Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Moral outrage.

Driving back through the lanes this morning I saw a banner advertising an event in the next village, the one I used to live in. Fun weekend. Two days of fun, starting on Saturday.
When I was the church secretary there I was startled to be summoned to a meeting one beautiful September. It was a forum, jointly run by the clergy and officials of several churches. My presence was required. I went.
Chairing the forum was a very forthright Methodist minister.
She had been outraged by stories of nudity during the recent fun weekend. What were we going to do about?
" I was there," I said. "It wasn't bad! "
"Bad? "She thundered. "Nudity on the main street? Not bad?"
Erm. The main street runs along a stretch of beach. People with little or no clothing were sometimes seen during the high season. No one complained.
"You were there ? "
I hung my head." Yes I was. So was he!" I pointed to a worship leader.
He grinned." I was just looking out for my daughter.It really wasn't as bad as everyone is making out. "
The teenagers were racing. Everyone had to take something off if they came last.
No boys were naked at all. One girl only very briefly. A briefly revealed bottom.
I appealed to the attending father.
" It really wasn't bad was it? "
"No " he said. "Just a bit of fun that got a bit out of hand."
This went no where to appease the lady minister.
She thundered." We can not have this sort of thing on the road. It could cause an accident."
The road had been closed to traffic all day.
Nothing placated her and I was instructed to draft a letter to the Parish council.
I was horrified. I did not want to cast myself in the role of moral arbiter.
A retired solicitor was instructed to write the letter. I was to deliver it personally.
He felt just as badly as I did but between us we offered a form of words we agreed on to the man organizing the fun weekend.
I took it in to him at his shop , put it into his hands and got out of the way fast.
The entire episode had been blown out of all proportion. It had happened. It was not a good idea to play at taking off their clothes as forfeits but no harm had been done at all. Itwas certainly not an orgy.
As I drove past the banner today I said a small prayer.
Lord let them all keep their clothes on this weekend. It's going to be chilly.

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