Wednesday, July 02, 2003
The Church May have Nothing to Say To Marxists, But Marxists Certainly Have Nothing to Say to The Church
A hilarious article by Michael Malkin at the Weekly Worker on the 'gay bishop' saga - enjoyed it immensely. It's impossible to say which was the best bit - probably the bit about Carlisle being 'a third-rate see if ever there was one' - surely Trollope himself speaking. I had no idea the CPGB was so au fait with the Church.
Or perhaps the 'loaded language' of which Malkin (not alas the wonderful Michelle Malkin ) complains, just after describing the traditionalist bishops as a 'coterie'.
The punctuation's interesting too - especially for a writer who criticises the Church's 'genuflection in the direction of political correctness' - god and bible are lowercase, King James, Saint and Torah uppercase, the j/Jews both. Perhaps Marxists should respect royalty but not divinity.
It's always entertaining to see a Marxist, dedicated to driving out primitive superstition with the light of reason and science, debating theological points. Malkin mentions Aquinas, Aristotle and St Augustine of Hippo, the greatest of the African saints - but you can't help feeling he's more comfortable when assailing 'ecclesiastical dinosaurs'.
He's a historian and anthropologist too. 'It is surely the case that in the period covered by the Torah, there was no concept of ‘sexual orientation’ .... and their procreative function was self-evidently determined - sexual preference was never an issue.'
Really ? What were all those prohibitions in Leviticus for then ? And what did those bad boys in Sodom want to do to Lot's guest ? I don't pretend to be a historian, but surely homosexuality has been with us from earliest times.
And last of all we're told that in contrast to the Church, 'for us Marxists, sexuality in all its diversity and complexity, rooted in the materiality of the human condition as it exists, is an intrinsic part of what it means to be a human being'.
I remember Engels in particular had a lot to say about 'sexuality in all its diversity and complexity', particularly in relation to Lancashire mill-girls.
Not to mention Lenin in his great works 'One Step Forward. Two Steps Back. Withdraw Nearly All The Way, Then Put It Back In' (Progress Publishers 1972 edition), and 'Left-Handed Masturbation - an Infantile Disorder'.
And as a Marxist with an interest in bestiality, necrophilia and flagellation, am I flogging a dead horse ?