Weekend in Glasgow

I’m not long back from two days away working in Dundee and Edinburgh, one notable highlight of which was my debut appearance for my friend’s long-running team in the weekly pub quiz at the Bailie bar in the New Town of Edinburgh. We came second, and I like to think that I contributed to this, but if i was honest I don’t recall uniquely knowing all that many answers.

The trip was a very quick turnaround after the weekend in Glasgow. Mostly, that trip was great fun – a fantastic wedding, and good catches up with friends, including at St Silas. It was nice to be back in St Silas on the Sunday, incidentally, and it’s funny how things haven’t really changed that much – for instance, I noticed the same helium balloon still stuck in the rafters that has been there longer than my association with the church.

Besides all that, it was a weekend of not a little tension and division – I was able to keep an occasional eye on the news from the General Assembly (about which I can’t be bothered blogging right now), and on top of that it was Helicopter Sunday.

Glasgow is at its ugliest when football reaches fever pitch. With the title decided on the Sunday afternoon, the city was awash with blue and red, and disgusting shows of bigotry and irrelevant politics. As I walked back to my friend’s place after meeting people in the city centre on Sunday afternoon I passed through hardcore Rangers and Celtic places, being told one one occasion by an aggressive and drunk Rangers fan to “f**k the Pope”, perhaps on account of the green t-shirt I happened to be wearing.

(Readers can be assured that despite my liberal views on homosexuality, my inability to comprehend the logic behind chaste clergy, and my strong ecumenical outlook, I am nevertheless unlikely to fulfil this instruction for the foreseeable future.)

And it wasn’t just the football which reminded me of the shame that resides in Glasgow (and other nearby skankvilles) – on Saturday morning I awoke to the dulcet tones of an Orange march going past my friend’s flat. I’ve made my views on such matters quite clear before on this blog, but will repeat again that anyone who has even the slightest sympathy for Orangeism should bugger off to Ireland where they belong.

It was disappointing – after an otherwise lovely weekend of seeing people, such incidents reminded me in no uncertain terms of the fact that a fine city has been ruined by sectarianism (not to mention rubbish weather, poverty, insularity and a horrible whining accent, but nowhere’s perfect, eh?).

I am glad to be back in Inverness, that’s for sure.

Not for long, however – I head away on Friday to Nicole’s for the weekend. That said, I am off work for the whole of next week and intend to spend it at home, just writing, going for walks, and catching up with myself.

4 thoughts on “Weekend in Glasgow

  1. Orangeism arguably does far less harm than more acceptable forms of religious fundamentalism, and evangelical churches tend (rightly?) to be associated with the latter.

    Being working class, protestant and unionist are not things to be ashamed of.

  2. You’re quite right, Ryan, they’re not things to be ashamed of.

    But displaying those beliefs in an arrogant, triumphalistic and intimidating manner is. As is putting the Protestantism much higher up than the Christianity; as is associating those things with support of one football team; as is pure hatred of another team and another denomination; as is illicit support for terrorism; and as is belief in f**king the Pope.

    Even if these impressions are gained only from the hangers-on, there’s clearly enough of those hangers-on to taint the rest, and there’s obviously enough about the core beliefs of Orangeism to attract those hangers-on.

    And don’t worry, I have a more than equal disgust for the other side of that vile debate too!

    Sorry not to have met you on Sunday night – it was only when David started speaking to me after you’d gone that he explained who you were! Had I known, I’d have come introduced myself.

  3. Well, even if the core beliefs of Orangeism are mad medievalism, they are not that dissimilar from e.g. the Wesminster Confession which nice evangelical types invoke in their (sadly successful, for the next two years at least) attempt to ban gay people from becoming ministers in the Church of Scotland.

    Hmm, can I assume that David suggested you read Gagnon’s allegedly definitive The Bible and Homosexual Practise? Depresses me that there are so many books written on homosexual perfection ;-).

    You should check out the blog of (The Very Reverend!) Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St.Mary’s Catherdral. Even David, despite the ideologically divide, called Kelvin the godfather of episcopal blogging.
    Here’s a recent post on the (drumroll…) New Lesbian Bishop!

    http://www.thurible.net/20090528/new-lesbian-bishop/comment-page-1/#comment-8552

  4. should be : Depresses me that there are so many books written on homosexual practise and so few on homosexual perfection šŸ˜‰

    Gah!

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