by Jayne Ozanne, Editor of ViaMedia.News
I must admit I am worried – really worried.
There appears to be some deep malaise at the heart of Western politics, which many appear to recognise and yet few know how to diagnose let alone cure.
We see it in the current US Presidential Debate, which seems to have descended into some form of X-rated TV reality show, akin to a final show down in a “Celebrity Big Brother” or “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”…save this time there is no Davina, Ant nor Dec to jump in and save the day.
We see it in the after-quakes of the UK Brexit debate, and the various bullish responses from our European Union colleagues.
We hear of it following MEP scuffles in back rooms, or with would-be party leaders who have their offices vandalised.
What on earth is happening?
Where has decorum gone?
Where is common decency and respect?
Call me old-fashioned, but where is honour and virtue?
In an age of 24/7 media we seem to be living in plethora of real-life sitcoms, where enormous egos and highly professionalised spin machines seek to relativize truth and twist the facts to suit their own agendas.
At the heart of all this I fear are some rather dark age-old forces…and yes, I believe they are spiritual.
That is the subject for another blog – perhaps next week – but for now I will just ask some obvious questions:
- Why are Christian Republicans still choosing to stand by a man whose conduct is far from Christian?
- Why are these same Republicans so blindly set on protecting Trump “at any cost”, despite almost daily revelations that show the true tenure of his character?
- Why was Diane James unable to secure the moral authority to lead her party, despite being elected by her own party members to do so?
- Why did Angela Eagle have a brick thrown through her constituency office, and then find herself being forced to stand down from the Labour leadership race?
Indeed, one could almost ask “Why is it that strong women are seen as a “problem” but strong men are seen as “born leaders”?” Personally I believe there is a link – but to name it would get me labelled sexist.
There-in lies the rub – we are told never to call a spade a spade. We are told not to label people as being what they undoubtedly are as they might sadly be offended – even if it is the truth.
The Church is a Master at this. That’s why we seem to live in a slightly Twilight Zone, where the rest of the world looks on and wonders what on earth we’re up to.
So maybe it’s time to just speak the truth? To cut through the fudge? To stop the politics and the shenanigans, and say things as they really truly are:
We, the Church, are on the whole found to be institutionally sexist – despite finally allowing women onto the top table. Yes, we are also institutionally racist, institutionally homophobic and er, yes, largely middle class. We’re also pretty bad at dealing with disability, especially mental illness. We like to think we are there for everyone – but we want people to join us on our terms, and sadly that just doesn’t cut it in today’s diverse society. The age of deference is dead – a spade is most definitely just a spade!
Now that would be quite a day! For the Church to actually be seen to lead the way in all truth…not spin it!
Who knows, maybe then we would be seen to have rediscovered our moral character, and maybe people would start listening to what we have to say?