Sunday, January 07, 2007

The religious right in the UK

Having promised to write something about Radio Galloway, I can't be bothered. It's not worth it - it was largely uninteresting stuff, partly consisting of Groundhog Day-style repetitive phone calls about Israel and Iran, and partly about other issues.

But James Whale, now...

I sometimes forget just how many ultra-religious nutters there really still are in this country. And then I listen to a late night radio talk show, and I'm reminded once more. There's a guy on the radio as I speak, blathering on about how homosexuality (or "sodomy") as he calls it, is a "sin", and of course what terrible fates await gay people, the wrath of God etc. It takes some going for someone to make Whale - who is no liberal by most standards - sound like the voice of centre-left reason, but some of his callers tonight are managing to cast him in precisely that light. Impressive, in a rather depressing sort of way.

The religious right continues to struggle to establish itself in the UK, via loveable organisations like Christian Voice, who recently demonstrated their in-touchness with the issues by issuing a press release slamming the Archers for having a show that featured a gay wedding. Oooh, the scandal.

So yes, all very stupid. And yet, at the same time, the liberal press is running articles slamming "secular fundamentalism", as though Richard Dawkins were trying to get religion outlawed and burning pictures of Jesus or Muhammad in the streets. And if Christian Voice and similar organisations were to come out with a "sound anti-imperialist" line on various global conflicts, it doesn't take John McCririck to work out the odds on where the outraged defences of them would start coming from on the left... not too sure if "Christianophobia" is a concept that would fly, but it'd be interesting to see. A few years ago, the very idea would have been so laughable as to be easily dismissed, but now it really does seem that sections of the left will line up behind more or less whoever ticks the relevant boxes for the current cause-du-jour, so perhaps we should never say never.

The rise of political-religious organisations in this country is set to grow, and grow further and faster at that. These organisations (regardless of religion) are not politics-neutral, and are certainly not by and large part of the left. It really comes to something when people who self-define as being on the left have become so deluded by their own introspective and ultimately defeated perspective on the world, so desperate to grasp any any straw, that they will convince themselves that theocrats are really progressives in religious clothing. Pull yourselves together folks, or you'll be in for a rude awakening.


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