If you still doubt we’re living in a lunatic asylum run by the inmates, read today’s papers, especially our domestic news.
World news does occasionally introduce a faint touch of sanity, this time supplied by France.
The cast of Opéra Bastille in Paris stopped singing La Traviata halfway through, and not in protest to its demotic music.
The singers objected to the sight of a burka-clad woman in the audience. And – make sure you’re prepared for the shock – no one called the police to have the reactionary vocalists arrested.
Instead the ushers evicted the woman over her loud protests, and the performance resumed. The evictors were on safe grounds because wearing garments that conceal the person’s face is illegal in France.
But, having spent much of my life in the company of musicians, singers and other artists, I rather doubt that the cast felt they had to strike a blow for legality.
I suspect their reaction was purely aesthetic: vive la différence and all that, but too much différence is unsettling, especially if it’s supplied by a civilisation openly and aggressively hostile to ours.
A burka in a public place makes an aesthetically unacceptable and philosophically aggressive statement. It’s an open challenge to our civilisation, even at its low end represented by Verdi. And performers hate to have to contend with any challenges other than artistic ones – hence the reaction.
Turn the page to domestic news, and the spirit of sanity instantly evaporates.
A private Christian school in the Home Counties has been threatened with closure and had its Ofsted rating downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘adequate’ because it is, well, Christian.
As such, it emphasises Christianity at the expense of other faiths, such as Islam, which are all supposed to be equal, especially Islam (Chesterton’s quip – I wish I had said it first).
Thus the school’s assemblies are led by Christian priests rather than, say, Muslim imams, a practice that supposedly teaches the pupils to disrespect other faiths.
This constitutes an egregious affront to the clinical condition going by the name of modernity – though not, one suspects, to the pupils and their parents.
After all, they must have known what they were in for when deciding to select a private Christian school and pay good money in tuition fees. It’s conceivable, though abhorrent to me as a lifelong champion of political correctness, that they actually feel that Christianity isn’t just one of the equally valid options on the table, but the only true religion.
And even if it isn’t, it’s still the faith that produced our civilisation. Parents sending their children to Christian schools perhaps lament the demise of this civilisation and are desperate to cling on to whatever is left of it.
That doesn’t mean that they want their little ones to grow up as bigots hating proponents of other faiths. It does, however, mean that they probably regard the government’s demand for equal time to be afforded to, say, Islam to be intrusive, tyrannical and, well, insane.
To verify that diagnosis they are probably asking all sorts of probing questions. Such as, how many Muslim schools have their assemblies led by Christian priests or Jewish rabbis? Surely what’s sauce for the Christian goose ought to be sauce for the Muslim gander?
And if it isn’t, our supposedly Christian country is insisting that a religion openly hostile to Christianity and Christians be given not just equal but indeed preferential treatment. Any competent psychiatrist will diagnose such insistence as a reliable symptom of a mental disorder.
Turn the page, and the clinical report is getting more detailed. A London bus driver and a Brighton supermarket are being ‘investigated’ for trying to stop, respectively, a male and a female homosexual couple engaging in foreplay on their premises.
The bus driver is reported to have shouted “Oi, you two don’t do that on my f****** bus or you can get off, I don’t want to watch that.”
The loving couple couldn’t believe their ears. To check their hearing, they asked the driver if he was speaking to them.
“Yes,” he replied, “it’s my bus, it’s my rules and I don’t want to watch that, it’s disgusting, get off the bus.”
I realise that in our mad world it’s impossible to have anything against any form of public behaviour, provided it’s not endangering innocent bystanders’ life and limb.
Yet, at the risk of being branded a retrograde fascist homophobe (yet again), I’d suggest that any sexual activity, penetrative or otherwise, homo- or heterosexual, is best practised in private.
However, while I’d find the sight of a boy and a girl French-kissing in public to be annoying, my reaction to two men doing it would be exactly the same as that bus driver’s. I’d be disgusted.
Now the veneer of good manners I’m trying, with variable success, to keep in place would probably prevent me from expressing my disgust in the same forthright manner. But it’s not just the driver’s locution that made the two homosexuals disbelieve their ears.
They felt or, in all likelihood, feigned incredulity at the very fact that someone might find what they were doing objectionable.
Homosexual activists pretend that they want their ‘lifestyle’ to be treated tolerantly, which is fair enough. But tolerance, as I never tire of repeating, isn’t a suicide pact.
Homosexuals engage in a practice that most civilisations, including our Christian one, regard as a mortal sin. It’s not the worst sin, for if it were it would have merited a place either among the biblical commandments or the patristic deadly sins.
But a sin it is, in both Testaments on which our civilisation rests. Hence tolerance to it has to be a two-way street: the sinners undertake not to flaunt their transgression and others agree not to harass them.
That’s how things have been in England for many decades, when the country was still sane. The bilateral compact was honoured bilaterally, and perfectly clubbable gentlemen got their jollies without anyone being too exercised about it.
This is no longer good enough in our loony bin. Homosexuals now insist on being accepted on their own terms. The distinction between virtue and sin, normal and perverse, right and wrong not only is no longer recognised, but those who draw it are about to be criminalised, if they aren’t already.
However, though ideology can trump any sane beliefs, sane visceral responses are more stubborn. And most heterosexuals do find homosexual canoodling to be disgusting, even though few would say so openly.
For example, without running a survey one can still venture a guess that most heteros would be offended by an explicit homosexual scene in a film, but not by an erotic scene featuring a man and a woman. That’s just how things are.
The bus driver is likely to be censured, possibly sacked, for enunciating, albeit in a crude form, a normal response of a normal person. But a sane man isn’t normal in a lunatic asylum.
And if you doubt that’s where we live, just read the morning papers.