to be sad that we are not going to get women bishops?

(147 Posts)
grovel Tue 20-Nov-12 18:20:16


HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 18:22:06


mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 18:22:38


grovel Tue 20-Nov-12 18:23:35

The bishops voted for it. The clergy voted for it. The lay people (inc many women) voted against it.

HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 18:24:04


LivvyPsMum Tue 20-Nov-12 18:24:52

Who gives a stuff?!

LurcioLovesFrankie Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:20


That and homophobia is why I no longer go to the CofE (shame, it's what I was baptised into, I love the liturgy and the music - but on an institutional level, they hate women and gay people).

abitcoldupnorth Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:28


HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:38

ME and milllions of others.

Do you live in a cave?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 20-Nov-12 18:26:48

Religion is all about men: keeping men in power and in control. Religion subjugates women by relegating them to secondary positions in the religion and in society.

Why the surprise at this?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 20-Nov-12 18:26:52

So all the power stays with the men, bloody typical.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 20-Nov-12 18:27:05

Ffs! What planet? Which century? I'm c of e and I'm fecking ashamed

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 20-Nov-12 18:28:03

amothersplaceisinthewrong, precisely. Power and wealth and control.

FreckledLeopard Tue 20-Nov-12 18:28:24

Can someone explain the role of the lay people - who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they get to swing the vote so radically?

ImAlpharius Tue 20-Nov-12 18:28:30

WTF I can't believe this, I feel deeply disapointed.

BegoniaBampot Tue 20-Nov-12 18:44:32

Really? I'm not religious but recognise it's place and it's role for many people and their communities. Why won't they let women be bishops, what are they so afraid of?

Mutt Tue 20-Nov-12 18:48:32

How does the church get around this country's sexism laws?

Being a bishop is a job, yes?

It's a big fat fucking disgrace.

CurrentBun Tue 20-Nov-12 18:50:35

Totally agree with you Mutt

Its a fucking disgrace.

And CofE heads this country. This is just not good enough. I have never really been a fan of the whole secular thing but I'm beginning to think that's the way to go now if it's the only way we can get equality.

Yama Tue 20-Nov-12 18:51:09

Yeah, I was wondering about the law too Mutt.

Mind you, non-Catholics aren't promoted in Catholic schools (in Scotland) and I've always thought that this equated to discrimination.

It is a disgrace. I am so steaming angry and upset.

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 18:55:12

it's completely ludicrous, it shouldn't even be debated. The chruch is an employer no??? why do they not come under the same rules as any other company?

It's just bollocks. It's not scriptural, and even if it were, the C of E isn't biblically literal.

This is just misogyny.

suburbophobe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:00:20

What do you expect?

Machismo is alive and kicking!!

The reason I have turned off religion.

I prefer the Goddess....

YY LRD <froths>

IvanaHumpalotCountDracula Tue 20-Nov-12 19:03:45

Traditional Anglican/CoE church attendance is at an all time low.

The General Synod is not representative of the wider CoE community (church going or not).

Stick 'religion' in front of anything, no matter how unpleasant, and you think you can justify anything.

Minstrelsaremarvellous Tue 20-Nov-12 19:05:01

What would happen if quotes for women on boards were to be introduced?! What makes the church exempt?

Minstrelsaremarvellous Tue 20-Nov-12 19:05:32

QuotAs not quotes - damn you autocorrect

thebody Tue 20-Nov-12 19:06:38

I am not religious but feel very angry on behalf of the many wonderful women vicars out there.

What I really can't understand is how they are allowed to get around the law like this?? Surely this is illegal.

I'm not sad, I'm fucking angry (as is my dh)

It's not scriptural, it's not historically accurate - women had full leadership roles in the early church - it's just that simple. It's protectionist and mysognist and they're fucking arses.

I urge anyone who is pissed off to pop over to the Methodist church - who don't have bishes but do have women at all levels of leadership.

I get what you're saying, laurie, but I don't want to be methodist, I want my Church to sort its act out.

(Not having a go at you, you understand, just so fucked off and sad they've not sorted it out.)

seventheaven Tue 20-Nov-12 19:14:00

I prefer the Goddess.... so do I suburbophobe I cringe at the way male dominated religions treat women, it is not equal.

Theas18 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:16:02

With lrd . Bloody house of laity. saddened. I can see why though sort of - schism isn't a good thought.

We're very equal rights over here in the atheist corner. However, mean piss-taking aside, I feel very sorry for the people who are religious and have to deal with this nonsense. WWJD? Not be a sexist pig, I'd imagine.

Nicely put mrstp.

UdderlyBanal Tue 20-Nov-12 19:21:42

Disappointed in the CoE. Again.

Some fucking unGodly swearing was required, and will be followed by some unwise wine and ranting.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 19:23:15

What happens then if a woman priest applies for a vacant bishop post?

And who makes up the lay vote, btw? Can any member of the church vote? And if so, what was the turnout, i.e. did it fail on apathy, or on opinion?

I know I could google, but it's confusing <cries>

bigkidsdidit Tue 20-Nov-12 19:24:24

I am so FUCKING furious

And I am not even religious

I cannot understand what they are doing. How could any woman go to church on Sunday now and put money in the collection box? Surely this is a serious blow to the church

Squitten Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:19

The CofE has much bigger problems than women bishops, if this is anything to go by:

But stupidity like this is exactly why I turned my back of religion

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:28:39


You'd expect this sort of antiquated, sexist, non-sensical bollocks from the catholic church but had higher hopes for the Anglican one

CombustionEngine Tue 20-Nov-12 19:34:35

I'm CofE and really fucking pissed off.

grovel Tue 20-Nov-12 21:40:48

The ordained Church hierarchy voted yes. A minority of lay members voted no. Fuckem, I say.

Maybe you should all turn your back on cofe. This is what it boils down to after all

No, I don't think it is.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 20-Nov-12 22:02:40


This is appalling.

MsVestibule Tue 20-Nov-12 22:10:05

So disappointed. I was brought up Catholic, but now attend a CofE church (although my DCs attend a Catholic school, hypocrite that I am). I think the most disappointing thing is that so many lay people that have voted against this. Does anybody know if/when this will be reviewed?

HouseOfBamboo Tue 20-Nov-12 22:11:31

The thing is, it ISN'T a job like any other. Religion might be a powerful force, but it is exempt from all rules of common sense, logic, etc that any sane and healthy society should be adhering to.

Which is why religion shouldn't be allowed a controlling voice in our democracy.

DrCoconut Tue 20-Nov-12 23:30:40

It could be scriptural. Didn't St Paul say that women should be silent in church and in submission to their husbands? But most churches have modernised their way of thinking since St Paul was writing well over 1000 years ago and society has moved on a lot. So just as we don't shun women during periods or stone people to death, the idea of women being voiceless is abhorrent to many Christians now. That said, my mum's church doesn't allow women to serve at the altar or even to be readers and none of them would have it any other way.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 23:43:55

>I urge anyone who is pissed off to pop over to the Methodist church - who don't have bishes but do have women at all levels of leadership

I've been encouraging disaffected CofE folk to take a look at the URC, they've had women at all levels for yonks and want to be allowed to perform marriages for gay couples.

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 23:45:33

Hmm I don't know. How is this going to affect you? Do you go to church?

squoosh Wed 21-Nov-12 00:00:55

Serious misjudegment.

Watching the news this evening I felt so sorry for all those in support of women bishops. It's ok for women to do all the hard work 'on the ground' so to speak but they're unable to take part in any of the glory or any of the decision making?

Effective way to alienate a large proportion of your congregation though!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 00:02:20

I don't go to church but I'm sad that our State religion can perpetuate gender discrimination in the 21st century. That such an organisation is in a position of privelige. That none of the automatic seats that the church gets in the House of Lords is likely to be filled by a woman - an unholy combination of privelige and discrimination.

If we were a secular state without an established church, I'd be sorry for the women who can't be bishops if they wish to be, but otherwise it would be none of my business.

Cluffyfunt Wed 21-Nov-12 00:07:24

How the absolute fuck do we have aFemalehead of the CoE but females are no

Cluffyfunt Wed 21-Nov-12 00:08:46

T alowed to be bishops?

Sorry, posted too soon.

sashh Wed 21-Nov-12 02:42:24

I don't want to be methodist, I want my Church to sort its act out.

You don't have to go permenantly. I know a couple of practicing RC who have married in Methodist churches (divorced and 2nd marriage). Methodist ministers seem to think it's better to be married in a church, even if it is not the one you normally attend.

Oldmanriver Wed 21-Nov-12 07:11:44

Err I think it's the bits in the Bible that say women can't preach and should generally just STFU that bugger it up for you all.

poorchurchmouse Wed 21-Nov-12 08:23:07

To those who were asking if this is legal, I'm afraid it is. Thee's a specific exemption for religious bodies under the equality legislation which enables discrimination on grounds of religion, sex or sexual orientation where it is a religious requirement. Some of that is uncontroversial common sense (it's the provision that means, for example, that it isn't unlawful discrimination to say a non-Jewish person can't become a rabbi) and some of it legitimises misogyny and homophobia.

Another Anglican here. I'm so disappointed, angry and ashamed of my church. I hope as a consequence of this fucking awful decision someone looks at how the House of Laity of Synod is elected because it is not representative of ordinary parishioners. At all.

I'm not going anywhere, though. I've been an Anglican all my adult life and I love liturgy and ritual - I would never be at home somewhere else, and the Church of England is doing really good things at the grass roots. Besides, if people like me leave, the misogynists and homophobes win.

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 08:47:50

real shame that lay people want church to stay in the dark ages. Not wanting to modernise does no favours for the church and puts people off joining. if an institution is so out of touch with modern living, what help is it going to be in your everyday life?

tiggytape Wed 21-Nov-12 08:52:35

Who are the lay people? I understand the Church leaders voted overwhelmingly in favour but didn't get where the lay body came from or why they don't seem to agree with those who lead the church.

1605 Wed 21-Nov-12 09:02:00

I have not been to church for years and this is why. The Anglican church is hopelessly out of touch with its members, and it despises women and gay people.

To the poster who thinks we shouldn't be allowed a say because we're not churchgoers - refusing to participate is how we're exercising our disapproval and it speaks volumes that the majority of Anglicans do not go to church AT ALL.

It makes me sadder than sad. This is the tradition of worship I know and I cannot feel at home in another, but I cannot love a home and a family that is not loving and is deeply divided and divisive.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 09:04:18

So we can have female priests, just not really fancy ones confused

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 09:18:48

tiggy - they are the people that represent the churchgoers. unfortunately from the shots on TV most of the people involved in this vote seemed over 80.

Come and be a goddess-worshipping pagan. We have women who get to dress up in fancy clothes, and they also get given a bit of authority too. grin

Seriously, I have female friends who are vicars, and they are angry, sad and full of grief that the fact they haven't got willies makes them unsuitable to have positions of higher authority. I grieve with them.

Jingleflobba Wed 21-Nov-12 09:31:24

I have a male friend who is a vicar, he fully supported women bishops, he posted a note on fb last night sounding so sad about the whole thing.
I still don't understand why in 2012 when church attendance is dropping this s even an issue tbh, inclusion of women on every level could well attract more people to church.
Another one who prefers the Goddess...

TuppenceBeresford Wed 21-Nov-12 09:40:17

You can’t apply secular/worldly values to a spiritual issue; the two philosophies are not compatible.

The reason there haven’t been female bishops up until now isn’t neccesarily down to sexism, although that isn’t to deny that there may well be sexism in the Church of England. I suspect that there are varying degrees of sexism in most Christian denominations, but it’s important to separate genuinely-held, Biblically-based beliefs from mere tradition and prejudice; ie ask whether we do something because it’s Biblical or because it’s just what we’ve always done.

There’s a strong Biblical case for women not having a preaching role in church; it all comes down to our interpretation of certain New Testament passages. I’m not 100 percent sure where I stand on it myself – I’m almost persuaded but there are other interpretations which unsuprisingly I find more appealing! However, as a Christian my duty is to do my best to obey God’s word instead of trying to twist it in order to fit in with my own values and lifestyle.

On a personal note, I used to struggle a lot more with my denomination’s understanding of Biblical passages of this type as they conflicted with values that most of us take for granted. It took a long time, but I have gradually felt more at peace regarding these issues and I’ve found that there are lots of other ways in which I can serve God, none of which involve making scones or arranging flowers!

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 09:45:15

'However, as a Christian my duty is to do my best to obey God’s word instead of trying to twist it in order to fit in with my own values and lifestyle'

tuppence - surely though the bible was written by men, who did exactly what you say above. it was written in a time when it was assumed that women stayed at home and men led.

iismum Wed 21-Nov-12 09:50:05

I think it's a bit unfair to say the CofE despises women when the vast majority of the hierarchy of the church voted in favour. They just have a big problem with the leity. Unfortunately, this seems to attract mostly elderly, reactionary, conservative types who are probably not a good representation of the leity in general. So you have a situation where almost all of the leaders want it, and most of the membership want it, but it's still voted down. It's not a good situation for the church.

The scriptural argument is bollocks. Sure, St Paul said tonnes of misogynist stuff - which may include a direct ban on women preaching, I'm not sure - but most of what he said is ignores in the CofE (e.g., he was very adamant that women must have their heads covered in church). And in any case, women already do preach - they can be priests. There can't be any scriptural reason that prevents women being bishops but allows them to be priests, because the whole notion of bishops is much later. It's just plain misogyny - forced by society to give women some role but only as long as they're actually under the control of a man. And the sad thing is that a lot of the most vicious misogyny comes from women.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 09:54:35

"tuppence - surely though the bible was written by men, who did exactly what you say above. it was written in a time when it was assumed that women stayed at home and men led."

Exactly, which is why trying to 'modernise' it and make it socially acceptable today by quietly dropping the non-PC bits is ultimately so pointless. Why not go the whole hog - do a search and replace on 'He' throughout the Bible and change it to 'She'? Or introduce the notion that actually baby Jesus was a girl and that all the references to him being male are a misprint?

feetheart Wed 21-Nov-12 10:09:20

Had a really, really hard time explaining this decision to my outraged 9 year old DD this morning. Anyone on the Synod like to help?

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:14:56

feetheart - surely very easy to explain...... some very out of touch, sexist people thought it would be wrong. Older people, in particular, were brought up in an age with very different values and unfortunately they inflict these on the rest of the population. In time women bishops are inevitable.

whilst the synod and church agreed with women bishops, some of the people representing the church members didn't. unfortunately because of the way the voting is structured the decision was taken on the mistaken views of a few, rather than the majority.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 10:19:00

Tuppence, this is precisely why I struggle to understand the present situation: since the Anglican Church has already got woman vicars, it has demonstrated that this is not about the spiritual aspects of preaching or admininstering the sacraments.

The Church is in essence saying, Yes, we will have woman in roles of preaching, just not ones that wield any political or ecclesiastical power. Or, to put it in other words, We will only accept St Paul's strictures on preaching women when it happens to suit us. Does that strike you as a spiritual dimension?

Anniegetyourgun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:23:30

'Scuse me, but as I understand from the radio report the majority of lay members voted for the proposal; it just wasn't a large enough majority to make the change. Hopefully by the next time the issue can be put to a vote, most of the dinosaurs will have died out.

Bamboo, of course Jesus had to be a man, otherwise nobody would have bloody listened!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 10:26:33

Annie - that's right. Its not just a matter of dinosaurs dying out though, it also a question of people being motivated to get onto the synod.

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:28:00

grimma - i didn't think the snod was the problem. i thought it was the leity according to the news last night. maybe this will motivate younger more intelligent people to join that.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 10:28:47

As far as I understand it, the only spiritual function that a bishop can perform and an ordinary priest cannot is the ordination of priests- and I don't think St Paul has a lot to say about that. So this is very evidently not about spiritual function; it is about the fact that a lot of (hopefully) elderly people feel uncomfortable about seeing women in a position of power. Because the other thing that distinguishes a bishop from an ordinary vicar or curate is just that: power.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 10:31:49

I'm no expert but I thought that the 'house of laity' is part of the synod. anyway, the bit that non-clergy can get into, that's what all of you who want to ensure change need to get into or make sure suitable people get into. Don't just leave it open to the no campaigners to disproportionately fill.

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:31:55

unfortunately, those people who should be hanging their heads in shame won't be reading this post, as they've probably never turned a computer on in their lives.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 10:32:15

It's been pointed out in the religion chat thread that the people who should be in the General Synod aren't because the meetings are i'd-rather-chew-my-own-arm-off-than-sit-through-this kind of crap.

so, bascially, either a normal person is forced (coerced/persuaded harshly etc) to go onto the GS (and we're talking those who don't work because it's held during the day during the week), or it's full of cantankerous old men who really don't want women to do anything but stay at home cooking and cleaning. Because they're the only knobheads who are twattish enough to enjoy the fucking shambles and bollocks that makes up GS meetings.

I'm rather fucking fuming at this decision.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 10:35:59

cory - well, of course most of the anti-women bishops people also don't accept the validity of women priests (or bishops who've ordained them) so they do think its about spiritual function - that women can't administer the sacraments.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 10:37:05

and if we're going to get scriptural about it - there are shedloads of instances in the bible where the JKV put "men" meaning "men" (and not "people") when the Greek version said a word that meant "people of both men and women types" proving that in those times, there were more women involved heavily in all that sort of stuff.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 10:37:47

>it's held during the day during the week
that's really clever. Not.

TuppenceBeresford Wed 21-Nov-12 10:38:05

Yeah, I get what you're saying dreamingofsun and HouseOfBamboo, and those were my thoughts too for a long time; it's just been very gradually over the years that I've reached a different understanding. So I don't delude myself that I'm going change anybody's mind with a couple of posts!

I'm not sure what the Church Of England's position is re. the Bible - but I know that different denominations hold different positions. Some churches believe that the Bible merely contains the Word of God; my denomination believes that the Bible in its entirety is the divinely-inspired Word of God, and that's my own understanding of it.

Clearly there are aspects of it that pertain to the society of the time - e.g. polygomy, arranged marriages etc which were not commanded by God but were commmon practices at the time - but the teaching re. women's role in worship is not just something mentioned in passing; it's a direct command. If Christians are just going to pick and choose which Biblical teachings to accept and to reject ones that are less palatable to us on the grounds that "they were written by men" then where do we draw the line, and why bother with the Bible at all?

I guess I maybe come across as being a bit passive, but I don't believe that because the Bible doesn't allow me to have the same role in worship as a man that that makes me inferior. Outside of public worship there's nothing that the Bible permits my husband to do that it doesn't permit me to do.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 10:39:23

I only know that bit Grimma because I was interested in it myself, and there was just no way I could get to any of the meetings.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 10:40:24

I expect you're right, Grimma, and it's more about who votes/decides on what occasion.

My comments were more aimed at Tuppence and her take of accepting the spiritual dimension of the Church as if everything decided by the church at any one moment was based on unchanging religious precepts.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 10:42:39

>I'm not sure what the Church Of England's position is re. the Bible

Flexible. The CofE is a broad church which ranges from conservative Evangelicals, some of whom will be bible literalists, through to 'sea of faith' types who don't even really believe in God. I guess the vast majority are somewhere in the middle

dreamingofsun Wed 21-Nov-12 10:42:45

tuppence - the problem is that the minority that feel like you do have been allowed to overide the majority that feel like i do.

if god loves everyone i don't believe he would have a problem with women bishops. i think he would be above this silliness.

TuppenceBeresford Wed 21-Nov-12 10:49:41

Sorry cory, just read your post - I was going to say I didn't realise that there were women vicars but realise that that is actually nonsense, I must have known, as even I've seen The Vicar Of Dibley! It's a poor excuse but I'm not in England and I'm from a Presbyterian background where we don't have that type of hierarchy - so I am a bit ignorant of the different titles. Sorry for general stupidity!

Anyway, that makes no sense whatsoever. Not saying I agree with female vicars but if you're going to allow a woman to be a vicar there's no justification for preventing her being a bishop. So it clearly is sexism and nothing to do with Scripture.

poorchurchmouse Wed 21-Nov-12 11:45:51

There are actually two strands of objection: the 'conservative evangelicals' who take the literal interpretation of the Bible (though as described above there are a fair few holes in their arguments) and the 'traditional Catholics' who are arguing about so called sacramental assurance - the idea that somehow all bishops are operating in an unbroken line of tradition from St Peter and consecrating women will somehow break that and make everyone's orders invalid. (On phone or I would try to explain it a bit more, but I find it really hard to get my head round.) It essentially amounts to the idea that women are somehow so contaminating that we can smash up the sacramental tradition where little things like the Reformation failed. It's also a good example of the Donatist heresy if anyone's interested.

Can you tell I think it's a rubbish argument?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 11:51:56


how is it the church is not subject to the same laws on sexism, its all very crusty and old isnt it? the church will get left behind, people are moving forward, the church isnt.

TuppenceBeresford Wed 21-Nov-12 12:12:15

Vicar, my response to that would be that God’s law over-rides all man-made laws and that as Christians we are called upon not to conform to the world; to be “in the world but not of the world". You can’t apply secular humanist solutions to a spiritual problem.

I’m very conscious that I’ve probably commented too much already on something that isn’t really any of my business, as an outsider who isn’t that informed re. CofE practice and beliefs. So for that reason I think I ought to bow out now.

If I could make one final remark – dreaming, I don’t believe that because God does not allow me to be a bishop that he doesn’t love me. He has shown His love for me in many ways!

I also wouldn’t dismiss anybody else’s beliefs if they are sincerely-held.
dreaming, we might not agree but I don't doubt that your beliefs are as genuine as my own and that we are both doing our best to obey God’s word according to our different interpretations of it. I have strong reasons for my own beliefs; they are not a result of a knee-jerk prejudice but were arrived at after a great deal of reading, meditation and prayerful consideration – as I’m sure yours were too. So I wouldn’t dismiss either of our positions as “silliness”.

I didn't actually know you could be CofE and biblical literalist. How does that work? What about the bits of the Creed that aren't biblically literal? And if you don't believe in the Creed, what do you do? confused

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 21-Nov-12 12:30:04

I'm going to say something really contentious now. I don't believe the bible is the literal actual word of God. The bible to me is a number of accounts, from various people telling their story of how God revealed himself to them or to others. Because these people will have rationalised their experience to a degree, based on the world they were living in at the time, which was dominated by men, with women taking subservient roles, and often considered of little or no importance, it's not hard to see how perhaps the word of God is not recorded quite as literally as some people try to read it with respect to women.
The bible has also been translated a huge number of times, also influenced by the interpretations of the people who translated it. Given that these translators would also have been almost exclusively male, it's easy to see how the bible we have today has perhaps diverged from the original meaning.
Lastly, who chose the books which make up the bible? Which texts were discarded, by whom and for what reasons?
We will never know the answer to any of the above, but I do believe we should take this into consideration when we read the good book.
It is my belief that women should use the gifts which God gave them. If they feel that they have been called to the clergy, then why not? If we can accept women priests, why not women bishops? It's like saying a woman can be a doctor, but cannot be a consultant because she is a woman. Quite simply ridiculous.

squoosh Wed 21-Nov-12 12:32:41

I wish more people believed that the bible isn't the literal word of God roger. The world would be a much better place.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 12:33:08

rogersmelly - well, if the bible can't be trusted on this point, which points can it be trusted on, really? In putting any interpretation on it at all, you just end up with the usual pick and mix which suits the agenda of the day.

I agree with that roger. I've not personally met anyone Anglican who didn't, including all three priests at my church (two male, one female, since you ask).

Btw, another thing about the laity - my mate is a deeply committed Anglican who teaches Sunday School, organizes all sorts of things, and really cares. But like lots of people our age, she's lived in about five different places in the last ten years, so apparently she's not eligible because you need to be a church member of 'good standing', which her local people have decided (or possibly this is a rule, we don't know) means 'have been at this particular church for donkeys' years'.


GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 12:36:31

Vicar... perhaps you should have a namechange to BishopInATutu? grin

Tuppence - but, 'pay unto caesar' - christians aren't immune from the laws of the state. Sure, religious people can break the law if they think it contravenes Gods law but they must be prepared to take the consequences rather than thinking that the law of the land doesn't apply to them.

In the case of sex discrimination, religious groups have been exempted ... perhaps this would not have been the case if we didn't have an established church with some power and much influence.

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 21-Nov-12 12:38:57

I think the bible can be trusted. I just think that sometimes you have to look at the message which is being given to you by what you are reading, and consider its application to modern day life as opposed to the environment in which the original message was given. Prayer helps.

Yes, I think you have to try to interpret as best you can. Theologically I think it's guided by the Holy Spirit, that's the idea, isn't it? But IMO it is dubious (polite word) to claim you can't use common sense or your convictions of what's right and what's wrong. And yet I think some people do insist on this - I know people who say yes, it feels wrong to stop women being priests (somehow, you get the idea it doesn't feel very wrong to them ...), but still, it's what the Bible says so we gotta do it.

I think if you're interpreting a piece of text, you need to be honest about why you'll happily discount some bits and not others.

I think there are people who genuinely, and in a spirit of complete honesty, think women shouldn't be priests based on their understanding of the faith. But I think there are far more who just like the idea and are aware it's not really right.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 12:42:16

btw I agree with the view that the bible's content will be skewed by the political and social views (and agendas) of the person writing it, how could it not be?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 12:46:24

LRD - is there anything in the Creed which is actually contradictory to the bible? I would guess literalists would be ok with additions.

Would they? Ok.

In that case I expect they're ok, but I don't follow how it would work to say you're a literalist, but you're also part of a church that recognises tradition.

Waspie Wed 21-Nov-12 12:51:56

I think this decision is disgusting. There is no way the CofE should be allowed to be an employer if it does not respect equality and anti-discrimination laws. What have I missed? Do Bishops not get paid?

I'm always thankful that I'm an atheist, but last night and today I am even more so. Shame on the CofE for this decision sad

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 12:53:27

LRD - well, maybe everyone isn't entirely logical when it comes to matters of religion? wink

squoosh Wed 21-Nov-12 12:54:24

And I feel sad for Rowan Williams too, he would loved to have had the acceptance of female bishops as part of his legacy.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 12:55:40

Waspie - whether it should be allowed to be an employer or not, it seems wrong that it is part of the State and not fully obey the normal laws of the state.



Sorry, derailing the thread, just curious as it's not something I've come across before.

Btw, I don't know if MN will let me link, or even how to link, but there's a petition going on saying that if the Church won't accept women bishops, it should not get to have seats in the House of Lords. Maybe interesting to some on this thread? If so say and I'll try to link.

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 12:57:42

Has anyone linked this petition yet?

Rleigions can choose to be sexist within themselves if they think that their god tells them to be, but if so they should not have an officially recognised voice in our government.

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 12:58:04

X-post iwth LRD

Thanks trills!

toriap2 Wed 21-Nov-12 12:59:50

Trying to explain this to my dd was hard. She said women are just as good as men in praying and serving God. Also she was taught there is no gender in heaven so is trying to understand why gender matters on earth. I am confused about the queen being the head of the church. Does this not mean she is authority over men?

LilyBolero Wed 21-Nov-12 13:02:42

WRT what to believe from the bible, I stick to the 4 Gospels. All the rest is from man imo. (Man being gender inclusive in this instance).

Nowhere does Jesus say 'Women shall not be priests'. Or 'the Church should be led by people with penises'.

Equally, Jesus says nothing on homosexuality.

What Jesus talks about is loving one another and loving God.

I think the bit of her in authority over men is the anointed monarch bit, not the weak 'n' feeble bit. hmm

('hmm' at the logic, obvs, not at you!!)

Waspie Wed 21-Nov-12 13:04:23

Grimma - yes, I totally agree with you.

I suppose my thought was that if the church can decide what it does within the confines of it's religion why does that give it any exemption from the laws of the land?

There should, IMO, be a total division of church and state.

I've signed the petition. No way should bishops have seats in the Lords.

Oldmanriver Wed 21-Nov-12 14:50:29

I have to hand it to those who are running with the "oh well that part of the Bible can be ignored, because we don't like the message, Old Testament? Doesn't count". Your level of cognitive dissonance is impressive. It's almost as if you would rather come up with your own enlightened morality based on notions of freedom and equality than stick to the teachings in the Bible. To do that you have to invent your own god because you can't use the whole Bible any more, and there's not much difference between reinterpreting and ignoring as just making stuff up.

Trouble is, where to start? Making up the basic rules to live by is pretty simple, it seems to me, sure some finer points would need debating but most mentally healthy peo

oldman - but that's been the standard method of Biblical interpretation since before the NT was even written. confused

Why does it surprise you people would rather come up with an enlightened morality than go with literal interpretation? Literal interpretation is a very new idea, and seems a bit bizarre to many of us. The idea that people aren't using 'the whole Bible any more' is absurd: the only people who've tried to use 'the whole Bible' in the literal sense have been doing it for, oh, I dunno, two hundred years tops? Whereas the people who interpret less literally have been doing it for millenia.

Oldmanriver Wed 21-Nov-12 15:14:40

Sorry about that fat fingers on a small screen. To continue my tedious diatribe:

......people unbound by indoctrination could come up with something workable.

The trouble comes when you try to lever in an omnipotent and loving god. I really can't see how that fits in with the world. I think old Epicurus had it about right - worth a Google. The mental tricks required to match the notion of a god you would like to exist and the evidence before your eyes require a certain abandonment of logic and reason,which are precisely the characteristics that stop you from believing in the Bible in the first place.

Maybe it's time to acknowledge that morality can come from humanity, establish a set of obvious common beliefs as a civilized society and move on from dark age dogma.

Oldmanriver Wed 21-Nov-12 15:22:34

LRD. I'm all for the people defining our own morality/laws. As you say, it's what we have always done.

But if you interpret the Bible and your concept of a god to suit your moral beliefs derived from your own or collective reasoning, are you not just fooling yourself? Is that not clear evidence that Humanity invented gods and not the other way around?

Well, of course, it's perfectly possible I'm fooling myself, but no, I don't see why that's evidence humanity invented gods.

Why wouldn't any sane person interpret the Bible? We interpret every act of communication - that's how our brains are set up, as humans, to decode language and respond to it.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 15:30:15

I'm not at all surprised, well it stands to reason though doesn't it.

God made Adam
God made Eve (using a bit of Adam) as an afterthought/plaything for Adam.

Religion is man made for men.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 15:34:35

"Religion is man made for men."

I really struggle to understand why anyone would believe otherwise, tbh. To say the bible is only misogynistic because it was written by some poor 'unenlightened' folks in days gone by is just staggeringly illogical.

Why do you think the bible is misogynistic, if not because it was written by 'unenlightened folks', house? confused

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 15:48:20

What I'm not getting is that some people appear to think that the true word of God / Jesus was inherently 'right on' and not at all at odds with modern society.

It's just that those pesky humans wrote down some rather politically incorrect stuff about what God / Jesus wants which they shouldn't have. So we ignore all those bits.

Am I getting that right confused My brain hurts a bit now grin

I think that's pretty much it - or rather, there are things in this world we don't understand properly. Loads of them. And as knowledge expands, we don't actually stop finding there are other things we don't understand. So it is silly to expect that anything written down is going to explain everything so we can understand it, once and for all.

If you're not comfortable with the theological bit, maybe see it as a way people have of rationalizing the fact that we aren't ever going to know everything or understand everything?

I mean, it's not so much God was dictating to the gospel writers and they were fiddling with their hair while he was talking so they wrote a bit down wrongly, or one of them thought 'nahhh, that sounds daft, I'll put something else in the copy and no-one will notice'. It's that you can't really communicate something in human language, that is going to be the sum of human knowledge forever. Human brains don't work that way.

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 21-Nov-12 16:02:12

I think the bible is surprisingly enlightened in some areas of the old testament, take Leviticus for example, the rules regarding skin disease or rashes show an enlightened view of how to prevent spread of contagion etc. also the Jewish rules regarding not mixing dairy and meat show some clear knowledge of the danger of bacterial contamination.
It is however I think unrealistic to expect that after countless translations and transcriptions that Gods perfect word remain as He intended it. After all, however hard we try, we are human and therefore imperfect, each with our own experiences and opinions, which this thread amply demonstrates, if God appeared to each of us with the same message tonight, how many different versions of that message would we see tomorrow? And how different again would those messages be after several thousand years of passing down by word of mouth, then written, then translation into languages which were not even in use when the original message was given, and may not even have the vocabulary to express fully the message? This is why I am unable to accept the old testament as Gods literal word. The imprint of mans imperfect hand rests too heavily on it for me to judge or condemn anyone based on its contents. It is a moral compass, and a guide, but my direction comes from prayer, faith and the new testament.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 16:03:05

Yes... whenever you get a 'WWJD' the answer you get is usually 'what would I do if I had the same clout'. Man ( in the genderless sense) makes god in his own image and - despite being a probably real historical person, tries to do the same for Jesus. Here's a thought experiment...suppose you have a christian who's somehow skipped Matthew 8.28-36, Mark 5.1-20 and Luke 8.20-34. Paint a scenario where your walking along in the countryside and meet a naked man who lives in tombs who says he's posessed by demons. WWJD? I'd stake large odds that no-one who hadn't read the story would come remotely close to what is supposed to have happened. It doesn't in any way fit with our 21st century sensibilities.

roger - I've heard that sort of thing with the rules about pork, or shellfish - it's not healthy to keep pigs in hot climates, and shellfish goes off fast.

I agree, lots of it must be quite practical. And lots of it is just beautiful writing. It's just such a huge patchwork of different things.

grimma - yeah, I can imagine! grin

Ring social services.

I've got to say, I find possession/demons one of the hardest things to imagine people believing, ever, though I know they did (and people still do).

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 21-Nov-12 17:32:32

Just received this email:

The Diocese of Canterbury
The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott
The Old Palace, The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1NQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1227 459382. Fax: 784985

Dear Colleagues
The open door…
You will no doubt have heard that the General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday against the Measure to allow women to be ordained as bishops. Although the Measure was passed in the House of Bishops (44 for, 3 against, 2 abstentions) and the House of Clergy (148 for and 45 against), the vote in the House of Laity (132 for and 74 against) narrowly missed the required 2/3 majority required in each House. In essence, another 6 votes in the House of Laity and the headlines this morning would have been very different.
Many of my fellow bishops have already expressed their deep disappointment at this decision, and many more people across the church and beyond are saddened and confused at the rejection of what seemed to so many to be a reasonable, if imperfect, way forward. Many are doubting their vocation, and even their faith, within a church whose decision making body could now appear so out of touch with both the majority of its members and the wider society it seeks to serve. My heart goes out to all those who are saddened by yesterday’s events and particularly those women whose ministry is such an important, a fundamental part of the life of the church, and who had hoped so dearly to be affirmed in their vocation.
One of the readings set for Holy Communion today, from the Revelation to John, begins…
‘I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open!’
I believe that the door to women being bishops is open and cannot now be shut. The clear majority of the Church of England demands it, the people of this country expect it, and I believe that the Holy Spirit yearns for it. There will be women bishops in the Church of England and I hope and pray that the wait will not be a long one.
The vote yesterday was not a ‘no’ to women bishops, but it was a ‘no’ to the proposed Measure as it stands. The House of Bishops meets in two weeks’ time and will be considering the way forward; I ask for your prayers for me and my colleagues in this work.
In the Diocese of Canterbury, women in ministry are valued and appreciated widely. As Bishop, I have consistently assured those who find the episcopal or priestly ministry of women difficult, that there will be a place for them, which respects their convictions.
My door is open to those who wish to talk to me about this. My thoughts and prayers are with all those across the Diocese who feel the effects of this decision deeply. And I would echo Archbishop Rowan’s words: ‘It is still your church. Not mine, not Synod’s, but yours. Your voice matters and will be heard. It’s important not to give up.’
The door is open. We will, and we must, go through it together.
With my prayers and best wishes,
Bishop Trevor
This email has been sent to clergy, Readers, churchwardens, parish officers, Authorised Lay Ministers and head teachers in the Diocese of Canterbury. Please share with your colleagues not on email.

Oldmanriver Wed 21-Nov-12 17:48:09

So the bible, unreliable. Leviticus, some sensible bits, some lunacy. Infection control good, stoning for wearing mixed fibers bad. So you find the bits in it that support your view points, whilst jumping through mental hoops to reconcile the god of love with HIV infected babies.

Can someone please explain to me the difference between obeying some bits and not others as compared to just using your brain to decide on a set of rules and behaviors that make the world a better place? I'm not attacking anyone personally but I can't understand why thinking, sane adults can't see the word "bullshit" in twenty foot high flaming letters whenever confronted by religion.

I think it would be great for the CofE to reissue the Bible with just the bits they agree with, and maybe add a bit about gender equality and an up vote for the gays or something. Possibly drop the god bit and get on the communal singing, community building and charity work that actually does some good.

I'll shut up now, I feel bad for contributing to derailment of this thread away from the original point.

Arseface Wed 21-Nov-12 18:02:23

YABU to be just 'sad'. I'm seething.
Couldn't care less what churches want to do amongst themselves but they should not be exempt from the law of the land.

Maybe now we can finally get the Cof E out of our schools and legislative bodies though.

Have not read thread so sorry if I'm repeat linking but petition Here seems like a good start.

'Can someone please explain to me the difference between obeying some bits and not others as compared to just using your brain to decide on a set of rules and behaviors that make the world a better place?'

Why should there be a difference? confused

BridgetBidet Wed 21-Nov-12 18:28:05

I suspect that rather than it being a vote against women bishops it was an expression of anger by many of the laity at Rowan Williams and his leadership of the church and a final outgoing 'bloody nose' personally aimed at him rather than anything specific to do with women bishops.

I reckon if the next chap is a more popular Archbishop he will have no problem getting it through. It's Rowan Williams unpopularity which has caused this.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 19:19:36

BB - if that was the motivation (I've no idea) that would be all the more shameful. Responsible organisations don't make decisions out of pique.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 19:32:25

but I can't understand why thinking, sane adults can't see the word "bullshit" in twenty foot high flaming letters whenever confronted by religion

I am 120% with you here.

The bible is a "book of stories" You only have to look at what tribesmen still do in some parts today, they tell stories.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:53:21

Those who believe the bible stories are mighty powerful though. They keep us in line by letting us know exactly which taxpayer-funded schools our children are entitled to attend in our local area. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky they let women be teachers.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 19:55:53

Another great post House. What power huh.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:59

oh thank you blush

But it's an effective strategy by the church, in some areas, anyway - grab the middle classes by the balls by holding their kids' education to ransom.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:59

That and a lot more besides sad

Religion is based on control always has been always will be and guess what, women should still know their place. We are allowed to go so far to shut us up don't you know.

It's the worst form of a "gentlemans club" I've ever come across.

poorchurchmouse Wed 21-Nov-12 22:26:24

Except that on this occasion the gentlemen already in the club - the bishops - voted overwhelmingly to let women in. It's a bit more complicated than you're suggesting.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 21-Nov-12 22:40:35

I'd say that the bishops had a firmer grip on the PR implications than a dedication to sexual equality, but maybe that's just me being cynical.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 23:54:11

I'd even go so far as thinking that letter is a crock of shite.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:00:04

When are you going to realise poor that it's an "Establishment" run by men for men totally dressed up in finery and pomp. Everything about religion stinks of inequality for women.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:16:07

whilst im on a roll here the "church" is a very rich establishment that owns so much property in England it's laughable yet it/they profess to help the poor? come on now, how damn hypocritcal is that?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 22-Nov-12 00:21:43

One more thing. Everytime I pass a church I laugh when there's a sign out there saying "help us fix our roof" In my head I say "fix your own damn roof"

and breath phoenix breath

and I believe that the Holy Spirit yearns for it.

That's quite an interesting point, as the Holy spirit, called the Shekinah, is female in Jewish and Qabbalastic system.

Bunpea Thu 22-Nov-12 18:04:33

Yes yabu, you should be absolutely livid, not just sad.

ErrorError Thu 22-Nov-12 19:20:34

I'm not religious but also fuming at this decision and feel really sorry for the people who have campaigned in favour of this. Back to the middle ages we go? What is hilariously ironic is that the Head of the C of E is in fact, a woman!

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