Yikes. Really interesting from Billy Vunipola to say that there's no hate, there's no lack of like or love for those people he marks out as the future inhabitants of hell. It comes, no doubt, from a sense of love for his fellow human being and that love manifests itself as this warning against sin. Of all the things that Jesus doesn't seem to be into, though, there's huge significance in the injunction against judging others. Let him, we are are told, without sin cast the first stone. Since no one is without sin, other than perhaps Jesus Himself, no one has that right. One can't help but feel that Jesus would be disappointed that the core message, of love for one's fellow human being, is lost by those who think they are embodying that cause. As Father Harper says to Edward Strelley, the God of the New Testament, his mouthpiece in the form of Jesus, is not vengeful, not angry. He is, as we are taught, Love. And that love is not embodied in condemnation of other people's sins. Seeing the whole Bible as the word of God is to miss its essential historicity, its existence as a set of documents chosen, edited, manipulated and translated by men. The Bible is a fascinating document, partly because of this context. The argument that it is somehow a perfect document is more-or-less impossible to refute by conventional means, because it is one of those self-defending lines of reasoning that is immune to any of the methods you might use to attack it. The involvement of people, it is supposed, is neither here nor there in establishing the divinity of the words, because the divinity is there despite the involvement of people. The choices they made are divinely inspired. And so it goes.
The quotation on the landing page at the moment is from Fleabag. Not something that I've watched with any great engagement, although it is clearly a well-written and inspired comedy. Andrew Scott (the bloke who played / plays Moriarty in the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock) delivers this heartbreaking speech at a wedding, searching for a way to add something to the canon of things to be said about love. The context is that he, as an avowedly celibate Catholic priest, is not permitted to act on the love that he feels for the main character. Even written down, it carries some of the brilliance of the scene. But I would recommend to anyone reading this who can get access to it watch that scene, even in isolation from the build-up. It's not that often that I am jealous of someone else's writing. But in this case, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has it spot on. As good as anything in The History Boys. "It'll pass," he says to her afterwards, choosing God, his vocation - what is right, in his mind - over his love for her. But, as Posner says, "who says I want it to pass?" I've (already) spent years trying to capture that 'how it essentially was' on the page. I don't think I'll give up just yet, but I'm not sure I'll ever quite get there.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought