The Synod needed a two-thirds majority to allow the ordination of women as bishops in the Church of England. The Synod has 467 members divided into three houses. Each of the three Houses – bishops, other clergy, and laity, needed to agree by 2 to 1 that women can be bishops.
Given that for twenty years women have been ordained priests of the Church of England, you might ask what the special issue is about bishops? The answer is, if you’re flatly of the belief that God just doesn’t approve of women becoming priests, then you can easily avoid a woman priest. (Well, more or less.) But bishops ordain priests. If you believe God holds women inferior and unable to be priests, then it follows that women can’t be bishops: that priests ordained by a bishop who’s a woman aren’t proper priests. But as those priests will be both women and men, you won’t know for sure if the priest with whom you are dealing is a real priest, validly ordained by a man, or invalidly ordained by a woman.
George Takei interviewed on 18th June 2008:
As a matter of fact, we were expecting the ruling from the California Supreme Court. We didn’t know which way it was going to go, although the indication was that it was going to be favorable, so we had CNN going all the time. I just happened to be eating a sandwich and the ruling came down. Suddenly Brad fell down to his knees and I said, “What are you doing?” And he said, “George, will you marry me?” And I said, “Darn it! You beat me to it. I was going to ask you.” So that’s how it happened, the moment the word came down.
Here’s the the real problem for Churches who have declared they don’t believe in same-sex couples getting married: most people just plain don’t agree with them. The most recent poll (published today) says that 68% of Scots think churches and religious organisations ought to have the right to celebrate gay marriages if they want to.
For just lifting the ban on same-sex marriage – civil or religious – 64% say they support the change: the breakdown by gender shows women much more supportive than men and most worryingly of all for any church that’s thinking about its future:
Whilst there was a majority support amongst all age groups, people under 55 support same-sex marriage by a margin of over four-to-one (76 per cent agree as opposed to 17 per cent who disagree).
There are eleven countries in the world where same-sex couples can marry, if we include the US. Continue reading
Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, is bearing witness to the European Court of Human Rights that the UK is “a country where Christians can be sacked for manifesting their faith, are vilified by state bodies, are in fear of reprisal or even arrest for expressing their views on sexual ethics, something is very wrong. It affects the moral and ethical compass of the United Kingdom. Christians are excluded from many sectors of employment simply because of their beliefs; beliefs which are not contrary to the public good.”
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Exodus 20.16
Lord Carey is not talking about Christians at prayer being dragged from the steps of St Pauls by riot police a few weeks ago. That aspect of the moral and ethical compass of the UK is apparently of less than no concern to him.
He’s talking about a nurse who wanted to wear chain jewellery, which is not allowed whether or not a cross hangs from the chain; a flight attendant who wanted to wear chain jewellery outside her uniform, which was not allowed whether or not a cross hangs from her chain; about a man who lied to his employer in order to get special training; and about a woman who wished to be allowed to refuse to do her job because she didn’t like gay people.
Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Exodus 23.1