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Friday, 4 June 2010

How Catholics predict the future

Once again we get people criticising things before they’ve even seen them.

This time it’s notable nutjobs – sorry, Catholics – who are slamming Channel 4 for choosing Peter Tatchell, the gay human-rights campaigner, to present a documentary of Pope Ratzo’s visit to the UK in September.

It’s prompted Anne Widdecombe, the former Tory MP and Catholic convert, to say that it all goes to show just how anti-Catholic Britain is.

None of the critics of this programme have seen it, because it’s not been made yet.

What if it turns out to be entirely down-the-middle impartial? Will these people come out and say they were wrong? You can bet your sweet arse they won’t.


Adam said...

Although, it cannot be denied that Peter Tatchell does have a fairly anti-Catholic stance, even if he keeps it in check for the documentary, so I can understand why they are 'up in arms'. Even I think it is a bit of a strange choice for a documentary that is supposed to be impartial.

George Broadhead said...

In his press release Peter Tatchell is at pains to point out: "This will not be an anti-Catholic programme."

I find this a bit odd.

Is Peter saying that whilst critical of the Pope and other conservative Catholics, he accepts Catholic Bible-based beliefs which they and more moderate Catholics adhere to? If not, what is he saying?

Is this the same Peter Tatchell who told Radio 4's Sunday programme a few years ago: "I’ve got to say that the Bible is to lesbian and gay people what Mein Kampf is to Jews"?

Stuart Hartill said...

I don't see the problem.
We've seen various TV documentaries which followed the efforts of nazi-hunters. It's automatically assumed we all think nazis were bad, but also that we have to be careful not to say all Germans and others caught up in that were 'evil'. As I know from one side of my own family history, it's a little hard to say no when your superiors tell you either you put on the uniform or your family goes to the camps.
To even get the programme made, I think Peter has to differentiate between 'ordinary decent Catholics', whose antics we may scratch our heads at but know (as they're sometimes our relatives or workmates)don't come from any intent to be inhumane and are often restricted by complex cultural ties they can't simply
escape, and the Catholic church as an institution and a professional leadership - who we should be absolutely ruthless in holding to account for the evil they knowingly cause to humanity.
I'll be watching with interest to see if he pulls it off.

George Broadhead said...

I agree that a distinction should be made between rabidly reactionary Catholics like
the Pope and more liberal-minded ones like Catholics for Choice, but I don't think that should prevent us from robustly countering and ridiculing their shared absurd supernatural beliefs

Stuart Hartill said...

Quite agree there, George, though I do find this balance between robust criticism (no shrinking violet there myself!) and not having your religious relatives drop dead with fright a worry.
The business of David Laws - I think he claims one reason for his secrecy was a desire not to shock a frail elderly relative - has me thinking about it again.
George - you'll know this one better than most as you not only grew up over here but saw that 'pre-legal' era in England. How DO you cope with relatives who, quite honestly, believe you're bound for hellfire and worry themselves (and therefore you) about it?
At the risk of going over old ground for gay men, possibly a topic for G&LH, not just the gay aspect but atheism in general and finding a middle ground with religious relatives?

Tony, Manchester said...


You state that the documentary is supposed to be impartial. Where does it say that it is supposed to be impartial and why the hell should it be.

When does the average catholic become impartial when she/he starts quoting bloody Leviticus at us and condeming us to hell. Where is the impartiality when Ratzinger condems people to a slow and painful death in Africa by banning condems. I wonder how the hundreds of children RARED by celebate Catholic priests think about impartiality.

Impartial, I hope it is Peter at his best and he tears a new arse out of the whole rotten lot of them.

And as to the dreadful Ms Widdecome yes I actually do hate her and everything she has ever stood for.

Adam said...

I can't find now where I think I saw an "impartial" as it was a few weeks ago that I posted the comment, but the Pink News article seemed to suggest that it would be *fair*.

"Tatchell: I intend to ensure that we hear the voices of the Pope's defenders, as well as his critics."

I also think that a documentary broadcast on a terrestrial channel partially funded by a (Christian-oriented) government will not be able to be too critical of this country's Great Faith, even if it is a different denomination, and especially that this is the same government that is spending £7m on the Pope's visit.