No, I’m not talking about Guido Fawkes’ infamous ‘appearance’ on Newsnight. This is something that happened last night.
The Pope has recently said that distributing condoms in Africa is making the problem of HIV/Aids worse. Considering the millions of lives at stake I assume he must have conducted extensive research into this issue before coming up with a conclusion that so drastically contradicts all the previous evidence, the advice of development charities, etc.
I would be interested to know exactly what his research methods were. His conclusions are, um, interesting to say the least. Apparently what is needed to combat the spread of HIV/Aids is more “spiritual and human awakening” and “friendship for those who suffer”.
Channel 4 News invited Dr Rachel Baggaley, the head of Christian Aid’s HIV programme, to provide a defense of condom distribution. Her arguments seemed to stress the importance of scientific rather than theologically-based policy-making. She was very sensible.
To represent the pro-Pope side of the argument Channel 4 News found Catholic blogger Joanna Bogle. She did not come across as very sensible. This was partly because of what she was saying but also because of the way she was saying – or rather shouting – it.
Watch the showdown here. Look at Bogle’s crazed eyes! Listen to her blatant proselytising! Notice how commendably calm Dr Baggaley remains whilst her own voice of reason is being drowned out by the scream of batshittery! No wonder Jon Snow remarks that he can’t remember the last time he had such an angry guest on the show!
Go to her blog to read her criticising Catholics like Cherie Blair for attending a civil partnership ceremony (it’s not just unacceptable for Catholics to be gay themselves; they’ve also got to refrain from being friends with gay people?!), getting hot under the collar at the very suggestion of abortion rights being extended to Northern Ireland, and ranting about there being too much sex education these days!
Notice how all of the above subjects are to do with sex in one way or another. Disgusting isn’t it?
In general I think people who are too hardline in their beliefs aren’t much fun at all, but Bogle was certainly very entertaining on Channel 4 News last night.
However, I’m not sure that it’s appropriate for the Channel 4 News team to include these comedy characters in discussions of such serious topics.