God Loves Women

A blog sharing my love of God, the love He has for women and my frustration that the Church often doesn't realise this

Blog

Why Sentamu was wrong to write for the Sunday Sun

Posted by God Loves Women on February 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I wrote this as a comment in a blog by @revarun which you can read here.  (You can read Archbishop Sentamu's full text for The Sun on Sunday on his website here)  Unfortunately my comment was too long and so I thought rather than shorten it, I would turn it into a blog of my own!  So here are my thoughts:


The Sun promotes pornography.  Would Archibishop Sentamu be happy to write a regular column on a pornography site?  I would hope not!  Jesus' response to women in the Bible was to give them equal value, to tell them they mattered.

 

If Christians are so desperate to get people to hear their words that they need to write for The Sun, Jesus' message has got to a pretty desperate place.  Jesus called us to make discplies, to build deep relationships and live in community with one another.  He said it is by our love for one another that people will see Him.

 

Rupert Murdoch's empire is not justified because a brave journalist has died.  Her choice to work for the Murdoch empire may not have been a good one, but that doesn't invalidate every area of her character, as it doesn't with Archbishop Sentamu.  But while women are abused by their husband's in part due to the false messages they are fed by media like The Sun, suggesting that women are there to be sexual objects, and while The Sun continues to be a news outlet that perpetuates prejudice, misrepresentation and sensationalim of real people's lives, as Christians we should be speaking out.

 

Jesus did not go into business with the tax collectors, he did not provide space for prostitution in His lodgings.  He condemned the injustice, while making the most excluded, the most broken, the most hurting feel welcomed and loved.  We do that not by writing a column in a newspaper, but by doing life with the very people who are hurting, broken and outcast and loving them so deeply they feel the very love of Jesus.

Categories: The Church, Men and the Church

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

8 Comments

Reply RevdKathy
3:10 AM on February 27, 2012 
When The Methodist Church was looking at entering a covenant with the Church of England I remember asking whether we'd be having that conversation if the CofE had a rule baring black men from becoming Bishops. I had the same feeling this weekend when I saw the ArchBishop's article. Somehow, we justify allying ourselves with certain sorts of abuse and discrimination on the grounds that we have to draw close to sinners to reach them, where otherwise we would Take A Stand.

Ultimately, we make our choices, and I suspect he may live to regret that one.
Reply Pam Smith
3:31 AM on February 27, 2012 
Thank you for articulating what I was struggling to express yesterday in the face of all the people who were praising John Sentamu for 'reaching out'.

It seems to me the strand of misogyny runs so deep in the Church of England that even people who consider themselves called to act prophetically - eg John Sentamu's continued refusal to wear clerical collar as a reminder of the dreadful suffering in Zimbabwe - see nothing wrong in his endorsing of a publication which routinely treats women as objects. The Sun on Sunday is a Sunday edition of the Sun, which prints topless pictures on page 3 Monday-Friday, so it is either very naive or very cynical to say 'But there wasn't a topless picture in the edition he wrote in.'

In addition to the very obvious objectification of women, there is also the small matter of the subversion by the Murdoch press of our political system and the routine use of hacking. Saying 'all papers are tarnished' ignores the point that John Sentamu's article didn't just appear in the Sun on Sunday - it endorsed the Sun's appearance 7 days a week and spoke of it being 'an honour' to be asked to appear.

John Sentamu's article spoke of forgiveness - I can't believe the naivete of some of his apologists who seem to think that taking a stand against something we believe to be wrong is 'unforgiving'.

Try telling that to people in Liverpool who are still waiting for an apology for the Sun's unjustified smears against fans who died at Hillsborough.
Reply Han
6:20 AM on February 27, 2012 
I do agree that the Sun promote porn and so it's not necessarily the right platform for a message by the Archbish but at the same time sometimes you have to meet people where they are rather than getting them to be on your "level" before you approach the subject. Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do but clearly the Archbish saw the need or that to him it was a good idea. We won't know his reasoning but I'm sure he thought and prayed it over and seeked advice before doing it.

This is the same Archbish who stood up at a youth conference wearing a hoodie over his dog collar outfit with the hood up to address the young people there - was that not approaching the young people on their level?
Reply Pam Smith
7:40 AM on February 27, 2012 
Han says...
This is the same Archbish who stood up at a youth conference wearing a hoodie over his dog collar outfit with the hood up to address the young people there - was that not approaching the young people on their level?


Erm - not really because not all young people wear hoodies and presumably he doesn't wear a hoodie all the time.

What puzzles me more than anything is what 'level' exactly they think either John Sentamu or they themselves are on that is so far above Sun readers?
Reply Han
11:41 AM on February 27, 2012 
Pam Smith says...
Erm - not really because not all young people wear hoodies and presumably he doesn't wear a hoodie all the time.

What puzzles me more than anything is what 'level' exactly they think either John Sentamu or they themselves are on that is so far above Sun readers?


I meant it in the sense that you met people where they are. Am I less of a Christian because I go to church in my jeans and a hoodie? I am a less of a Christian because I don't tend to dress up unless I'm at the front or it's an important occasion (okay sometimes I do dress up because I want to but it's an example). Am I less of a Christian because I have my ears pierced twice? There's a lady at church with tattoos - does that make her less of a Christian?

Sometimes you have to reach out to the people rather than expecting them to conform with your "rules"
Reply Han
11:43 AM on February 27, 2012 
P.s. I do agree that The Sun's ethics are questionable but is it not a good thing that he's reaching out?
Reply Pam Smith
3:25 PM on February 27, 2012 
Han says...
Am I less of a Christian because I go to church in my jeans and a hoodie? I am a less of a Christian because I don't tend to dress up unless I'm at the front or it's an important occasion (okay sometimes I do dress up because I want to but it's an example). Am I less of a Christian because I have my ears pierced twice? There's a lady at church with tattoos - does that make her less of a Christian?


My point would be the very opposite - that we should ALL be ourselves, and not try and pass ourselves off as something we're not to ingratiate ourselves.

One of my god daughters is Goth, if I turned up dressed as a Goth to her flat, I don't think it would make her feel that I was reaching out to her, she'd know that I was taking on a fake persona. She appreciates time, attention, and genuine interest, she really doesn't need me to dress up as something I'm not to convince her I'm interested in her!
Reply God Loves Women
6:30 PM on February 27, 2012 
Han says...
I do agree that the Sun promote porn and so it's not necessarily the right platform for a message by the Archbish but at the same time sometimes you have to meet people where they are rather than getting them to be on your "level" before you approach the subject. Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do but clearly the Archbish saw the need or that to him it was a good idea. We won't know his reasoning but I'm sure he thought and prayed it over and seeked advice before doing it.

This is the same Archbish who stood up at a youth conference wearing a hoodie over his dog collar outfit with the hood up to address the young people there - was that not approaching the young people on their level?


Hi Han,

Thanks so much for you comment. I do agree that we have to meet people where they're at, but that doesn't mean we go out and have a cigarette with the smokers. Jesus' message is not one of fitting in, but of standing out. I know that some of the young people I have worked with most valued the older women and men (grandparent age) who didn't attempt to fit in, but rather loved them and showed them what it was to be comfortable in your own skin.

I would hope Archbishop Sentamu did pray before making his decision, but even Archbishops can make mistakes and I think he may live to regret this one. I would say that if he had condemned objectification of women and challenged the Sun's way of reporting, it may have been a different thing, but to say it was an honour to write for The Sun and encouraing people to buy it seven days a week does not use the platform he has gained to meet people where they are, then challenge them, rather he has promoted their existing views as completely fine.