Thursday, 23 July 2009

Oh ye of little faith

In today’s Manx Independent Sentamu’s Apprentice says Anglicans have a special dispensation not to sip communion wine during swine flu scares.
Can’t help smiling. Isn’t the whole point of religion that your fictitious friend looks after those who kiss the divine butt, and didn’t this omnipotent know-all decide your fate before you were born?
If so, what is there to worry about? If the bloke with the sickle is coming for you, he’s coming. Might as well have a drink while you’re waiting.
But, of course, SA didn’t come up with this himself. Ruth Gledhill at the Times revealed at that the orders came down from Mumu and Professor Unwin themselves.
Her piece, with links to various C of E diktats, is hilarious reading. And not just for the pretence that ‘government ‘ has only just come up with advice for ‘faith communities’ or the intimation that a bagful of bishops would be closely involved in all that.
Pile of old toot. I was at a DHSS briefing to Manx ‘faith communities’ way back in January 2008 where all this, and more, was explained, and that in turn was based on guidance then floating around all UK regional health authorities.
Actually, it went much further, and in effect told churches to shut up shop on Sunday in a crisis rather than spread a virus. Much the same advice as was given to all holding public gatherings, in fact.
Even funnier, when the one evangelical who could be bothered to turn up without cash being waved grumbled about the ‘impossibility’ of closing an ‘important community resource’ (a café) he was bluntly told the court sentence given for knowingly causing harm in a national emergency. Never seen him at meetings since, but that might also be because the others didn’t tell him lunch is provided.
Almost as funny as watching one senior cleric try to make a case for clergy being ‘key workers’ who should be at the top of the list when limited vaccine supplies are being passed out while the masses riot, eat each other or just pop their clogs.
It wasn’t a dignified sight, and he didn’t come across as a caring shepherd. Even his fellows looked embarrassed.
Actually, I should say that the three clergy still attending our meetings are OK when not in full drag and in front of a congregation. Caring, ask pertinent questions and make good points.
The contrast between their down to earth knowledge that science, not prayers, stops disease and their public protestations is ridiculous.
But that’s showbiz for you.

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