I don’t know if I should have an opinion on the Church of England female Bishop thing. As a male atheist do I have a place to get outraged about it? Well the former is irrelevant, I don’t think you have to be a woman to get annoyed at gender inequality – but it helps! LOL¹ The latter is a different issue. Some people have suggested people wouldn’t go throwing their opinion about regarding female roles in Islam. Comparing something people have an open opinion on to people’s reluctance to have (voice) an opinion on Islam is very de rigeur.
To an extent people have a point – you shouldn’t insult one thing and not another. However to suggest that people should be reluctant to have an opinion on something because of some ridiculous notion that all Muslims oppose debate, discussion and wouldn’t engage in a dialogue is absurd. One does have to admit that the – pardon the pun – impact of 9/11 has some effect on the way a lot of people viewed Islam. And perhaps the world would be a better place if everyone was worried that someone would fly an aeroplane into them because they were being offensive. Well it would be a less offensive place anyway.
I’ve gone off on at least two tangents up to yet so I am due to get back on track at some point soon, here it comes: Well people have a view on the Church of England because they tend to know more about it, which tends to be a better position from which to form and state an opinion. And, at the risk of making this seem like a matter for a xenophobe, the Church of England is the national religion of this country, the franchise owned by none other than Elizabeth Windsor. It seems like I should be able to have an opinion on this. And, though this is on the down-low, I was christened into this faith. And I don’t remember anyone revoking my membership.
And if I don’t have an opinion on things that generally don’t concern me then this blog would get (even more) boring.
BBC 1’s The Big Questions had a special edition today asking if the church should be forced to change its bloody mind. I’ve not been searching out every position on this but what I have seen tends to be women in the church defending the recent vote and thus stance of the church. My instant reaction to this position is to wonder what the fuck these women are on. There tends to have been two stances they take. Either they are glad the vote wasn’t won because it wasn’t a vote for proper equality (as the female Bishops under the vote wouldn’t have been the same as male Bishops – or Bishops as they are known) or – and this was the one that was more annoying (to me) – they didn’t think it was right that there should be women Bishops if it made anyone in the Church gets affronted by it. BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYONE WHO IS AFFRONTED BY THE LACK OF EQUALITY?
Susie Leafe was a prominent voice in the latter group. In a column for The Independent she claimed that the no vote was a vote against discrimination. Clearly I didn’t understand something here. There was something where this was a christio-feminist (no, I don’t think it is a phrase) at work here. No she was definitely saying it “Voting no was a vote against discrimination; had this legislation been passed, a significant minority of the church, perhaps as many as a third, would have felt that there was no permanent place for them in the Church.” Well as long as no-one feels excluded by the vote then.
She goes on to say that the equality (that the ‘no to equality’ vote has achieved) is because it comes from what God did for us (built planet in 6 days, built man, built woman, tempted us into sin when he got bored etc). “God created each one of us,” Leafe writes, “Christ paid the same price for each one of us, so we are free to serve one another without reference to role or status.” See that suggests to me that everyone is the same in God’s eyes – fictional eyes admittedly, because he doesn’t exist (and has never existed).
But to me this fictional character, God, sounds like he doesn’t care about gender – indeed roles are not important. But seemingly only unimportant when it comes to letting everyone fulfil them. If they are so unimportant then let everyone do them. It’s often the way with issues of gender equality. Or class equality. Basically any kind of equality involves someone, generally doing OK out of the inequality, saying ‘yeah but there are more important things to worry about surely?’
Leafe continues, I am fed up of quoting it² – you’ll just have to trust me, to say that men have a great and important role in the church and it involves loads of stuff like taking responsibility for everyone else, laying down their lives (???) and choosing what paper the Church will have delivered. She then says that women will have an equally important role but doesn’t really say what it is or why it is any different from the role of men – other than perhaps having a slightly higher pitched voice.
She sums up by saying – and she isn’t wrong on this one – that the Church isn’t the only sector of society with this problem. How can we solve this? How can we solve this?³ Leafe thanks the Synod for this vote, allowing everyone the space and time to remember ‘the humility of Christ’s birth this Christmas’. Well, quite, but I may take the time to think of a heavily pregnant Mary walking around the fucking country while her dipshit husband does little to help her.
“I’ve got us a stable – a stable!!!!”
“Nice one, I’ll just give birth to the son of God next to this horse shit, then.”
¹Do people still have the signs/stickers that say You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps? They are generally owned by the most completely straight-laced people in the work place if my experience is anything to go by.
² Fucking hell, I’m such a fool. I have been typing the quotes out of the paper copy of The I but of course it’s on the internet, of course it is. It’s here http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-i-voted-no-to-women-bishops-8340833.html
³Can I just play devil’s advocate on this one? Let’s make everything the same for everyone and everyone just has to fucking agree to it or fuck off to Mars.