“The truth is that, in spite of all the ecstatic displays of public caring on occasions like Red Nose Day, we live in the age of the bully. Racial abuse may have become trickier, but contempt for the truly weak and disadvantaged is everywhere. There is a direct connection between the faux-ironic nastiness of [Ricky] Gervais or Frankie Boyle, to the humiliation of members of the public on TV reality or talent shows, and to the institutionalised mistreatment of the old and vulnerable in hospitals and care homes. Somewhere along the line, an essential component of society, a basic kindness towards those less fortunate than oneself, has lost its place.”—
I may not be particularly religious these days but I was raised as a Catholic, used to regularly attend church and went to Catholic schools. I’ve had very real experience of the negative side of organised religion. I’ve also had very real experience of the positive side. As I’ve written before, it saddens me that a growing number of people seem to consider themselves ‘superior’ human beings to anyone of religious and/or spiritual faith, to the extent that they reduce all ‘believers’ to grotesque caricatures. So I share a sermon like this not because I feel particularly touched by it but because, sadly, some need to be continually reminded that ‘the religious’ are not a homogenous mass (no pun intended) who all parrot the same views. Some of them even agree with you on most social issues. Shocking, I know!