Kevin Myers: How false prophet Stephen Fry failed to assign the blame for Aids crisis
It's usually gratifying to see Stephen Fry take a public stance on anything, because then that serves as a pointer to where I should stand: in the opposite corner.
In that regard, he is like Bono, or Bob Geldof, or Richard Gere, or Emma Thompson, or Sean Penn, or Susan Sarandon.
These people seem to move in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, somewhere between the ozone layer and the ionosphere: what we might call the methanosphere, where their alimentary gases form a permanent and impermeable layer of self-regarding sanctimony.
Stephen Fry is one of the 50 well-known people who signed a letter to the Guardian denouncing the state visit of the Pope to Britain - though the regard these secularists have for Catholic feelings was made evident in how they referred to him: as ‘Pope Ratzinger’.
And no surprise to see Stephen Fry on the list: he is the luvvie of choice these days. In fact, he has become the epitome of overweening conceit and politically-correct toxicity.
It wasn't so long ago that he nearly brought about the ruination of the Daily Mail columnist, Jan Moir, with his tweets and his twitters, via the mob of idiots who follow such digital twitchings, rather like condors that smell imminent death.
One of the letter-writers' complaints about the Pope was that he had been responsible for “opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of Aids”.
Yet, oddly enough, the letter-writers were noticeably silent when dear old polygamous Jacob Zuma arrived in London, president of the conjoined Republics of South Africa and of Aids-land.
This was the fine fellow who, during a trial on a charge of raping a HIV-positive young woman, told the court that he had protected himself against Aids after sex by washing his penis.
Was he not worth an epistolary denunciation by the Guardian letter-writers? Or was he immune to such criticism because of his colour?
It's the done thing these days to declare the Catholic Church is “responsible for the spread of Aids”.
But I could equally declare that the legislators who removed the legal ban on sexual relations between men in the USA brought about 400,000 deaths by Aids.
You might not like it, but that is the indisputable truth: after liberalisation, homosexual men began to behave largely as conservative opponents of that liberalisation had warned they would.
As it turned out, the consequences were far worse than anyone could have predicted. Of course, no letter-writer to the Guardian would ever dream of declaring what was actually true — that sexual liberalisation helped bring about a human catastrophe.
Why? Because liberal laws on sexuality are deemed to be ‘good' laws, no matter their consequences, whereas Catholic laws on human sexuality are necessarily ‘bad' laws — even if their consequences are largely identical.
Moreover, I'd love to know how it is that the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception is apparently able to achieve such loyal and devoted adherence in Africa, a continent in which the Ten Commandments not-to-do list seems usually to generate the opposite effect.
As it happens, the Pope said many extraordinarily wise and relevant things during his visit to Britain, and the most potent concerned the sort of intolerant secularism that, combined with obsessive consumerism, is creating an entirely new moral order across the Western world.
This is the ethos in which ubiquitous celebrities-of-the-hour could easily become the moral arbiters for the developing minds of our children and teenagers.
Since dogmatic secularists have no agreed moral order, then in its absence, someone is going to have to supply what all humans want — namely, a compass.
And whose moral guidance would you prefer for any society?
That of Pope Benedict? Or of Stephen Fry?