I’m glad he said it

This is the most-viewed article on today’s SMH online: “All religions degrade women“.

AN ANGLICAN archbishop has linked Taj el-Din al Hilaly’s inflammatory comments on women with the degrading image of “the sheila” in pub culture and the failure of Sydney Anglicans to ordain women.

The Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, has compared Sydney diocese’s refusal to ordain women priests with some Islam thinking that repressed women and gave them status as second-class citizens.

This teaching in the Sydney diocese is the major reason that I don’t go along to the church my husband plays organ and piano for on Sundays. I’m not religious, but I have no problem associating with people of goodwill who are religious, and I do go every now and then for christenings etc. But I’ll be blowed if I’ll go willingly on a regular basis to a church where Paul of Tarsus’ views on excluding women from the hierarchy based only on their gender are given such prominence and viewed as eternal rather than obsolete standards.

The archbishop of Perth is right to point out that the difference between those teachings and those of Sheikh Hilaly is only one of degree, not of kind.

Categories: gender & feminism, religion, social justice


5 replies

  1. Yeah, one of the greatest failings of the modern church is to seemingly value Paul’s teachings over those of Christ, neglecting the fact that Paul was addressing particular congregations at specific times in the young church’s early years. Christ spoke in eternal truths and included women in his inner circle. But somehow it’s Paul who gets to tell the modern church how to structure itself. Never understood that.
    I feel for Paul, though. It must have been like herding cats, trying to keep the early groups from just wandering off on their own paths.
    I hope this makes sense. I’m feeling insufficiently caffeinated.

  2. You’re making sense to me. The Sydney Anglican Diocese ought to stop calling themselves Christians and call themselves Paulinians as far as I can see.
    I don’t see that it would necessarily have been such a bad thing for The Way as a whole to be allowed to follow individual paths. Paul’s teachings were not given the primacy they have today until after Constantine made Roman Christianity powerful politically, and the Bishops of Rome helped the Emperors decide that other bishoprics and patriarchates outside their particular hierarchy were not to be tolerated within the Roman Empire.
    We’d have a very different world today if the Roman construct of Church and State had never been commingled.

  3. The Sydney Anglican diocese exists in its own vaccuum & is probably a major reason why I am no longer a member of the fold (any fold). I used to threaten to write an airport novel about them called ‘Diocese’. I wonder how much of their world view is actually an offshoot of Sydneycentrism in general (i.e. located in a sense of being an isolated yet ‘metropolitan’ entity.)

  4. The weird thing is that Paul was writing to early churches that were led by women or by couples that included a woman and he never said anything against this arrangement. So, despite some of his more sexist attitudes, it is actually a bit of a stretch to argue that even he was against the ordination of women.

  5. *nods*. Yes. I do think that Paul would have been shocked to see how his comments to the church at that time in that (those) cultural context(s) have been taken to be eternal words of fiat.
    On the other hand, I do believe that “husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. . .” is eternal.

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