Sunday, 25 November 2012

Yup yup yuppety yup yup this is just The Vicar’s Daughter yup

Hello. It’s me. ^ The Vicar’s Daughter. Which you probably know already because you can probably read. At least, I assume you can read because otherwise you probably wouldn’t be on a very texty blog. And by texty, I mean it has lots of text. And you have to read to see read lots of text, so yeah… Anyway, I’m rambling.

So, Mum asked me to write this blog post about why I didn’t go to church today. To be honest, there’s quite a few reasons, but I mainly didn’t go because of the CofE’s vote against women bishops.
It’s fudgenuggetingly stupid, because 2012 is supposed to be not sexist, right? Like, urghhhh. And I mean, it wasn’t even like the synod couldn’t go for the majority, they had to have THE PRECISE NUMBER. And they only lost it by six votes. What surprised me even more than the fact that they voted against it, was the fact that almost all of the bishops voted for it (according to Mum, anyway), and it was the House of Laity or something like that (who are like average churchy people apparently) rejected it, meaning they lost the vote.

Basically, the synod are being stupid for not just going with the vote because the majority voted for women bishops, which is A LOT MORE PEOPLE THAN WHO VOTED AGAINST.

Now you’re probably wondering why on earth this kid cares. I care because if we’re stuck in an age in which women still aren’t able to do whatever the hell they want to do with their job, then we may as well go back to the Elizabethan times when a women was treated like property. As a female, I think that it should be an equal right. Whatever gender you are the only thing different about us is the fact our bodies are different. What about the women who would be amazing at being a bishop? What about them? I know for a fact that someone close to me, who would’ve been, probably, one of the first women bishops and they might not ever manage to be now. My mother is a vicar herself, and suppose she wanted to escalate to being a Bishop instead of a priest, surely she should be able to. It’s ridiculous that the church is still being sexist. It’s ridiculousness in true form that anybody is still being sexist.

This is the 21st century: wake up, sweetheart.


P.S. If anybody is wondering what the other reasons were: it was sleep.

P.P.S. Just kidding. That was a joke. Now laugh. *pokes*

P.P.P.S. I do still believe in God, and trust in him. I don’t believe or trust in the Church of England right now, however.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

How long?

I really hoped this wouldn't be my first blog post.  I was hoping to kick off my 'official' Vicar of Borstal blog with a happy 'run-up-to-Advent' post, including a 'by-the-way-isn't-it-great-about-women-bishops?'  But no, we are where we are.  All around us women clergy, and plenty of other people, are reeling from the decision that women are not going to be bishops in the Church of England.  South Africa - fine. New Zealand - fine.  USA - fine.  But not, apparently, in the Church of England (though I love the idea that Wales might push ahead and do it anyway).  Apologies for using 'Church' as shorthand for 'Church on England' in the remainder of this post.

There's so much that's wrong about this.  The clear democratic majority that wasn't enough.  The unholy alliance between extreme conservative evangelicals and extreme Anglo-Catholics.  The way we didn't stand up and say 'This is wrong, discrimination is wrong, sexism is just as bad as racism and it must be stopped,' instead indulging in text-throwing and fudge.

I think that's where I see a glimmer of hope.  The Church was so caught up in trying to please everyone, in trying to square the circle, that this truth had been lost.  Now, in the glare of the world's media, suddenly it is embarrassing.  Defining someone in terms of their chromosomes first and their gifts second denies their human rights.  The Church is shown up as an oppressive, reactionary institution which does not treat everyone as made in God's image, as special and equal before God.

I see further hope in the way that the Church has, belatedly, realised that women are hurting.  Being constantly discussed as though we were a separate species, being denigrated both subtly and blatantly, hurts. Finally our tears are visible.  We see highly gifted women who will not now become bishops because they will be too old by the time we get around to it, and my heart goes out to them, but denying women's gifts denigrates all women, whether or not they are called to the episcopate.

My twelve-year-old daughter is refusing to go to church, as of this week, because the Church is 'being an idiot'.  I can't force her to go, nor would I want to.  I completely see her point.  Those who worry that a few people might leave the Church over women bishops would do better to worry about those who are so repulsed by this blatant sexism they will never darken our doors again.

In the days of the Reformation, women were not allowed to read the bible for themselves.  People argued against it with passion and sincerity.  Those people were wrong.  Reading the bible for ourselves has liberated women, has shown us that we are loved equally, has shown us that women were respected by Jesus and chosen to be missionaries to whole communities.  Fast forward a few hundred years and the leadership of women priests has shown that we are gifted and capable and have valid vocations.  Some may argue against this with passion and sincerity, but they are still wrong.  It is time for change.