Thursday, 4 February 2010

#19 Young Clergymen

Once upon a time, joining the Anglican clergy was a reasonably respectable career option. The church was still the centre of the community, and being its head came with a certain cachet. Yet in 2010 the landscape is much changed. The only people who take religion seriously nowadays are the Moslems and some of the Jews, the other monotheisms having had their edges dulled by years of financial prosperity and tedious bomb attacks. Though this makes them less influential on society, it also serves to accentuate their sinistry. In the case of the Papists this is so much so as actually to disqualify them by our own rules, which forbids explicitly illegal behaviour – e.g. Chris de Burgh = sinister. Gary Glitter = convicted paedophile.

In the Church of England, however, there are fewer such issues. Perhaps because of their traditional policy of encouraging vicars to indulge their sexual desires on women of their own age, or perhaps because there’s less incense *shiver*, but the C of E team have a better prison-avoidance rate than their buddies across the Channel. Ultimately, this only accentuates the deep-seated sinistry of the profession. The villages. The vicarages. The pulpit. The nave. The ‘choir screen’. ‘Vestibule’. Vestibule, I mean really. The tea parties, the cucumber sandwiches (often with the crusts cut off, the most sinister of all sandwich presentation techniques), the handshakes, the dog collars, the parties

In the elderly you can forgive this: they know not what they do. Unforgivable are those men in their late 20s, naff of haircut, pink of cheek and palm, who have signed for life to this dying anachronistic boys’ club. Rather than have a life, these men have decided to spend their years walking around being constantly, savagely mocked, both by the people around them and, more ironically, by God. They hold jumble sales and hospital visits, host the scout troop, talk at schools, a horrendous lifelong search, in vain, for evidence that they are doing the world some good, They work all week on a sermon to give to five dying spinsters each Sunday except on the rare occasions where they are bribed by poshos looking for a wedding venue.

And yet through it all they remain smiling, the flatly menacing smile of a man whose whole life encourages people to believe that anything, anything, can be forgiven. If you can do all this then you will be a man, my son, but my Lord you will be a sinister one.

Attic Rating: 6.7

No comments:

Post a Comment