Pope Benedict's official visit to Great Britain has had a good start in Scotland. Faith seemed to matter again, not just Catholicism but faith in general. Even the Government says it will 'do God', whatever that may mean in reality. Religious tolerance is in the air.
President Obama spoke of religious freedom in relation to the proposed mosque near ground zero quoting Thomas Jefferson, among the inestimable of our blessings, also, is that ...of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will.
Article 18 of the universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. This is echoed in the The European Convention on Human Rights.
Her Majesty the Queen ended her speech of welcome to the Pope with the words "Your Holiness, in recent times you have said that ‘religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified’. Today, in this country, we stand united in that conviction. We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society." My emphasis, but that comes emphatically from from the Defender of the Faith and Head of the Church of England. Only out of step is Synod.