(function() { (function(){function c(a){this.t={};this.tick=function(a,c,b){var d=void 0!=b?b:(new Date).getTime();this.t[a]=[d,c];if(void 0==b)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+a)}catch(l){}};this.tick("start",null,a)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var h=0=b&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-b)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load;0=b&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,b),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt", e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&0=c&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var f=!1;function g(){f||(f=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",g,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",g); })();

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Call to Liberal Arms

I was pootling around the Guardian Education website (the online equivalent of procrastination by flicking through back issues in the library), and found this piece by Mark Ravenhill on the need for liberals to fight to impose their values on the world. The context is distaste at institutions which allow students to opt out of elements of drama courses on grounds of conscience (e.g. a girl, presumably an orthodox Jew or a Muslim, who was excused classes which would involve physical contact with chaps). On the one hand, refreshing honesty. On the other hand, a worrying absence of philosophical underpinnings. Liberals 'had come to see their own values as simply common sense and the inevitable result of human progress'. Well, that indicates a thorough thought process... On a third (Beeblebroxian) hand, Be Scared, Very Very Scared by liberal intolerance revealed and unashamed. Rousing conclusion: 'Liberals are going to have to fight hard. There should be no opt-outs when it comes to culture. We believe in our values.' (Contrast, on a slightly different frontier, Geoffrey Alderman on the proposed academic boycott of Israel. (Which, for the record, is apparently not the sort of thing that Mr Ravenhill is actually that keen on.))

This is particularly interesting given that as far as I know Mr Ravenhill is not as such an aggressive secularist. His plays are apparently full of immorality (but how this is portrayed, I don't know); but I once read quite an interesting article by him about - indeed, encouraging - religious drama. That was also interesting (I'm sorry, I'd use a different adjective if I could think of one more appropriate) given that it revealed a very pagan misapprehension of Our Lord's natures: 'If you are a believer, he is the son of God and therefore half human and half divine.' Ummmm... if God were like Zeus. Which He really, really isn't. (That reminds me that I was going to write to Mr Ravenhill to point this out. Via his literary agent. Is that sensible?) Curious to see this well-intentioned but very first-century fruit of ignorance.