The governing body of the Church of England, the General Synod, blocked a proposed change in its policy that would have allowed women — already members of the priesthood — to become bishops in the church. For the proposed changes to be accepted, two-thirds of the members in each governing body of the church would have had to vote in favor of the change. This was achieved in two of the bodies, the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy, but was narrowly defeated in the House of Laity. So the Church of England will remain with its feet planted firmly in the 19th century for at least another five years.
It may seem odd to say that this obviously sexist move is a good thing. After all, it sends a message to the faithful that church authorities believe that women are lesser creatures to men, and, thus, not worthy of holding positions of authority. However, I think from the secularist perspective, this may be a blessing in disguise, so to speak.
Most people can agree that England, as well as the whole of the UK, is a fairly secular place, though the numbers are hotly debated. Secularism is alive and well in the UK and atheists roam happily and openly all over this beautiful, perpetually-damp land. News about religious retrogrades in the US is met with derision and disdain. This secularism even affects the religious themselves. Christians are very quick to stress that they are not the crazy kind. They aren’t like that; they are the good ones! They love others and believe in helping the poor and downtrodden. This is, for the most part, entirely true and its what makes decisions like the one above so destructive to the faith.