Monday, 2 March 2009

Whinge, Moan, Grumble.

I generally look upon nasty emails as a mark of affection, at least the senders read this blog and interest themselves in what is said so much they feel they have a part to play in it. I am one man though and this is one blog, a very small molehill of beans in a big world. Like most people, I tend to stand my ground when I feel I should. A few years back there was a spate of 'cycle-by' muggings in Chorlton, the silk stockinged suburb where I lived. One night walking back from the pub I heard a pedal bike picking up speed behind me and then slow down as it almost passed me. The rider squeaked 'giveusyermoney' and I said no, in a ponderous state brought on by amusement at being held up by a kid on a bike and a few pints of Ginger Marble. He went on by and came back, at greater speed. He hit me square on and he fell off his bike. As I was helping him up and delivering a stern lecture on riding without lights (for he was not a seasoned thief, merely a chancer, nor did I imagine that a few weeks in a detention facility would do any good at all in keeping him away from a life of crime) I explained that people are not skittles in a bowling alley and even though this particular skittle had remained standing, another skittle may have been irreparably broken, mentally or physically, so that he could have their money and spend it in a flash. A year or so later I was amused to see him, by now an employee of Safeway's Supermarket, berating a cyclist for bringing his bike into the shop.

Riding into people with no care for their wellbeing seems to be a new way of communicating. No longer the old way of engaging ones co-respondent in communication to debate the merits or pitfalls of the way they have chosen. I blame the removal of fires and settles in Public Houses for this, these funny standing up mushroom tables are conducive to lager swilling, not bitter and rumination. Hunting in packs, a sign of cowardice when not following a dangerous and hostile quarry, is also employed to make individual complainants feel less inclined to guilt. The current object of vitriol is the Roman Catholic Church, in particular the Pope. I am usually disinclined to rabbit on about the Vatican, but everyone seems to have an axe to grind at the moment. Traditionalists are upset at the pace of reform (comments on the New Liturgical Movement being a barometer of this), Liberals are frothing at the mouth about the perceived slowing down of Vatican II 'inspired' liturgical changes/aberrations, secularists are furious at what they see as a bullish attitude on creation, Ruth Gledhill is just furious about everything and everyone else can find a bugbear on the Hitler Youth/Williamson/contraception/women's lib smorgasbord of complaint.

This is bad news for us Anglo Catholics (a commentator on Fr Longenecker's excellent blog, 'Standing on my Head', suggests that Roman Catholics get upset about us calling ourselves Anglo Catholics, which is news to me and I suspect everyone else) because to stand up in a predominantly reformed Church which is heading in a more reformed direction at the moment, which is cosying up to the secularists and to say the things we believe in invites more bowling balls or malevolent cyclists than we would wish for. It is hard to be attacked when those whom we would, ideally, fall back on would really rather we were gone.

Hard times for traditional religionists then, but one step closer to the day when people sicken of attack and demolition and look for the way to God and truth once again, which is all he more reason to stay, because it is not to the secularists friends and the media they will turn to for answers and help.