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!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mush Soup

There is one rule of cooking which always applies.
It doesn’t matter how talented you are, you can only get out what you put in – ingredients are everything.  You can’t make salmon en croute without salmon.  You can’t make mushroom soup without mushrooms. 
You get the idea.
There is an educational children’s computer game called Reader Rabbit.  In one of the scenes you have to choose the right ingredients for the chef to make the required dish in the restaurant.  Get the ingredients right and you get congratulated – get it wrong and the chef makes ‘Mush’.

So who forgot to tell the Church of England?
In appointing a review group to reconsider the church’s teaching on sexuality, you would think that the right ingredients would be a key consideration.  And to some extent it was…
After all, the House of Bishops decided to look outside the rarefied atmosphere of the episcopacy for someone to chair the group, and picked a retired civil servant with experience of working in some of the most contentious areas of Government.   Sir Joseph Pilling was permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office and in retirement took on the unenviable task of being Commissioner for the Identity Card scheme that no-one wanted.
But having expanded the membership of the group to include non-bishops (is that a word?) why have they still appointed an all-male group?
That’s right – no women – after all, what do they know about sexuality?  Everyone knows that men know all that there is to know about sexuality – don’t they?  Why would they possibly need a woman or two? 

Mind you – that’s not the only surprise. 

In an issue that is as contentious as sexuality, where any radical recommendations will need powerful advocates to get them considered seriously, why is there only one diocesan Bishop on the review group?   The others are suffragans or assistant Bishops – and a flying Bishop caring for those who can’t cope with a gender inclusive church.  Perhaps that is why there are no women?  At any rate, they are certainly not part of the inner circle of power in the CofE.
So what can we conclude?
That the House of Bishops will get out exactly what they put into this review. 
It will be well argued and inconclusive.  Incomplete and thoroughly male.  There will be nothing fundamentally new and certainly nothing to challenge the status quo. 
Just more of the same - Mush soup.