I Just Don’t Understand

I Just Don’t Understand

 “This isn’t a long blog but it is really heart felt, there is an injustice that has happened this 20th day of November 2012 and it needs to be righted………….” 

“How can people that know better, or should know better, claim that women in 2012 are 2nd class compared to men………..”


As a Christian I have been following the debate about women in the Church of England since the Synod (the Church of England’s body of ordained and non-ordained religious worshipers that set the rules the church must operate by – http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/general-synod.aspx) agreed 20 years ago that women could be ordained as priests in the Church of England. So when the final debate was to be held on whether women priests could be ordained as Bishops, I felt it was rather given in this year 2012. The media had their debates and raised the anticipation levels regarding the General Synod vote on the subject to be held on 20th November 2012, but I still felt it was impossible to vote against the ordination of woman as Bishops.

As the date of the Synod got closer, there were the normal leaks from those in favour and those against, but when the current Archbishop said he was in favour of women becoming Bishops, followed swiftly by the future Archbishop also coming down on the side of ordination, there seemed little room to act otherwise. In fact the ‘against’ camp rolled out some women in front of the cameras to say it was against scripture to have women Bishops, against the Bible in some way, but I felt this was a nonsense argument. There are so many things in the Bible that may have held true 2000 years ago, but these were also days where slavery was acceptable, even encouraged, where women had no status, where stoning of women thought to be unfaithful was the norm, but in this day and age there are things that just don’t hold true anymore. Many things in the Bible do still have a strong resonance as they describe and illustrate through the Gospels how one should act to one’s fellow human, how one should act in one’s society, how one should behave. But there is also so much that is just wrong in 2012, especially in the Old Testament, things and behaviours just unacceptable in an age where we strive to be equal, where we strive to implement true equality and equity between the genders.

This is my point, I don’t understand why the Church of England, the heart of spirituality in England, the flag bearer of Christian values, the setter of true values to live by is exempt from the Equality Act. The Church of England should be leading the charge to implement the Equality Act, and I know they get all hung up on homosexual partnerships and marriages, this being a topic that they will have to face sooner or later, but the ordination of women as Bishops should surely be a given. There is no reason why any organisation in England should be exempt from the Equality Act. There is no rational reason to say a religion of our land should treat women as unworthy to do a role that a man can do and is ordained to do – no reason at all!

The Bishops and the Clergy were all for it and then out of the blue the Laity House (non-ordained worshipers of the Church of England, the laypeople) vote against it, they actually go against the wishes of their religious betters, the ordained Clergy and Bishops who are experts on the Scriptures and the Gospels, the Laity derailed equality within the ordained priesthood. I just didn’t understand their objection at all, not at all, it just didn’t make sense. There are women Bishops in Canada and other countries within the broader Anglican community, of which the Church of England is at the core, but to say no to this for England is somewhat bemusing to say the least. You have to also remember that the head of the Church is the Queen, and by definition a woman obviously, but to say that women are not suitable above the rank of Priest is beyond my understanding.

I just don’t understand the Church. My Church should be taking a lead on resolving poverty, homelessness, abused children, elderly fuel poverty, forcing our society and our communities to be better places for all, and not leaving anyone beyond the reach of Christian values. My Church should not be wasting time discriminating against women when there is so much more to do, so much ground to cover in this age of societal fragmentation, poor humanity, war, hunger and poverty in the jaws of recession. But no, let’s decide to ignore basic human rights and blatantly discriminate against women and say to the world that women are not fit or able to be Bishops – even to say it here sounds just so, so ridiculous. Well at least they could discuss it next year – hell no, it won’t be allowed on the agenda for at least another 5 years – I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!

This is my Church, my Region, my Church of England, and if you surveyed people claiming to be of the same Christian values as myself, then I am 100% sure they would be in favour as were the Bishops and the Clergy – Laity you got it wrong and you should have the piety and honesty to come out and say you got it wrong, because you surely did! I just don’t understand why you feel women are second class to men, its wrong, just wrong – I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!



Jonathan Wade

Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group



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