When a Nobel Peace Prize winner commits more troops to a war.
When presidents, flunkies, and protestors jet into a climate change conference (video conferencing anybody?).
When NZ's leading anti-gay church (Destiny Church) includes the following in its recently much publicized covenant between its leader and 700 male congregants:
"(b) Jonathan left the allegiance and legacy of his natural father (King Saul) to covenant with David in order to preserve and set up a blessing for his offspring and future generations:
1 Samuel 18:1-4
Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul ... The Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul ...
At our 2009 Labour Weekend Conference Destiny's men will be consummating our covenant together (the brotherhood), and towards our man of God. ..."
I gather that some commentator here in NZ has said that this would have been NZ's largest civil union ceremony to date!
The irony of this statement was highlighted for me at the recent biblical studies conference in Dunedin by the juxtaposition of a paper on Destiny Church and the character of its episcopacy compared with the development of monarchical episcopacy in the time of Ignatius of Antioch and a paper on the invoking of 'David and Jonathan' in the Victorian era and afterwards in the writings of (e.g.) Wilde and E.M. Forster as a evocative code for the 'love that dare not speak its name'.