Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Women Bishops, Synod and Froth

I love women, me. I love women because they are sort of like blokes but different and they can do all the same stuff. A woman is like a man, only different. It is also fair to say that I love men too. I love men because they are sort of like ladies but different and can do all the same stuff and that. A man is like a woman, but with fewer glands. It's like we are the same, just a little different, init.

If you hadn't heard, didn't care, or were in the real world, you may not have heard that the famous veteran of the Jerusalem Wars, General Synod, is talking about none less that women bishops. It seems that the church is one of the few places where equality is laughed at like a dirty joke in a vestry, where mammaries are anti-mitre devices and that it is seriously believed, by even some people with more than an 'O' Level in woodcraft, that the God of the whole Universe would give a rat's behind about gender when dishing out shepherd jobs. 

Oh no. God has us to do that for him, for we are flawed and broken. 

Facebook, a whole array of internets and Twitter are now the playground of the "We Should" and "We Shouldn't" brigades. There will be name calling, there will be acrimony, there will be point scoring, there will be more froth than a branch of Starbucks. Perhaps less prayer than any of that, but much wordsmithery. 

Why? Because we are flawed and broken. 

I am in favour of all God's children doing what God calls them to do. I don't think God discriminates on the basis of gender, because such a God as that would surely have to discriminate on the basis of far more important matters like worthiness - and I'd still be peddling my woven wares in a warehouse. There is no argument (except for the words of one human man from a few decades back) against it. 

What I am not in favour of is seeing my beloved church turning into a torch-and-pitchfork organisation in the public glare of the all the world. I shall pray that the debate is dignified, that the Interweb output is steeped in humility on all sides, and that the world will see that Christians can be people of the grace they purport to have received from God. 

... and that anyone with a career-builder's heart in the middle of that debate, from either camp, may be consumed by pestilence. 


  1. You are right, of course (and are getting many comments to this effect - just frothing away in twitter rather than here). So interesting to contrast the debate on Nigeria first thing with the women bishops debate.

  2. The basic issue here being equality of opportunity for equally qualified applicants, not a gender based and largely misogynistic discrimination process, there is, I fear, little chance of any progress no matter how many meetings there are of the General Synod.
    Talking about this with a couple of (male) clergy yesterday, one of them remarked that we (the female of the species), are rushing things.
    The fact that it took so long for women to obtain the right to vote, was quoted as a sort of benchmark.
    Hooray for you, and those like you, I say, but your voice is not being heard.

  3. There is that minor detail of Our Lord's example...

  4. Thanks for the comment Ben. By your logic, then, the process was thus:

    God: Hmmm, need an incarnation. I know, men are the natural leaders of the world I have created, so let me manifest my Word as a boy. For all time the humans on earth can follow my example and avoid using women.

    So God chose to become incarnate in male form?

    It's an argument I suppose, but not one I can grasp. As I said earlier, there are far greater and more significant distinctions between humans than those of gender. Ability (or not), a creative mind (or not), worthiness (or not). These are far more important than simple biology I think. There believe that there is as much that makes me biologically different to those with blue eyes as there are women, so does that mean that God has not place for the blue-eyed in his economy? To put gender first would demand that he place many more distinctions first.



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