The Fellowship of Life
Sir, A few weeks ago I was dismayed to encounter yet another major
article extolling bloodsports in a Christian newspaper (Comment, Sept
It was accompanied by a large, almost charming photograph, of a
huntsman at play with his foxhounds. Presumably, a scene from the other
end of the chase would be considered too obscene for publication.
It would however, have been more relevant.
A week later, you printed the most precise debunking of the notion of
'liberty' - to engage in cruel past times - that I've recently come
across. It should be remembered that 'sports' such as cock-fighting
whilst proscribed, are on the increase amongst certain rural elements.
Either the "Liberty and Livelihood" march recognised and represented
such depravity, or it was fundamentally bogus.
Deborah Jones focused on the reality behind the recent attempts at
equating bloodsports with genuine conservation. Moreover, her article
raises a challenge to the actual direction of Catholic response towards
an inherently grave moral issue:
Should 'sport' really set the Christian context for issues which
affect our duties as stewards of creation?
When I hear of "country sports" enthusiasts complaining that their
ways are "misunderstood", I become concerned, for a range of reasons. It
is indeed worth considering that unseen forces, seemingly compell so
many towards behaving like savages; amidst a multitude of lies and
excuses. Yet it remains difficult for so many of us to "understand"?
Maybe that's just as well. Some 400,000 marchers could not bolster an
intrinsically bad case.
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