Sometimes the only way to get a point across is to satirise it.
Satire is always unfair, but that is why it gets under your skin and makes you think about issues in a different way.
Hopefully it can also sometimes be funny ... read on!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

21st Century opt-out ...

The UK Government has bowed to pressure from the Church of England and agreed to give it an opt-out from the 21st Century.
Following in the well-worn footsteps of previous governments, the Church of England has been given assurances that its tradition of remaining in the past can continue unchallenged.
The Church had already been given an opt-out from the 20th Century when it was given exemption from equality legislation for women.  Now it has been given the 21st Century Opt-out to exempt it from marrying gay couples.
A church spokesman welcomed the news saying that “The Church of England is totally at home in the 19th Century, and we don’t see why on earth that should change.  Any move to drag us into another century is completely against our principals.”
A government spokesperson said she couldn’t work out what all the fuss was about.  “The Church of England is famous for its anachronistic views, and we believe that it is important to maintain and strengthen the extent of its irrelevance.”
But some in the church still say that the church has a prophetic role in calling the nation back to that central tenet of faith – the importance of Victorian values.  “Why can’t everybody just be like us?” asked a member of the House of Laity.
And the Opt-out has found a welcome from an unexpected source.  The Human Secularist Society of Great Britain has expressed its delight that yet again, the Church of England has consigned itself to the museum of antiquated curiosities.  “It’s not so much prophetic, as pathetic” they said, “and that suits us just fine!”

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The tide turns on women...

Opponents of women’s leadership in church chalked up another significant victory this week.
After seeing off the prospect of Women Bishops in the Church of England, news has come in that Bristol University has joined the fray as it’s Christian Union (BUCU) banned women from preaching or teaching at its events.

According to the Huffington Post, the BUCU President, Matt Oliver has written to all CU members saying that they have “decided that women would not teach on their own at our weekly CU meetings, as the main speaker on our Bristol CU weekend away, or as our main speaker for mission weeks.”
Conservatives have expressed delight at this forthright stand on Biblical principles in excluding those not worthy of teaching in the church.  One such traditionalist said, “Now at last we are getting somewhere.  For years we have been on the run but now Biblical teaching is making a come-back.  Banning women speakers is the first step back to a well ordered Christian society where women know their place.  The Bible says that women will be ‘saved by child-bearing’(1 Timothy 2:15) and it’s about time they got back to this central role.  I, for one, would be happy to help!”

But there has been disquiet among some who are still worried that BUCU is going wooly.  There have been suggestions that a woman may speak if she is accompanied by her husband and they teach together – a dangerous compromise according to some.
Others are less impressed – and have described this decision as obscene, hugely discriminatory, deeply offensive, and sexist.  There have been suggestions that that if the Christian Union wants to be so forthright in their stand against women, they should change their name from the ‘Bristol University Christian Union (BUCU) to the ‘Forthright University Christian Union.’ (FUCU).

Rumours that conservatives responded to this by saying ‘Amen’ have been strongly denied.
But elsewhere in Bristol this week, a very different message has been agreed.  Bristol Diocesan Synod has passed a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the General Synod’s ability to enact ‘the clear will of the church’ on Women Bishops, pointing out that 42 of the 44 Dioceses of the Church of England voted clearly in favour of women’s leadership.

Perhaps the tide has not fully turned…

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Canterbury faces Transportation to the Colonies

The verdict is in – NAFCON and the little FOCA’s have passed sentence on the Archbishop of Canterbury.  They have determined that for crimes against the Anglican Communion, the Archbishopric of Canterbury will be transported to Australia.

This time honoured tradition where criminals, convicts and dangerous revolutionaries were transported to the penal colonies of the New World has been revived just in time to choose the next Archbishop.  Barring storms on the long voyage the transfer should be in place when Rowan Williams steps down at the end of this year.
Archbishops from Kenya and Nigeria are among those who have claimed that Africa is being ignored in the Anglican Communion and so have unanimously voted to transport Canterbury to Sydney for the foreseeable future.

Leaders from NAFCON said "We are fed up of the Archbishop of Canterbury telling us what to do, so we want the Archbishop of Syndney to tell us instead". Lambeth Palace responded by pointing out that Rowan Williams has never told anyone what to do, which some conservatives think is the real problem.

Speaking to the Press Gangs, the present Archbishop of Sydney said it would be wrong to consider the Archbishop of Canterbury as “leader” of the Anglican church, something he said represented an “Anglocentric view of the world”. 
So Canterbury will be relocated to Sydney, and will lead the worldwide Anglican church is opposing ‘neo-pagan relativism, revisionism and redefinition’ in the Christian faith, ushering in a new era of SydnoCentric Christianity.

In a separate development, Anglican Extreme and The Bore Issues Trust have announced plans to deport all London Buses to Sydney in order to enable their recent planned advert and poster campaign to go ahead.  The ‘Not Gay and Very Very Very Proud of it – Thank God!’ campaign can then proceed as planned before the demonic Mayor of London spoilt their fun.
A spokesman (a real man - and very proud of it) for the groups said they were going to ‘shake the dust from their feet’ and catch the Number 12 to Australia.  It is understood however that route Number 666 will still operate between Lambeth Palace and Stonehenge on weekdays only.

Monday, 20 February 2012

In praise of Arranged Marriage...

It would be such a shame not to let the Bride walk up the aisle!   That seemed to be the message from Bishop Graham Kings last weekend, in a speech to support the Anglican Covenant.

Even if she isn't sure she wants to go through with it, it would be tragic to stop the wedding plans - the Archbishop has bought her a beautiful dress and the flowers will be lovely!

Talking of the Covenant in terms reminiscent of the Marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer, he points out that the parents of the bride have worked so hard to put it all together, and their hard work, "should not be dismissed today ‘unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly’"

Instead, this arranged marriage between the members of the Anglican Communion "should be accepted ‘reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God’."

This surprising concept of marriage in the 21st Century seems to take little notice of the wishes of the partners who are to be married - after all, what do they know?  No need for a shotgun here though - not when the 'fear of God' is involved.

The problem is, of course, that the prospective marriage partners are getting decidedly twitchy feet.  Out of the 15 Dioceses in the CofE who have now voted on the Anglican Covenant, 10 of them have voted 'No', including Bishop Kings' diocese of Salisbury.

Even so, the Bishop pleaded, "It is vitally important that  the Covenant is discussed at General Synod in July.  If less than half of the Dioceses vote for the Anglican Communion Covenant, it will not be allowed to be discussed at General Synod. That would be tragic."

Readers of this blog will remember of course, that General Synod has already discussed the Covenant.  Many people spoke against it including one Bishop who said it would lead to 'factory farmed religion rather than free range faith'.   Synod members who were inclined to vote against it were told that it would be wrong to do that because, after all they were only voting to pass it on to dioceses for consideration.

Now however, as the Ecclesiastical Dominos have failed to fall in line, the message appears to have changed.  Now it would be a great shame for dioceses do not return it to General Synod for discussion, according to Bishop Kings - even though they don't want it.

So when is the right time to pull out of a wedding?  Is it better to wait for the wedding day?  For the wedding service perhaps?  Indeed, for the moment of the vows?  Afterall, the planning, the arrangements, the detail which has gone into putting together a wedding of this size, is so much more important than the marriage which follows.

Or is Bishop Kings hoping that if the bride gets all the way to the altar, she won't have the courage to duck out of the final vows in front of her assembled family and friends?

Either way, you would think that a bishop would know that unless the partners are genuinely committed, it really is better to think twice.  And all the evidence from the CofE points to ambivalent mistrust rather than committed love.

The real problem with the marriage metaphore, however, is that the Anglican Communion is more like an existing family of brothers and sisters, rather than a loving couple in the flush of first love. 

And the Prayer Book specifically forbids marriage between siblings because of the bad blood it breeds.  So surely it would be better to stop the wedding before things get really out of hand.

Whichever way you look at it, this marriage is a bad idea and the best advice anyone could give are those three immortal words...

Walk     Away      Now

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

BOGOF Bishops

The Church of England has come up with a new scheme to keep its customers in the cut-throat world of ecclesiastical consumerism.
In a bid to keep its loyal customers who prefer their bishops to have balls, the CofE is proposing a bumper deal for traditionalists – BOGOF – Buy one get one free!
The special offer ensures that a male bishop comes free with every female bishop appointed.  Two for the price of one! 
And who could possibly refuse this mega-offer?    Surely it is too good to be true?  Surely, there must be a catch?  And there is!  You can only get your free BOGOF Bishop if you choose a woman in the first place. 
So there is an irony in the idea…
BOGOF Bishops are being put forward to ensure that traditionalists stay within the church – but the effect of BOGOF Bishops could be to encourage the appointment of women to take advantage of this special deal.  Every diocese who wants to cash in would have to choose a woman bishop in the first place to benefit to the full.
So perhaps then the CofE should go further.  In the interests of equality, perhaps the BOGOF Bishops deal should extend its appeal, and insist that the offer applies to all episcopal appointments.
Appoint a woman Bishop and get a male one free!
Appoint a male Bishop and get a female one free!
That way everyone would get the BOGOF Bishop deal, and the CofE would doubtless double its annual turnover as a result.
Or would it...?