|Elton and David celebrate the birth of 'the Christmas baby'|
There are a good few reasons why the Church would obviously raise concerned eyebrows over the news of Elton John and his partner David Furnish, as the press have reported, "becoming parents", but, I'd like to know, given it has been on TV news, how have parents been explaining it to their children?
This is pretty much as high profile a case as we could possibly see and it is surely now becoming impossible for the gay rights movement to argue against the Church's cry of "Down with this kind of thing!" on the grounds that the movement seeks to refashion the model of the family and to present a new model of the family which is wholly new, untried, untested and running contrary to natural law.
The language of the media has been somewhat misleading, to say the least, with media outlets desperately bending over backwards to present the news of Elton and David's 'joyful news' as something quite normal. I'm sure I heard one news report saying that the couple were "married" even though what they have contracted is actually a civil partnership.
The Guardian, never usually a newspaper to blur the lines in its coverage of such issues, as we know, ran the headline, "Elton John and David Furnish have Christmas baby." What? For dinner!? Why is turkey not good enough for these celebrities! Anyway, the article goes on to say, "Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have become fathers after using a surrogate mother in the US." I don't know which statement is more offensive - that Elton and David have 'become fathers', an offensive statement in that it is biologically impossible or 'after using a surrogate mother'. Conception and family life isn't meant to be about 'using' people, but I guess this is the only option for homosexual couples who want to "become fathers". Isn't 'using' people wrong?
And this is a problem. Much of the media language used is, surely, something of a distortion of the plain facts. I don't know whether Furnish's or John's sperm was used in the surrogacy, um, procedure, and I don't much care to know, but given that it is one sperm that fuses with the egg of the Californian mother (whose role in the future of the child, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, is unknown) it can only be one of them who is the father. Therefore one of these men is a father and the other one is, um...a foster father, guardian, older friend, protector, adoptive parent?
Of course, we are adults and we can get our heads around this whether we think it is wonderful news or whether we think Elton John is off his rocker and appears committed to playing his infernal piano eternally in a 'tour to end all tours', but, what is disturbing is that this is the World into which children (and I am not just thinking of Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John here) are born.
Children now are born into an adult world with a very liberal-minded mass media which does not recognise the innocence of childhood, an innocence and purity that deserves to be protected from the very adult issue of homosexuality, for one, and the media blithely present this starkly controversial moral issue to us as uncontroversially as they possibly can, playing fast and loose with language, objectively discernible facts and just take the loose morality of the nation as a given, not thinking, for even a moment, that parents are sitting at home while their children ask, "Two daddies?! How did that happen?!" and that, aside from the fact that some Catholics might be thinking, "Well I never, whatever next...", some Muslims, too, will be sitting at home thinking this nation deserves a good smiting and "Who better to do it than us? Let's set up a company called 'Dial-a-Smiting' - No job too small!".
Last night I was trying to explain to a friend what it would be like if you could get into a time capsule and travel back to the Middle Ages and explain to a crusader knight that you are from the year 2010 and yes you know it is surprising that the Lord had not yet returned and that a Catholic school in northern England, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, was most likely soon to be taken over by a local mosque.
I think the knight would laugh in your face, or, possibly, throw his sword and maybe his horse into a river and weep, telling his fellow knights, "Pack up boys and go home. It's futile. I've just met someone from the future who's told me that we lost because the people gave up on the Church and the Church gave up preaching Jesus Christ." Of course, if you told someone in the Middle Ages that a troubadour and his boyfriend had just 'had a baby' via artificial insemination, he'd just say, "Come again?"
In a way, the Catholic Hierarchy of this country the Church suffers from a certain indifference towards the rampant secularisation of the United Kingdom, something that has infected the Church greatly and even at high levels. She is like 'The Black Knight' who, after having had his arms chopped off in Monty Python's 'The Holy Grail', boldly declares that the carnage is "only a flesh wound". Enjoy!