On conversing with a friend
By Norman Wilkinson
Reader: I am reading a great collection of essays at the moment
entitled 'Our Lady of Sorrow'.
Friend: Sounds a bit too religious.
Reader: Well not entirely, a lot about world politics, the
Middle East problems, the Jews, the Arabs, religious
history.....a sort of modern prophesy.
Friend: I haven't seen it reviewed in the Australian
press.....who is the author anyway?
Reader: Well, you may not have heard of him, but
really.......the wisdom of GK Chesterton, the political
instincts of Hilaire Belloc, the descriptive eloquence of DH
Lawrence, the metaphysical and environmental insights of Manley
Hopkins (see Binsey Poplars), the courage of a lion......and he
is Jewish.....an Israeli war hero apparently.
Friend: A successful heroic Jew?.....Israeli?......how come he
is not acknowledged by our press.....it cannot be.
Reader: Well, actually, he converted to Christianity.
Friend: Huh,....that would get him nowhere.....one of your sort
I suppose....Traditional Catholic....those who revered the nazi
Pope Pius XII who wore jackboots under his long dress. Good Pope
JP II did at least apologise to the Jews....but now the Church
has elected a German Pope who was in the Hitler youth, and
jeopardised the whole dialogue process by toying with
Reader: Well, actually, he is Russian Orthodox I think.
Friend: Even worse......how many Jews did they kill?
Reader: Well, anyway, I do get the impression they he has a
genuine love of all humanity, the Jews of course, but even the
Palestinians, Iraqis and Iranians. I get the feeling he may be
even rash enough to love his own enemies.
Friend: Stop! This stretches the bonds of friendship to breaking
point. YOU are antisemitic.....and keep your voice down....you
don't know who might be listening in this restaurant.
Reader: (changing the subject) An amazing place the
internet...almost pure anarchy for the first time in human
history. We can pick and choose our good or evil. But it is a
dangerous place to be without an informed concience.
Friend: The sooner we have an effective policing of the internet
the better. Stop all this antisemitism.
Reader: I was thinking more of the problem of mass pornography.