Saturday, 10 July 2010


Another meeting of the General Synod; another day of naval gazing beyond credibility.

I’ve asked this before and I make no apology for asking it again, what the hell is wrong with the Church of England; the established church of the UK? (Oh yes, I know the Church of Scotland bears that nominal title in Scotland, but it is the English church which sit as of right in the UK parliament.)

Right! So here’s the deal. You would expect that when Bishops and Archbishops and clergy and layity members get together to discuss stuff, the agenda would be predominated by a review of how things were going in the nation of which they are the established church. You know, areas which might need special help; places that were, if you will, going to the Devil one way or another.

In times of economic stress that might be thought to be even more important, in order that that the established church could play a full and active role in trying to make life a little better for the poor people being specially badly hit by the misery that is being unleashed on them, and for which they are in no real way responsible.

But no. As usual the church has returned to the two subjects about which it obsesses annually and permanently, and as a result about which it knows most. Women and Gays.

I’m told that in 1938 they concerned themselves predominantly with whether the King should or should not be allowed to marry Mrs Simpson, but I can’t remember a time when they weren’t on about the old favourites.... They must all know the speeches off by heart by now.

But what happened is that the plans put forward by Rowan Williams urging a compromise over the issue of women bishops were rejected by members, including some senior bishops. So it looks like there will be a split and some of the traditionalists will leave and go to the Catholic Church and Benedict will be rejoicing at that news. All the more money for a new hat. Sophia Pangloss take note!!

Dr Jeffrey John, the openly homosexual cleric, was blocked from becoming Bishop of Southwark. So they have managed to rake up their second favourite subject as Liberals blame poor old Rowan for that too. (Incidentally isn’t it a travesty that we have to use the word “openly” about Dr John in 2010, like he had the Black Plague). The Church it seems has once again spent all day hating when it should have spent all day loving.

I’m not a member of the Church, but as I help to subsidize it through taxes, I’d like to suggest that it drag its weary bones into the world of here and now, where poverty and strife are already stalking the streets of this country and where over the next few months and years it is only likely to get worse, with some, including me, prophesying civil unrest.... possibly even pretty uncivil unrest.

The law of the land is that there must be no discrimination made in any job over the sex or sexuality of the applicant. That’s really the beginning and the end of the story.

Right! That done they should spend the rest of the weekend reflecting how and where they should deploy their not inconsiderable resources in the business of comforting and succoring the poor, just like Jesus Christ would have done. For heaven’s sake!


  1. You must have been reading my mind Tris. I was thinking earlier that the church seem hell bent on destroying Christianity and its values rather than encouraging it. My reason is because now we no longer have a Sunday service here in the CoS at 11am - the tradition time. When I came here years ago now, there were 3 churches which all did a Sunday service. Two bit the dust to developers quickly and we're left with one. That minister has to look after various other churches. I don't have a clue who he is yet my catholic friends know the local priest and join in with local happenings - because they're encouraged, not because they're 'hard line' catholics.

    As a child the church as accessible to all. Today it's quite the opposite.

  2. tris dear, ye've made ma day so ye have. Not only hae ye labelled me in yin o' yer lovely posts, but ye've sandwiched me atween Pope Ratcatcher an' another weirdie beardie that thought he had a hotline tae the Big Yin. Smashin company!

    In fact, lookin at yer list o' labels, ah feel ah stick oot a wee bit. Ah'm the only yin oan yer list that sees fowk as essentially aw the same, whether man or wumman (or in-between), straight or gay (or in-between), whitever their colour, religion or hat-size. Ah'm no even that bothered if men want tae dress up in frocks an' parade aboot, passin roon cups o' wine an' frisps.

    As ye say, it's a pity they couldnae see past their ain prejudices an' try helpin fowk, cos god knows we aw need help the noo, wi a vicious Tory government sharpenin its fangs...

  3. I also don't remember a time when the COE was not obsessed with women and gays. Easy to forget however that the Church of Scotland held back the 1967 laws that made homosexuality legal here in Scotland until 1981.

  4. Morning Subrosa

    It’s a pity that the COS has stopped being available at the centre of life of Scottish towns in the way that you suggest. I suspect it is a vicious circle of unpopularity, and reducing resources, uncoolness and so on.

    I’m not a churchy person, although I hope that I live my life, at least sometimes like a good Christian or Muslim or Hindu would, with love and consideration for other people, and of course falling at the first hurdle... but perhaps one of the reasons I never took up with a church was the kind of hypocrisy I met there on the few occasions I did go.

    MY mum is a churchgoer, and my dad was not, so the choice was left to me.

    I remember that I went once o my own and that I managed to stay awake while this dreary man gave a piece on “loving thy neighbour”; it being a commandment in the Old Testament.

    I remember it as if it were yesterday, a bright sunny morning and frankly I wished that I was out playing, coz I was still only 11 or 12. When we were “loused” I made my way to the front door where the minister was shaking hands with folk, and he managed to miss me out, but I was standing there wondering what to do and listening to the grownups talking, and I overheard these two old women discussing another old woman in the most disparaging terms... and I thought: “Nah, I can do without all this dressing up and singing on a sunny Sunday morning. It’s not done them any good, and they look like they have been coming here for 80 years!”

    Now I know that there are good people in all the churches, from the C of E to the Mosque just down the road, from a friend who is a Hindu to another I mate from the Baha’i faith. Good people and kind, but there is also so much hypocrisy.

    The Women and Gays thing for the C of E is a difficult philosophical matter of course, but surely it could be resolved with some sense, prayer if you will, and discussions. Doctrine is only interpretation and it’s strange that so many interpretations can be taken from one set of teachings, and yet there are people who believe that they, and only they, are right.

    I wouldn’t even try to rehearse all the arguments here in such a small space, even if I did understand them fully, but it would be nice if, just for once, these people would stop worrying themselves about all this hate and get into some serious love, which, as the song says, is what the world needs now. As I said, it’s hard to see that Jesus would have been particularly impressed by this unedifying sight.

  5. Ha ha ha ha.... Oh Sophia, I thought if I sandwiched you between the two weirdos, you might be able to talk some sense into them, hard job though that would be. If nothing else you would get them laughing, and that’s the start of good things in my experience.

    “....lookin at yer list o' labels, ah feel ah stick oot a wee bit. Ah'm the only yin oan yer list that sees fowk as essentially aw the same, whether man or wumman (or in-between), straight or gay (or in-between), whitever their colour, religion or hat-size. Ah'm no even that bothered if men want tae dress up in frocks an' parade aboot, passin roon cups o' wine an' frisps.”

    Not only beautifully written, sweetheart, but perhaps the description of what a real Christian might be. Yes, I think I was right to put you between them. Perhaps with just a few words you could show them their jobs.

    Thanks for your lovely comment.

  6. Munguin:

    The C of S seems a lot less concerned with hierarchy and position and frocks and incense Munguin, and they seem to managed the transition to women ministers a lot better than most, but Lord knows (quite literally) some of them are an unloving and unsmiling, and totally closed minded bunch.

    I believe you are right about their opposition to the legalising of homosexuality, although I’m not sure how they could have done it, given that they don’t sit in parliament.

    But yes, my criticisms for the unChristian behaviour of the churches does not stop at the C of E. Heaven know (again literally) the Catholics have some fairly unChristian practises to answer for.

    I think that most of it stems from the fact that few of them truly believe what they preach to other people (if they are priests) and what they are hearing (if they are laity). I doubt that they really believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient; otherwise they wouldn’t do the things that so many of them do. Or maybe they just believe that no matter what they do, they will be forgiven if they can get a priest before they die. Not much forward thinking there though. Many people have the blessing of dying in the middle of the night totally unannounced!.

  7. "The law of the land is that there must be no discrimination made in any job over the sex or sexuality of the applicant. That’s really the beginning and the end of the story"

    No, Tris - it really isn't.

    As a member of the Anglican communion I would urge people to consider this not through the lense of equality issues, but of religious conscience.

    We traditionalist Anglicans have the right to adhere to our holy scripture without interference from secular athiesm in the Commons.

  8. Well Dean,

    I'm not church so I don't know that I have any business telling you how to run your affairs, but, can you show me in the Bible where it says that Homosexuals and Women can't be bishops.

    Clearly there are other churches who don't read this into the Bible, and I accept that perhaps religion should have SOME outs from the law of the land, but only when they can prove a really good case.

    Actually, and maybe this is the wrong place for such a discussion, but can you tell me where it says in the Bible that there should be bishops and archbishops at all...?

    Jesus didn't have them.

  9. Tris,

    I have written a response to your article over on my blog, I refernced yours [hope you don't mind].

    I discussed the idea that until now it has been considered unconstitutional for Parliament to interfere in the private sphere of religious demoninations. And how your end note "The law of the land is that there must be no discrimination made in any job over the sex or sexuality of the applicant. That’s really the beginning and the end of the story" might impact on that.

    Also, to answer your question where we traditionalists find our opposition to female bishops:

    The first thing I'd say Tris is ordination to Bishop is NOT a right.

    Those clamoring for women’s ordination not only err regarding Church doctrine, they also fail to understand that ordination is a gift, not a right. The 1976 Vatican document is clear: "The priesthood is not conferred for the honor or advantage of the recipient, but for the service of God and the Church; it is the object of a specific and totally gratuitous vocation: "You did not choose me, no, I chose you, and I commissioned you. . . " (Jn 15:16; cf. Heb 5:4)." (Declaration, #6)

    Fr. Miceli likewise refutes the error of considering ordination as a “right”:

    "Changing God's plan to call woman priest and bishop can never be a matter of personal rights, human justice and equality. No one has any rights before God. And no one has a right to be a priest. The priesthood is not a profession left to one's option; it is a vocation freely bestowed by God and ratified by His Church." (Miceli, p. 10) [source:]

    On this basis the appointment of women is not neccessarily an equality issue, they do not have an automatic 'right' to appointment. This is unlike other areas, like a womans right to equal pay in the workplace is correct.

    Second point concerning the religious debate is focused on the 12 [as you pointed out].

    Not even Mary mother of God was selected to be one of the tweleve.

    The 1976 Vatican declaration states, "Jesus Christ did not call any woman to become part of the Twelve. If he acted in this way, it was not in order to conform to the customs of his time, for his attitude towards women was quite different from that of his milieu, and he deliberately and courageously broke with it." (Declaration, #3) Pope Innocent III wrote at the beginning of the thirteenth century, "Although the Blessed Virgin Mary surpassed in dignity and in excellence all the Apostles, nevertheless it was not to her but to them that the Lord entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven". [Pope Innocent III, "Epist.," December 11, 1210 to the Bishops of Valencia and Burgos] (Declaration, #2)

    Thus it is clear that woman do not have an automatic 'right' to appointment, thus my contention it is not an equality issue - but a matter of religious conscience.

    Furthermore, 2,000 years of tradition and religious teaching has made clear that the symbolism of the Holy text argues against females holding 'the keys' to the doors of heaven [i.e apostolic leadership].

    I understand many liberals reject this line of argument, but it is, to my mind, the only legitimate way of interpretation.

  10. Thansk Dean for that thoughtful and lengthy response.

    I'm interested in the fact that you count decrees from the Vatican as holding sway over the C of E. That's something I'd like to explore further.

    It is a vexed question about what holds sway over the law of the land. Your church, more churches, all churches, all faiths.

    I'll read your post shortly ...

    Thanks again for your explanations. I don't necessarily agree with your conclusions, but I now have more to base my contemplations (as if they mattered) upon.

  11. Oh and feel free to link to here anytime it's appropriate Dean.

  12. PS (If I weren't so woollie headed I'd do all this in one post.

    You didn't refer to gay bishops in your reply... nor to why you ahve bishops at all, when Christ had none.


  13. Oh the things men hae written, the things men hae done.

    Dean, d'ye really think that, had wummen been in a stronger position 2000 year ago, that ye wid be able tae cite history as yer witness? It's purely cos men hae subjugated wummen that ye can say whit ye dae. Nae wummen were involved in the writin o' the book ye love sae. Men wrote it, men hae interpreted it, men continue tae use it tae subjugate wummen.

    There is nae objective truth in the 2000 year-auld writins o' unenlightened men. There is nae objective truth in the book ye love sae.

    Ah'm profoundly gratefu for the accidents o' history that made me a child o' ma time, an' no a child o' a time afore guid sense.

    Ah'm actually beilin tae be honest, no at you personally Dean, but at the collective wickedness o' aw thae fowk, preists an' popes an' Sunday School teachers, wha hae conspired tae haud back the tides o' progress intae this modren age.

    An' then ah stop an' think rationally, ah remind masel o' the weakened an' weakenin position o' religions in ma world, an' ah relax again. Thank the lord fer enlightenment!

  14. All of us are lucky that we don’t live in a time when, if you didn’t support the religion of the King’s choice you were a dead man, or woman. We are lucky we do not live in the much more recent times where membership of the wrong church disqualified you from a job in a company. (Show me a Catholic in D C Thomson’s 2000 strong workforce, just 20 years ago)

    I have never really understood why a country should or could have a religion. A country is a pile of land, rocks, stones, soil, water... and it has people. The people are all individuals. Region on the other hand is a belief in a set of philosophies, made palatable to simple people by the invention of stories, parables if you will, and of people perhaps. The fundamental necessity for a religion is “belief”. Without it the religion is nothing. Rice Christians in China were not Christians, they were at worst opportunists who saw a chance for an easier life, and at best they were hungry people. The missionaries seem to have a distinct resemblance to modern day target hunters.

    The people of Saudi Arabia are not necessarily Moslems; they are people who are, on pain of death, worshippers in the Moslem faith.

    That, on occasions the King of England changed and with it changed the religion of the land, is proof that you “believed” what you were told to believe, which rendered it invalid.

    However, we have an established church that can break the law of the land, and we have the church from which it broke away when they king was denied his own way by the pope, and it gets to break the law even more. No women at all!

    But who is to say what the Methodists or the Congregationalists or the Baptists may do, or the Hindus, Sikhs, Seventh Day Adventists, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Free Church, Wee Free Church, Church of Scotland. If I started a church tomorrow, would I be allowed to break the law? The Rev (which he’s not ) Dr (which he’s not) Lord (which he is) Paisley got away with it...

  15. I find the whole thing irrelevant and boring.

  16. Considering the 2000 years of tradition and religious teaching of the Christian church is a big lie based on the Egyptian (and many other)pagan sun worshipers.

    Who was born in on December 25th(Winter Solstice) in a manger?

    Who was of royal descent and born of a virgin?

    Whose birth was announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men?

    Who was a child teacher at age 12 and was baptised at age 30?

    Who was baptised by "Anup the Baptiser"?

    Who had 12 disciples?

    Who performed miracles, exorcised demons and raised Osiris from the dead?

    Who walked on water?

    Who was crucified beween two thieves?

    Who was buried for three days in a tomb and resurrected?

    Who was known as the Messiah, the Son of Man, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, The Holy Child, The Anointed One etc?

    I could go on but the answer is Horus the Egyptian Sun god worshiped for a least 7000 years BC, plus hundreds of other pagan gods all the way back before that to the god Mythra.

    It is all about worshiping the "Sun". Horus/Jesus etc is the "Sun" of God. The 12 Disciples are the 12 signs of the zodiac.

    See for an excellent documentary of these facts. There are also hundreds of books about this an excellent one being "Christ In Egypt by D.M.Murdock".

  17. Well Buggar, I suppose to some it is... and then, for no real reason to some it isn't.

    I think religion is interesting in that it has HUGE influence in teh world, is potentially a force for good and has been the causes of more wars than enough...

    But it's still here after all these years...

  18. Once again Billy... astounding information there, and I only knew one of the facts.. that the day that we accept as Christ's birthday was a pagan holiday close to midwinter's day...

    Very interesting.

  19. Billy,

    I am familiar with the quirks of Christianty.

    I have written a book on Gnostic gospels, but that is academic surely - the fundamental principals and messages of God are not theologically in question anymore.

  20. #I meant theologically in question within Christian denominations, of course

  21. "the quirks of Christianity"

    Dear! Dear! Passing off someone who never existed, Jesus, a copy of previous pagan gods as someone who was real - Is a quirk!

    "the fundamental principals and messages of God are not theologically in question anymore within Christian denominations".

    Dear! Dear! All based on lies stolen from pagan Sun worshipers and nothing to do with Christian principles or messages from God - Is a Quirk!

    A religion based on massive lies more like, designed to keep people worshiping the Sun, only the people who do not "question" this do not realise that fact.

    Of course anyone who does "question" this will be bad and have to face Satan - Oh dear! Another copy - the Egyptian Set.

    Quirks = Massive dishonesty - So much for Christian Values!

  22. Billy,

    There is no dishonesty in orthodox Christian teachings. I think you would do well to respect others faith, rather than ridicule them.

    Sad, intolerant. Is that the kind of society you lot are arguing for here?

    You will forgive me for not sharing it.

    Christian values are ones that we can all relate to, if we look beyond personal bigotry. The importance of family, respect for each other, of the sanctity of human life. The importance of being honest, earnest in faith.

  23. Christian values? Again dishonesty - so humans did not have these values before Christianity?

    Of course they did - the ten commandments where did they come from - Copied from the Egyptians again, only they had a lot more.

    Very presumptious of Christians to think they have a monopoly of values - I have all of these and more and I don't do religion. There are plenty like me so what you are saying is that somehow society would be worst if it wasn't for Christians and their stolen values.

    I do value honesty that is why I take exception to people whose religion is named after the biggest lie on the planet talking about truth and values when they are spreading stolen lies as if they are true.

  24. "Very presumptious of Christians to think they have a monopoly of values"

    Where did you pluck that from? Who said that only Christianity had 'values'?

    Faith is vital, it helps nurture good values in a society. A belief system enables people to transend the materialistic here and now.

    "There are plenty like me so what you are saying is that somehow society would be worst if it wasn't for Christians and their stolen values."

    No, what I am saying is that society would be a lot worse if there were more people like you.

    People Billy, who refuse to respect Christianity, and peoples faith structures. You ridicule religion, what next? Attack the monarchy? Attack the right to own property?

    I rather think your an athiest, a socialist. An ideologue - who refuses to tolerate what doesn't fit into a nice neat box.

    At least Christianity, like any faith system, is a broad church, with differences, similarities - diversity. It can only add to the quality of our lives.

  25. Deary Deary Me! Society was a lot better when it was run on behalf of the Christian religion was it?

    Try telling that to the people burned as witches etc, the people slaughtered for daring to point out the lies and hypocracy of your religion, the people daring to question the Earth being the centre of the universe, the Earth being older than creation etc.

    People can question and think for thenmselves in society now without worrying about losing their life, job or freedom to a baying mob of religious fanatics.

    The trouble with people like yourself is you believe what you are told not what you think, that is what faith is. Your faith is based on a big lie, copied from even older primitive fairy stories. The same goes for royalty - primitive rubbish.

    I'm afraid you think wrong as I do not class myself as anything - I am just someone who does not need faith based on primitive dishonest rubbish to add to the quality of my life.

  26. Billy,

    "Society was a lot better when it was run on behalf of the Christian religion was it?"

    Show me where I said that.

    "People can question and think for thenmselves in society now without worrying about losing their life, job or freedom to a baying mob of religious fanatics"

    Not all people of faith are 'baying mob of relgious fanatics' - I didn't realise I needed to point this out...

    "I am just someone who does not need faith based on primitive dishonest rubbish to add to the quality of my life"

    You can call yourself intolerant, and abusive if you like. Your comments here have proven this to be accurate.

  27. I'm only intolerant of religions who brainwash kids with lies to get them to "follow" their "faith".

    People who need lies to convince people are conmen.

  28. There is no brainwashing in mainstream Christianity.

    Both of my parents are non-religious, yet I am able to make a conscious choice to be so. Faith finds you, invariably you do not seek it out.

    Faith does not deserve to be subject to your intolerant generalisations.

  29. No Dean, I disagree. Faith should be as open as any other subject to intellectual scrutiny.

    There has been built up around faiths the notion that it is disrespectful to question, to dispute their power, authority and hegemony...

    That's wrong.

    And to be honest has led to some terrible things being done in their name, whether it be some of the odious attrocities of the muslim bombers, or the nut case intolerence of the likes of some of the African versions, or American versions of Christianity....

    Everyone should have the right to be openly questioning of faith. It should be strong enough to withstand that.

  30. Tris,

    Billy is not subjecting faith to any questioning - he is being deliberately inflamatory, offensive and ignorant.

    I am sorry you are lining up alongside his offensive crap.

  31. Tris you only know one of the facts I quoted above because the chuches and people like Dean do not want people to know them as people will then question their faith.

    I am a very tolerant person but not where it comes to people using lies to con other people, where people use lies to murder other people or where elected representitives steal other peoples hard-earned money as you can see by my blog I name names.

    So all I have said above is not questioning Dean is it - the truth is inflamatory, offensive and ignorant is it? In other words the truth offends you!

  32. As I said Billy, the matter is one for intellectual debate. No one will ever know the real truth.

    But I welcome both your, and Dean's interpretations and opinions.

    Please feel free to continue using these boards to discuss it. :-)

  33. The real truth and evidence about Horus is carved and written in the many Egyptian monuments and tombs around Egypt and in the writings of many ancient historians there is no evidence anywhere for Jesus even with the ancient historians.

  34. Billy: I have no real knowledge about religion at all, so I'm not really able to agree or disagree with you...:-)