Take for example today's news that the General Synod of the Church of England has voted against allowing female bishops.
Firstly, I can't think of any reason at all why any self-respecting woman would want to be a leader of a church which doesn't want her. For that matter, I can't think of any honest reason why anyone would want to be a member of any organisation which specialises in pushing superstition onto gullible and vulnerable people and children, but that's neither here nor there.
For some reason some women do want to be Anglican bishops but those who have already made it through the stained-glass trapdoor have decided to slam it shut and pile tea-chests on top of it to keep it all for themselves, in their kind, caring, compassionate, Christian way.
Where did they turn to to find the excuse they needed? Why, the bigot's handbook, aka, the Holy Bible, of course! Where else?
And in this case, there wasn't even much creative re-interpretation needed. The medieval, and almost certainly sexually confused, misogynists who wrote it never even tried to hide their contempt for women, nor did the founders of the Christian church who seized on their bigotry and elaborated on it with enthusiasm.
No doubt they were inspired by:
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.Of course, it might not be just misogyny, or the fear that, if they had to work closely with a woman, they might not be able to keep their hands to themselves. It might be genuine repulsion similar to that felt by the person who wrote Revelations:
Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
"Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Woman, you are the devil’s doorway. You should always go in mourning and in rags."
"Do you not know that you are Eve? The judgment of God upon this sex lives on in this age; therefore, necessarily the guilt should live on also. You are the gateway of the devil; you are the one who unseals the curse of that tree, and you are the first one to turn your back on the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the devil was not capable of corrupting; you easily destroyed the image of God, Adam. Because of what you deserve, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die."
Tertullian, the father of Latin Christianity and founder of Western theology.
Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders.'
St Augustine of Hippo, considered to be one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time.
Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear and bring up children… If a woman grows weary and at least dies from child bearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing - she is there to do it.
Women have narrow shoulders and wide hips, therefore they ought to be domestic; their very physique is a sign from their Creator that he intended them to limit their activity to the home.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.I mean, who in their right mind would want to be defiled by a filthy woman? Certainly not anyone who agreed with John Calvin's view of what comes from a female's body:
We take nothing from the womb but pure filth [meras sordes]. The seething spring of sin is so deep and abundant that vices are always bubbling up form it to bespatter and stain what is otherwise pure.... We should remember that we are not guilty of one offense only but are buried in innumerable impurities.... all human works, if judged according to their own worth, are nothing but filth and defilement.... they are always spattered and befouled with many stains.... it is certain that there is no one who is not covered with infinite filth.So, why on earth would we expect people who admire these works and believe them to have been divinely inspired to regard women as their equal and entitled to equal opportunities?
In John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait, 1989, William J. Bouwsma, Oxford University Press, USA, p. 36.
The whole idea of women priest is so un-Christian.
Remember, this is the church which thought it would be a spiffing idea to have an Old Etonian nob with hardly any experience but jolly good breeding and loads-a-dosh, to lead it, just like in the good old days before all this liberal nonsense about democracy, equality and human rights.