Thursday, 16 February 2017

What Now For the C of E and Sexuality? A Trans Perspective

So, GS2055 ‘fell’ in the House of Clergy. That document is gone and shall not determine the way ahead for the Church of England.

Many within the Church (for that, read: ‘a few geeks like me') will be wondering: What now? For we have been told that the only so-called ‘road map’ is gone.

No one quite knows what the future holds. People like me are hopeful that something richer, more radical and more celebratory shall be possible. Archbishop Justin’s words at the end of the GS2055 debate were heartening.

So far, a number of groups and individuals with whom I am in solidarity and sympathy have indicated various, possible ways forward. You can find various statements here:  OneBodyOneFaith, Alan Wilson, Modern Church.

As a trans person, I want to add my own small personal coda as we move forward.

Whatever happens, wherever we go, I ask this: Please do not ignore trans and intersex voices. The habit of imagining that we don’t problematize the church’s discourse on sex has to stop.

T & I voices really, really matter…not just to be listened to with a patronising ear (as many of us have experienced), but as critical resources to break open new joyous ground for our stale discourse on (what so often seems to comes down to) who can place their 'sex bits' where and when.

I say this not from an inclusion point of view (though that’s important), but a theological/philosophical one. For while I don’t want to underestimate the inclusion dimension, the importance of T & I (among other queer voices) lies in a theological matter that I’ve consistently suggested is absent from the C of E’s thinking:

We cannot hope to come to a theologically and philosophically sophisticated set of positions on sexuality until we, the Church, arrive at a sensitive and critically-informed account of terms like ‘gender’, ‘body’, and ‘embodiment’. (These terms need to be defined, but that is not my key point today: my key point is that, if they are complicated, problematized terms, they indicate how lazy much of our thinking about ‘sexuality’ typically is.)

We need to critically interrogate our theologies of gender if we are to begin to re-reflect hopefully around theologies of 'sexuality'.

The tragic fact is that most of the thinking I’ve come across in the Episcopal discourse on sexuality – i.e. its purposes, its place in the human and divine economy – is grounded in a lamentably uncritical ‘natural’ discourse around ‘men’, ‘women’, ‘male’, ‘female’ and gendered ‘bodies’. Too readily these notions have been treated in ‘naturalistic’ ways; or even (worse), as if Biblical discourse about ‘bodies’, ‘men’, ‘women’ relates uncritically to modernist ideas about ‘two sexes’ and so on.

Uncritical assumptions around so much discourse on ‘the body’ is hamstringing our capacity to think both clearly and imaginatively about what it means to bear the Image of God and grow into Christ’s likeness in the world.

Whatever else history, philosophy and critical theory might teach us, it is that representations of the body – the divine, sainted body as well as the so-called ‘fallen’ body and so on – cannot simply be ‘read out’ from the Bible or even from Church history. The serial violence done to the bodies of those coded as ‘female’ in Church and Biblical ‘imaginaries’ is signal enough of that.

Trans people etc may seem ‘oddities’ from the perspective of those in both episcopal authority as well as many in wider society. Yet, many of us trans people (and there are more of us than you think) have channelled our wits and guts into making critical space available for reflecting again and more critically about so-called ‘gender roles’ or ‘natural bodies’.

We attempt to make space available to question the naïve and stereotyped ideas about what a man or woman is, about what ‘sexuality’ is, and what it means to be bodies consecrated to God.

Please start taking us seriously.*



*Oh, and when I say 'us' that applies to others typically excluded from the sexuality conversation: lesbians, bisexual people etc.

6 comments:

  1. CHURCH OF ENGLAND IS AKIN TO SATAN WHILST SALVATION ARMY TO GOD.

    In Jesus, we have One Fold called Church of God headed by One Shepherd Christ Jesus. Jesus came to deliver us Gospel, the language of communication and praising our Father Elohim, ParBrahm, Allah, etc., Who lives in His Beautiful Temple, our physical body, made not by human hands but by the demiurge god of Nature, the greatest Artist called Yahweh, Brahma, Khudah, etc. And we worship our Father in truth and in spirit. That is why St. Peter killed two liars Ananias and Sapphira, who’s Temples were not built on the solid rock of truth but over sand of lies that fell down on testing. Temple of God is always built on the solid rock of truth for the person to stand in Public to proclaim Gospel in holy spirit, “common sense” whilst the Temple of Satan is built on sand of lies that proclaims hypocrisies of Mammon. That is why St. Peter used to deliver the First Sermon establishing the rock followed by the Apostles who then advised them how to Preach Gospel to glorify our Father in honour of our Anointed Elder Brother Christ Jesus.

    Thus, in Jesus we are solitary virgin Brides of our Bridegroom Christ Jesus and our Father is within us, Emmanuel, so far we worship Him in truth and in spirit. With these criteria in our minds, let us vet in spirit this Church of England headed by Queen, the head of Mammon:-

    1. The head of the Church of England is Queen, who is the head of Mammon in Great Britain whereas Jesus or His Virgin Brides, the Apostles were not hirelings at all.

    2. She is the defender of faith in Mammon and her employees, the Bishops sit in the House of Lords to see that her will is enforced by the Priests of her Church of Mammon. Newly appointed Arch Bishop Justin Welby, a Banker has in mind to multiply Mammon and not Gospel Treasures of God.

    3. Archbishops and their Priests are hireling Dog-Collared Priests who are employed in the manner of the uniformed police men. They retire and get pensions from Mammon. Royal Priests give to the Church of God and not take out as the Priests in Moses were doing - just the opposite.

    4. Priests are employed to deliver sugar-coated sermons of falsehoods such as the soldiers who died in the defence or expansion of the Empire are proclaimed that they glorified God, our loving and merciful Father.

    5. Big Cathedrals like the St. Paul’s in London are built by the “Blood money” to honour the soldiers of Mammon whilst the men of God like our Brother William Booth is nowhere to be seen because he didn’t belong to this Fold of Mammon.

    6. No wonder hireling Church of England Priests are so proud and arrogant than the humble serving Church of Salvation Army Soldiers of Christ Jesus who died in the world wars for King and Country. Salvation Army Officers who act as Ministers of Religion are paid very low salaries for their upkeep and they are more devoted to serving God than Mammon.

    7. Ideally, service to God is to be totally on volunteer basis till the person dies. Royal Priests being greater than the Priests, they form Fellowships.

    8. Samaritan man who picked up the wounded person and looked after him on philanthropic basis is the ideal way to serve God.

    9. So, the nearest to God is the Salvation Army whilst to Mammon or Satan is the Church of England.

    10. In Jesus, we are Royal Priests who enjoy Fellowship that ponder over His Word, Gospel and how to serve people honestly. Jesus got rid of these neo Rabbis in which Matt. 12v43-45 has been fulfilled. And in Matt. 13v24-30 is Atomic War predicted on 14 May, 2023.

    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.


    Yours in Christ Jesus and his second coming Christ Nanak,

    Brother Rajinder Nijjhar, M.Sc.,

    Retired Lecturer in Metallurgy.

    Over 5500 Youtube Videos; channel nijjhar1.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoCX5E8m-rQ


    Preview YouTube video Church of England headed by Queen is just opposite to Church of God headed by penniless Christ Jesus - 1.

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    1. What absolute twaddle.

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