an epistle

Posted: 2 June 2015 in life, media, writing
Tags: , ,

It’s not often I write a letter for publication. It happens, but not that regularly. Occasionally it’s to Private Eye but as often as not, it’s to the Jewish Chronicle in response to a columnists’ outpouring, to reply to a letter or to comment upon a news piece. There’s a columnist there named Geoffrey Alderman who distinguishes himself to me on a regular basis by being like Melanie Phillips, someone with whom I disagree to such an extent that if I do agree with him, I immediately and urgently review my own thoughts to see where I’m wrong.

He wrote a column in this week’s edition on the “Christian bakers” law case. Now, there are those who think – with good motives and understandable arguments – that the wrong decision was reached in that case. Andrew O’Neill, a very clever, very funny man, is one of those, believing that the state, via the means of the law, should mind its own business; after all, the people wanting a cake could go elsewhere with no inconvenience to anyone.

Alderman on the other hand reaches that conclusion via very different reasoning and imputes nefarious motives to the customers, and their supporters.  So I wrote a letter to the JC. Now, I should say that when I told my lad that I’d written a letter, he – with no knowledge of the contents – softly swore half in admiration, half in dread as to what I wrote. Well, this is what I wrote:


I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to read Mr Alderman’s weekly musings, since knowing his column awaits me as I progress towards the middle pages of the JC allows me to play Shrödinger’s Alderman every week.

Will the column’s contents be contemptible or merely offensive? Of course, they are both… until I read the column and the possibilities collapse into one or the other.

Long may Mr Alderman’s writings appear. Should I wish to show someone who does not read the newspaper an example of how one can be both wrong in content and tone I only have to present them with his latest column regarding the “gay lobby” which is insulting to the intelligence and morally indefensible. A commercial organisation can either be open to serving the public or it can discriminate. It cannot do both, not without accusations of hypocrisy and justified criticism. To suggest that only “the gay lobby” believe in non-discrimination insults the intelligence and his readership. As for Christianity being “persecuted” in the UK, maybe I’ve missed that in a country with the monarch being its defender of the faith, where its legislature opens every day with Christian prayers and 26 bishops have seats in the House of Lords by right. Yours, etc.

Someone once told me that they enjoy reading me when I write from either frustration or anger. I think I got both there.

  1. I believe that you have indeed gotten both.

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