Moan, moan, moan! Joined-up thinking – not!

I get a bit tetchy when people don’t think straight. I had a go at a couple of modes of alleged thinking on The Underground Edition on 8 July. This is what I said.


It’s funny how unreasoned we are as a society. We don’t really think. Joined up, I mean. We don’t think joined-up thoughts.

We’ve got these worldwide concerts called Earth Aid or Save Aid or Lucozade or something. Live Earth, that’s it. (Sounds like instructions for wiring a plug!)

And we have Jon BonBon Jovial or somebody, and other highly paid rock stars – many of whom have several houses dotted here and there – jetting off all over the world, piling on the potential for climate change, and they’re singing to raise our awareness of, yes, climate change.

They don’t get it, do they?

There’s controversy in some circles as to whether climate change is caused by humankind or whether it’s part of the natural cycle of things. However, there’s a huge consensus that says it’s manmade, and it’s that consensus that’s driving this bash. So let’s stick with that explanation for the time being.

Right, why don’t they just stop jetting about the place. Wouldn’t that be the best message of all? Stop jetting and then hold a press conference to say, ‘We’ve stopped jetting.’

And just who am I to say all this? you might ask. Well, I don’t jet; I do recycle – and I’m an inveterate moaner. But, hey, sometimes I get you going. I bet you’ve all written to your MPs after listening to one of these eminently sensible little homilies on The Underground Edition.

Maybe not.

The other example of totally unhinged thinking this last week has been that of a bishop – yes, a highly paid man who lives in a big house known as a bishop’s palace, paid for by his bosses (not the Boss – the big one in the sky, but his earthly bosses), a man who has been to university, probably got a doctorate, has had a high-quality education, paid for by you and me – yes, this bishop, this man who is looked up to, revered, respected by many, gets the ear of governments and politicians and journalists . . . And what does he say? He says that God has sent the floods to the UK because the UK has civil-partnerships legislation, which allows people of the same sex to get married.

Let me just run that one by you again, because I can see through your monitor screen that you’re tutting and shaking your head in disbelief, banging your head on the desk, tearing your tongue out and calling for copious quantities of brandy. This man – the bishop of Carlisle, the so-called ‘Right Reverend’ Graham Dow – says that the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which allow for same-sex marriages, are, and I quote, ‘part of a general scene of permissiveness’. He goes on to say, ‘We are in a situation where we are liable for God’s judgment, which is intended to call us to repentance.’

Right, so God, who is reckoned to be omnipotent and omniscient, who in the Old Testament, sent his Angel of Death on the occasion of the Tenth Plague. Now God in his wisdom could tell the houses of Israel from the houses not of Israel – the people of Israel, that is – and so the Angel didn’t kill those. He skipped over them.

My point is that an all-seeing God has already proved that he can discriminate between one house and another. If Minnie and Mandy have shacked up together, and Phil and Bill have shacked up together, this same god, you would think, would have the nous to flood only their homes. But no: he has flooded, it seems, the homes of good, upstanding, decent, clean-living straight folk, too.

Odd, that. 

I read a humanist blog the other day, on which someone said, and I quote, ‘If he thinks these floods are the result of pro-gay laws rather than global warming, then how come far more catastrophic floods afflict homophobic nations such as Bangladesh? And how come ultra-pious nations such as Pakistan suffer catastrophic earthquakes? And the self-proclaimed religiosity of the United States doesn’t protect it from lethal hurricanes either.’

There you go, then. Something to ponder on next time you hear the BBC wheel a bishop into the studio to pontificate on matters of the moment. Especially if it’s Graham Dow.

Still, where would we be without them, eh? I mean, you’ve got to admit: they do brighten up our day from time to time. Good job hardly anybody takes them seriously.

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About Andrew John

Andrew John is a writer, editor and broadcaster with Celtica, providing, among other things, a weekly moan on a topic in the news. He spends much of his life moaning and criticising, and is crap company at parties. But just humour him. He's not a bad bloke, really.

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