OK, OK, OK, HOLD ON…before you begin jumping to conclusions, Mr. Ant’s case is not strange or sad because of his “predicament”.
He is described in London articles as “manic-depressive” (something quite different, by the way, than…), “bipolar”, Prince Charming, and a 70’s punker-icon.
He is definitely suffering right now, and that is sad.
But what is really, really strange and sad about this case is NOT the incidents that led up to his being “sectioned”; what is truly disturbing and saddening to me, a freedom-loving American, is that in Great Britain you CAN be “sectioned” under a “Mental Health Act” (1 (definition), 2 (ethics), 3 (a legal perspective)).
For me, this represents, if migrated to the context of the States, a Federal Law that would detail how citizens would be “sectioned” (in our country, we’d probably call it “arrested”) under a Mental Health set of “standards” (read “regulations”).
Now, from what I gather in reading the articles (and my deepest apologies to you, Mr. Ant), but what he stands accused of is 1) showing up naked in the basement of a pub; 2) threatening the members of a bar with a fake pistol 3) threatening (again) to kick in his neighbor’s door; and 4) shouting obscenities (directed at Christians) toward an apathetic audience at his concert, loosely composed of some Christians (he asks how many of you are Christians and tells them to f*@$ Off).
This is all very interesting to me.
I had a teacher early in life who asked a class “how many of you are Baptists?” to whom after raising their hands he tells rest to “put your heads down on your desks”.
Point being, I knew that guy was an ego-maniac with some real issues concerning religion.
I did not think we should call out the men in white suits with their butterfly nets (even though I never liked the guy).
Now, in America, bashing Christianity will get you a gold star, these days (see Arriana Huffington’s piece and the comments that follow).
But in England (now consider the irony here), church attendance is down to something like eight percent (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), depending on who you talk to, but even if only down to 50%, it is still, way, way down.
So you are telling me that the crowd MAY have constituted a representative sample. Let’s say he had 500 people show at his concert…that would mean that all of 40 people out of 500 would have been Christians offended by his “rant” (by the way, he was trying to teach a kid he’d called up on stage the words to the Who’s song “My Generation”…the crowd was getting bored and leaving, and he was not handling it well). Keep in mind, he is a punk rocker and his major following are probably people who follow punk rock – I always thought punk rockers had abandoned pretty much everything anyway…religion…government…good bathing habits.
At any rate, can you imagine, in America, standing on a stage and criticizing, say, President Bush and then, in come the men from the Mental Health Act agency to cart you away to Bellview? Again, it is one of those things I would have liked to have seen with that teach of mine way back when, or with President Obama, but in actuality, that is not the way I wish to win a fight.
First and foremost, that I am not a Baptist, is not something that I am at-all sorry about. I would not really have paid never-mind to putting my head down on my desk so much, as I knew from my Christian teaching that “to be last, is to be first”.
I would consider it an honor to put my head down…for I was not the one persecuting (and it definitely would have made me “last”).
Now, I don’t agree with Mr. Ant’s stand. I do think Christians can be a bit too “in your face” about things, and zealotry is a sin in my book, so I can empathize with whither he might have been coming.
Having said that, is it a bit disturbing to think about the concept of “sectioning”?
If someone is going to do harm to themselves or others, then of course, something probably should be done. Bring out the straight jackets, or pick up the practice of angel hanging again (locking prisoners to a chain-link fence using ankle- and hand- cuffs).
But isn’t there a better way?
How about a night in the drunk tank, or a cooling off period (which may very well be what “sectioning” constitutes, but it sure sounds medieval); I suppose a rose by any other name smells just as sweet?
But for me, the implications are much deeper.
Remember now, England is one of those countries practicing social engineering through big government (we are emulating them under Obama, or as I like to call it “Nazi-lite”).
They’ve had big brother now forever (compared to us).
Granted, it does not seem, on the surface, when you visit there that you are dealing with Stalin’s goons…but who cares what the surface looks like? Still waters run deep.
Can you imagine a time in our nation when “sectioning” becomes common?
I don’t like your political philosophy, so I therefore will have you “sectioned” for your hate speech.
You show up naked in a nightclub, your off to the bin (sorry, Mylie, Madonna, Brittany and Lyndsey).
Or how about this one?
Your blog is condescending to me, ergo, “you gonna be sectioned, boy”.
You get the picture.
Sincerely, and I really, really mean this…I hope you get better, Mr. Goddard. I don’t want to see anybody suffer, in any way, and especially mentally. You deserve to be well, to prosper and to make your music which I am sure makes a bunch of punkers very, very happy (or…well).
But what is more, I don’t want to see a gag placed in the mouths of Americans.
Socialism, in my opinion, is what needs to be sectioned.
Section it in quarters…bottle it, and send it to the core of the Sun. Let it do something to warm our bones.
Right now, its only affect is chilling…and to the extreme.