Personal God and public loos in Sweden

Life is full of mysteries, and one of them is the Church of Sweden’s odd insistence on continuing to identify itself as Christian.

(In a more combative mood, I’d be capable of making a similar remark about most Protestant confessions, but I’m feeling uncharacteristically mellow this morning.)

One simply can’t associate with any Christian denomination a peculiar cult that’s led by a woman and ‘consecrates’ openly lesbian bishops, who then suggest that crosses be removed from churches and Muslim prayer space be allocated.

How about space for the Black Mass and sacrifice of virgins? Inclusivity has to be consistent, comes a scream from the depths of my soul.

The scream has been heard and partly acted upon. The progressively lesbian high command of the Church of Sweden has just instructed its clergy to make liturgical language ‘more inclusive’ by referring to God in a ‘gender-neutral’ fashion, eschewing such perniciously exclusive terms as ‘He’ and ‘Lord’.

God in Sweden is thus rapidly ascending to the progressive heights already reached by public lavatories, where any distinction between the sexes has been (or is about to be) outlawed.

The new guidelines helpfully offer an inoffensive prayer able to satisfy the most up-to-date of cravings: “God, Holy Trinity, Father and Mother, Son – Sister and Brother, and Spirit – Lifeguard and Inspirator, lead us to your depths of wealth, wisdom and knowledge”.

Ingenuous stuff, that, and it’s good to know that God has retrained for an alternative career as a lifeguard in a municipal swimming pool. But I’d like to have the arithmetical aspect clarified.

If my understanding of theology (and etymology, come to that) is correct, the word Trinity, Holy or otherwise, implies three. No more, no less – exactly three. If it’s more or less, it’s no longer a trinity, or am I missing something?

Mentioning every possible kinship in this context offends my sense of mathematical probity, among other things. But various spokesmen, or rather spokespersons, for the Church of Sweden delve deeper than the simple ability to add up:

“Referring to God as ‘Lord’ consolidates [gender] hierarchies and the subordination of women in a white, Western feminist context,” states one of them.

Again, I’m confused, which goes to show how far out of tune I am with modern Christianity, or modern anything for that matter. If the ‘Western context’ is already ‘feminist’, how and to whom can women be subordinated? If they do suffer this indignity, the context isn’t feminist, is it now? Sorry to be such a pedant, but that’s better than being some other cognates of the same word.

Another modern answer to Martin Luther explained that: “Liberation theologists, along with feminist and postcolonial theologians, have been crucial in identifying how legitimising hierarchies leads to violence and subordination.”

Much as we’re thankful for their invaluable contribution to theology, we ought not to forget the more indisputable role liberation theologists played in spilling oceans of blood in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

But then the son/daughter/other of God the Mother did say, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul…” No doubt the souls of the campesinos hacked to death with machetes in the spirit of liberation theology remained unscathed.

That’s what I cherish about modernity: it infinitely expands the boundaries of the possible. Public pronouncements that relatively recently would have caused a stampede to the exit, with some escapees dialling the nearest mental hospital, today can be made with impunity.

The kind of people who a few years ago wouldn’t have been regarded as fit to sweep church floors today make sweeping pronouncements in their capacity as bishops. Bishoprics in so-called Christian churches go to people who understand nothing about Christianity and seek to destroy everything.

In a more fundamental format, I think I’d be able to argue persuasively that what we’re reaping now is the toxic harvest sown by the Reformation, with its congenital commitment to destructive modernisation and the inviolable right of every communicant to make of God whatever he/she/it/other will.

For the time being, I’d suggest that the inner dilemmas impaling the Church of Sweden on their horns could be profitably solved by converting all the churches into mosques and inviting even more Muslims into the country. If the rape statistics are accurate, Swedish women – including the bishops – may enjoy a brisker sex life and an even greater sense of common purpose.

P.S. While we are on such ecclesiastical subjects, apparently Meghan Markle is to be baptised and confirmed in the Anglican Church before marrying Prince Hal. I don’t quite get that, but this time it’s genuine consternation.

Miss Markle is described as a Protestant. If we accept that Protestantism is still some kind of Christianity, then she must have been baptised already. It’s par for the course that she ought to be confirmed in her new confession, but what happened to “one baptism for the remission of sins”?

Anyway, good luck to Miss Markle on her citizenship test. What’s the height of Tower Bridge, Meghan? No peeking.

1 thought on “Personal God and public loos in Sweden”

  1. “’And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul…’”

    NOT only control the body but control the mind. The welfare state gone berserk.

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