Sunday, 20 June 2010

Aspiring to heady heights

Sorry about the dreadful pun in the title! Given all the fuss about mitregate, I'm loving this cute advert from the Anglican Church of Canada in which baby girls try out mitres for size. Just a shame the PB wasn't allowed to wear hers.


  1. Cute.
    I find the arguments about female leadership to be based on misogynistic nonsense derived from an odd, idiosyncratic reading of the NT very odd.
    Then again, I grew up in the CoS where female "ministers" are common.

  2. Without wanting to bring up an unnecessary argument, doesn't the understanding that church leaders should be male come from a very straight forward reading of the NT?

    You might argue that they're just cultural norms which the church was applying to itself since it was a product of the time, but it does seem quite clear that there was an understanding that leaders in the church were male.

    I'd also take issue with describing it as misogynistic, it's over-simplistic (and wrong) to say that the position held by anglo-catholics/evangelicals comes from a hatred of women.

  3. I think it comes from a very “straightforward” reading of the NT in that that reading is simplistic, focuses on one or two selective texts and does not look at the whole of the gospels or NT.
    You are right to say that you have to look at the context and cultural norms of the time. Jesus radically challenged many of the cultural norms of his time, especially about women, and women were very much involved in the ministry and work of the early church.

    We have seen blatant misogyny in some of the arguments, for example, in the comments about “what if women were menstruating while consecrating the host” forwarded in the debates on women priests. I wouldn’t assume all of those opposed to women’s ministry are misogynistic, but there is a great deal of misogyny, or simply very limited and ungenerous ideas about women as lesser than men. Of course complementarians will claim they see women as “different but equal” – but then they would, wouldn’t they? Some of the most oppressive patriarchal systems have used similar seemingly “benign” arguments to justify constraints on women, and often enlisted women to endorse that process. I do think that, if we are to have women in the Church (and we are) we should stand up and say that our women are truly equal to our men in this role. What I love about this advert is that sense of celebration and potential. I wish we could see that here, instead of the fudge (above) which I think will not appease the real hardliners anyhow, because they do not really want women on any terms.

  4. mitregate 3D – the movie!
    Hopefully with Peter Jackson directing, and Naomi Watts as the Presiding Bishop.