Give us a sign

The Church of England’s getting hammered again. As I write, there’s an almighty dingdong on BBC Radio 5 as the liberal wing of the Church take on the traditionalists over the issue of women bishops.
This coincides with talks of a schism brought about by the position of gay clergy in the Church. There’s loads more going on, and quite frankly I can’t figure out the logic knots because, as a confused atheist baptised in two churches (CofE and Greek Orthodox), it’s impossible to identify the theological facts (“God says…” “What the Bible really means is…”).
It was sometime in the 1960s that our old authority figures – parents, police, teachers, politicians, doctors, nurses, and, of course, clergymen – began to experience a combined aura slippage. Somehow we got to a position where these figures could no longer be regarded as infallible. Obedience now seems such an old-fashioned word, practically devoid of meaning.
In an increasingly secular society, the inconsistencies of religious dogma make theological argument appear nonsensical (Yes, I have read That Book by Prof. Dawkins).
That’s the crux of the CofE’s problem: it’s suffering from moral relativism where all points of view carry equal weight. Which clergy are right? What does “right” mean?
Here’s my solution.
Instead of being a little bit wrong on most things, it needs to be extremely wrong on just a few. Outlaw women clergy. Ostracise the gay. Start beating the children. These are the old-fashioned, Old Testament values that’ll appeal to the rapidly re-conservatising financially-stretched, worried lower and middle classes. The CofE is going to have to behave like a radical niche brand with a very strong appeal to a very angry but large minority. It could even advertise in the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, I’ll be down the pub.


1 Response to “Give us a sign”

  1. 1 Charles Frith July 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    There’s always the Catholic church for some old school fire and brimstone. The CoE would benefit from having transsexual ministers and become the church of minority refugees. Anyway I’m off to the mosque. I always drew comfort from bigger gangs 😉

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Self-important bit

I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.



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