few words from exotic folk such as the Mitford family, the archbishop of Canterbury, etc.