In the Ashmolean, among the Arundel Marbles and just to the right of the bust of the greatest of the Greek writers of Comedy, Menander, is a (slightly foxed) statue of the greatest of the Greek Muses, Clio. Unlike the generality of statues, Greek or Roman copies of Greek, which portray women or goddesses, this image shows Clio with crossed legs, knee crossing over knee. I wonder if that is a known convention. And, come to think of it, why did the Victorians regard this particular posture as unwomanly and 'bold'? You might have thought that it could suggest prudishness or even ... er ... unavailability. What a tease the lady is.
And she is teasing us with a mystery now. Several places in the blogosphere seem to suggest that the same idea has simultaneously struck quite a lot of people. (Great, mediocre, and slight minds often do think alike.) The idea is that all this fuss about 'remarried' divorcees and Holy Communion ... is really just a proxy war for the acceptance, as normal, of homosexual sexual relationships. And it's not just Catholics who are wondering this. Last week a prominent Anglican cleric in this University, a Church Historian, was reported to offer exactly that analysis. (In the Church of England, the campaign for the 'Ordination' of women seems similarly to have been fought, at least by some people, as a proxy war for homosexualist clerical activism.)
But how can such an hypothesis be tested? The necessary prosopological research would be both embarrassing and potentially libellous. Because, somehow or other, it would be necessary to survey and analyse how many of those most noisily demanding Mercy for 'remarried' divorcees were people whose own instinctive sympathies inclined them to a Solution of Mercy for active homosexuals. And I can't even invite you to submit data, because that might involve both of us in accusations of libel!
But Stay: is this correct? Recently someone called Elton John, on the Today Programme, was given a very fawning ride by an interviewer whose every word was based upon the assumption of the utter normality of homosexualism and the obvious need for its legalisation in benighted countries where it is still illegal.
Is it still libellous to call a person a homosexual (or for that matter, a heterosexual), whether or not they are? If the condition is by consensus normal and even laudable ...
Oh dear! Is there a barrister in the house?