Monday morning and the _Times_ hasn’t splashed with the news that Jesus’ body has been found in Israel. So perhaps they have learned something. It is, on the other hand, the lead item in Ruth Gledhill’s blog. I see also that John Allen, “in his NCR diary,”:http://ncrcafe.org/node/941 had a go at “Ruth’s great reunion”:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article1403702.ece story. He has chapter and verse out of the report itself shooting her story down.
Also, Damian Thompson has “started a blog,”:http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ukcorrespondents/holysmoke/ in which he introduces himself as someone once described by the _Church Times_ as a blood-crazed ferret. This is not entirely accurate: I stumbled by chance on the original quote while searching for “wombats” on my hard disk this afternoon. It read %(sane)there is no one any longer who can match Damian Thompson’s imitation of a blood-crazed ferret which was so impressive when first he burst upon the scene; even Damian no longer tries. But his stories are better now, too.%
But it was followed by something for those poor bastards trapped at the synod this week to meditate on:
bq. As I look around my colleagues and friends and think of them settling to their desks, surrounded by the highest of high technology: the computer to tell them everything about anything, the mobile to shout at a press officer with, the laptop carrying 302 versions of Solitaire, I am reminded of nothing so much as the last shattered and dispirited remnant of some tribe of hunter-gatherers who have slumped outside a deserted petrol station in the outback. Disease and time have thinned their numbers terribly. All of their widgets and web sites are no more than an aborigine’s digging sticks. Every morning, they survey the dismal heap of dull-coloured envelopes, in front of them, as their spiritual brethren survey the wide and ochre-coloured desert. Every morning they have to decide where in this hostile wilderness there might be something nourishing, some few juicy maggots that they can bring home to the hideously scarified tribal elders huddled round the news desks. Of course, the aborigines at least have hope. If all else fails, they can take refuge in alcoholic despair and no one will notice. This is not the case for modern journalists.
That was a bit of a press column from February 2001. Thank God for Islam and Richard Dawkins.