Have no faith?

Lord Sacks – Chief Rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth – has been in the news today.

The BBC has this (though I had to hunt it down):


The Guardian has this:


I don’t subscribe to The Times (London variety) so do not have access to their online content. However, blogger Archbishop Cranmer has posted a copy of their front page coverage:


Faith leader? Why not mention the Chief Rabbi in the headline? It cannot be space constraints because “faith leader” uses up 12 characters and “Chief Rabbi” uses up 11. So, why?

It’s worth quoting Archbishop Cranmer’s (biting) commentary:

Faith leader? Why the all-encompassing and generic? What’s wrong with saying ‘Chief Rabbi’ in the headline? You know, it’s still good front-page stuff, and Times readers are perfectly capable of understanding a complex Jewish term like ‘Rabbi’.

This is a rare and bold political intervention by the distinguished leader of Britain’s Jewry, Lord Sacks, who is of the view that the Government is not doing enough to support mothers who stay at home to rear their children. A puny tax-break for married couples is a token gesture: we are in danger of losing – under a Conservative Prime Minister – all understanding of why the state should support marriage and mitigate the appalling costs – social and economic – of family breakdown.

This isn’t being said by the leader of Britain’s Scientologists, but by the Chief Rabbi, who speaks on behalf of about a quarter of a million Children of Abraham. Sure, that’s not as many as Stephen Fry’s Twitter followers, but Lord Sacks is concerned with the morality of political policy and questions of religious truth. This robust and frank intervention merits the headline identification of his office; not a bland attribution to an unspecific ‘faith’, disclosed only in a strap-line afterthought and complemented by a puny passport-size snapshot.

Just what is going on at the Times. Have they no faith?