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Equality and the death of the church

December 10, 2012

While scrolling through twitter this morning I found a tweet that I thought was in reference to the equal marriage debate but I wasn’t sure, this piqued my interest so I followed its thread and came upon this one; ” I would rather no church weddings than this. Minority will bring down church”. What an outstanding statement to make, as well as being self-deluded and naive. If the church gave up providing church weddings how long do you think it would last as an institution in a country where apparently only 49% of the population identify as Christians? Births deaths and marriages these are the traditional services offered by the church that people expect, Christians and non-christians alike.

I have several friends who have had civil ceremonies, some are perfectly happy with this but I also have friends who long to have their vows solemnised in church because they are committed Christians, they attend church regularly because they have faith in God, it’s a shame that Gods representatives on earth refuse to acknowledge this. But then let’s be honest it’s not the church, because the C of E if nothing else is an organisation that adapts and survives,it knows that if it ignores public opinion it stands to lose more than it gains. Look at the recent vote for female Bishops and the defeat, the fact that inequality won, it is in fact a loss for the church not a win as these so-called traditionalists believe. What they fail to realise is that faith and church  don’t have to go hand in hand and people will use their freedom to worship when, how and where they wish leaving the church for more individual forms of worship. The church itself realises it needs to stop this and this will result in the traditionalists themselves find themselves starting to drift isolating themselves from the majority of Christians.

You may disagree with these statements, but religion and the Bible is full of disagreement and hypocrisy and full of evidence of how flexible, resilient and adaptable the practice of faith is. Jesus himself gave religion a shake and demanded change, take for example the difference in the messages from the Old Testament to the New, from ‘An eye for an eye’ to ‘turn the other cheek’. Let’s be honest I could write endlessly quoting opposing opinions from the Bible, but ultimately it’s how the Bible is interpreted that causes division and people ultimately choose  that division to be created. It has occurred to me that maybe it is these defenders of the church and of its traditional values that will eventually destroy the church, how many Christian based religions are there? I suppose these are factions rather than separate religions? Methodists, Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, C of E, Anglican, Catholic, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers and that’s just off the top of my head. The actual differences between these religions are minute in the detail and all come down to a choice of interpretation, of method or practice. How many more factions are about to be created? How many men are going to get to become leaders of their own little religion? Maybe that’s what they’re really after? Maybe I’m too cynical? There seems to be a sort of person who defines themselves by their opposites, for example I am a strong powerful man because my weak obedient wife proves it, I have superior morals because I can point to the immoral. My role is defined by your role, by what you are not. I am a man and a Bishop therefore you a woman cannot be one.

like it or not the church will ultimately give in to public demand giving these traditionalists the excuse to splinter off, creating smaller and smaller churches which eventually will bring about their own demise, as they lose their relevance. Can the Church of England remain in the House of Lords once it loses a significant amount of followers? Maybe this is why the present government are pushing so hard for equality in marriage, because they are afraid in a shift in the status quo, politically that is. If the C of E accepts women Bishops and equal marriage, the church and politics gets to trundle on undisturbed and that particular element of social control remains in place. Personally I would like religion to have no place in politics ‘No servant can serve two masters’. One day hopefully that will come but before that equality has to and should come, both in the question of women bishops and equal marriage.

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Caroline Criado-Perez

A Pox on the Patriarchy

feministmeup

Lady things, explained.

norfolknonaligned.wordpress.com/

"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

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