Sunday, 30 September 2012
Does anyone actually listen to bigots anymore?
Oh dear oh dear. It seems Lord Ken Macginnis (above) has been getting his Stonewalls and his TheGayUKs mixed up. As far as he is concerned, gay news groups, lobbying groups, pressure groups and charities are all the same - ‘an aggressive, perverse and corrupting influence on susceptible and vulnerable young people.’
Having been nominated by Stonewall for their prestigious Bigot of the Year award, he got very hot under the collar when approached by TheGayUK for a reaction to his nomination and thus re-affirmed his credentials. If you, or indeed Lord Macginnis, are not sure what a bigot is, let me enlighten you. According to Merriam-Webster a bigot is a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance. Guilty as charged, I say, but bigots, and particularly religious bigots, seem to get very upset when you point it out to them.
We’ve been here before of course. Why only a couple of weeks ago Nick Clegg apologised to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster over claims he was prepared to call the opponents of equal marriage “bigots” in a speech at an LGBT reception. Allegedly he never actually used that word, but even if he did wouldn’t he be just saying it like it is? Bigot is exactly the right word in this context. I just wish he’d had the courage of his convictions, but he doesn’t seem to have been very good at that recently, does he?
It is certainly looking as if the church and its various representatives are losing the battle over gay marriage, and, as they do so, their attacks on the gay community have become ever more virulent and ever more ridiculous. Only recently, the Christian Institute came up with the not very Christian statement that, as we only represented a very small percentage of the population, we didn’t deserve the same human rights. The great thing is that the more outlandish their arguments become, the less likely it is that anybody, except their small band of blinkered followers, will take them seriously. Really, I am beginning to hope that it won’t be long before the church is so completely marginalised, that we will at last live in a secular country and the church will be completely separate from the state. What business has this outmoded institution meddling in the private lives of people who don’t believe in their teachings?
So, why be outraged or offended by what Lord Macginnis has to say? He is a dinosaur, one of the last of a dying breed. He’s already been expelled from his own political party. It’s not surprising that the more marginalised he and his cronies become, the louder they will scream, but is anybody really listening anymore?