Equality And The Church

Earlier this week, the Anglican Synod voted against women being ordained as Bishops. The result cause dismay and disbelief amongst fellow clergy, some of whom are women, and worshipers as the traditional and orthodox views were carried out.

There was one question in particular that struck me. Why is the Church of England not subject to the same employment equality laws as every other organisation in the country?

After much research and questioning, I finally came across the answer. When equality in the workplace laws were being passed, the Church was provided with exemption by Parliament. Is the Church above the law of the land? Clearly it can do as it pleases.

Justifications for voting against women bishops were as simple as tradition. A spokesperson for the Synod’s decision even described that there needs to be provision for those who believe that leaders in churches should only be men, i.e. provision for sexist values. Isn’t this similar to someone asking for provision to be made for their racist beliefs?

Yes, the bible does clearly say in verses under Timothy that men should be leaders in the church and family and also there is a letter from St Paul to vicarage suggesting women should be silent in Church. However, St Paul was just asking for women who had been given access to Church not to shout out questions in the middle or a service but to go back and ask their husbands or the priests afterwards. Of course society was very different in the days when the bible was written and men were leaders of churches and families. In today’s world, some families are without men who may have died, run off, divorced etc…. and most church goers are women. It is impossible for all the messages that were relevant to a society 1500 years ago to be relevant today.

One final hypocracy in this whole debacle, is that the head of the Church of England is clearly a woman i.e Her Majesty The Queen. Furthermore, in the past 200 years there have been 3 female monarchs as leaders of the church and also the family.

Parliament, hold this Synod to account. It is just an old boys network.



4 Comments to “Equality And The Church”

  1. And who is head of your temple and mosque?

    • WE, there is no head in Islam (like the pope) or heads of mosques, they are usually run by committees. Muslim priests are employees and certainly not in charge. I think you mean to point out that there are no women priests and it is a valid point but I thought it was good that Christianity was more progressive than Islam. It seems to be in retrograde now which is sad.

      I agree with your article mostly, Bunty but religion does seem to be above the law or at least some laws are not applicable to religious institutions not only Christianity. However, I think women that follow religion in general need to come to terms with the uncomfortable truth that they are excluded from it. From most religious stand points men rule and are in charge as decreed by God and that’s all folks. Whether women still wish to worship their chosen god(s) is up to them.

  2. I suppose yes, the Anglicans have always been forward-thinking and more progressive. The thing I found most upsetting about this debate (and to speak frankly, I don’t really care about this issue) is the number of women that were put forward on tv and radio to argue AGAINST women being appointed bishops.

    The difference between Christians and Muslims/Hindus etc is that their followers are dwindling – it is only for that reason do they continue to adapt and change and bend the rules to suit a new forward-thinking congregation.

    Most religions, whether you like it or not, have women as deities or sluts. Please advise me if I am wrong, but why on earth would you conduct your life to a set of man-made rules that ultimately suit their needs.

  3. To answer your question, Hindus too do not have heads of temples. Women are at the forefront of the religion and celebrated at numerous dedicated festivals all through the year. Yes, the Indian culture doesn’t treat women as equals but that is not the religion.

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