I take a certain quiet satisfaction in the latest news about impropriety by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, following so closely on stories of cross-dressing clergy and the Pope.
News of the abuse of children and others by various Christian groups is becoming so common-place that it is no longer news, but that it now reaches so high is very, very serious.
I grew up in a Britain where 'ordinary people' lived in a world structured and administered by their 'betters'. The pillars of society were professionals such as doctors, bank managers, policemen, politicians and, of course, the church. Each in their way told us how we should live our lives, gave us lessons in morality.
Each of these pillars has come crashing down in this rather dramatic twenty-first century:
Politicians have been exposed as self-serving thieves and liars who will not only lead us into illegal wars but turn a blind eye to paedophile rings in their midst.
The police cover-up of their actions at Hillsborough is now well known, but it has taken twenty three years for it to emerge that they criminally lied and blamed innocent, grieving people. Add this to the on-going exposure of corruption uncovered in the phone-hacking enquiry and many other cases such as the Birmingham Six and Maguire Seven.
NHS patients now complain about greedy doctors who have become weighed down with running their clinics as businesses. The obscene notion that healthcare is a 'business' and should be assessed with quantitative measures and run by large corporations removes humanity from health and health from humanity.
The Church, Politicians, Police, Doctors - each utterly discredited. But surely we can trust our local Bank Manager? Well, apart from the fact that he does not exist any more, bankers have become amongst the most reviled professions. Barclays, RBS, Lloyds, HSBC - they have all been found guilty time and again of not just fraud but money-laundering and drug running.
All the major banks have been stealing from individuals, small businesses and local government - everyone. It is their business model, they are criminal enterprises and the government covers for them.
Our supports are all gone, we need new ones.
Often, it is only retrospectively that we recognise the significance of events and equally often we do not anticipate their consequences. When the pillars of a building are gone the building collapses - suddenly. Remember how quickly the Berlin Wall disappeared or Building 7 of the World Trade Centre came down.
So too for society, without the structural support of pillars to bear the shocks and compression, it will collapse. Indeed, it is collapsing before our very eyes.
Our focus needs to be on creating a sustainable, natural, human community, using means and ends which are consistent with both our humanity and each other. Should we fail to do this intentionally, we will find the pillars replaced by rap stars, the media, soap operas and even Oprah herself.
Posted by Nicholas Moore 6:58:27 PM