Well it’s a roasting day for walking from Hull to Liverpool and it’s best not to think of the distance. I hum the Harry Lauder theme tune as I walk: “Keep right on to the end of the road, keep right on to the end, though you’re tired and weary still travel on etc”. Lauder lost a son in WW1 – the war that has been long been lost to memory: everyone who fought in it has long since died. Poor Lauder never really recovered from his loss. Of course none of us would, I think it would be like losing a limb. Another forgotten war and forgotten warriors.
The Forgotten Legion
We are walking for the benefit of the forgotten people of Zimbabwe, the poorest of the poor living in a sad country whose troubles the UK wants to forget about. But ZANE is in business to ensure that they are not forgotten. These brave people must be allowed to live out their lives in some dignity, especially members of the Forgotten Legion. These are the old soldiers who fought in old wars such as Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Aden and they are living on a meal a day with no medical cover whatsoever. There are still a few like the Duke of Edinburgh who fought in WW2 but they are increasingly few left now. But today’s young are obsessed with Facebook and social media and they read no history, or anything much for that matter. So perhaps someone should remind them whether they are aware of this or not, that their comfortable lives rest on the shoulders of those who lived and served before they were born. These are the old warriors who have made our lives today a little bit more peaceful and better than they otherwise would have been. If that duty falls to me and Jane and our dog, Moses, then perhaps that’s a worthwhile cause to walk for.
The View That Dares Not Speak Its Name
I watched Tim Farron of the Lib Dems struggle with the Inquisition about whether he believed “gay sex” was sinful? Not the tendency to homosexuality –easy to answer – but homosexual sex acts, red in tooth and claw.
Tim has now resigned as leader on grounds that it is no longer possible for practising Christians to head up political parties in the UK. He is a brave and principled man. He was caught by a crew of sanctimonious journalists who hounded him from office. There was no escape; if he answered “incorrectly” in the eyes of the liberal media, it was obvious it would be Good Night Sweet Prince for his career and damaging for his party too.
The question of whether homosexual sex acts are sinful or not has snowed up the CoE for many years and as it wearily tries to shovel itself to freedom, it finds it’s digging in ever decreasing circles. Who knows when or if the Church will ever emerge from the drifts. Poor old Farron wrestled with his questioners for months. Apparently he’s a committed Christian, a serious man and we all know what the Good Book says, don’t we just. At first, he probably hoped that by keeping shtum, the questioners would go away. But then it must have dawned on him that our country is in the grip of an all-powerful metropolitan liberal elite in sole charge of the snide newspaper columns and shrieking headlines that dominate our society.
Theresa May agreed the same thing on the Andrew Marr Show. I don’t know whether anyone bothered to ask Jeremy Corbyn, but perhaps we know that the only act he considers truly sinful is to vote Tory – meaning no one bothered to pop him the question.
Damned If You Do…
Now personally I am tired of the gay subject that has consumed so much of the time and energy of the CoE over past years, and has generated so much ill feeling. I wish we could move on, but round we go. And no! I am not going to give my personal view. Perhaps you’d be surprised by what I think – but either way I’d offend at least half of ZANE’s donors, so I might as well keep my own counsel.
However, I am exercised by the thought police who demand that everyone must have the same opinion, and if you don’t agree you’re forever damned as bigot meat. This is neither liberal or democratic, so poor old Tim. But the liberal consensus questioners appear to be cowards. Why don’t they ask the same question to Muslim politicians?
A glance at the Muslim website indicates a hard line. According to “JustAskIslam” for example, homosexuality is a crime against man’s sexuality (no space is given for women’s views). Homosexual acts are therefore to be punished by either 100 whip lashes for the unmarried or death by stoning for the married. Occasionally for hardliners, Sharia law states that death should be for both partners. What does the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan think?
For all I know, at least half of public opinion may be out of tune with the liberal consensus on gay sex. I think that today many practising Catholics would be unhappy that the debate appears to have been stolen by the liberal elite. They will be joined by many members of most of the Christian churches and many in the Jewish and Muslim communities too. Perhaps there are many secular humanists who don’t support the liberal consensus either? However, no one dares speak out because who wants to be targeted as a bigot, and lose preferment at work or even their job?
It’s surely odd that the archbishops of our established Church have decided to sit on their mitres and perhaps brood about the agenda of the next Lambeth Conference instead of supporting the rights of elected politicians to hold private views without being given the ghastly Star Chamber treatment.
Perhaps our church leaders think it’s prudent not to challenge the liberal consensus. But of course we must remember that Jesus rarely spoke his mind in case he embarrassed the Pharisees… or maybe I’ve got that wrong?
Author Joseph Connolly was at a book signing at Hatchards, and after the first hundred customers or so, was looking forward to his lunch. Growing bored, he went on autopilot, and signed away without looking up at the queue of book owners who came for a scribble.
“To whom am I inscribing it?” he asked one man who identified himself as Ian.
“Is that one “I” or two?” Connolly asked.
There was a stony silence until eventually Connolly looked up.
“The guy only had one eye,” Connolly later said.