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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.....


  1. The c of e after all is no longer used in most schools as we have become multi-faith in most primary schools. But I do agree that this seems to be another head-in-the-sand reaction from an organisation that still wonders why more people are not attending church services.
    I also wonder if it "jobs for the boys" like the police force who have a lack of female top cops?

    But everyone knows that God is a WOMAN - so why worry - the higher authority has it!!

  2. I think you would have very much liked the historian Bettany Hughes series "Divine Women" that shows how vital women were in the early Christian church and provides strong evidence that there WERE women Bishops in antiquity. So what went wrong? The series also goes far further back in time - to the first known settlement Gobekli Tepe in modern day Turkey, the Delphic oracle in ancient Greece and so on and so forth. She makes a facinating argument against the dinosaur stupidity tat consumes the c of E for instance.....

    1. I did see some of the Divine Women series and very interesting it was too.
      Hopefully some of the backlash against this stupid decision by the c of e will force them to act..