Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hatred - of various kinds

What is it about so much of the left and its often irresponsible glorification of violence? 
One has only to scratch the surface of the views of some of those who align themselves with the political left, and who are prepared at the drop of a hat to hold forth at length about injustice, and the need for universal equality and human rights, to reveal under an often charming and civilised exterior an almost insane personal hatred of their political and ideological opponents. 
See here for comment (by Lord Tebbit, in the 1980s a government minster who was himself seriously injured and his wife crippled for life in the Brighton bombing - he is admirably restrained in his response) on the Labour candidate at Eastleigh's publicly declared regret that Mrs Thatcher hadn't been murdered by the IRA. 
It all reminds me of a story from Thomas Merton's autobiography 'The Seven Storey Mountain' where, in his brief pre-conversion flirtation with communism, he visits an affluent apartment in New York with sweeping views over the streets below and one of his young companions exclaims, 'what a place for a machine gun nest' - something most of us, indeed like Merton himself, rapidly grow out of -  thank God!

And while we are on the subject of hatred, here is George Conger's take on the modern day British version of Pravda (The Guardian/BBC - they're not one and the same? Really?) and its loathing of all things Catholic. Their candidate for the papacy? Someone who isn't a Catholic at all. What price bears and woods now....?

And, lastly, the Welsh Secretary, David Jones has become the latest target of the explosive wrath of the inclusive brethren (and sisterhood, to be appropriately inclusive) by daring to voice concerns over the possible effects of the current change in the marriage laws here and throughout western society - a comment on the predictable fracas here
Argument, robust disagreement is a necessary part of life - the problems begin when the list of things one is not permitted by the State nor allowed by social pressure to disagree upon becomes inordinately long and inevitably conflicts with other, necessary freedoms of expression. The 'right' not to be offended should come fairly low (if it appears at all) on our list of priorities, whoever we are, whatever we believe, whatever our preference in terms of sexual partners may be.
Also from Anglican Mainstream - the social commentator Brendan O'Neill before a House of Commons Committee discussing the Government's same-sex marriage legislation. [here]
He is, of course, right; the legislative uncoupling (if I can put it that way) of marriage from its ancient societal role in the nurture of children, and its redefinition in law as simply an expression of  romantic love between two people of either sex has clear dangers of even further eroding the looser, informal community of which the family is (or was) the strongest basic unit, and a consequent extension of the role and reach of the State into our already atomised lives. We have seen the catastrophic effects of this trend already and the thinking behind the current 'reforms' will most likely only serve to consolidate them.
"..If you read the Government’s consultation paper on same-sex marriage, it does not mention family, children or community, except when it twice talks about the transgender community. It does not mention the fundamental things that marriage was originally bound up with, which was about managing and organising the renewal of generations and interaction between generations. So I think you are right to say that you are elevating a bourgeois view of marriage, which is marriage as companionship, and which is marriage, as Cameron’s Government describes it, between two people.For a great number of people out there, beyond your old couple, there are millions of people for whom marriage is about more than two people. It is about family, children and a community. It is about binding yourself together, not only to an individual, but to society itself. I think it is perfectly reasonable for you to pay attention to the old couple who came to see you. I think it is unreasonable for politicians to redefine marriage, as it is understood by millions of people, for the benefit of themselves and small groups of people out there..." 

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