The decision to not allow women bishops in the Church of England, made me rather sad. Not because of the equality issue, that aspect actually makes me seethe at the injustice, so much so, that I want to don a green/white/purple sash and wave placards outside the local church. No, I’m sad because the unacceptable, prejudiced views of the few, are going to consign the Church of England, to an agonizing, slow death.
Organised religion can have many positive aspects to give to our society. They can provide much needed charitable support work, to many vulnerable people. The Christian concept of helping others, is a fantastic resource locally, nationally and at an international level. The spiritual comfort and sense of community, that some people gain from belonging to a church, can not easily be dismissed. But if I was a C of E churchgoer, I don’t think I’d be pleased to know, that although I’m supposedly equal in the eyes of God, I’m not apparently equal in the eyes of the Church of England. Nor would it encourage me, to want my children exposed to sexist, outdated and illegal beliefs.
The Church of England is the official religion of England. The Queen is Head of the Church of England. Just a little note to those that voted ‘NO’ to women bishops, the Queen, she’s a woman by the way, it’s a woman in charge. You voted for the slow, decaying death of your church. How can the Church of England be relevant in our society, when it holds such archaic views, that women are basically second class citizens? Equality for women has been a long, hard battle, thankfully its now ilegal to discriminate against women. Over half of the UK population are female, I’ve brought my daughters up to know they are equal to men and never let anyone tell them otherwise. You can’t pick and choose what bits of the bible you want to live by. Historically the bible has been used to justify slavery and oppression. Working on the Sabbath, I wonder how many who voted ‘No’, don’t think twice about shopping on a Sunday. The ‘word of God’ has been interpreted differently over the years, to serve some people’s own purpose.
Women who wanted to play a part in passing on the church’s message, should have been welcomed with open arms. Instead the church has just alienated half of the population, reinforced the idea that religion is out of touch and has no place in the 21st century. I’m the child of a Roman Catholic mother, Church of England father. I’ve been a churchgoer most of my life, encouraged my offspring to attend church and I even ran the Children’s Liturgy group. I hope you noted the use of past tense, because after years of becoming more dishearten with a religion I could no longer relate to, I voted with my feet and left. I strongly disagreed with the church’s stance on issues such as homosexuality, priest celibacy and female priests, plus the horrific disclosures about abuse, that had taken place within the church organisation and the way in which it was dealt with, I found I could no longer support such a religion.
As religion becomes more disconnected from the views in society, it also begins to lose the support and acknowledgement needed to survive. Some are saying that the decision was ‘suicide’ or ‘the nail in the coffin’ for the church. But I view it more like a badly run old people’s home, there is an unpleasant aroma, its unvisited and its aged residents are just sitting there waiting to die. Such a sad way to go.
Henry the eighth started the Church of England in his quest for a male heir, he didn’t view women very highly either. He’s mostly remembered by history for his many wives and the ways in which he disposed of them. His daughter, a mere woman, is remembered by history much more positively and gave her name to a dynamic era. You’d have thought the church would have progressed over time, but it seems its still sacrificing women as expendable items.