|Source: Church in Wales Diocesan press releases|
"Women, Identity and Religion in Wales by Manon Ceridwen James, a Canon at the Cathedral, is the first comprehensive study of its kind from a present-day perspective. At the heart of the book are conversations with thirteen women whose lives and experiences reveal how women facing misogyny, repression and stigmatisation are able to respond with resilience and humour." [My emphasis - Ed.]
I have not read the book and at £24.99 for a paperback copy which, from the reviews, trots out the usual gender studies cliches, I have no intention of doing so. From the abstract of the author's University of Birmingham Ph.D. thesis:
"The thesis is structured as a theological ‘critical conversation’. Dialogue partners include Western feminist theologians and their claim that women find it difficult to assert an authentic self and also sociological and historical texts looking at religion, women and identity in Wales. Christianity has played a significant part in Welsh identity construction, particularly in creating a repressive self-image for Welsh women for political reasons."
One reviewer described the book as a "valuable and challenging contribution to our understanding of womanhood". What she means is those women who have used religion to further their careers in a so-called equality campaign.
Equality of opportunity in the workplace is to be applauded but the church is not the workplace. Vicars are not employed by the church. They are 'employed by God'.
Blind to the reality that surrounds them, feminists are stuck in the past. They speak for themselves advancing their own cause regardless of the cost to others. If other women become casualties, falling by the wayside in the name of equality, hard luck.
As the Archdeacon of Llandaff candidly explained before she was imported from the Church of England to execute Barry Morgan's disastrous plans for the Church in Wales "new individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry will simply have to make personal decisions and individual choices, to find accommodation as best they can". With resilience and humour?
Many faithful women have been ousted from their church. I know from experience how it has hurt them to be abandoned but many more women suffer physical hurt and hardship through FGM, human trafficking and slavery. The inferior status of women according to different cultures in our midst is a scandal. To help them requires genuine service, not self advancement while supposedly fighting for social equality so real injustice continues.
Claiming misogyny, repression and stigmatisation is part of the feminist strategy. It has reached the highest levels in the church. We have witnessed two women bishops appointed in Wales followed by one in Scotland in addition to those in England and numerous female clerics repeating the same allegations of discrimination.
Mud sticks. There is plenty of it bringing the church into disrepute. The consequences are all too clear. Christianity in Great Britain is waning fast. When pressed the so-called abuse amounts to no more than a difference of opinion.
When secular values are applied to the church repression and discrimination are alleged. It is not misogyny to take a traditional, theological view on the ordination of women, in fact many more Christian women fervently believe that a woman's place is not at the altar. That is not repression. It is their deeply held faith.
Secularisation of Anglicanism has been a disaster resulting in decline, not growth, but still the alleged 'victims' peddle their untruths to gain advantage. That people outside the church are taken in is hardly surprising when clerics in the church complain it is so. The result is further opportunities to attack the church and our Christian values.