Monday, June 27, 2005

No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don't Bother Closing the Door

The Pharisees are in the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper that has become the Anglican Church in England. Following the map printed up for them by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, the C. of E. is busy driving over the cliff. How could anyone with a lick of common sense believe one word coming from a "Peace and Justice" committee? Did these people sleep through the birth and (Deo gratias) death of Communism? Do they not see the bright neon socialist signage in "Peace" or "Justice" --good Lord, never mind the double whammy PEACE and JUSTICE.

Does the Anglican Communion in England have any idea how irrelevant it is? The Incredible Shrinking Church has just shriveled another centimeter or two. It’s sooo bad it’s embarrassing. You could go read the report here (it's a PDF. You'll need version 7), but why bother. You can recite the p.c. lines from memory by now: poor Palestinians, bad Jews. Let’s take our money away from the bad Jews and give it to the deserving Palestinians who only want peace but the Jews are too mean to let them have it. Blah. Blah.

Well, we knew it was coming; this was just a matter of waiting for the final mainstream sheep farm to sell out. The only surprise is that it took so long. Here’s Melanie Phillips’ take on this "defining moment" --
     The APJN report is full of the most inflammatory lies, libels and distortions about Israel — and the fact that the amended resolution that was finally passed only welcomed part of it (a weaselly caveat to provide deniability) does not alter the fact that it provided the ammunition for a poisonous onslaught against Israel. The document uncritically reproduced the Arab propaganda version of Israel’s history and the present circumstances of the Middle East conflict, presenting the Arab perpetrators of genocidal mass murder as victims and their real victims as oppressors merely for trying to defend themselves. But then what can one expect of a report which concludes by referring to ‘the honor of meeting the President of the Palestinian Authority, the late Yasser Arafat, who so warmly welcomed us in what turned out to be one of his last days among us’?
A warm welcome from the late pederast himself. How charming. Arafat was the father of terrorism, a diabolical Communist and one of the most truly evil people of his generation, so of course the Anglican Peace and Justice Network loved him. What’s not to love? Do you suppose they have a position paper on Castro,too? Another honorable sweetie-pie.

There are not words to describe the moral revulsion the name Arafat engenders. You could perhaps see why the naive could be taken in by the man-in-the-street Palestinian: they've had years to work on and perfect their royal sense of resentful entitlement. And you might even decide to overlook the festering sores on a culture which produces suicide bombers who want to attack the hospital that treated them. But information on Arafat is readily available; his shameful history is there for the reading. One has to be willfully blind to refuse to acknowledge the depth and breadth of his malevolent inquity.

This is a grievous moment. The beautiful Anglican tradition, its sacramental life, its Scriptural authority -- all sold for a few pieces of agitprop dung. And there is no C.S. Lewis to turn us around, no transcendent generosity, none. Into the silence drop the neutered utterings from the current Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Augustine he is not.

So we pick up our prayerbooks, take a deep breath and head out into the world to put our money to better use: let's find a practical way to invest in Israel before we get trampled by the sheep.

In my heart of hearts, I hope Lambeth Palace is cut up into council housing.


Always On Watch said...

The Anglican Church has prostituted itself and is now a propaganda arm? "You can recite the p.c. lines from memory by now: poor Palestinians, bad Jews. Let’s take our money away from the bad Jews and give it to the deserving Palestinians who only want peace but the Jews are too mean to let them have it." GAG!

Has the church forgotten about 9/11 and the many other terrorist strikes supported by the "poor Palestians"?

"[A]gitprop dung," indeed.

truepeers said...

Reality wins out, sooner or later, but only because we are deluded a lot of the time. I hope you can hold to your faith in the institution and its history; your communion will need reminding, once the reality principle gets the upper hand on present romanticism. Bless your mettle.

Loldemort said...

I have to ask, in the light of our recent words over Wilfred Owen, if you think Arafat's sexuality, whatever it may be, is relevant to his other beliefs and actions? Or am I wrong in thinking you have a complete set of double standards? I don't like to generalise from limited examples, so I will be watching carefully to see how you post in the future, but it does almost seem that if someone is bad and gay, then their sexuality is relevant; but if they are good and gay, then it's not.

I will call you on this if it seems you are not being fair.

truepeers said...

loldemort, some of us commenters are probably already bother enough for these good folks. Do you really think they will be impressed with a PC policeman harrassing them? No, they'll just ignore you though you'll cause them exasperation. Do you really think people who write like they do give a damn about twits who think that every social difference can be deemed absolutely crucial and the basis for a claim of absolute victimization by one who acts as if he? were a god made the victim of some (non-existent) lynch mob? Aren't you just assuming that you and your concerns have the right to be the center of attention without doing the work to show it, i.e. showing why the claims you make for the centrality of sexuality, and why your desire for claiming the status of the central Christ-like victim, are valid? I'm sure they don't think so, and neither do I. I think you are hysterical.

Dymphna said...

Why thank you, truepeers! Well said.

But loldemort is a suspicious kind of guy. He gives no quarter when it comes to sussing out sexual double standards...

Let's look at my context, lol: I was talking about a report put out by a church-affiliated group which was expessing admiration for a vile person. Part of his vileness was indeed his pederasty. Pederasty is vile, loldemort, and any pederast is worthy of condemnation.

Here is the American Heritage Dictionary definition:

PederastA man who has sexual relations, especially anal intercourse, with a boy.

Here are the synonyms they supply:
child molester, paederast
degenerate, deviant, deviate, pervert

Your logic about "bad and gay" vs. "good and gay" is off-topic. I don't care about Arafat's sexual orientation, I care that he molested children and that a group of fellow Anglicans found him warm and welcoming. Ugh...

Wanna talk about Bill Clinton's moral thuggery? He's as compulsed as any child molester but he's a heterosexual. I wouldn't trust him around any teenaged girl I cared about. And if the Episcopal Church was presenting Clinton as some kind of moral leader then my reaction would be the same.

The ability to keep one's zipper up is an important quality in someone who's being touted as a moral leader.

Here's a thought, lol: get some other tool in your repertoire besides a hammer. Otherwise, it's going to be nails all the way down.

Baron Bodissey said...

While we're at it, let's remember why we hate NAMBLA: not because its members are homosexual in orientation, but because they seek societal acceptance for sexual relationships between adults and children.

I am not a homophobe if I detest NAMBLA and its agenda.

Always On Watch said...

Exactly right! Protecting our children is not homophobia.

Pastorius said...

I would invite you to come over to my site, where you will be able to find a "Conservative Christian" who does stick up for gays. But, you won't find me sticking up for pederasts. Child molestation is child abuse always, and it lasts forever. It's an evil gift that keeps on giving.

The whole mythology of the Athenian appreciation for the "beautiful boy" is better left in the realm of myth. In reality it is an abomination.

Pastorius said...

Oh, by the way, just to clarify, I did not mean to imply that Dymphna and Baron have anything against gay people. I have never seen evidence of that.

I only meant to point out to Loldemort that Conservatism doesn't necessarily mean homophobia. In fact, I spend most of my time among fundamentalist Christians and I rarely see it. I saw much more homophobia in the secular business world when I worked for Fortune 500 companies.

Loldemort said...

Well, perhaps those replies were not too bad. I'm somewhat encouraged by your ability to distinguish between homosexuality and paedophilia (don't laugh, many people can't). Still, look at it from my point of view: firstly D. and B. say that w.r.t. Owen sexuality is not important; next thing you know, it's appearing in a critique of Arafat. I am a suspicious person - not by nature, but after a lifetime of discrimination - and I'm not about to apologise for it.

truepeers' comment makes me laugh though: it's not that I expect 'homophobia' to be the centre of eveybody's interest, but I do make it the centre of mine for the good reasons that focus is necessary, that there are plenty of other people worrying about other things, that it affects me personally, and that despite current advances in acceptance, the rise of extremist religion and unreason in the world makes me anticipate forthcoming persecution.

Baron Bodissey said...

Loldemort -- Don't lump me in with everybody else; let me speak for myself. I truly do not think that sexual orientation is important, politically speaking. It matters if you are sexually corrupt, but not whether that corruption is hetero or homo. It matters if you exploit children, but not whether you exploit little girls or little boys.

I wouldn't be preoccupied with the issue, except that it is raised by activists on both sides. I wish that people would simply keep their private lives private.

Dymphna said...

And I care, lol, because my children have been personally affected by child molesters, as have I.

I'm also very, very, very tired of adults as victims, whether they be gay, female, black, or Martian. Only children are victims. Adults are volunteers.

All those 1980's AIDS plays, where we were supposed to feel such sympathy for the poor victims of AIDS would've had more credibility were it not for the on-going promiscuity of many, many gay men. It's a debased life, no matter what your sexual proclivities.

Who I do mourn for are the hemophiliacs who were given AIDS blood, the children born of AIDS mothers... etc. During a stint as a social worker I took care of a very sad, bright 15 year old black girl whose parents had gone to NYC, leaving her with a grandmother who didn't want her. Her father died of AIDS in New York; her mother crawled back to die in the god-forsaken cabin of her birth while her daughter watched and her grandmother cursed her existence.

In spite of it all,"my" girl wanted to be a lawyer. SHe'd met one once and was transfixed. I hope she made it. I fixed her up with some functional young women whose parents liked her and took her home sometimes. I hope she made it.

Meanwhile, whatever discrimination you've experienced pales beside the experiences my children and I have had at the hands of molesters.

Pardon my lack of compassion. My dear and only daughter is dead and she might be alive were it not for those animals.

My cup runneth dry, lol. There is no compassion left for those who seek to find homophobia under every bed.

Spare me.

truepeers said...

truepeers' comment makes me laugh though: it's not that I expect 'homophobia' to be the centre of eveybody's interest, but I do make it the centre of mine for the good reasons that focus is necessary... that it affects me personally, and that despite current advances in acceptance, the rise of extremist religion and unreason in the world makes me anticipate forthcoming persecution.

At once laughable… and a reason to re-assert that I anticipate being a victim…

Bravo, a perfect example of PC speech that begs out for our demure, almost dhimmi-like, consideration. Loldemort, the reason I rail against PC policemen is that your discourses work against a realistic take on the world and its many conflicts. Shrinkwrapped had a great post on this theme today.

But perhaps you don't see how you contribute to PC corruption of public discourse, so let me try to spell it out.

PC policing always begins with the claim that I have been offended, that I have been made uncomfortable, and therefore I have a right to accuse, or at least to warn you that I am watching what you write or say, in anticipation of exercising my right to accuse, given the rise of extremist religion, etc., etc. And, furthermore, I have the right to impose this accusation at the least provocation. (Discussing a poet without mentioning his homosexuality? Hah! Gotcha, J’accuse!)

Of course this right necessarily depends on your membership in a recognizable or acceptable victim group. I mean you never pointed out how acknowledging homosexuality was relevant, let alone essential, to an appreciation of Owen’s poetry. Rather, regardless of context or topic of discussion, yours is in fact an assertion that some distinctions count for more than others (Maybe Owen loved Scots, or cheddar cheese, or his mother – do we expect the Scots, the cheddar producers, the mothers to write in with victimary claims that we have missed the essence of his poetic being?), and that if you are so distinguished you have a right or duty, modesty be damned, to impose it on a public conversation, as a model of how you have a right to impose your victimhood in more politically or economically substantial theatres of human exchange, in anticipation of the return of religiously-motivated persecutions, of course.

Now I am not in all situations opposed to "affirmative" actions. But I am opposed to the uncritical proliferation of victimary claims. And this is what I see yours to be Lol. Because you asserted it in a context of a discussion of a poet, without any demonstration of it being essential to the poet in question, and couldn't let it go when it came to demonizing (something that should rarely be done, but in this case such is insufficient to realistically represent what Arafat actually was) one of the most evil men in history, one whose sabotaging of a peace process could quite literally have deadly implications for billions. You jumped in with a little sophistry, as if the fact that mentioning Arafat was a sexual pervert were somehow a basis for your making an accusation of homophobia. If you were playing the role of male victim of the feminists, perhaps you would criticize Dymphna for mentioning that he was a man?

We mention such things as sexual perversion because it is important to remind ourselves that morality matters. If we ignore it in one domain, it is bound to corrupt others. How could anyone have trusted and fawned before Arafat, the political “leader”? After all, he was a sexual pervert, and at least those reasonably close to him must have known it. A very valid question indeed! Only a mind corrupted by PC can’t see it, as if, if one is a member of a victim group – e.g. one is homosexual – one has a right not to be demonized for being one of the most evil men in history! Or maybe D’s point is that you can get away with being a pervert if you portray yourself as a liberator and freedom fighter. If so, she is right to criticize that, because it is part of the widespread corruption that gives a moral free ride to recognized victims. See, for example, Shrinkwrapped’s comments on how the leaders of Rwanda’s genocide can use their status as left-talking, postcolonial, blacks when it comes to being held to account for mass murder.

You say you don't expect "homophobia" to be at the centre of everyone's interest but you do make it yours. Fine. But then from where comes your right to accuse others for not making it a point of interest in their writing? “Well, I've been a victim in the past and I anticipate being one again...” But how is this relevant to a discussion of the poet Owen? You were asked and gave no response. I would note that the accusation of “homophobia” is based on the assumption that homosexuality is inevitable among (especially) men in groups and it has been around since our very primal beginnings – and I think this may well be true – and therefore the homophobe is one who denies or hides from this fundamental truth of human nature. Therefore, the accusation of homophobia is precisely that we are turning away from something fundamental, i.e. something often, if not always, central, to our humanity. I thus accuse you, Lol, of being a sophist on this point.

But what to make of the fact that I seem to acknowledge that homosexuality is inevitable among men, and yet Baron failed to mention it in discussing Owen? Leaving aside the many interesting questions germane to male bonding in military groupings, to my mind, the question of sexual desire is primarily a question of desire, a universal human condition. The imposition of sexuality (biological appetite) onto desire (desire being a cultural supplement to appetite), is a secondary question, which may or may not be of interest in a given body of work. And finally, the choice of a specific object of desire, sexual or non-sexual, is generally the least interesting question. Thus I would find it remiss if a discussion of a poet made no comments related to the question of human desire, but I would often – depends on the case of course - consider it of minor importance to dwell on the poet’s choice of desire objects. To repeat, it is the problem of desire, not sexuality, that is key. In dealing with desire, what was the writer’s ascetic discipline? An important question if one assumes that one writes in order to defer worldly desires and appetites.

We all have interests and agendas that we try to impose on discussions, as I have just done here. The thing, Loldemort, is to have the decency not to insist that they must be imposed because one has been, is, or will be, a victim. Impose them when they are germane to the discussion. And try to impose them in a way that speaks to human universals – e.g. the problem of human desire, the problems of men in groups – and not out of a PC insistence on the delineation of a specific victim group status, e.g. the group defined by desire for men’s bodies instead of women’s. PC corrupts our understanding of human problems by fetishizing certain fashionable social distinctions, however (ir)relevant they are to understanding either human nature in general, or specific historical contexts under discussion. It’s like someone jumping a queue because other people and their problems don’t matter as much. What about everything else that Owen surely cared about? The lack of their mention did not raise your ire.