Friday, 17 July 2009
The ugliness of the totalitarian spirit.
If anyone were in any doubt as to the intolerant spirit abroad in the Welsh Province at present, here is a little story, told to me recently.
A female cleric who ministers in a group of parishes, not in this deanery, was approached about using one of her (not in regular use) churches for a possible charitable fundraising concert. When she was informed that one of the participants would be my wife, a professional musician of some note, the enquirer, not a Christian believer of any kind and who has no axe to grind in these matters, was told, “No, she is married to that man. Considering his views on the ordination of women, it would be inappropriate for her to play here.”
I can understand the following through of a deeply held conviction (although I haven’t encountered the person in question for some years and have never, to my knowledge, crossed swords with her) and I have no complaints about the personal consequences of being out of step with an increasingly heterodox and intolerant majority, but when this is extended in a completely unconnected context to members of one’s family, one comes away aghast at the sheer petty vindictiveness of the mindset which is capable of this kind of behaviour.
One wonders whether Stalin will be included in our new “inclusive” Church’s calendar of saints – he was once a seminarian after all.