Archbishop Cranmer has to be quite my favourite blogger, even if His Grace is something of a heretic *. Today he has defined and articulated the phenomenon to be known hereafter as Cranmer’s Law:
“No matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a conservative may be, as an argument with a liberal is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘bigotry’, ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’ approaches 1 (100%).”
This blog was founded upon the precepts of Cranmer’s Law. Fed up with being unable to discuss any sort of moral issue on internet forums without being called a homophobe, hateful, intolerant and subject to personal abuse, I then set up this blog, so that I could discuss things in a reasonable and rational fashion, on my own terms, without constantly being subject to abuse and incorrect labelling in an attempt to personally discredit and shut down debate.
As Cranmer says:
Thus is the level of political discourse in modern Britain: every contentious issue, no matter how worthy of scrutiny or debate, is swiftly closed down with threats of a fatwa or observable character assassination
Indeed. What people have failed to grasp with me, is that on the one level here is someone who appears to be warm, amusing, intelligent, witty and (I hope) kind. When Robin and I became engaged, I was staggered at some of the comments from my former work colleagues. “I can’t believe you’re going out with a vicar, you’re far too much fun”, or “but you don’t LOOK like a vicar’s wife, you don’t wear Laura Ashley, puffa jackets, flowery skirts and you’ve got nice teeth”, or even the staggering “but you’re really pretty and sexy, you CAN’T marry a vicar”. That’s right, because obviously being a clergyman means that one is so utterly dour, devoid of any sort of a sense of humour and generally boring, it is absolutely inconceivable that he may be able to attract a vivacious spouse with a mind of her own. Actually both of us found it rather amusing, particularly given that Robin had some very beautiful, highly intelligent girlfriends in the past, at least one of them enjoying a high-flying career. Why does a love and desire to serve God in whatever way He may be calling entail a un-prepossessing spouse?
This blog is mine and mine alone, my husband has very little to do with it, other than to occasionally read it although I am careful not to say anything that could reflect badly or undermine any future ministry. What people have failed to understand is that I don’t just toe the party line, so to speak, my views are honestly, avowedly and straightforwardly held, I haven’t been coerced or brainwashed in any way. As a matter of fact, I was a practising and faithful Roman Catholic before my husband. My views just don’t tally with the side of me that appears reasonable, rational, intelligent and fun, therefore if I have not been brainwashed (which some people seem to refuse to believe, it must be the only explanation) then I must be absolutely stark raving mad. There’s something wrong, no “normal, nice or sane” person could be a Catholic, so it’s much easier to write me off as mentally ill, that’s obviously the answer. I must be psycho analysed and stuck into a box in order that I can’t actually challenge anyone or my views be allowed to gain any traction.
This is why we see non-Christians attempting to define Christianity and what they believe it means, in order to deflect the notion that they might in fact be the intolerant ones. Christianity is this vague touchy-feely religion all about being nice to each other and never daring to criticise anyone else or cast any sort of judgement upon behaviour, because that’s “not nice”. Anyone who claims to be genuinely concerned about the spiritual welfare of others is simply using that as subterfuge for their own inherent bigotry or unpleasantness. No Christian who is opposed to same-sex marriage or parenting, women’s ordination or abortion is a nice or likeable person, unless, in my case, they are either mentally ill, brainwashed or both. These views cannot be accepted as being the product of rational thinking and must instead be attributed to deficiency of character.
Cranmer should win the Orwell Prize for his entry this morning. He won’t however. He’s far too much of a “bigot”.
*Note, no-one was more excited than I when Cranmer announced his intention to join the Ordinariate on 1st April. I gave thanks to God, excitedly texted everyone I knew and danced around the kitchen. I still haven’t quite got over it.