Saturday, 18 May 2013

'Modernisers' - by definition, those who don't know when to leave things alone...

My apologies for a very slow blogging week; the parish has been busy, not least with two funerals, the last being a packed funeral mass for a retired priest and friend. It's been an emotionally draining few days, one way or another. Are we, as clergy, allowed to admit to that...?

But, today, I couldn't resist linking to this article by Tom Chivers in The Telegraph, illustrative of  the cultural cringe which has become an obligatory reaction from almost every established institution in Britain.
"....I know, it’s startling. But this week a small group of downtrodden aristocracy wrote to The Daily Telegraph, describing the system as “outdated and manifestly unfair”. The laws of succession were recently changed to allow Royal daughters to take the throne ahead of their younger brothers, and, they say, it is time to spread equality of the sexes to the country’s hereditary titles. At the moment, daughters are excluded from inheriting most titles and estates......"
".....Now, it might be odd to claim you’re on the wrong end of the inequality seesaw when you own a decent fraction of Britain solely because your great-great-something-great grandfather killed more Danes in defence of sixth-century Wessex than yours did. The feudal system, after all, was not noted for its concern for gender politics. If you got your job because a divinely appointed monarch tapped your ancestor on the shoulder with a sword, you’re not operating under the same employment laws as the rest of us......"
".....But we shouldn’t mock. There’s something lovely about it, about the great and fantastically ancient institutions of Britain slowly turning, like liveried, velvet-bedecked oil tankers, towards modernity, while trying to keep their ancient character. The Royal family has a Twitter account. The House of Lords has started putting its debates up on YouTube. Even the Telegraph has a website these days, I gather.
Is equality for aristocrats a bridge too far? Perhaps. After all, if you take the “outdated and manifestly unfair” stuff out of nobility, it’s not clear much is left. But too late: the noble revolution has begun. To the barricades, my aristocratic sisters! Liberté, égalité, hérédité!"

The full post is here
This is the just the latest, if most bizarre, example of a trend which has been gathering pace for years - a Church which has bowdlerised its liturgy, jettisoning the numinous, sacral language of the past and sitting lightly to 'outdated' credal formularies and moral theology alike; more recently, a 'Conservative Party' which favours gay marriage and other manifestations of the equality agenda oblivious to the consequences for freedom of speech and belief; and now hereditary peers and 'feudal aristocrats' who seem, somewhat counter-intuitively, determined to 'turn towards modernity' and do away with male primogeniture.

'We shouldn't mock,' Tom Chivers argues. No, actually I think we really should.....

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