Hounding and harrying gays on the grounds that they are some sort of abomination is not just some Paisleyite thing. Even the North of Ireland wrapped in its insularity can’t feign to think it is a place apart in that respect. As much as the Nelsonsaurus might dream of a welcome sign across Belfast Harbour promising hospitality to the demented homophobes of the world, offering them special cut price daily pilgrimages to the Giant’s Causeway where they can reflect and marvel on the creation of the world 6, 000 years ago, it is just that, a dream. The Save Ulster from Sodomy mob has not been quarantined within the six north eastern counties under a Free Presbyterian government. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is a moot point.
The Catholic Church in France has recently intensified its campaign against gay marriage. The recession might be biting coupled with poverty, hunger and homelessness on the rise but what taxes the minds of French bishops is same sex couples in a loving relationship. In a a nine page pamphlet, which avoided religious reasoning - knowing how deranged the men of god have managed to make it sound these day - the bishops of bonkerdom have moved to scuttle next year’s proposed reform that would legalise gay marriage.
These people who find it more morally abhorrent to have a condom on your pecker than an altar boy somehow expect to be listened to and taken seriously. The vibrant secular tradition in the country should put paid to that.
Fortunately the trend in Europe seems to be going in the direction not approved of by the bishops. Andrew Browne made the point in respect of the UK:
Conservative evangelicals in England have dreamed or hoped for 20 years that England could be brought back to a Nigerian or Ugandan view of homosexuality. It's not going to happen, and it's not going to happen within the Church of England, either. That's true whoever becomes archbishop. The sexuality wars are coming to an end, and the liberals have won.
In any event if the arguments used by the bishops get too highfalutin or bogged down in detail the French can always resolve the matter by asking of themselves: who would they prefer to have as a childminder – a Catholic bishop or a civil partnership gay?
Closing the Trap Door
Not only are there people in Ireland who think that the world is 6000 years old, in their midst can be found those who have an equally quaint belief: the Republic of Ireland international soccer team can actually play football. If last night’s hopeless performance at home to the Germans does not disabuse them of that notion they are likely to believe that the Gilmore led Labour Party is going to lead a socialist revolution sometime in the near future.
I sat with my seven year old who was so excited at the prospect but ended up asking for it to be changed over to The Titanic as the game was ‘so boring’ All he saw was goal after goal going into the Ireland net and nothing in response. He cheered at the end but it was muted. Even he knew a consolation goal in the dying seconds of a thrashing was little comfort. He at least did not have to pay to see the game. The fans that struggled out on the night will find some, however small, solace in the fact that they watched Bastian Schweinsteiger at his peak.
This was a truly embarrassing performance. The Irish rolled over. The Germans are a team with considerable flair but have been caught out in competitive football time and time again since Löw took over coach from Klinnsman. The former World Cup winner handed his succsssor the makings of a brilliant team but it has never reached its potential, falling at fences it should easily have cleared, none more so than the semi finals of the Euros earlier this year when Italy took the team apart. Italy are not a team to write home about, even if you were in jail, bored and with time on your hands, and a surplus of writing paper and pens.
Trap says he is not for going. Why would he if some masochistic fool is going to pay him big euros to deliver perofrmances like last night's? Eamonn Dunphy suggested that Mick McCarthy should be considered. Perhaps. Even the much maligned Steve Staunton pulled together teams with more spunk than what played against the Germans. But in terms of achieving anything forget about it. There is nothing to be carved from rotten wood.
A Brolly Good Fellow
On the Slugger O’Toole site a post by Chris Donnelly caught my eye. ‘Brolly’s Altruistic Act.’ It went on to cite from a Belfast Telegraph article which reported that the Derry GAA personality had donated a kidney to a fellow GAA coach.
Altruistic, the word chosen by Chris Donnelly to describe Brolly’s act while undoubtedly accurate seems to understate the magnanimity of what happened here. Donnelly was hardly being unkind, the contrary in fact. Perhaps there just are no words that can emotionally convey all that was contained within the Brolly action. He scaled the rarified heights of selflessness.
I’m honoured to have been in the position to help Shane ... He’s been waiting for a transplant for over six years and when I heard that the only possibility of one was through a live donor I contacted his medical team. Of course, in my considered opinion it’s all going according to plan – and thankfully the doctors concur.
Brolly was not only selfless but very brave. He did something that we would only do, even then with great trepidation, for family. Brolly’s act was courage to be admired, aspired to but rarely reached. He has something we have not.