In the early eighties I went through a stage of uncertainty about the ordination of women to the priesthood. I was living in Adelaide at the time, studying at Flinders/The Adelaide College of Divinity for priestly ministry in the Anglican Church.
I had listened to debates about this in New Zealand. The bishops all seemed to be earnestly in favour, and that made it something I had to consider. I read books, listened to the debates at Synod. There was lots of talk about justice, but I was not entirely convinced.
I went to a public discussion. The usual arguments were put. There was much nodding of heads by serious bearded gentlemen, and grumpy-looking nuns.
So I asked how we could reconcile what was proposed with the example of Jesus, the teaching of the Apostles, and the universal practice of the Church. Did we really believe that Jesus, the Apostles and the entire Church before us had misunderstood the will of God, and that our generation was the first to see things clearly?
The answer was a look of astonished fury, and the raising of two fingers, accompanied by laughter from the serious bearded gentlemen and grumpy nuns.
That was a turning point for me. If anger, rude gestures and public mocking were the best arguments they had, then this was not much to stack up against what Jesus had done, the Apostles had taught, and the entire Chuch had practised for 2,000 years.
Sadly, this is a style of debate that still has its adherents. Example:
The best arguments they have are to swear, call people names, suggest anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt or stupid, and wave their boobies.
They might have a chance of convincing people if they answered a few questions:
Is there any correlation between human activity and changes in global climate? (Answer – No)
Is there any evidence human actvity has changed the rate of sea level increase? (Answer – No)
Is there any evidence for the claimed positive feedback from water vapour that would increase a possible but harmless 1 degree increase in temperature caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to a dangerous four degrees or more? (Answer – No)
Or if they showed any sign of engaging with, or even awareness of, the vast body of peer reviewed literature that questions the global warming frenzy (and associated government funds feeding frenzy).
Till then, thanks, but I think I prefer this: