'HOPE not hate' - the campaign to prevent Pastor Terry Jones from entering the UK
His Grace has been asked to lend his support to the 'HOPE not hate' campaign to prevent Pastor Terry Jones - the US 'Preacher of Hate' who was intent on burning the Qur'an - from entering the UK next year.
His Grace is delighted to say that he will do no such thing.
And, yes, he is fully aware that this would-be quranic incendiarist is some sort of 'swivel-eyed fundamentalist' who is almost certainly not going to be bringing us a message of peace and goodwill to all mankind.
And His Grace also knows that Pastor Jones has been invited to address a meeting of the English Defence League (a sort of devolved branch of the BNP) in a Muslim area of Luton.
And His Grace is fully aware that Pastor Jones holds certain hateful anti-Muslim views which rather conflict with the exhortation of the Lord to love one's neighbour.
And that he attempted to mark the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack with 'International Burn a Koran Day'.
And that Pastor Jones is not the sort of man one would appoint to a think-tank on social cohesion.
And, as the campaign's director Nick Lowles points out, that 'extremism breeds hatred and hatred breeds violence'.
But His Grace would like to point out that Pastor Jones - who appears to lead a church of a dozen who are content to meditate on the theology of a gnat - has committed no crime: he has not incited murder or violence and neither has he preached that members of any minority group ought to be summarily executed.
He threatened to burn a book.
As we know, this brought international condemnation.
But Nick Lowles informs us that Pastor Jones 'was forced to back down'.
That is simply untrue.
Pastor Jones was not 'forced' to do any such thing, for book-burning in the US is a perfectly legal pursuit under the aegis of freedom of expression enshrined in US Constitution. Pastor Jones freely chose to show restraint. Certainly, by all reports, he came under considerable pressure to do so. But we must remember that this man chose of his own free will not to burn a book which millions revere, and by repenting, by changing his mind on this matter, he showed himself to be reasonable.
Perhaps not so reasonable that you would invite him to dinner. But when a nation which values freedom of speech begins to ban religious leaders from entering the country because the Government does not agree with their theology, there is no freedom at all.
HM Government was forced to back down over its absurd ban on Geert Wilders entering the UK (he, too, wishes to abolish the Qur'an from civil society, which is tantamount to burning it). And earlier this year HM Government welcomed to the UK (at tax-payers' expense) the pastor of another church, who also had a few unpalatable and offensive messages for sundry minority groups.
His Grace is with 'Hope not hate' in opposing racism and fascism. But Islam is not a race and restricting freedom of expression and denying freedom of speech are manifestations of the very authoritarianism by which fascism is defined.
So let us welcome Pastor Terry Jones to the UK: let him preach from the pulpits and address whatever rallies will have him. The crowds will not be as great as those who gathered for the beatification of Cardinal Newman; and the preacher of secularist hate Richard Dawkins will not descend from on high to curse and condemn.
Because Pastor Terry Jones is really not worth bothering with. And the more you campaign to oppose him, the more you raise his unworthy profile, elevate his absurd theology and make him a martyr to his own petty and simplistic cause.