Saturday, 3 November 2012

Jade Counts Bishops

Peter Levite: Once again my little radio programme here looks into the latest in our marginal religious affairs - well, my producer tells me I must. Now normally I like to speak to our friend down south Lesley Tailgate, sorry Tilgate, the former Lesley Bloke but she told me to contact someone else instead. I think she said she was visiting some parishioners in Sodoff, or some place like that, but she did recommend that I talk to someone in a different camp from her, Jade Stowaway. You have been on my programme before.
Jade Stowaway: There were lots of people in debate.
Peter Levite: They're a bit more difficult to set up when you've got budget cuts. One to one is cheap, and less money to performing rights if we can string these out and play fewer records. Right, so you are a member of a pressure group that is calling for women to be made bishops in the coming Synod.
Jade Stowaway: The group is now called SeeSaw, finely balanced around what we think is the evangelical centre, and SeeSaw is saying Yes Two Women Bishops.
Peter Levite: Why?
Jade Stowaway: It's a way to solve the dilemma of those opposed. If we just have two, then there's plenty of space for traditionalists not to have any. We have a transition period.
Peter Levite: I thought it meant, like, Yes TO Women Bishops, like More Four, on television, is, oh, well, More of Four. No that doesn't work does it.
Jade Stowaway: That'll be next. Let's Go Four More. Do you get it? Let's go for more, see. So once they get used to a couple, we might make it six.
Peter Levite: Where does this end?
Jade Stowaway: Twenty Twenty Vision. Four hundred. All of them and some more.
Peter Levite: My researchers tell me that some say you're not much of an evangelical these days. Like they say you're into women's things and you're not exactly on the SeeSaw with the gay inclusion thing. Like as soon as you had women priests, as soon as you get women bishops, the Church in England inevitably liberalises and you are one good example of this.
Jade Stowaway: What is biblical about continuing oppression?
Peter Levite: Don't ask me, I don't know anything about it, but listeners can email in, or send a text to tell me your opinions on yet another subject none of you know anything about. But you used to turn up with your mate Rachel Marsovenus, and she is said to hobnob with all these people who don't even recognise her as being a minister.
Jade Stowaway:  Hey, sometimes when I go to diocesan wide events, there will be people who will literally not speak to me, or do look at me like I am a piece of crap. Rachel, er, she's still up north somewhere now. I used to know her when she had an engagement with postliberal theology, but she is a bit more scared than me with engaging in so-called liberal issues and so has gone off into a world of charismatic experience I think. But the last I heard she does street pastoring like I do.
Peter Levite: What hanging about at night time in the open air.
Jade Stowaway: I don't like what you are insinuating there.
Peter Levite: Not incinerating anything this bonfire season.
Jade Stowaway: A bit more useful than hanging about waiting for custom.
Peter Levite: Like clergy? Hah! Everyone has their uses.
Jade Stowaway: Lesley Tilgate told me about you.
Peter Levite: What did Lesley Tilgate tell about me?
Jade Stowaway: That you are some local news presenter who artificially gets aggressive with interviewees as if that is the right thing to do, and sometimes you shout.
Peter Levite: What's postliberal theology?
Jade Stowaway: It's the theology not of history but of text, that the text is its own guidepost as to the definition of being Christian and the encounter with what is in the text. So it is at one remove, but it is regulative. But for some people it's not objective enough.
Peter Levite: But if you, and women, are more liberal, then you are presumably not post liberal, which is like after you were liberal and you'd be less.
Jade Stowaway: Well thank you for at least an intelligent discussion.
Peter Levite: Rather it's that I'm clueless about a word you used.
Jade Stowaway: Well, that sort of postliberal is not very post liberal, more after liberal. It is against individualism and experience, but then women have so much experience to shape theology, and of course my debating friend up north is generating her own charismatic experience because of the implications behind postliberal theology - that it is not historical. It does not rely on history.
Peter Levite: I thought you evangelicals did. It all happened. Like virgins having babies and people saying I was dead a few days ago.
Jade Stowaway: Are you all right now?
Peter Levite: Not me!
Jade Stowaway: I think experience is the way to do theology.
Peter Levite: So that's liberal then.
Jade Stowaway: Well it's a process.
Peter Levite: Is that a technical term or is process not liberal?
Jade Stowaway: Process is associated with liberal.
Peter Levite: See, we also used to have a chap on called Harry Tick, and he said you all just make it up according to what outcome you want. This theology is just discredited. It is not thought that is like done by a scientist, or a historian, or social stuff, where the thought can contradict what you want: you just make it all up.
Jade Stowaway: Well, it's an adventure according to where people are informed by traditions but critical of them when they have been experienced as oppressive.
Peter Levite: So your SeeSaw group, are they also including gay people as they experience themselves?
Jade Stowaway: Er, no, not really. SeeSaw isn't primarily about experience.
Peter Levite: Well that rather undermines what you've been saying.
Jade Stowaway: I'm not saying what they've been saying.
Peter Levite: So what do you think then?
Jade Stowaway: I'm sort of changing my mind, or have been.
Peter Levite: So that would be a liberal thing would it, changing your mind?
Jade Stowaway: Well, a woman thing. Well, yeah.
Peter Levite: George Hudson is out filming somewhere so the weather is from Linda Oasis. Linda, have you eaten yet?
Linda Oasis: Oh you cheeky presenter; is your tie straight today?
Peter Levite: I'm on the radio. Where are you?
Linda Oasis: I'm in a Polish cafe, Peter, in Whitby, having a sandwich with Keeley Sunshine Superwoman, my colleague. So yes I have. And it will be Keeley-like today, if a little cold.
Jade Stowaway: Hilda of Whitby; what a woman.
Peter Levite: Is she one of your minister colleagues? Is she...
Jade Stowaway: No, in the past; before my time, Peter.
Linda Oasis: Even before yours, Peter.
Peter Levite: Well if I can't talk to her it was very pleasant talking to you, Jade, and see we have women doing the weather. You were a lot more pleasant than that Lesley Bloke. She's so rude to me. Familiarity breeds contempt, eh?
Jade Stowaway: I'd be interested in your listener reactions.
Peter Levite: Now come on, don't be too optimistic. That's just our appearance of contact: drivel by the unwashed ignorant bucketload. Talk to you again?
Jade Stowaway: Possibly. Don't forget - Yes Two Women Bishops!
Peter Levite: Paul from Scunthorpe has emailed in saying, 'Yes to all that but does anyone give a...' Now come on and watch your language, people.

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