What’s with them Churchy types?

December 13, 2008 at 11:47 am (politics, religion, secularism, voltairespriest)

Moving to the Heart of PoliticsEver see that Family Guy episode where Peter gets a slot on local television? Well here’s something that really Grinds My Gears: religious-political activists whingeing online about how they are marginalised by a mythical secular establishment. It’s a tendency which I’ve noticed growing for some time now, and it really does merit something being said about it. A lot. By lots of people.

Let’s look at the evidence, taking particularly those who write about issues recently prominent in UK politics. Incidentally I shall here shamelessly exempt my little chum Red Maria, whose online musings about the wrongs of a woman’s right to choose and the evils of legitimate medical research will already be familiar to some of our readers. Besides, even if one did send her to the punishment room I rather suspect she’d like it. Instead, I offer you a small sample of some figures whom you are less likely to know, which hopefully will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

I’ve always loved books which feature Opus Dei. The sinister mythology which surrounds the Catholic order immortalised in conspiracy lore has the sniff of incense and big money about it – an intoxicating combination. Not to mention that those cilice belts must be central features in S&M dungeons across the world. Imagine my delight then when I ran across a blog run by an Opus Dei blogger who apparently works as a political lobbyist in Brussels.

She actually seems like a nice girl in general (talks kindly about her mum, bits and bobs about living in Belgium etc). But at the end of her latest post she shows the teeth of the Order:

And another thing, whatever the Angelicum (Catholic uni in Rome) thinks about the generally perceived as Catholic Mrs Blair’s “progressive” views on abortion, it has a duty to promote other people who have great things to say in the forum of human rights. Personally, as a Catholic I see abortion as the destruction of a baby human and a violation of a female human’s bodily integrity, and often mental wellbeing. Who am I to say?

Mrs Blair has a world famous husband to bring her into the spotlight. Many genuinely Catholic and Christian activists from every country in the world, in China, Africa and indeed Europe, are not given the same opportunities. Perhaps they could hear from some pro-life people whose voices are quashed by anti-life media?

Pay particular attention to the last two sentences, and refer to your experience of the UK media. I’m not aware that the Daily Mail, the Telegraph or the Times have a particular political line on abortion, but if they do then I’m fairly sure it’s not a militant feminist one. What’s more, I’d be simply floored if it transpired that Feminist Fightback or Abortion Rights had the money to station live-in lobbyists in Brussels. Frankly, the churches in general have far deeper pockets than left-liberal campaigns, and the Catholic Church in particular could probably buy us all and still have change for a kebab on the way home. Wake up, religious lobbyists, you ain’t got it so bad.

My personal favourite is Mr David Lindsay, the leader of that ambitious new political force, the British People’s Alliance. In fact he may become the Michael Fabricant to my Simon Hoggart. For those of you who didn’t know (and where have you been?), “The British People’s Alliance is a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war party of economically social democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots”. It has a smorgasbord of political aims, but one of the most important in the view of “British and Commonwealth patriots” everywhere must surely be this:

BPA parliamentarians will oppose root and branch both world government and coercive utopianism, and will therefore oppose root and branch any further wars in those causes, as well as the continuation of British participation in those such wars which are already going on. They will be mortally dangerous to tax-guzzling and policy-dictating military-industrial complexes at home and abroad.

Fix bayonets chaps, and don your protective clothing! World Government, we’re ready for you! Quite who the world government is, I shall leave for the readers to divine. More importantly as regards my point here, this man is not frozen out by any liberal establishment in the UK – indeed I may actually demand of my fellow Shiraz bloggers that we start a campaign for him to be given a TV show, possibly on BBC4 after Charlie Brooker.

There are also people online who get around in the world of real-life politics in the UK: John Smeaton, director of the ubiquitous Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, has a blog here. He receives assistance with it from SPUC’s staff, which is more than I can say most feminist bloggers get when making sure their words are heard. And yet yes, you guessed it, he’s on about pro-choice bias in the media, this time specifically at the Times. Quite what it is about the conservative-inclined Thunderer that makes him think this is beyond me, as essentially one imagines they’d (quite rightly) print more or less any article or column that was interesting and content-rich enough to bring in a few readers. Of course he’s ignoring the elephant in the room, which is that the public faces of anti-abortion campaigns often come across like the sort of people you’d avoid talking to in a bus queue. But no, it’s media bias, honest guvna.

Other examples can be found all over the internet, as the magic of Google will reveal should you care to look. Ok, that’s better. I’m off now to a meeting with Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, my and Jim’s Zionist Backers, and the steering committee of Feminist Fightback. Well we do all have to check in from time to time, you know. The last word though, as it should, goes to Mr David Lindsay:

BPA parliamentarians will cultivate Russia’s sense of herself as an integral part of the Biblical and Classical civilisation that is the West, and as that civilisation’s bridge both to the world defined by Islam and to the world of the Far East, while acting as the West’s gatekeeper against subjugation to Islam or to anything Far Eastern, sharing that historic role with all the Slavs, not least including the Serbs. They will call back the Croats to their historic share in that mission. And they will insist on the dissolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or on unilateral British withdrawal if no such dissolution be forthcoming.

Oh yes. Watch this space folks.


  1. maxdunbar said,

    Fantastic post. I’m loving the recent volley of clerics who have been given massive amounts of space in national newspapers and in government reports to complain that religion is being ‘forced out of the public sphere’.

  2. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Exactly Max. As you’ll know for sure, the only guarantee that you can be interviewed as an expert on almost any subject in the UK, is if you’re wearing a dog collar (or relevant equivalent). If there’s a secular mafia running the media and the government, it’s fucking crap!

    I have no problem with these people advocating their views as it happens, but for God’s sake don’t claim you’re being persecuted when you plainly have a privileged place in the media, and unique rights to be seen as legitimate commentators/lobbyists on any issue, when the rest of us have to prove our credentials before we are heard.

  3. maxdunbar said,

    Excellent points Voltaire. I feel another anti-faith post coming on.

  4. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Oh, do it, definitely. Incidentally I really am in favour of that Mr David Lindsay (Leader of the British People’s Alliance) TV Show. Proper car crash telly.

  5. In defence of the libertine society « Max Dunbar said,

    […] satirical eye over the week’s events you may have noticed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor taking up space in national broadsheets and in government-backed reports to complain, with […]

  6. Voltaire's Priest said,

    Incidentally, the formal awards ceremony for the annual Shiraz Socialist Tinfoil Hat is pending but imminent…

  7. Voltaire's Priest said,

    In fact, I may have promised the award to Mr David Lindsay prematurely. There are late-entry contenders.

  8. The Ghost of John Smeaton said,

    This week I was honoured to be invited to speak at the 25th International Mad Pro Life Conference. I spoke on the topic, Taking extremism forward in the 21st Century: effective strategies against Tabletista heresy.
    You can read my speech on my really crap blog here http://johnsmeaton.blogspot.com, whoops sorry, wrong one, though John Smeaton hero of our time, does, in my modest opinion, express it rather well! Who else takes the battle to the All Party Pro Life Group, eh? Who else is brave enough to demand – demand! Claire Curtis Thomas’s resignation? Who else has the sheer guts necessary to speak truth unto power (well + Crispin, anyway)?
    I did of course mean http://spuc-director.blogspot.com, where you can read it all, plus footnotes, in glorious technicolour, though comments aren’t, regretfully, permitted.
    You can also read about all of SPUC’s splendid work.

    * Paul “Dracula’s Butler” Tully’s talk to the girls at St Cakes explaining why they shouldn’t breastfeed lest it interfere with a blastocyst’s life chances.

    * Exclusive guidance from Father John Fleming on what to do if you have a frisky daughter (send them to the other side of the globe and hope they’ll behave themselves!!!)

    * The latest from Floella di Tutti Frutti Bish Bash Bosh who parked herself outside the Department of Health with an enormous anatomically correct model of a foetus. What a marvellous work of Pro Life witness, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Yours in Christ,

    John Smeaton.

  9. Joanna Bogle ate my sticky chocolate cake said,

    I can’t bear it when bishops insist on referring to themselves as “she” and wear effeminate clothing. It causes such confusion for young people, who are already led astray by the ghastly pop singers they hear singing waah waah waah on the wireless. Kevin MacDonald is the worst – they call him “catwoman” – and he celebrates these awful modern (shudder at the word) liturgies, in English, would you believe?! How many times do I have to tell them that lex orandi lex credendi and before they know it, they’ll be talking about social justice and being “relevant”. But these bishops aren’t really Catholic at all, you know. It’s all fairtrade avocados and “inclusive” language with them.
    As I was saying to Jamie the other day, what our young people really want is some good cold showers, plenty of jolly hockeysticks, lots of camping out doors and good clean fun!!!
    Auntie Joanna

  10. voltairespriest said,

    And cilice belts, surely. Or do I still have to keep visiting Dirty Dora for that?

  11. Sinful Cyndi does it with a cilice said,

    I only hurt the one I lurve …

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