One of my recurrent themes is that the world has gone certifiably mad, and not in a particularly nice way. Witness the latest bouts of insanity that have caught my eye.
One such bout is called Victoria McCloud, a master of the Queen’s Bench division. We’re all so open-minded now that our brains are falling out but, when they still stayed inside our crania, we would have been taken aback.
For Dr McCloud was born, raised and called to the bar as Mr Jason Williams. At some point Jason decided to convert himself surgically into Victoria and assume the name of his/her co-habitor, the similarly modified psychiatrist Dr Annie McCloud.
Far be it from me to have a knee-jerk negative reaction to this. However, a few remarks, straight from the recent past of relative sanity, are in order.
First, a man who wants to refashion himself as a woman has, in the recondite medical parlance, a screw loose.
Second, scientists have demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt that a man can’t become a woman. He can only become a man shot full of oestrogen and with his bits cut off. His chromosomes remain XY, which makes him male in any other than a psychiatric sense.
Third, legal scholars raise serious doubts about the legitimacy of such a conversion within their discipline. A man may fancy himself as a woman, a dog or a tree, but for all legal purposes (and we’re talking about the English Common Law, as it has been for centuries) he must still be regarded as a man.
So here we have a man who’s crazy enough to want to change his sex, stupid enough not to know it’s scientifically impossible and ignorant enough to be unaware of the fundamental legal concepts involved.
Methinks these are ideal qualifications for the post of High Court judge, making Mr Williams/Miss McCloud the most senior transsexual to hold a prominent position in Britain.
Another bout of madness in the news is called Gerd Eva Cecilia Brunne, but you can shorten her name to Her Grace. For the Most Reverend Brunne is the Bishop of Stockholm in the Church of Sweden.
Not only is Her Grace a woman, but she’s also the first openly lesbian bishop of a mainstream church and the first Swedish bishop to live in a registered homosexual ‘partnership’.
When I read about this, I was sufficiently perplexed to go straight to my trusted, tax-evading Google. I wondered what confession Her Grace could possibly belong to.
Sweden is predominantly Lutheran, meaning non-episcopalian. The only Protestant denomination to have bishops (of either sex) is Anglicanism, but I doubted there were enough Anglicans in Stockholm to rate their own bishopric. The same goes for communicants in various Orthodox denominations, who can’t possibly be numerous enough either.
The method of elimination leaves Roman Catholicism as the clear winner, but surely that can’t be? To the best of my knowledge, Catholicism has no female clergy, never mind episcopate. And the Vatican’s attitude to homosexual coupling, registered or otherwise, has never advanced beyond grudging toleration.
Sure enough, Google provided the answer. The Church of Sweden is some kind of exempt Catholic ordinariate, though the website was hazy on what exactly it was exempt from. On Her Grace’s evidence, this Catholic denomination is exempt from being, well, Catholic.
One wonders how Her Grace’s parishioners feel about this situation. There are signs that the Swedes in general are beginning to abandon their skull-numbing tolerance to everything, but perhaps Swedish Catholics are lagging behind this development.
Being a psychiatrist, Dr Annie McCloud could perhaps explain this whole thing in the terms of her chosen field. But somehow I’m reluctant to ask her. Can’t imagine why.