Thursday, 22 November 2012

Church of England, Parliamentary disapproval and Gay Marriage

So, the Anglican church had a little meeting to decide whether they liked the 21st century or not. they decided not. In a move that, frankly, shocked a lot of people, the Church of England decided not to accept female Bishops. It's blatantly misogynist, utterly inexcusable and is an ugly display of the sexism still rampant in our established church.

And even the most ardent of Anglican defenders seem to be at a loss to defend this one. I've never seen so many people throw up their hands and say "yeah, I got nothing". Even the sections of the press you can rely on to show their scabby arses have been unable to do more than express... lamentable regret at the bad decision. That's as gentle as it gets.

Buoyed by this, a huge line of MPs and Cameron himself, are lining up to say "what the ever loving fuck, guys?" to the Anglican church. And we're given a big reminder that the Anglican church IS established by the threats of Parliament to intervene - yes, unfortunately we don't have separation of church and state here so the church can be meddlesome. This is the flip side, an established church can be dragged onto the carpet by the government and can be told to sort its shit out or have it sorted out for them.

And it's quite quite fun to watch.

I find myself in an odd place over Parliament raking the church over the coals for their misogyny. On the main hand the church's bigotry needs challenging. I think if the church wants the privileges of being the "established" church then it needs to meet parliamentary standards of equality. Or, better yet, be de-established entirely. To do otherwise is to give state consent to misogyny. I find such a bigoted organisation having bishops in the House of Lords to be far more distasteful than the hereditary peers (and I don't like them either- or the life peers for that matter). I'm inclined to think if you can't join 21st century Britain and be a civilised organisation in society then, yes, they should move in, give them a time out and handle their affairs for them. I think arguments of religious freedom are repellent to say the least - in fact, I think if you say "I'm a bigot because god says so" then you're just saying your god is a terrible being, unworthy of worship or respect.

 The flip side is, of course, that these MPs lining up to call the church out for their inexcusable misogyny give me heart, but go back 2 weeks and these same MPs were lining up to assure the church they would provide protections in law to allow them to be homophobic and the state would never ever ever in a million years impose on church "morality" - when it comes to bigotry against GBLT people. I can't help but hear "how can you treat women as lesser people?! This is the 21st century! They are deserving as much respect and regard as men, your bigotry is inexcusable, insupportable, undermines you as a moral authority and... oh, she's a lesbian? Sorry, my bad - carry on then." It shows the root of their REAL opinion when they excuse homophobia as a "religious freedom"

Still, I think the church being called out and challenged so vigorously for this ridiculous and repellent decision is only going to help society. Either by lowering the power and the influence of the church in the UK (preferably disestablishing it) or by forcing the church, and it's considerable power, to dramatically change or move forwards. if nothing else, it has created the idea, even in the more extreme elements of the press, that the church is utterly wrong on this and Parliament SHOULD intervene. The Church of England's infallibility has been beaten hard and the idea that it should be allowed to pursue bigotry to its heart's content has been shaken.

And possibly related, rumour has it that a vote on gay marriage may be happening before Christmas...

We can hope. I wonder if this, in part, is taking the opportunity presented by the most powerful homophobic force in this country, the Anglican church, revealing itself to be such an utter shambles and undermining itself so thoroughly.

Let's keep everything crossed - for a lessening of the power of the church in the UK and that this law is finally drafted after so long waiting.We've had speeches, we've had insulting consultations, we've had every bigot in the country spouting their hatred all over the place. Let's get this done.

When it is, it will be a matter of seeing exactly how it's drafted (and what exceptions and provisos they include for the bigots) and, most of all, whether it passes.

It'll also be worth noting who votes yes, who votes no, and who stays away from Parliament. I think we can already guess where most of the "nos" will come from.

C'mon, I want a spring wedding (hah, if it passes soon, I'll have a winter wedding).