More tinkling cymbal

But that’s not all, of course. Odone has more to say than that. Odone has a lot to say.

First of all she complains that Channel 4 chose, to present a show on paedophile priests, a guy who is “an avowed atheist” and who has “no knowledge of the contemporary Catholic Church,” as if both are obvious disqualifications for presenting a show on paedophile priests. Her thinking seems to be that you have to believe in god and be an expert on the Catholic church in order to present a tv show on a concentration of child rapists in a particular profession. In other words her thinking seems to be that only someone who starts out with some sympathy for clerics in general and Catholic priests in particular can do a good job of presenting the subject. But that kind of sympathy is just what has allowed rapists to hide behind the robes of the church for so long. Sympathy is not what’s wanted; what’s wanted is the kind of stony unsympathy that Johann Hari so beautifully demonstrated on the BBC a few weeks ago. You don’t want people who will make allowances and excuses, you want people who will say this is criminal and outrageous and has to stop right now.

Then she goes on to complain that Peter Tatchell is presenting a show on the pope.

How appropriate, huh? Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner, getting his hooks into his favourite hate figure. Who cares that in doing so he will be offending the more than four million Catholics in this country?

Ugly, isn’t it – “his hooks.” Who is accusing whom of having a hate figure? And then the self-pity about offending Catholics – because Peter Tatchell presents a show on the reactionary head of a reactionary church. If the four million Catholics don’t want to be “offended” then they should have a better church. (Yes, that’s irony. They can’t have a better church, of course, because they don’t get to decide. But this is why their being “offended” is so beside the point. They aren’t the church, they didn’t create the church, talking about the pope is not talking about them. They’re to blame for sticking with it; others are not to blame for saying what’s wrong with it.)

As for Channel 4, there is a very clear way for it to show itself to be in good faith, rather than bad: it must commission a programme on gays presented by Anne Atkins.

That’s simply disgusting. “Gays” are not the pope; “gays” do not tell millions of people what to do; gays are not the Catholic church or any other church, gays have no institutional power over other people; a programme on gays would not be the same kind of thing as one on the pope, so there is no need to have a homophobic presenter for the sake of “balance.”

Milk of human kindness eh.

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