One cardinal has already “succumb to Gout” after making comments to the effect that Britain is a Third World Country full of Intolerant Atheist Gasbags (I paraphrase, but it was probably in Latin, or maybe Italian, or maybe Vaticanese).
Set to prove him wrong, apparently the Guardian have published a letter signed by “50 Public Figures”. The usual suspects are there: Clinton Dawkins, Stevie Jones, Phil Pullman… all the way down to the BBC’s own Stephen Fry.
Dawkins has been grinding his anti-religious axe for so many years he’s a self parody now.
Jones (I believe) did a Car advert once extolling Evolution (“Not just a Theory”) and inferring the Car (the pinnacle of a design process) was the product of Evolution (Which is insulting to all those automotive engineers out there).
And Pullman still owes me an hour of my life after wasting it on that Golden Compass Crap he wrote (what a rip off of George Lucas!).
But Stephen Fry? That’s a new one on me! Why is a BBC presenter (a BRILLIANT one) taking such risks as to make controversial statements in public?
Looking at what they object to: the state visit, I can’t see their point.
The Vatican City is a City State, it has been since 1929 – but has had government of the present form since 1274.
The Pope is the head of the Vatican State.
Are we suggesting the Vatican is not a valid state, or the Pope is not the valid leader of this state, or that he was put in power by a controversial means?
For you to be objecting to the State visit, you should surely be objecting to one of those facts. Maybe the Pope’s selection happens behind closed doors, but is that any worse than having a state visit from someone with a Royal Blood Line?
Reasons cited include Vatican policy on Condoms, Homosexuality, and (this makes me laugh) “segregation of the education system”, could they be a little more specific? Racial or gender based?
Maybe the Vatican isn’t up to speed with gay rights, I’ve never heard of corporal or capital punishment being issued from the Vatican on gays or lesbians (though I may be wrong). There have been royal visits from OTHER states where homosexuality carries a punishment of Public Lashing or worse.
Maybe the Vatican hasn’t used a safe-sex message to people around the world, opting for the idealistic notion of monogamy as a method of counteracting HIV, but the Queen has recently been host to polygamist Jacob Zuma, who recently said he’d had (controversial) unprotected sex with a HIV Positive lady and had a shower to reduce the risk of him (and his many wives) catching AIDS.
As to Human Rights, when France has been threatening forced “repatriation” of the children of immigrants and have even this week been treating Roma very poorly, where were any of our “50 Saviours of the British Way” when Sarkozy and spouse where coming?
Now, have Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones, Philip Pullman and Stephen Fry written to any news papers (overtly left wing or not) complaining about state visits from Heads of state of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, France?
I feel Stephen Fry, who I am a great admirer of, has let himself slip on this one. He’s standing against the dumbing down of media, yet he seems daft enough to delve into politics, something a BBC Presenter should not be doing.
The rest of them are the usual axe-grinders.
The only thing they seem intent on doing is proving Cardinal Kasper correct about Britain having too many aggressively Atheist Windbags.
(For the record, I am not a Catholic, I welcome all heads of state to UK, and I still think Fry is a great TV and Radio presenter. Phil Pullman is still a hack though.)