Religion

The Inmate of Rome

“But what are kings, when regiment is gone, But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?” — Edward II (Christopher Marlowe)   It’s a relief to be able to call him Joseph.  And it will be a relief once he’s treated just like any other Joseph.  It’s been said before and it will be said again: there’s a Ratzinger-sized space in Rome’s nearest prison cell just waiting to be filled.  The former Bishop of Rome should soon become the Inmate of Rome. It shouldn’t have taken me by surprise when I discovered recently that the Vatican doesn’t actually have a prison system.  Earthly justice doesn’t seem to apply to the elect, after all.  Not to a man who personally granted the abuser of 200 deaf and dumb children in a Wisconsin school his wish to die without the oh-so-unconscionable spectre of a canonical trial hanging over him.  Not to a man …

An Interview with Peter Hitchens: Shouting into the Wind

“I didn’t arrange that,” Peter Hitchens blushes.  A stranger has just told him of her appreciation for everything he stands for and, for once, he’s been caught off guard, disarmed by praise.  The stone wall of rhetoric, dogmatic conviction and obduracy against which I’ve been fighting an attritional struggle for the past hour is felled in an instant.  And I can’t help feeling relieved. We’re in Starbucks showing our solidarity with their tax avoidance – well, Hitchens is.  “I’m a very bad interviewer,” he opens, slipping into the rich baritone of the ‘Hitchens’ voice that so melodiously beguiles and bewitches, “partly because I’m usually more interested in myself than the other person.”  And he has reason to be.  After all, Peter Hitchens is a hell of a lot more interesting than most other people; I’ll give him that.  Columnist and blogger for The Mail on Sunday; author of five books …

The Divine Ultimatum

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength.  Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?                                                                                                      — John Milton Areopagitica Submit, or die.  That’s effectively the message being dished out to the West by the tens of thousands protesting against Innocence of Muslims, the crude film trailer that depicts the ‘prophet’ Mohammed.  This message is not facetious, nor is it half-hearted.  It forms what can only …