Fallout from the C of E’s rejection of female bishops

Philip M. writes from England:

Listening to the coverage over the narrow vote against women bishops in the Church of England I noticed so many themes discussed at VFR, and so many points of contention to someone with traditionalist views, it is hard to know where to begin.

For instance, whilst listening to a “debate” on BBC radio between a female canon and a leading female evangelical who was supposed to be arguing against the concept of women bishops, I was struck by how typical of modern conservatives was the evangelical’s attitude of supplication and guilt towards the stridently feminist canon. She told her at one point, “I don’t want you to think this has been an easy decision for me. I have struggled with this issue for many years.” This seems to suggest that she herself thinks that there should be female bishops, that God is wrong and that equality is correct, and that if she could only find a loophole which would allow her to believe otherwise, she would. Is this the correct attitude of a Christian towards the precepts of their own religion? Should she not defend the laws laid down by her own God with force and conviction—even with joy? As usual, she made it seems as if she does not believe what she believes out of any principle, but out of stubborn bigotry, which even she struggles to justify. I could quite understand if the canon held her in contempt for her views.

Naturally, the attitude of the female canon and other proponents of female ordination simply dripped contempt for a church without female leadership, and brought to mind Laura Wood’s observation that women join the army in order to fight against their own country. If this is true of female soldiers and their country, it is doubly true of women priests and their Church. They clearly hate the Church, they desire to write off the first two thousand years of it as a terrible, oppressive mistake. How can they be any other than the sworn enemies of the Church? The fact that so many priests and bishops have come out and said that the Church has made itself a laughing stock and an irrelevance only underscores this. As does their lack of reaction to the former Labour cabinet minister (and a homosexual to boot), Ben Bradshaw, saying that the government should use equalities legislation to force the Church of England to accept women bishops.

Even as someone who does not care to deeply about this awful Church, and feels it deserves to be treated with contempt, I found this a frightening, Orwellian suggestion. If Muslims in Britain were told by a Marxist homosexual that they would be forced to accept female Imams with the force of law, they would rally to the defence of their faith, even if they did not have strong feelings on the issue (I know it is slightly different because the Church of England is established, but even so.) The fact that no one in the Church of England has defended themselves against this suggestion shows their true feelings towards their own religion in relation to the State and the prevailing ideology, and what it is they truly worship. [LA replies: I don’t find the suggestion frightening at all, but logical and to-be-expected. I can’t imagine why the Equality regulations would not be brought to bear against the Church. The law is clear: there shall be no discrimination by race, sex, sexuality, etc. in the provision of goods and services in Great Britain, period. This was brought ruthlessly to bear against Catholic adoption agencies that chose not to adopt to same-sex couples; why would it not be brought against the Church of England which refuses to ordain female bishops?]

Ben Bradshaw also commented, “This means the Church is being held hostage by an unholy and unrepresentative alliance of conservative evangelicals and conservative Catholics.” Not for the first time I note (and I believe this has been a VFR theme) that atheists seem perfectly happy to use religious language—“unholy”—that they would normally find anachronistic,” when it is the precepts of their own liberal religion that are being questioned. The incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Welby, who supports women bishops but not homosexual priests, is a fool of the highest order if he cannot see that the introduction of the former will lead to the latter as surely as night follows day.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 22, 2012 10:07 AM | Send

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