Parliamentary rebellion is not quite what it used to be. Many of us recall the colourful heyday of ‘the beast of Bolsover’, Dennis Skinner MP, the backbencher who usurped the best seats, scowling leftist disapproval of Thatcherite policies and Labour fudges. His acerbic wit was a refreshing antidote to the bland reassurances of routine political rhetoric.
It would appear that the most senior figures in the English Catholic and Anglican churches have no real idea just how bad they look to a massive number of people right now. Living in something of an ecclesial cocoon, they express "shock" at the reaction to their determination to discriminate. I refer, of course, to the unseemly row over the Equality Act 2006 (due to be implemented on 6 April 2007) and Catholic adoption agencies.
‚ÄúDon't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day‚Äù, remarked Albert Camus, the existentialist philosopher of life in the face of the absurd. An atheist himself, he also once challengingly declared: ‚ÄúWhat the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.‚Äù You don't get more theological than that.