A Kiss is Just a Kiss

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Was it Louis Armstrong who crooned,

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by…

A kiss is just a kiss? What world are you living in?

Further to my comments in this month’s Understanding The Times about President Putin who kissing a child’s stomach, this week a Church of England Vicar, Rev. Alan Barrett, in the Lichfield Diocese, has been placed under state an investigation following allegations that he kissed a primary school girl “on the cheek.”

The deed was done in a public setting when the child, who had struggled in a mathematics class, had done well. The 58 year-old clergyman was accused by politically correct social workers of “inappropriate touching” and placed under investigation. The trial, which has lasted for over two months, exonerated him completely, but he still resigned as a member of School governing council. Probably out of sheer exasperation. He had been charged with “common assault” of a minor. He is married with three adult children. The mother of the child expressed disappointment at the result of the inquiry.

The issue has received the usual press attention of the “clergyman on assault charges” variety. Serious newspapers have weighed in on the insane lengths to which Britain (and Europe) have fallen prey to political-correctness. Schools now ban all hugging of children. Comfort should be applied “verbally and at a distance.” Some schools refuse to apply “plasters” on gazed knees lest they be sued for inappropriate contact. The assumption is that if you touch it must be sexual. In a sexed crazed world, innocence is a fantasy land commodity.

The French are suitably outraged at the seeming British prurience. They kiss all the time and find a public display of affection to a ten year old perfectly appropriate. They seem equally outraged that the Church of England left Rev Barrett out in the cold, issuing a typically PC memo supporting the danger of any physical contact in any situation.

What a world we live in! On this score, Elijah’s actions in 1 Kings 17,a passage I preached on a few weeks ago where the prophet restores the widow of Zarephath’s son to life, well… take a look and see for yourself! It would land him in jail for sure. In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, Richard Hook suggests: “If the action of a vicar in congratulating a 10-year-old with a kiss on the cheek in public is unacceptable in "today's climate", it is high time that we had an inquiry into today's climate - not the vicar or the kiss.” (July 14, 2006).

It reveals a society where the loss of the saturation of sex (just watch some British Television) has brought about the loss of innocence. Every word, gesture and act is sexually laden. The story is both depressing and silly. It promises a generation of children who are afraid, suspicious and dangerously paranoid. And churches inevitably follow suit. No hugging the children who achieve well or need reassuring. And as for kissing them—you can kiss that goodbye!

In the Brave New World of political correctness there is the promise of something cold and austere. It is a world of suspicion and conspiracy, especially if vicars are involved.

Posted July 18, 2006 @ 9:02 AM by Derek Thomas
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