They like our art. They just don't like what it says. "Still, better than Tracy Emin's bed" they say, and, frankly, who can blame them?
Boy, there's quite a bit to blog about today. The National Secular Society are up in arms over the Holy Father's visit to the UK this year and plan to mount a somewhat unsurprising protest campaign, recruiting the 'usual suspects'.
The National Secular Society (NSS) said it would mount a protest campaign made up of gay groups, victims of clerical abuse, feminists, family planning organisations and pro-abortion groups among others.
Terry Sanderson, NSS president, said: "The taxpayer in this country is going to be faced with a bill of some £20 million for the visit of the Pope. A visit in which he has already indicated, he will attack equal rights and promote discrimination. We have a petition online where people can make clear their opposition to the state funding of this visit. If the Catholic Church wishes its leader to come here, it should pay for the visit itself. I am sure many others feel the same resentment as we do at the NSS at funding the presence of someone who wishes to impose a reactionary agenda of social change on us."
Aside from the fact that the Holy Father is Head of State of Vatican City, thereby entitling him to the usual diplomatic protocol, it appears that, as usual, equality and diversity of opinion is reserved to those with the 'right' opinion. So, nowadays, basically, if your crotch says its right, it's right and if by some incredible miracle the consequence of your crotch's advice turns out to be wrong and gives you a baby, it was wrong...but only that time.
What a dazzling array of groups there are planning to join the protest. You've got the 'League for the Defense of Sodomy', the 'Unborn Child Murder Trust', the 'National Society of Eugenicists' and the 'Ladies 4 Marx Institute'. The only group with an even nearly valid reason for protest against the leader of the nation's Catholics might just as well be called, 'The National Society for the Angry Dismissal and Outright Rejection of All Papal Apologies and Perpetual Papal Sorrow for the Sins of Corrupt Clergy'. Aside from this group who have a genuine cause for grievance, not that they are directing it at the right figure, I might add, what possible reason do these group have for shouting at the Holy Father? By the way, are the victims of clerical abuse, in joining the NSS protest saying it is the Holy Father's fault that they no longer believe in Christ? Just a thought...
For, let us face facts. How can one man offend all of these groups and so anger them that they are suddenly united in hatred of him? The Holy Father stands for the Truth that God became Man, that that Man, who was fully God and fully Man, was crucified for our sins and that that Man was Resurrected and Ascended to Heaven, from whence He shall come again at the End of Time. This is as scandalous to the World now as it was when it occurred. This same Lord, who took upon Himself all of our sins, out of love for us, has purchased our souls by His great Act of Redemption. It is only right and just that we direct our hearts and souls towards Him who loved us to the end, rather than the satisfaction of our selfish desires. The mere presence of the Holy Father on this island so rapt in devotion to mortal sin is as offensive to Britons now as was the Son of God standing before the people of His time, clothed in purple, bloodied by scourging, crowned with thorns and holding a reed. The Holy Father, to his ever loyal Bishops of England and Wales, said...
"Your country is well-known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet, as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed."
He added, "Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others - on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them. When so many of the population claim to be Christian, how could anyone dispute the Gospel's right to be heard."
Well said, Your Holiness! "How could anyone dispute the Gospel's right to be heard?" That all depends, I suppose, on whether you believe in freedom of speech, something cherished by these groups until they decide they don't want that free speech to be heard. Even their language is deceitful. The Holy Father cannot 'impose' the Gospel on anyone. If you don't like what he has to say, don't join the gathering throng to glimpse and hear him. If you really don't like what he has to say, change channel. How offensive can one man be to you, for what crime has he committed that repulses you so?
Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Vicar on Earth are an affront to these groups because nearly all are a work of the Devil. Pro-Abortion groups make money out of child murder, so the Holy Father, were his words to be accepted, challenges not just their belief, but their profit margins. The 'family planning' organisations make money out of contraception, abortion, IVF and targeting the poor, so the Holy Father challenges not just their belief, but their profit margins. The women's liberation groups and LGBT liberation groups will be offended by teachings which challenge their worldview, narrowed as it is by an extremely reductionist interpretation of what it means to be fully human and to love.
Already the forces of secular atheism are clamouring, vying for attention, to silence a man who challenges their ideology. Already, they wish to silence him and the interesting thing is, he doesn't even arrive here until September. They must be getting scared since the 'reactionary agenda of social change' the Holy Father will preach, is Christ Crucified. In all seriousness, if the Holy Father just stood on a platform with the Crucifix, the crowd would probably go wild with rage. This man defends the sanctity of all human life from conception to death. "Scandalous!" This man defends marriage and the family. "Scandalous!" This man preaches against promiscuity and claims that condoms encourage it. "Shocking!" This man urges us to take chastity seriously. "Abhorrent!" This man is against adultery. "Outrageous!" This man preaches the forgiveness of all of those sins because for us, poor sinners, Christ was crucified. "Crucify him!"
Anyway, it is a bit rich for these groups supporting the NSS to accuse the Church of seeking to impose 'radical social change'. What was the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s if it wasn't 'radical social change'? Not everyone liked it, surely. Oh yes. Loyal Catholics didn't like it, unborn babies didn't like it but hey, who cares about them?