Why do we even bishop?

To those patrons patiently awaiting their signed prints and raffle prizes, please hang in there! You haven’t been forgotten – it’s just taking some time to get things right. Plus I’m still pounding out the clerihews – though there are only about eleven left to go at the time of writing.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about it here.)

Discussion (40)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:

    Up with the lark this morning, Author! I’m used to waiting till noon for my weekly hit. Lovely punch line – still laughing :D!

  2. botanist says:

    Huge laugh here too – thanks.

  3. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    You put your left leg in, your left leg out, shake it all about…
    I thought it was called a bishoprick, not a bishopvulva?

  4. Stephen Mynett says:

    Brilliant and topical. Mo’s last statement made me think of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI

  5. HaggisForBrains says:

    Cool link, Stephen!

  6. jb says:

    And yet, interestingly, it does seem pretty common for secular liberals to get upset at Christian churches that don’t allow women into the clergy (e.g., the Catholic Church). I attribute this to the fact that, psychologically, gender equality is a sacred value for many liberals in exactly the same way that religious doctrines are sacred in the minds of religionists. (The Summers affair at Harvard is an excellent example of this). While the sacred and the supernatural are often linked, they aren’t the same thing, and one doesn’t imply the other.

  7. IanB says:

    Poor old CoE desperately trying to make it to the 20th century, never mind the 21st

  8. John says:

    @jb what a load of gibberish equality is sacred? It has nothing to do with religion its about giving everybody a fair chance in life to succeed at what they want to do.

  9. A conundrum!
    Now if I bash my bishop, I may even enjoy it more!

  10. liz says:

    Good point! It’s embarrassing enough to the human race already to have an old man wearing a pointy hat pretend to be “God’s” middleman. The thought of a woman doing it is even more painful.

  11. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    A girl bishop, now there is a twist
    Enough to gag a misogynist
    Women do things differently
    Like sitting to pee
    And other things to make the old farts, pissed.

  12. Thanks for this one, Author. Another punch line with a bullet.

    Bravo, Nassar. I particularly like your first rhyming couplet. The rest falls apart on scansion in your usual trademark manner, but well done.

  13. opposablethumbs says:

    jb, hmmm let me see … triune deity … virgin birth … flying to heaven on a winged horse … equality of opportunity for actual living human beings.

    One of these things is not like the others.

  14. opposablethumbs says:

    PS I could have sworn I’d commented once or twice before – have I managed to mess up technically somehow, that I’m going through moderation again? Same nym, same bat-channel email address …
    sorry for the extra bother, Author.

  15. opposablethumbs says:

    Oops …

    /insert emoticon for red-faced embarrassment here/

  16. hotrats says:


    I agree that NBH’s current effort is among his best, but

    1) I thought it had been long agreed that with their ‘trademark’ rhythmic auto-destruct, Nassers verses can’t actually be criticised as limericks, rather his own original form of 5-line meditations (somewhat in the style of William Topaz McGonnagal, though I’m fairly sure that’s a coincidence) even when, as now, the odd line fits the traditional pattern, and

    2) It ain’t really a couplet – although the rhyme is tempting, there isn’t room for its 4 beats, so the scansion has already broken down in line 2, where the triplet rhythm grinds to a halt (just try singing it to the tune of ‘Dont be Divisive’). From the unstressable ‘gag a mis-‘ on, it’s trademark Nasser all the way.

  17. hotrats says:

    Author – for a while now I have had to reload the page in order to see a post I’ve just made. This used to be automatic, and would even auto-scroll to the new comment. I think, to quote my favourite Lennon title, that there is A Spaniard in the Works.

  18. hotrats says:

    Lo and behold – with that comment it just worked the way it used to. Intermittent fault – the hardest to fix.

  19. machgai says:


  20. machigai says:

    My fault.

  21. Ricardo says:

    Irony of irony. Women can now help drive the most misogynist institution on the planet. Is this the ultimate level of deception ?

  22. JohnM says:

    @ hotrats
    Well it can’t be a ‘spammer in the works’, as we’ve all had to tick the box before posting here 🙂

  23. oldebabe says:

    Like the barmaid, I’m essentially don’t care. It’s good, I suppose, that women can be whatever they want, but to me, why a woman would want to be a bishop is incomprehensible. Maybe it was decided (by the men) that they could take the chance, as not very many would apply…

    I just love MO’s remark about it all… need I say more?

  24. hotrats says:

    “People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to.” Bill Hicks

  25. LastResort says:

    Shally, where are you when we need you to report some very good news?
    Of course the world is in balance, so we have some bad stuff going down in the religious community to compensate for the lovely and wise Judge Foote.

    To get OnTopic: I wonder if female priests will be all touchy-feely with the children, and whether female bishops will move them around to cover up their hobbies? Would male Arch-Bishops lie to protect offending female underlings? If we ever get a female CoE Arch-villain-Bishop will she report errant underlings? It seems unlikely as the current female boss of all of the bishops doesn’t and never has. If the entire church goes gender-blind, would both genders end up protecting each other all the way from priests to Queens? One hopes not but sexual predation does seem to be a genderless activity.
    Or am I too pessimistic?

  26. Macha says:

    This was touched upon, in a satirical way, here ..


    … But actually, in general, I think women are much more civilised than men and are less likely to do such shit.

  27. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    If, as seems likely, the point is to protect the reputation of the church, then yes, female pedophile priests will be protected. Though I suspect they won’t need as much as society just doesn’t care as much about female pedos (as shown by reactions to “female teacher has affair with 12-year-old boy” stories).

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    A very cynical ploy, this female bishops thing. I don’t think it has anything to do with promoting equality, more like an organisation that knows it’s in danger of going under doing anything it can to boost its membership.

    On a side note; thanks to all for your kind words on the last strip regarding my latest health problems. No improvement yet, but hope springs eternal.

  29. Norbury says:

    There was an old bishop called John
    Whose daughter was just a deacon
    He said “Let her be,
    “A bishop like me,
    “Just don’t let the gayers get on.”

  30. IanB says:

    AoS sorry to hear of your problems, missed the comment in the last strip until reading this one. FWIW I’ve had it twice and both times it went spontaneously without the need for prayer 🙂

  31. Acolyte, I do feel for you, really. I didn’t comment on your distress because of the danger of making it all about me, a danger which I’ve decided to ignore.

    I fell hard on my right shoulder last weekend and haven’t been able to raise my right arm since. Apparently I have a “full-thickness supraspinatus tendon tear at least 2cm wide”. Amazing pain. Every once in a while I do something jarring, like catching my sleeve on my walking stick while throwing it into the car, and get to experience the initial incident all over again, complete with sobs and expletives. So by simply imagining my current pain coming from my butt, I can say with all honesty that I feel your pain. Just not in the same place.

    My pain meds warn that alcohol may intensify the effect of the drugs. I’m hoping this is true. Here’s to your health, old friend.

  32. botanist says:

    So sorry to hear that DH. The manly ‘slap on the shoulder’ isn’t going to be much help is it?
    My round – what’s yours? I hope it helps. You can easily get a taxi home, that’s the joy of our C&B.

  33. Chiefy says:

    I don’t let my wife drive, but she drives anyway. In fact, we don’t “let” each other do anything. It’s a sloppy, disorganized system, but it works for us.

    Darwin, you have inspired me to post a video, just some light entertainment.

  34. LastResort says:

    Meanwhile, we could offer a small couplet for the Ephphatha lady and her hordes of friends:

    … And a child that’s born on the Sabbath day
    Is fair and wise and good and gay.

    So, the Big Cheese decided that not only should one in seven be happily gay but that they should be especially favoured by Daddy by being born on its very own special Daddy Day.
    One would almost be forgiven for thinking that the giant gardener liked people being gay.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, you have my every sympathy, old chum. I’m surprised you haven’t got the arm in a sling, just to restrict movement and give the ligament a chance to repair itself.

    ‘ang on a mo; that’s your guitar-picking arm. Nooooooo!

    Ian, you’re right about the spontaneity. The nerve seemed to just free itself yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, it spontaneously trapped itself again in the middle of the night.
    Ah, bugger.

    Hey, you don’t think the bad health that so many of us seem to be suffering of late could be a punishment from him upstairs, do you? 🙂

    LastResort, I’m not sure about God liking homosexuality but every time I hear a male Christian tell me that he is happy to ‘be in Jesus’, or that Jesus is ‘in him’, I do have to wonder.

  36. WalterWalcarpit says:

    LastResort, whether or not you are channelling ShallowEnder, please don’t summon Ephphatha.

  37. Chiefy, thanks for that glimpse into your domestic life. Dogs and clever grandchildren make one happy to be alive. And you are spot on with the comment about “letting” your wife drive. My wife and I also don’t let each other do anything.

    Acolyte, the guitar playing is not affected since my arm rests on the guitar. The piano and the violin are another story. It’s my bowing arm, and I can’t hold me elbow away from my body. Damn. I’ve only had the piano a couple of weeks and was just starting to get my Joplin back. Sigh. Glad to hear you’ve had moments of relief at least.

    LastResort, thanks for that couplet. It’s amusing the way the word “gay” has evolved to a new meaning. Sometimes I think we should reclaim it. Most of the gays I have known have been quite troubled, which is not surprising given the social complications of being gay. But then what could we replace it with that would have a positive tone? Code words like “Artistic” or “Sensitive” just don’t work? Still, every time I hear “Deck the Halls” now I get a very specific image for one of the lines. It’s a puzzle.

  38. Women are not only not allowed to drive, but they are treated as property and brutalized and raped, then blamed and/or punished for their own rape. It’s no better in the mind of the U.S. Republican, either. I present the ABCs of Rape. http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/20758/abcs-rape/

  39. Cephas Atheos says:

    @Macha : thank you for the link! I can’t afford The Onion since it went commercial. News Thump looks like a qualified apprentice.

    @DH : I’ve done the same thing, though less badly, so I share your joy at learning how the human body can instantly and agonisingly duplicate the entire sensory experience.

    @AoS : my heartfelt felicitations on your nerve problem. I’m currently recovering from my 15th operation in 23 years trying to mitigate nerve damage in my back. My back looks like a target for a circus knife-thrower!

    If you can get relief from hot or cold compresses or baths, use them as often as you can stand. Just relieving the pressure can allow the body to heal the irritated tissues around the problem area, bit by bit. It won’t fix the underlying cause, of course.

    I hope this helps a little (or a lot!)

    Intelligently Designed, my hairless arse!

  40. djdummy says:

    I don’t let my wife drive, but she drives anyway. In fact, we don’t “let” each other do anything. It’s a sloppy, disorganized system, but it works for us.

    Kinda works for Liz & me, But she lets me drive sometimes. Hello Chiefy.


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