The Curmudgeon


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Displaced By Reason

The Archbishop of York, last seen here whining about Christmas cards and free parking for Sunday polluters, has been flogging the moral hobby-horse again.

Dr Sentamu is worried that "if religion is pushed out of public life it will lead to the triumph of greed and selfishness", rather than the selling of indulgences to the rich and the preaching of hellfire to the poor, as happened in the good old days. "If this is the direction which will shape our politics, moral responsibility will be displaced (sic) not by reason, science or ethics but by sheer consumerism," he said. "Human rights without the safeguarding of a God-reference tends to set up rights which trump others' rights when the mood music changes". Rather remarkably, he said it as a Christian addressing a Jewish institution. I suppose it is possible that the mood-music of, say, Ferdinand, Isabella and her God-referee Tomás de Torquemada had escaped his notice, what with the Christmas card holocaust and so forth; but it is rather hard to credit that even an archbishop of the Church of England can be ignorant of Jesus' own preference for sheep over goats, his implicit condoning of slavery, and his racist abuse of the Canaanite woman who, fortunately for her vexed daughter, was shrewd enough to return flattery for insult. Dr Sentamu doubtless provided copious examples to support his assertion that those without gods tend to have less regard for the rights of others than his own witch-burning, Jew-baiting, gay-bashing, crusading, misogynistic congregation; regrettably, the Torygraph appears to have had insufficient space to do them justice.

The Archbishop also criticised the Government for "sacrificing Liberty" while allowing "seemingly unfettered rights and entitlements"; and, with a similar degree of intellectual honesty, attacked "an abused form of equality ... based on diktat and bureaucracy" while claiming moral supremacy for the Church, a government-sponsored bureaucracy based on the diktats of a megalomaniac Bronze Age djinn, a royal pretender from the eastern fag-end of the Roman Empire, and the sordid expediencies of a Tudor tyrant. The danger of Dr Sentamu's personal morals being displaced by reason, science or ethics appears to be minimal.


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