Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dinosaurs Still Walk The Earth

Big sigh.....here we go again.

The good old general synod of our good old church of england (I refuse to use capital letters when referring to them any more) have stayed true to misogynistic form (can't fault them for that at least) and voted against the introduction of women bishops. Even though a majority of those who voted, across the board, voted in favour. Democracy eh? Can't beat it.

Anyone surprised? Well yes, I was to be honest. I thought that they would have at least tried to make a move into the 20th century and only stayed the usual hundred years or so behind the times. But no. Silly me. What was I thinking?

And what was the reason for this, what was behind this adherence to 'traditional values'. I'll give a couple of quotes and let you make your own minds up.

  1. Opponents' key concerns were over provisions for traditionalist parishes opposed to women bishops to request supervision by a stand-in male bishop.
  2. Opponents could not simply tolerate women bishops, as they do women priests, but might have to obey them as their superiors
And, alarmingly, women voted against this (the ordination of women as bishops). Seems that after twenty years of having women as priests the church is as deeply divided as ever. At the moment they have the 'get out of women in authority' card by being able to go to a male priest if they are 'traditionalists' (how thoroughly offensive is that?) and were concerned that they might not get this option if women were allowed to become bishops. And not only that they might even have to take these women seriously.

Good heavens, imagine that, having to take women seriously!

In any other organisation this move would have been illegal. And imagine if the church traditionalists had used their tired, boring 'Jesus chose male disciples so we can't ordain women' excuse and re-framed it. Say, for instance, they said 'Well, Jesus (god bless him) only chose white disciples so we can't ordain anyone who isn't white'. Would that be tolerated as well? Would they be allowed to actively promote racism? Of course not. But sexism is ok.

Where is the love in that? And what of Jesus himself? The man who started this all those years ago. The son of God who the church claims to be following. Jesus would be turning in his grave. Well, he would if he had stayed in it.

(Moving swiftly on)....

Rather than get deeper into the argument I asked myself a question. And here it is.

Question I asked myself: Why am I so angry about this?

Here is my answer.

I am angry about this because the church of england is exactly that. It is the church of England. Established as such. The officially state recognised 'authority' on religious matters. It holds a very privileged position and a lot of concessions and exemptions come with that. For instance it has been exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act since it was introduced, in 1975. Yet, perversely, has a woman as it's official head. The same head that appears on our stamps. (I'm sorry, I'll try harder). So it is 'our' church. The church of (and for) England (and the people who live in it).

I am English as well.

There is the term 'guilt by association'.

I DO NOT want to be associated with this ABHORRENT OUTDATED DINOSAUR, even if only by a fault of birth.

Also, whilst my own children are grown up, they may have children of their own one day. (Imagine that, me a Grandad! Heavens above.) Their friends have children. These children will go to school. In school they will encounter the 'c of e' and it's views. And what will they learn. Well, they will learn that people come into their school and preach love and good will and tolerance etc towards 'all men'. Therein lies the problem.
And they (the c of e) will encourage those children to go out into the world and do well, to 'fight the good fight' and all that.
Unless, of course, you happen to be a woman. They will show by their own behaviour that women are considered inferior and have their place in society.

And they will continue to do this with the blessing of the state.

That should not be allowed anymore. They will not change. They have had long enough to try. I no longer recognise them as established. They do not deserve it. The time has come for them to stand on their own two left feet and make their own way in the world. The time has come for the church of england to lose it's exemption from the sex discrimination act and from establishment.

Or, to put that another way. The church of england should, MUST be DISESTABLISHED. It is the right and just thing to do. And I'm not content to just write it, to make a point. I believe it and am going to actively get involved with the growing movement to bring this about.
It needs people to make it happen, not just talk about it. To take action. Positive, lawful action, but action nonetheless. Well I am now one of those people. This is intolerable. It has to change.
Then the church of england can be held accountable to the law, just like the rest of us, and the only dinosaurs we will have to watch will be the ones on Jurassic Park.....

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Trial By Media and Silly Stunts

Well I can't quite believe it myself but what has shocked me out of my current writing dearth and is causing me to put fingers to keyboard is finding myself in agreement with our prime minister!!! Well sort of anyway. A little bit.

Surely not I hear you cry? Or, judging by the recent complete lack of interest and comment on my blog all I can hear is the sound of the light switch going out and the door closing behind you. But, never mind, I will persist. Even if only to try to get clearer myself and regain my confidence in myself and my writing that went for a walk and is still walking.

This isn't a political agreement, (with our glorious leader, please keep up), how could anyone agree politically, in this 'alleged' democracy of ours, with an unelected prime minister of an unelected coalition government persuing a manifesto that hasn't gone before the country. Putting all that aside, what I am in agreement with is his response to Philip Schofield's so called 'silly stunt' on breakfast TV, that of passing to above mentioned Mr Cameron a list of names he had found on the interweb of alleged paedophiles, and asking him if he will be speaking to them. And of course the 'misjudging' of the camera angle which meant that the names went out on live TV. (I couldn't help be reminded of recent 'wardrobe malfunctions' and how completely ridiculous the term is).

So silly in fact that Jonathan Dimbleby commented 'How cretinous can you get-giving a list of online names to the PM as though they were evidence'. Well said indeed.

And what did Philip Schofield think (if any thought went into this at all) that the PM would really do. Imagine the outcry if any prime minister, of any political persuasion, was to say 'I've been handed a list of alleged paedophiles from the internet and I am going to take it on myself to personally interview those on the list and come to a decision as to their guilt or innocence...'. Cue public outcry and questions in parliament and reminders we have the police for that kind of thing.

What I do agree with was the PM's comment that if we are not careful this could lead to a witch hunt. Not the bit about it being against against people who are gay. There is no evidence at all as far as I am aware that the gay community are any more likely to be paedophiles than those of any other sexual persuasion. Unless he meant that some people just assume that paedophiles are homosexual and that homosexuality is as vile as paedophilia and automatically link the two? I personally don't think that at all.

Of course there is already a witch hunt, on the back of the current JS (I don't want to write his name on my blog but you know who I mean) revelations and investigations which has been hijacked by the media and used to criticise and undermine the BBC. In fact the political right are falling over themselves to get in on some BBC bashing. Bless them.

All part of the current media frenzy and hysteria around anything or anyone even remotely connected with new or ongoing paedophile investigations, never mind facts or actual evidence. And now the debate is about legitimate journalism, what is it, what is really in the public interest, is it just to repeat rumours and trial by twitter etc etc. And assume that everything is a cover up, no one can be trusted. Whatever happened to that fundamental underlying principle 'Innocent until proven guilty'? All well and good to ignore it until you are the one standing accused.

And the really sad thing is it detracts from the ability to get to the real truth and take the appropriate action and bring to justice those that have committed these hideous crimes.

Every day we see in the papers something or other to do with the JS scandal alongside pictures of him in those awful shorts and shell suits in some pose or another, with no real new information or actual news. And why? Purely to sell papers and spread puerile irrelevant gossip that does nothing to get to the actual truth. Do they ever stop, even for a minute, to think of the effect this has on the victims, to daily be reminded and see his sneering perverted face staring at them? For goodness sake there can't be anyone in the country who doesn't know what he looks like by now! And while the BBC stands on trial an innocent man has had his name dragged into the gutter without a criminal charge or investigation having been made against him, and a genuine victim of abuse has been embarrassed publicly, adding to the suffering he has lived with since the initial abuse took place. Where is the justice in that?

And today, remembrance day, overshadowed by resignations, calls for more resignations, for more enquiries and enquiries into enquiries. How many more enquiries do we need? Are we any nearer the truth in any of this?

We have gone from no one being believed to anything anyone thinks or says being treated as the truth, from a state of indifference to hysteria. And I find this current hysteria, this media frenzy, as vile as the act of paedophilia itself, perhaps even more so. After all, we all love a sex scandal, but who does it serve? Only to add to fear and paranoia. And sell 'newspapers'. Did I say that already? And the truth gets pushed further into the background. It's no more than mob rule, and the mob are never right.

And what of those who weren't abused by someone famous or with power, the great majority of sufferers of abuse of all kinds that takes place either within the family or by a close relative, where is their voice? Doesn't really sell papers does it or attract much interest or comment.

We need, in my opinion, to take a breath and stop. Stop all this reporting and discussing and twittering, and take some time, objectively, if it is at all possible to be objective when it comes to paedophilia. To think about those who have been subjected to this awful crime, and other crimes of abuse, and find a way forward, a way that will get to the truth, bring those to justice that need to be, and, most of all to protect our children now, without resorting to knee jerk over compensatory reactions and accusations and suspicions and fear. To find a decent, dignified response to an indecent and undignified act. To all be on our guard but to remember our own and common dignity, when others have been stripped of theirs. Might be worth bearing this little maxim in mind, it's served me well over the years. 'Never be judge and jury until you are in possession of ALL the facts'.