Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sing if you're glad to believe

I was walking my faithful dogs (Joseph Ratzinger and Benedict XVI) the other day, and on the railings by the park I saw a poster for the next 'Pride' event in the city. Now I'm not going to rail on at the iniquity of such events etc etc. There are plenty of other bloggers out there who can do that much more effectively that I.

What interests me more is how successful these events have become. From the view of this rather distant observer it seems that 'Pride' events have developed from outrageous and brash displays by unashamed militant homosexuals in a few large and anonymous conurbations into popular family days out like other fairs and festivals, which now take place in very many larger towns and smaller cities.

In fact, even the language has changed (not for the first time) so that they are not even 'Gay Pride' events anymore, just 'Pride'. Here's another word we won't be able to use again in it's original sense.

All right, I'd better get to my point.

What weare witnessing is, I think, another ironic shift. Just as we Catholics use the word 'triumphalist' to refer to a bad thing - the ostentatiuos show of religion - so the homosexual lobby has used 'pride' - the ostentatious celebration of licentious sexuality - very much to their benefit.

Now then, why can't we Christians do the same? Why can't we proudly, triumphantly, proclaim the faith that we believe. Why can't we have similar big celebrations that we take to the streets to celebrate believing.

Well, I know, we do. Sort of. There are processions still, here and there, of the Blessed Sacrament and of Our Lady. Yet sometimes - dare I say - these appear somewhat dour and joyless. (Remember, they chose the word 'gay' for a reason). Much better, we also have the large celebrations like World Youth Day, which I know very well do not get the press coverage which they deserve. And these great events are still exceptional.

Yet surely, we need to be joyfully triumphalist again - Proud of faith, believing with a true gaity, with exhuberance and abandon. In celebratilng the joy of believing it may even be that Evangelical Protestants and faithful Catholics have some important values in common. Perhaps there are even those of other faiths who might join an anti-relativist, anti-secularist alliance (but please don't call it that).

We could take to the streets in our thousands, in the cities and towns of the country and proclaim without fear of ridicule: 'Sing if you're glad to believe!'

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