Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Let us imagine a respectable British gentleman, prominent in his field, describing the institution to which he very recently belonged as 'vicious', 'evil', and 'fascist'.
Let us all try and guess to what terrible entity he could be referring.
Clue: it's nothing to do with Afghanistan.
It's THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
I know. Harvest festival, stained glass windows, beautiful Norman churches, kind ladies doing the flower arrangements, vague Canons cycling to vespers, I Vow to Thee My Country, and fascists.
Is beardy old Rowan Williams a secret fan of Mussolini and General Franco? Is Thought for the Day really an arcane conduit for Mein Kampf? What could lead the Bishop of Fulham to such an outburst?
Go on, guess again. Bet you can't. It's because the ladies want to be bishops. Some members of the Synod think that might not be the end of the world as we know it. As a result, those who oppose it to the death are fleeing to the arms of the Pope.
I do not understand what it is with these men of the cloth and the women. We are really not so very scary. It's only the XX chromosome and a couple of ovaries. You would think that would not be enough to send clerics screaming off to Rome, yet that is what is happening.
I do not have a god any more, but I was brought up in the Church of England, and I have an ancient fondness for it. One of the most magical nights of my life was spent attending midnight mass in St Paul's Cathedral. As a child, I loved the Christingle service, and the lilting hymns, and the poetry of the psalms. I don't especially like bashing the dear old C of E, but I do get very cross when I am told that I am lacking in morals on account of my atheism, while the established Church may routinely discriminate against 50% of the population. There is an added irony to the whole farrago, when you consider that the Church of England is led by the Queen, who is, last time I looked, a LADY.
I should have some deep theological and philosophical arguments to call on here, but I find myself able only to quote from Absolutely Fabulous. It's a load of buggery bollocks.
Aren't you glad to see I have started the week on such a sunny note?
Here are a couple of pictures to take your mind off furious men in frocks: