Sunday, 20 May 2012

Women Bishops Guard Borders

Some 2,200 women have signed a petition saying they don't want to be overseen by women bishops, citing the argument that Jesus didn't choose women to be his disciples.

I fail to see the validity of this reasoning, as Mary Magdalene is thought by most to be the "Beloved Disciple" of the Gospel of John, and the church itself called her the "Apostle to the Apostles". She was Jesus' most constant companion.

Indeed she was the first to see the resurrection and was therefore the first apostle, having been instructed by Jesus to go and tell Peter and the other merry men about the good news.

Finally, if your argument for not wanting women bishops is because Jesus didn't choose women, then why on earth follow the teachings of one Paul of Tarsus, who certainly wasn't a disciple and didn't even know Jesus in the first place?

No, they must come up with a better argument that that, especially in these days of gender equality, a concept that was utterly alien in 1st century life. If you're going to use that argument you may as well say black people are forbidden from being bishops, or white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants. I suspect there's something more visceral behind this, but I'm damned if I know what.

I see the Daily Mail is at it again - headline says: "Don't Panic - Ministers Hire Filing Clerks to Guard Borders." Bit over the top, ain't it? Does the DM really expect the government to give temporary border inspectors 3 months training for what is essentially a 2 week job? Can it be that hard to check someone's passport, especially if you have a real immigration officer to call on if needed? Does it really take more than 3 days to learn how to look at a passport? It's not as if these temps are going to need to know UK immigration law by heart, for God's sake!


  1. Religion and "good arguments", these are concepts not often seen together at the same time.

  2. CB, I'm not sure about "most" regard the beloved disciple as Mary Mag, blessed and beloved as she definitely was. Most believers would go for St John on this one, although I realise that there are Hollywood blockbusters to the contrary.

    Jesus also didn't select any Gentiles as apostles, nor, as far as we are aware, red-haired people or anyone called "Geoffrey". So if we're only going by what Jesus chose, there's going to be mighty few bishops around the place.

    1. That surely means all bishops should undergo the unkindest cut?