Forty-nine years ago today, JFK was assassinated. I was quite young, but remember my cousin being very upset as she rushed in to switch on the tv. (Her family had emigrated to the US, but she lived with us while she finished her education.)
There was the death of Princess Diana which heard about on the radio news as I lay in bed on a Sunday morning, although I was more sorry about Mother Theresa who died the same day.
I watched the events of 9/11 unfold on BBC 24 because I happened to be off work that day. Then there were the confused reports about 7/7 in London that slowly became more horrifying.
Anyway, what set me down this particular memory lane, apart from the JFK anniversary, was the ruling of the general synod the other day on the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England.
You knew this was to be an historic moment because Radio Five cut into its news programme to bring decision live. Except it wasn’t momentous at all because the idea of equality in the eyes of God (or his representatives on Earth) got the knock back.
Inevitably, there were tears before bedtime following the vote which was jolly close by all accounts and swung on the views of the lay representatives rather than those of the bishops and the vicars.
Hands have been thrown in the air by the politicians and David Cameron went as far as to say that the church should ‘get with the programme’, whatever that means.
As I’m not at all religious or well up on the theological arguments, I’m not really in a position to pass comment. But I will.
I realise that this was important if you happen to be a church goer or employee, but how much does it matter to the majority of the population? Not a lot I would hazard, even if there were plenty of ‘disgraceful’ comments being read out on the radio and published in the press.
The church does what it wants to do and it isn’t for us heathens to question that in the same way that we shouldn’t challenge them on gay marriage. If a church is happy to perform the ceremony, that’s fine, and if they’re not, well that’s fine too.
But if the church is so far from public opinion and what the politicians think, isn’t it time it was separated from the state?