Tuesday, June 08, 2010

They don't like it up em...

It's with some mischievous amusement that I read various apologists for the Catholic church are getting hot under the collar about a forthcoming channel 4 program on the impact that the current Pope and his church have had on the Western world since the 30s. The program is aiming to correspond with the Summer visit by the Pope to the UK however it's not the timing of the program that's the target of the pious wrath it's the presenter. Channel 4 have asked Peter Tatchell a prominent  gay rights campaigner to make the 60 minute program.

Anne Widdecombe an ex-'B' list politician who famously converted to Catholicism and occasionally debates it in public (poorly) was quoted as saying "Mr Tatchell certainly won’t be sympathetic to his subject, so what’s the point of doing it?" - this is a fascinating comment, i.e. there's no point in exploring a subject if you aren't sympathetic to it already, can she really mean this?

We shouldn't be too surprised, Ms Widdecombe has a track record of saying things that expose an apparent surplus of arrogance underpinned by an obvious  ignorance of the subject she is pontificating on, for example in 2009 she joined the ranks of right wing climate change deniers by claiming that "There is no climate change, hasn’t anybody looked out of their window recently?" - apparently she thinks that climate change can be measured by the minute, a staggering lack of awareness for a supposedly educated person.

For those of us who are used to more skeptical working environments where our ideas survive or die based upon their merits and correspondence with evidence rather than tradition and authority, the attitude of the Ms Widdecombe's of this world seem utterly foolhardy; however she is simply following in the censorial tradition of apologists the world over. If your entire world-view is centred around a constantly reinforced belief that you can simply close your eyes and receive "truth" which, of course, more often than not corresponds with your own self-interest then over the years this has to have a detrimental effect on reasoning capacity, "use it or lose it" as my old Maths teacher used to say.


Elizabeth said...

I am looking forward to this documentary.

Ann W is such a doofus, as we would say in America. :)

Steve Borthwick said...

E, "doofus" I like that word; you could probably use it here without someone realising what it meant, it sounds kind of playful :)