There are few clauses of Magna Carta that are still in force today. Most have been whittled away by the stultifying hands of generations of bureaucrats. But one clause still stands in its in 800-year-old majesty: that the Church of England shall be free. (I realise that my Roman Catholic readers might quibble about what was meant by the Church of England in 1217, but I ask you to bear with me).
Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of a free people. It stands at the heart of every declaration and charter of rights. It should be dispensed with only under the gravest of circumstances and with the heaviest of hearts.