So, a man who has shot three people has finally taken his own life, and 100 people on Facebook are applauding his actions in punishing his cheating girlfriend – according to Today.
Why be surprised? After all, about two women a week are killed by domestic violence. Let me put that another way. We live in a society where, every week, two men think it is perfectly all right to murder women they used to claim they loved. To ‘punish’ them for the way they dress, who they speak to, not having dinner on the table at the right time or some other trivia. So shooting the poor lass, murdering her partner and seriously injuring some other bloke doing his job is par for the course, actually. I mean, who would not want to stay in a relationship with an abusive man as long as he apologises for his violence at intervals?
And I fear that domestic violence is the unacceptable end of a continuum of an attitude to women which finds clergy and laity of the C of E promising to leave the church if they cannot be promised a system for appointing bishops which is untouched by female authority at any point whatever – if at no point a woman has any command over them at all. Oh yes, these men would not of course beat up a woman. They are not violent, they are not (in that way) cruel. And that is really true, I am not being ironic. If any of them read this, they will be very angry to see themselves in any way bracketed with Raoul Moat. I can understand why. All the same, and at risk of hurting people I do actually like individually, I think they are part of the same problem, part of the same continuum.
It boils down to this. Either women are are really people, in just the same why as men are, or they are not. If they are, then they deserve respect and to be heard in every area and on all issues. If they are not, they do not. People are made in the image of God, and they can carry parts of his authority for him. Those who are not people, cannot. End of.
And although I do not want to hurt otherwise nice people, it is time for them to come to terms with the fact that women are people too. End of.