by Abby Moss
One month ago, the Church of England voted against women bishops. This week, they've decided they're totally fine with gay bishops, even gay bishops in civil partnerships, as long as they refrain from sex. As far as I can see, there is a clear link between these two decisions. Penises. The Church of England has a very complex and troubled outlook on the penis. Mostly, it's terrified of penises and all their sexy functions. They would prefer for penises, and balls I guess, to go away and for all people to be asexual beings, with crotches that are entirely smoothed over, like a Ken doll (who, now I come to think of it, was pretty camp himself).
The decision on women bishops was criticised as sexist. Which it was. Previous Church rulings on homosexuality (particularly its opposition to same-sex marriage) have been criticised as homophobic. Which they were. But, clearly, what the Church is really so worried about is that penises are designed and evolved, in part, for sex.
The Spectator thinks I'm wrong, with Melanie McDonagh arguing that it's because of broadcasters and journalists that everyone thinks the Church is terrified of sex. Apparently we're obsessed with it and it's the focus of all our coverage. Well, this may be true; two of the three articles I've written this week have been about sex. She also has a big problem with journalists blocking the issues of women bishops and gay bishops together, arguing that the Church's position is clear and not contradictory; "active homosexuality is a problem. For women, there's no question of gender being sinful. It's just an issue of whether women can fully represent Christ, who was male". The issues can be blocked together and here's why.
The problem with women, according to the Church, is that they don't have a penis and Jesus did. Gay bishops have penises, so that's good. But if they use them for anything but peeing they'd be out of a job faster than you can say "I got so drunk at Mardi Gras, I woke up on the roof of my hotel wearing nothing but my bishop hat".
It's vital to the Church's order of patriarchal power and control that the male stays at the top. Because God is a man and Jesus was a man. Mary was a woman but, oh look, she never had sex. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, realised they were naked and that was bad, apparently. The penis is a vital, central part of the Church's hierarchy and order as a symbol of maleness. But as a symbol of sex they're ever so keen to repress it.
So maybe the Church of England just needs to grow up and get over it. They're behaving like giggling, red faced teenagers at the back of a sex ed class. They really are a bit confused too; on the one hand they want sex to go away, but on the other they're openly saying that if you want to be a bishop, the most essential tool is a cock, because otherwise, you're less like Jesus. The issue isn't women, it isn't homosexuality, it isn't even sex. The issue is that the Church of England simply doesn't know what to do about dicks.