So, the Church of England has voted against women bishops. The vote was lost by a few votes, not those of the bishops or clergy but of the laity. The laity is the untrained, unwashed riff-raff of the Church of England. Some members of the Laity are so incredibly stupid they still think the Bible is the inerrant word of their god. Yes, they really are THAT stupid.
The Church of England had one chance of surviving and that was to increase the numbers of women in the clergy. The all-male church is dying. Women have wanted to be members of the clergy for many, many years; in fact, they are so desperate to become clergy they ignore all rational arguments against religion. They have gained some measure of authority over the years but it is little more than a sop to their passion. To become proper authority figures within the Church they need the career progression within a diocese to the bishopric. It’s not as if it is something totally unknown to the Church of England; the churches in Australia and New Zealand have women bishops and it does not seem to have harmed them. Rather, it has staved off inexorable decline.
Isn’t the decline and extinction of the Church of England a good thing for an atheist to desire? In a word, no. In the United Kingdom the Church of England stood as a bastion, a buffer between two religions that hate each other with the same passion women have to become authority figures within the Church. One of those religions, let’s face it, is as similar to the Church of England as Scientology is to Buddhism. That religion is Catholicism – and its sibling in eastern climes, Christian Orthodoxy. Catholics believe in transmutation, the belief that when an adherent swallows the bread and wine at communion it turns into the real body and blood of their Christ. The other religion is Islam. At present, both Catholicism and Islam are minorities. Without the buffer of the Church of England they will grow and be at each other’s throats in no time.
The Koran states that Christianity is to be treated just like any other non-Muslim religion – and destroyed. When the Koran was dictated/written there were two Christian churches, the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church. With the advent of the Church of England there was a less strident voice, a less ardently-messianic version of Christianity than either Catholicism or Orthodoxy. With the Church of England there was always the possibility of peaceful negotiation. Without the Church of England there is no reason why Islam should respect Christianity at any level.
Oh, there may not be a war between Christianity and Islam – but don’t bet on it. After all, history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. There will certainly be extreme competition between the two. Misogyny will erupt anew and women will suffer appalling indignities and violence. Secrecy will increase. Unintelligent creationism is likely to increase. Hatred for anything other than the extremes of Catholicism and Islam will grow. The traditionalists who destroyed the Church of England will rush to join Catholicism and it will grow. Unchecked, released by the demise of a constitutional religion, Islam will grow. The daft ideas of Charles III will further set Christianity and Islam against one another. And what starts in England is likely to be exported all over the world.
Of course these are extreme possibilities and nothing like them may happen. Life may go on regardless. Reason and scepticism may save the world from religious extremism. One thing, however, is certain – the one chance of staving off the destruction and ruination of the Church of England is that it will see the error of its decision and attempt to reverse it as quickly as possible.