I'm not saying the Bishop of Stafford's heart wasn't in the right place when he wrote a letter for parish magazines in his diocese, but he certainly chose an unfortunate analogy when he compared those who do nothing about climate change to Josef Fritzl.
Saying that people who make no efforts to prevent global warming are "as guilty as" the Austrian child imprisoner and rapist, Bishop Gordon Mursell sought to justify the comparison:
"Josef Fritzl represents merely the most extreme form of a very common philosophy of life: I will do what makes me happy, and if that causes others to suffer, hard luck. In fact you could argue that, by our refusal to face the truth about climate change, we are as guilty as he is - we are in effect locking our children and grandchildren into a world with no future and throwing away the key."
Unsurprisingly the bishop has found himself in a bit of hot water and was on this morning's Today programme to defend his words, helpfully pointing out that he wasn't "trying to imply that people who ignore climate change are child abusers":
"I am simply trying to use an analogy to get people to wake up to the consequences of what we are failing to do, because if we don't there won't be a future for our children either."
Personally I think it's good to see bishops speaking up on issues like climate change. There are plenty of people out there who will listen to what they have to say, but for future reference it's probably worth remembering that the general public don't take kindly to being compared to incestuous rapists.
Monday, 2 June 2008
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