Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Swift Defense

Auntie reports that the Rev. Peter Mullen, a Church of England vicar, is in trouble for, well, posting this on his blog:

It is time that religious believers began to recommend specific utilitarian discouragements of homosexual practices after the style of warnings on cigarette packets: Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS. In addition the obscene "gay pride" parades and carnivals should be banned for they give rise to passive corruption, comparable to passive smoking. Young people forced to witness these excrescences are corrupted by them.

Mullen sadly lacks the courage to stand by this, resorting as he does to that refuge of cowards, the I Was Only Joking Defense, coupled here with the Some Of My Best Friends Defense:

I wrote some satirical things on my blog and anybody with an ounce of sense of humour or any understanding of the tradition of English satire would immediately assume that they're light-hearted jokes. I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion. What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality.

I can't imagine they'll stay his friends for long. But you can judge for yourselves how funny Mullen is; though he has removed his blog from the web, Google's all-seeing eye has it. A scan reveals Cullen not to be one of life's great thinkers, still less a noted wit. Some highlights:

Since [gay former MP Matthew] Parris will not dirty his hands by entering theological discussions with his readers, perhaps I might answer for religious believers in the purely utilitarian terms which even the lofty Parris is bound to engage with. We disapprove of homosexuality because it is clearly unnatural, a perversion and corruption of natural instincts and affections, and because it is a cause of fatal disease. The AIDS pandemic was originally caused by promiscuous homosexual behaviour. Such promiscuity is itself an evil because its perpetrators merely use others indiscriminately for their own gratification, treating their fellows as sex objects and as means to an end rather than as ends in themselves. I should have thought that Parris, having rejected religious belief, might want to construct his moral beliefs on this Kantian humanistic imperative. But I suspect he is not really interested in morality of any kind - except as a special plea to excuse his lust for gratification at whatever cost to human dignity and the sanctity of human life.

I'll wager Mullen's routine has 'em rolling in the pews of a Sunday. There's some corkers in here, from labelling "clearly unnatural" behaviour observed in monkeys, turtles, birds, bees and educated fleas, to the apparent believe that sex between male homosexuals involves some sort of genesis whereby virii spring into existence ex verpa, via Mullen's impressive ability to see into the hearts and minds of England's homosexuals (a power perhaps worthy of this blog's namesake) and use of Kant as an argument-winning trump card regardless of his relevance to the discussion.

In my neverending struggle to see everyone's good side (I'm prematurely campaigning for my own canonisation), Mullen does have a talent for verse - the above-linked Google cache contains a clever ditty about a civil ceremony to which Mullen predictably objected. It's no substitute for decency or intellect, but you take what you're given.