Just like their Anglican colleagues, the Catholic bishops have offered advice on how to vote in the general election.
That’s where the similarity more or less ends, for the Catholics never mentioned disarmament and joining a single European state as prime Christian values.
Instead they urged the faithful to vote for candidates who uphold Christian morality, with all it entails. Vote for candidates, said Their Graces, who support marriage and family life.
Lest there be some misunderstanding, they clarified their meaning: “The Christian understanding of marriage, founded on a loving and faithful relationship between a man and a woman, is the basic building block of society.”
How antediluvian can you get? ‘Between a man and a woman’? This suggests that the bishops disapprove of homomarriage, showing yet again how hopelessly out of touch the Church is.
Any union between any two mammals is as valid, and as worthy of the word marriage, as the outdated notion favoured by the bishops. Surely they must know this? Surely they aren’t challenging the consensus? Surely they aren’t challenging DEMOCRACY?
Then it gets really bad. Their Graces say we ought to vote for candidates opposed to abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide.
“Each person matters,” they pronounce, “ and the foundation of Catholic teaching is the respect for human life from conception to natural death” (my much needed emphasis).
Now if that doesn’t take the Eucharistic wafer, I don’t know what does. Clearly the bishops haven’t been following Oliver Kamm’s columns. No, I’ll go even further – they haven’t been following modern life.
Otherwise they’d know that human life begins at 24 weeks and ends whenever a person becomes a pain in the gluteus maximus to himself and his family. Or, at a pinch, just to his family. Or to the NHS. Or to his neighbours.
Contrary to what fossils like you may think, Your Graces, man is created in his own image. Actually, to be more precise, he isn’t created at all. He has evolved from another mammal, whose likeness modern man now closely resembles inwardly and, increasingly, outwardly.
It follows from this with ineluctable logic (well, modern logic at any rate) that man has any value only for as long as he’s a useful member of society. Now, what the bishops provocatively call ‘unborn babies’ aren’t useful yet, and wrinklies and crumblies aren’t useful any more.
That’s why it’s an act of Christian mercy towards society to coerce them into suicide or, if they are too small or too far gone to commit one, to do the job for them. The greatest good of the greatest number, right? That’s the ultimate Christian value, and shame on Their Graces for failing to grasp this.
I wonder if the bishops realise that their advice, which is in such stark contrast to the Anglican bishops’ secular leftie gibberish, is tantamount to telling the Catholics not to vote at all.
For there is no mainstream party in the running that supports what Their Graces tell us to support and opposes what they tell us to oppose.
The Tories (and possibly Ukip, if it qualifies as a mainstream party) should be their only natural allies in upholding Christian morality. Instead Dave triumphantly pushed through the profoundly anti-family homomarriage law, compromising the party’s core vote.
I have yet to hear the Tories make an unequivocal statement opposing abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. They haven’t and they won’t – the focus groups won’t let them.
The Kamms of this world have corrupted the British public so thoroughly that the numbers are stacked up against any such statements. And no modern party will jeopardise its electoral chances by going against majority opinion. That’s what democracy is all about: the ultimate truth is determined by the calculator.
Hence the Tories choose to ignore the pro-family minority of traditional Tory voters. But they do so at their peril, for, while this minority is insignificant in the electorate at large, it’s quite sizeable within the Tory party.
This just may explain the current polls that show that the Conservatives are extremely unlikely to win the general election outright. At least I can’t think of any other explanation.
After all, the political wisdom, as enunciated by James Carville, Clinton’s strategist, says that “It’s the economy, stupid”. Now it doesn’t take a PR genius to communicate to the masses that a) the Labour government dragged Britain into an economic quagmire and b) the Tories pulled her out of it.
Britain enjoys lower unemployment and higher growth rate than anyone else in Europe, the FTSE 100 is at an all-time high, the pound is strong, and the French flock to our shores in droves because our economic prospects are so bright.
If Carville was right, the general election should be done and dusted by now. Instead most polls show a dead heat, and only a few yield a Tory lead of a point or two. Over Labour!
One explanation could be that the British people are so well-versed in economics that they detect something phoney about this prosperity. They may feel that, with the national debt at around £1.5 trillion, our economy is a beautifully decorated house resting on a termite-ridden foundation. Hence, to punish the Tories for their dishonesty, they would be ready to vote for the party that’ll take a wrecking ball to the house.
Alas, much as one would like to credit the Brits with such sophistication, two generations’ worth of comprehensive education make economic, or any other, astuteness rather unlikely.
So perhaps it’s not just the economy, stupid. Perhaps Dave, with his maniacal war on traditional family, has shot the party in the foot and all it can hope for is limping feebly to another emasculating coalition. Perhaps many natural Tories will, like me, register a protest vote, probably for Ukip.
This leaves the bishops’ advice hanging in the air. It is no doubt a most welcome statement of what it means to be Christian in the moral mess of modernity, but as a practical recommendation it’s well-nigh worthless.
Much as we’d like to follow their guidance, there is no party we could vote for in good conscience. So, as one applauds Their Graces, one would be justified in shedding a tear for the country.