Wednesday, 9 July 2008

New Whine in Old Bottles

A church minister in England disguised as a tramp, "settled on a pew in the church surrounded by syringes and began drinking from a can of beer." Then, doffing his costume, he proceeds to upbraid his parishioners because "none of the worshippers at the Trinity Methodist Church in Prestatyn, North Wales, spoke to him or offered him any help." Now the entire congregation is stricken with guilt over their shabby treatment of the shabby priest. Ah yes, the true meaning of Christian conversion: turning a house of worship into a shoot-up site and tavern. Nice try, reverend. Here in Vancouver we know all about such conversions, as when not long ago a tramp - the real thing- knocked down a parishioner at Holy Rosary because he had only given him five dollars. Last we heard the tramp had seen the light and was actually working for the diocese. His victim's fate has been lost from view but presumably he, too, is happy at the reclamation of yet another lost sheep. Nevertheless, the cathedral discourages its congregants from giving handouts to the derelicts that commonly confront them on their way in to mass. Generosity only encourages the vagrants, making the church into an ever expanding bum magnet. The entire syndrome illustrates the strange irony that as Christianity dies, only its charitable precepts are allowed any sway while its politically incorrect moral strictures wither on the vine.
     The churches of olde England, like those of Canada, are steadily emptying, but the pubs are brimming with increased custom. Binge-drinking is the national religion now and a blade offers the same sense of security to the young that a cross did their elders. This is the great conversion of Britain: from a civilized nation into one on the brink of dissolution. So next time you see someone boozing in a church, do not let prejudice or fear stay your intercession. By all means, join him! He could be the next Messiah.

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