Does blasphemy still count if you're certifiable?
By Dr Martin Roberts
18 March 2010
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS
As the truth is in the dogs' tails, so Kate McCann's eulogistic affirmation of the all-knowing one reveals, subtly but surely, that her daughter Madeleine's existence has taken on a conceptually modified significance. In response to Aled Jones recent, and not unduly probing interview, Kate manages to expose a little more of the rich tapestry that is the tale of missing Madeleine, and her own peculiar brand of narcissism into the bargain.
Aled Jones: "Do you think God's looking after Madeleine?"
Kate McCann: "I do. I mean, to me, Madeleine was a gift. Most of our life is pretty public anyway but obviously we had quite a difficult time trying to have Madeleine and when she was born I really did believe she was a gift and I never took her for granted... You know, every day when I'd wake up and I'd see her, these huge eyes looking at me, you know, I'd thank God for Madeleine and I don't believe that He would stop loving her now or abandon her, I mean, I don't believe that at all and I do get a comfort in thinking that wherever she... she is; whoever she's with, that He's with her and protecting her, and protecting her spirit. She's got a lot of spirit."
Oh dear. As quick and astute as the correction appears, it results in nothing but a ridiculous malapropism, the omnipotent one suddenly entrusted with safeguarding Madeleine's 'joie de vivre.' Something of a pity, wouldn't you think, that He'd previously fallen down on the job of protecting Madeleine? There again, He'd not have been alone in that and, as we learn from the sanctimonious Kate herself, He was not to be held responsible, at least not for the well-being of little Madeleine. But why, oh why does he not show his hand in protecting the poor parents? Is that too much to ask?
Aled Jones: "Are there ever times when you blame God?"
Kate McCann: "I've never blamed God for what's happened, at all. I don't think that that was anything to do with God. There are times when I've got angry with God and certainly the... the additional things that I've mentioned that have happened, where I just think, 'How can we have extra suffering put on us, at such an awful time?' And I just haven't understood it, and I've wondered why God hasn't interceded and tried to counter that. These are the times when I go off to church, to be honest. I mean I've got a key to the church; they've kindly given me one and sometimes I'll go in and, oh, its a bit of a sanctuary, its a bit of a refuge really. I'll go and I can speak out because, obviously, there's no-one there. Just get it all of my chest, really. I mean, I do wonder, you know, why should God help my prayers when there's millions of people with prayers which are equally as important around the world. I don't know. I mean, I just hope he does. My faith has sustained me a lot through all of this and there is a definite comfort there."
So Kate goes to church to be honest, getting it 'all off her chest' in the sanctuary of God's house, and clearly timing her visits to coincide with God's being out to work. If only she would share her honesty outside the confines of indifferent, empty spaces.
Of course others have equally important prayers competing for God's attention. Yet it doesn't seem to have crossed Kate's mind that He too has to prioritize on occasion, and that attention being drawn to more important requirements elsewhere in the world might occasionally mean He has to take his eye off the McCann ball from time to time (although He appears to have been observant enough at the Kensington Roof Garden Hotel not long ago - the raffle went well and it didn't rain). Perhaps the martyrdom of St Katherine (in the 'past historic' tense) will allow God that bit of free space He requires to get round to everybody's current issues.
Aled Jones: "Because in a way what you are experiencing for many people would be hell on earth."
Kate McCann: "No, it is. I think it is the worst thing that could happen to a parent or certainly one of the worst things. I mean, the pain was just... it's just incredible and it's a pain, you know, the pain of worry, for her, really. I mean, we live with the sadness of not having Madeleine in our lives but, you know, I'm her mum and I can't help but worry about her and I just want to be with her. When she has a sore tummy, I want to be there. When she's upset, I want to be there. And I just want to bring her back into the warmth and love of our family, really."
So, Madeleine, when next you're crying for 'Mummy,' make sure it's good and loud. She just might be a little further away than the foot of the garden. But she really will want to be there for you (provided, of course, it’s not one of your 'passing' moments).
Kate and Gerry McCann might have their faith fully invested in the Church of Rome, but that's about all they're likely to invest there (box marked 'meeting with Pope' already ticked - been there, done that). Promissory notes, of all denominations, delivered to Rothley, are all 'a/c payee only' I'm afraid, so the Vatican will just have to content itself with the knowledge that the donors themselves are catholic in their tolerance:
Aled Jones: "Gerry said that his faith has been strengthened by the goodness generated by this ordeal. So there are positives that come out of it?"
Kate McCann: "Oh, very much so. I mean we... we still get a bundle of mail every day from people, you know, willing us on and, you know, sending their best wishes. And children send pictures for Madeleine and stuff; you know, we have books of prayers sent for Madeleine that children have written. Its been amazing, its been a real eye-opener. I mean, I'd have never thought of sitting down and writing a letter to somebody I didn't know who'd suffered a tragic event and yet the strength it's give us has been amazing."
And yet there is a certain charity in Kate McCann’s demeanour; at least there appears to be:
"I pray for the people who have taken Madeleine."
Aled Jones: "Do you think you'd ever be able to forgive the people that took Madeleine?"
Kate McCann: "It's a difficult one, isn't it. I guess, I don't know why they've taken her and I think until I know that it would be hard... hard to say. I mean, I'd like to hope that I could but its difficult."
So prayers for the people who have taken Madeleine might not quite be prayers of forgiveness. "It would be hard." Maybe if Kate understood their motives it might be possible, but I doubt it somehow:
Aled Jones: "And what about your other children? How aware are they of what's happening?"
Kate McCann: "Very aware. They talk about Madeleine every day. They know she's missing; they know she's been taken by somebody. They understand it a little bit like burgalry [sic] in that, even if you really want something, it doesn't mean that we can take it, because Madeleine belongs to us, you know, and it's not right that they've got Madeleine and need to find her."
Well, you can't always get what you want after all, however badly you want it. So, takers of Madeleine, take note: You needn't be in too much of a rush to disclose your motives. Forgiveness is not guaranteed.