|AC Grayling: Had hoped for private discussion with the Pope|
The singer is one of those people for whom one is tempted to campaign to make assisted suicide legal, just for a day or two, for a 'hard case' that makes for 'bad law'. Was the crooner the power behind the throne of the Blair years, conducting Government policy from his yacht? It wouldn't surprise me, but then, let's face it, it could have been any one or all of the sprawling cast of the mega-rich cabal of acolytes that gathered like flies around the heap of dung that was the Blair years, couldn't it?
One wonders whether the never-to-retire, shacked-up-with-a-'former Catholic priest'-pop-creature who was famously a leading luminary of the 'Nationwide Festival of Light' organised by Malcolm Muggeridge, Lord Longford and Mary Whitehouse, campaigning against the pornographic nature of the mass media age, is too much different to his long-term friends, Tony and Cherie 'devout' Blair, in their conception of a God made in their own image and likeness. My, how times have changed since the 70s, however, and with the times, the opinions of the singer who made heaps of money out of atrocious records (and worse movies), while spreading his Christian credentials everywhere he went. What is the difference between these strange 'Christians' who maintain that Christianity needs to be updated to the 21st century or adapted to modern times and atheist A.C Grayling? Not much as far as I can see. At least Grayling is intellectually honest enough to say that he believes there is no God, and that the moral law, if such a lofty thing exists for him, is a blank sheet of paper on which humanity can write, rather than pretending that God agrees with him on a moral issue because "some of my friends are in gay relationships". If some of my friends were murderers, adulterers and thieves, would that make murder, adultery and robbery right?
Anyway, back to Grayling. The combative atheist who usually pulls no punches in condemning the Catholic Faith as a force of darkness overshadowing a world enlightened by the light of his atheistic, rationalistic philosophy has thrown his toys out of the pram and snubbed the Assisi III pilgrimage of Truth meeting with people of all faiths and none and most importantly, the Holy Father himself. It has today been posted on by Francis Phillips of The Catholic Herald and the pilgrimage promises to be an interesting, eye-catching, hopefully not eye-watering event. I have every confidence in the Holy Father that he can lead this without the event looking as if he believes 'your truth is as good as mine'. It is, after all, the battle against relativism that has marked his very impressive pontificate. The 'poor man's Dawkins' (that's Grayling, you understand, not His Holiness) has, sorrowfully, backed out because...
“I thought it was originally to have a discussion with the Pope about the place of religion in society but then it turned out it was a minor event and what they wanted was these guests to accompany the Pope on a pilgrimage. So I decided to withdraw.”
If it was a discussion with the Holy Father about the place of religion in society, that would have been a rather short exchange...
Pope Benedict XVI: "And what role do you believe, Mr Grayling, religion should play in the public square?"
A.C. Grayling: "None whatsoever, Ratzi! I believe this man-made garbage you describe as religion should be eradicaed from the Earth, starting within the education system and working its way up from there, until all religions except the one which reigns supreme, my own particular brand of intolerant atheism, are utterly destroyed, especially your paedo-kiddie-fiddling-Nazi Youth one, Your, er, Holiness...May I take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me and to arrest you for crimes against humanity?!"
Pope Benedict XVI: This is an interesting point of view. How do you make your head spin 360 degrees like that?
The problem with some atheists, you see, and most especially the religious types, is that they are so convinced of their own rightness that accompanying a diverse group of people of 'all religions and none' is like some personal (almost papal) endorsement of collective insantity. Grayling is a fundamentalist, remember and you can't dialogue with fundamentalists. The idea of pilgrimage, to Grayling, is nonsense when even agnostics and reasonable atheists are happy to go to Santiago de Compostella because, whether you believe, or whether you do not, life, objectively speaking, is for us all a journey. Even pagans believe that. The Holy Father is right to say that life is a pilgrimage towards truth for all, no matter to what religion, if any, you subscribe and that eventually we all meet Truth Himself.
Personally, my suspicion is that Mr Grayling cannot abide the idea of accompanying a diverse group of religious people anywhere and would rather surround himself with fawning atheist admirers and perhaps cannot stand the idea that the Holy Father might get gain more limelight and press coverage out of Assisi III than he will. What's the point in being a famous atheist if you're not the centre of the attention of the liberally biased media and the Successor of St Peter simultaneously? A.C Grayling...What a pansy! He's silly really, because if he had trusted in God then, who knows, perhaps he would have got five minutes with the Pope who is known for his generosity in terms of time and charity towards even those who despise him. By the way, regarding Assisi III, I do think that critics of Francis Phillips's article are wrong to suggest that the town's most famous son would be opposed to the idea. After all, wasn't his whole apostolate marked by loyal obedience both to the Pope and the Magisterium?
I hear Libyan dictator, Col Gaddafi is dead. May he rest in peace. Condolences to Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair and all those British foreign diplomats who knew him so well and of whom Gaddafi must have been so fond. All of them must be devastated, especially Mr Blair, since his meetings with the dictator are an aspect of his political career of which he is particularly openly proud and of which he is always only too happy to discuss in public. We haven't yet legalised it in this country yet, oh give the Government time, but we're already exporting 'assisted suicide' abroad: Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Col Gaddafi.