TOM Lehrer – best known, perhaps, for his Poisoning Pigeons in the Park song – once famously observed:
Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize.
To that he might have well added:
And when Margaret Thatcher decided to restore full diplomatic relations between the UK and the Vatican in 1982.
I was reminded of that mad woman’s move when another Tory crazy, Baroness Warsi, Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet Minister, proudly announced in a piece she wrote yesterday for the Telegraph:
Today I have the honour of leading the largest ministerial delegation from the United Kingdom to the Vatican – our reciprocal visit following the momentous State Visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010.
We will be celebrating the decision Margaret Thatcher took 30 years ago to restore full diplomatic relations between our countries. The relationship between the UK and the Holy See is our oldest diplomatic relationship, first established in 1479. And today, thanks to the great success of the Pope’s visit, it is one of the strongest too.
But this trip is about more than a Valentine’s Day “love in” with our Catholic neighbours. This is about recognising the deep and intrinsic role of faith here in Britain and overseas.
There was more of this nauseating bilge:
I will be arguing [during this jamboree] that to create a more just society, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities and more confident in their creeds. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages.
My fear today is that a militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; when states won’t fund faith schools; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.
It seems astonishing to me that those who wrote the European Constitution made no mention of God or Christianity. When I denounced this tendency two days before the Holy Father’s State Visit in September 2010, saying that government should ‘do God’, I received countless messages of support. The overwhelming message was: ‘At last someone has said it’.
And she concluded:
So when I have my second audience with the Holy Father tomorrow afternoon, I will not just be looking back on his remarkable visit. I will be giving him my absolute commitment to continue fighting for faith in today’s society. I hope this is something we can share in and I hope it reinforces this extraordinary relationship between the UK and the Holy See.
I am fully behind blogger Matt Taibbi, who argued in 2010 that the Catholic Church was “a criminal enterprise”, saying:
We don’t permit countries that harbor terrorists to participate in international society, but the Catholic Church –an organization that has been proven over and over again to systematically enable child molesters, right up now to the level of the Pope – is given a free pass. In fact the Church is not only not sanctioned in any serious way, it gets to retain its outrageous tax-exempt status, which makes its systematic child abuse, in this country at least, a government-subsidized activity.
And, likening Catholic priests to dodgy plumbers and crooked mechanics, he said:
They’re a giant for-profit company using predatory salesmanship to sell what they themselves know is a defective, outmoded, basically unnecessary product. They’ll use any means necessary to keep their market share and if they have to lie and cheat and deflect and point fingers to keep the racket going, they’ll do it, just like any other sleazeball company.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn, Agent Cormac & AngieRS