7 March 2019

Matthew Parris

One of our most entertaining columnists, called Matthew Parris, recently revealed that he will soon be seventy years old. It is his view that this relative antiquity now hands him on a plate the freedom no longer to be afraid to say what he really thinks. "There will be no more job interviews now, no more exams to sit, no more voters to please [he was once an MP], no more objects of desire to impress, no wagging tongues to fear ... This is freedom!"

Perhaps I should have added that Parris is an active homosexual who has long been out of the closet.

Among the freedoms he went on to mention, this rather struck me:

"The corollary ... of my view that many are on a sliding scale between gay and straight is that many can choose. I know they do. The corollary of that is that cognitive behavioural therapy may work in some cases. The corollary of that is that those silly Christians who say you can be 'cured' of being gay do have half an argument. I've certainly done my best in my time to cure a few men of being straight. But the right-on in the gay 'community' are horrified at any suggestion that sexuality can ever be a choice. I know it can, for some. I wouldn't have dared write this when young. Now? I don't give a damn."

If you just chop out a couple words which are inserted as a conventional act of deference to long-standing prejudices ("silly"; "half"), you do have, I think, a quite interesting admission.


Fr Ray Blake said...

I remember a more sober comment on Christianity by Parris from 2008, now lost in the Times web, but here are a few excerpts: http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.com/2008/12/matthew-parris-on-christian.html

Ambrose said...

Why is it acceptable to refer, as Parris does, to a heterosexual as straight but not acceptable to refer to a homosexual as bent? As for Parris, he is a morally and intellectually bent swindler; a prissy moralist whose idea of The Good is whatever he happens to feel comfortable with at any given moment, and this is always open to change, as Parris is as perfectly fluid as a blob.

A Daughter of Mary said...

Dear Father, I wonder if this new freedom one feels when one is over 70 is good for the gander too? Can we oldsters now truly speak our minds without fear of reprisal? No job to lose, no pension that can be snatched back, who cares what the neighbours think, and the kids don't support us so who cares what they think either. If no one wants to talk to us, we can talk to other oldsters who have spoken their minds as well.

So what about it, oldsters? Father, I guess we can't use your blog space to speak out, but I wonder if more oldsters like me will get blogs going (before the whole thing collapses) and speak the truth?

Scribe said...

Matthew Parris is also a committed atheist, so when he says 'silly Christians' he's not implying that there are other types of Christians. They are silly for believing something, just like silly Muslims, silly Hindus, etc. There was a time when The Times newspaper was dominated by Parris and other rmembers of minority groups, which is why I ditched it for The Daily telegraph.

Patrick Sheridan said...

"But the right-on in the gay 'community' are horrified at any suggestion that sexuality can ever be a choice. I know it can, for some."

Far be it from me to speak for the right-on in the gay community but that has emphatically not been my experience. I discovered when I hit puberty that, unlike all the other boys in my class, I wasn't attracted to girls in any sense. That's as true to-day as it was when I was 14 and I think I'm a bit too old now for cold showers and fishing trips with dad!

Calvin Engime said...

@Ambrose: Because "straight" is not simply the opposite of "gay," but has a richer sense here similar to "square," i.e., a person gainfully employed and/or married, who maintains a conventional hair length, perhaps listens to the Beatles but certainly not to the Doors, and unwinds with gin instead of marijuana, LSD, or cocaine.

straight adj. ... 7 informal (of a person) conventional or respectable. ‘They're so straight, some of these people, that you can see how stressed they are when it comes to asking for cannabis.’

7.1 Heterosexual.

- OxfordDictionaries.com

Peter said...

How good to hear from Fr Ray. He may not be blogging now so it is good to see him still in action. I expect that all your readers send him greetings.

Jacob said...

Do you not think that Parris is mocking those who see Christians as silly, rather than expressing his own view. He writes some pretty silly things himself, but my impression is that he has more sympathy with faith than this article suggests.

John Vasc said...

"I've certainly done my best in my time to cure a few men"

As have homosexual predators through the ages, particularly (back in less co-educational days) with young men at schools and universities, or starting out in life: often by exerting their senior or tutorial position and their perceived power to influence, advance or hinder the careers of their students/employees.

I see no 'sympathy with faith' from one who - as Parris has done on air - expresses an absence of respect for a great writer (Evelyn Waugh) simply 'because of his Catholicism'. Even for the BBC, specialising as it does in ridiculing the Catholic faith, it was a signally low moment.

On the contrary, gay proselytizers instinctively know that the Catholic faith and its sacramental life is their avowed enemy. One of their Screwtape techniques is to mock religion and to sow religious doubts in the minds of their intended victims, in order to impress them with the elder's unquiet 'intellectual sophistication'.