Monday, 2 July 2007
Mad Dogs and Englishmen...
Here I am complaining about a spot of winter drizzle while the British Isles have been receiving a pummeling from the weather gods. English weather has long been the subject of general hilarity in the rest of the world, but there's nothing even faintly funny about people losing their homes and even lives.
We all know what Spanky and Six-pack Gerry will say about such calamities: God is teaching the godless a well-deserved lesson. The Big Bloke in the Great Beyond has a short fuse, and every now and then the temperamental old sod lets fly with a hissy-fit. Flood, famine, tsunami, itchy boils... the god of Big Dave and the Herbal pretenders is anything but subtle.
Surprising then that a bishop in ye olde Church of England is prattling about the same thing. Under the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, reputed to be a hyper-conservative Evangelical, the bishoprics of the land were filled with card-carrying members of the so-called "evangelical" wing of the C of E., which is a large part of the reason the current archbishop, looking thoroughly frazzled, made the cover of Time a week or so back. Perhaps the former incumbent thought a theologically stiff upper lip might arrest the decline in attendance. If so, he was dead wrong.
In any case "the Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle," (the frocked fellow in the photo) has entered the fray with a word of divine consolation for the sodden citizenry worthy of Monty Python, as reported by the Telegraph.
"This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way," he said. "We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmental damage that we have caused."
"We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate," he said.
"In the Bible, institutional power is referred to as 'the beast', which sets itself up to control people and their morals. Our government has been playing the role of God in saying that people are free to act as they want," he said, adding that the introduction of recent pro-gay laws highlighted its determination to undermine marriage.
"The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights to gays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in a situation where we are liable for God's judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance."
The Telegraph reporter notes that the bishop is "a leading evangelical." Well, whatayaknow! Dow even goes on to compare the wicked world of today to the Roman Empire: "people should heed the stories of the Bible, which described the downfall of the Roman empire as a result of its immorality."
Well, shucks, where did I put that Ambassador College booklet The Modern Romans?
But here's my constructive suggestion. If the troglodyte bishops of Britain are going to steal COGdoms finest ideas, it's only fair if Rod, Gerry, Dave and the boys steal the Anglican regalia. Can't you just see Rod in a dress holding his staff with manly firmness? Or Gerry with a Roman collar and silly hat?
We might have to modify those religious titles though, "Right Reverend" just won't cut it in our tradition. How about "Right Rabid" instead?