This is not a sketch mocking genuine attempts for equality against injustice, sexism or racism etc (all of which are wrong). This sketch is quite the opposite and should be read with eyes of 'irony'. We live in a world where political correctness can reach absurd levels and can actually damage the case for genuine equality and create inequality. Don’t mistake the irony in this sketch about the excesses as meaning we don’t take the need for genuine (Godly) equality seriously. That's the point of the sketch...
We should also consider Philippians 2 and the 'mindset' of Christ Jesus, "...who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."
Church Commission on Equal Equality
(The three commissioners walk into the room and sit in three chairs around a table, 'facing' the audience. They are dressed (stereotypically) in slightly eccentric and 'hippy-ish' type clothes with 'earthy' colours. Ideally three males or three females - but play it by ear and feel free to change the script to suit you! Please add in any contemporary issues in society or issues within your church you'd like to poke some polite fun at !!)
Dylan - Hi guys - welcome. And I say 'guys' as an inclusive term as I don't want to offend anyone. I don't just mean 'men', I mean 'everyone' so hi everyone...
Burgundy - Thanks man... Ooops, that's so noninclusive, sorry, I mean thanks Dylan.
Sky - Yes thanks people. It's good to be here. Dylan, what's on the church equality agenda today.
Dylan - Well, I was wondering whether we should have an agenda? I mean is it right that we write down things to talk about without fully involving everyone?
(Everyone thinks and nods with lots of 'hmmm' type noises)
Sky - Well, maybe we can just use the agenda as a jumping off point?
Burgundy - 'Jumping off'. We have to be careful with our language. I mean, that could be offensive to someone who was injured when free running or something.
Dylan - maybe we should just say to use the agenda as a starting point to move forward, although for some people starting can be hard.
(Everyone thinks and nods with lots of 'hmmm' type noises)
Dylan - anyway, I think that it's important that we meet to re-affirm our commitment to equality in the church.
Burgundy - If I may, I'd like to bring up the whole thing about inequality in church roles.
Sky - You mean like some people get treated unfairly?
Burgundy - No, I mean more that for example we have people who make totally unilateral decisions. They make them on their own. They don't consult. They don't have agreement. They don't seek consensus. They don't speak to the people.
Sky - In what way?
Burgundy - I mean on Sunday, the pastor (and hey, God doesn't do hierarchy people, why do we have someone in charge, how dominant and oppressive is that?) Anyway, he spoke from the New Testament but didn't speak from the Old Testament. I mean, I'd say that's inequality.
Dylan - (Gets out his phone). I'll make a note of that in my 'mapping inequality in the church app' and upload it to share with others on the 'church inequality mapping map' online. And can I just say I agree about the whole inequality of the pastor thing. I mean, hello, male, pastor... That is so heavy and so chauvinism. Not to mention not being down with the people. I mean, Jesus walked with his people.
Sky - Er, yes.. He did. Come to think of it, we don't have any females on our equality commission here...
Dylan - So true and something I need to address but frankly this is a sign of why our commission is needed. Plus we have no North American, African, Asian or even other European people on our church commission.
Sky - No but we do live in the middle of rural Dorset and there are only white British people in our community and our church and...
Burgundy - (Interrupts). Exactly and that's why we need to fight the system of inequality that creates this unbalanced situation in the first place and break the yoke of oppression and slavery in our midst. The Bible says in Galatians there is no longer any male or female, slave or no slave.
Or those who are folicly challenged? Have we even considered them?
Dylan - That's why we need to be so careful in what we say in church so we don't exclude anyone. We should never say anything that's not generalised. Nothing we say should ever point at any human. And I say 'human' because male and female are titles that are so excluding... God loves everyone.
Sky - Yes he does but we're not all the same and God doesn't leave us where we are...
Burgundy - (ignoring Sky and looking at Dylan). Exactly, Dylan... And that's why we are soooo needed in our equality commission.
Sky - I meant that we are all made different by God...
Burgundy - (not listening to Sky) Until we're all equal we'll fight on. As long as there's any differences between us, we'll stand. As long as inequality and injustice exists within our church we'll be here making a difference and standing for rights. (Stands up)
Dylan - (stands up and punches the air). No foreigner, no Jew, no Gentile, no man, no woman, no difference. No hierarchy, no leader telling us what to do!
(Dylan and Burgundy stand shoulder to shoulder, brother to brother and shout for equality)
Dylan - (after a while, stops and looks at Sky still sat down, scratching his head). What's the matter Sky?
Sky - Well there's a couple things. First of all, there are no women in our church. The three of us are the church! And secondly (looking at Dylan)... And quite importantly considering the comments about hierarchy and leaders... You're the pastor!
Dylan - (stops and thinks). In that case, I resign.
1. What is equality or inequality? How to we judge whether it exists?
2. When should we fight inequality? How? Do you think we can go too far?
3. Are there any times when equality might not be a good thing?
4. Are there times when equality for one means inequality for another? How do we decide?
5. Can we damage the cause of fighting genuine inequality by the things we do or don't do?
6. What does the Bible say about equality, inequality and injustice?
7. How do we live as Christians in a world where Biblical values are constantly pushed down and even persecuted - even in the name of equality? Often ‘equality’ means ‘inequality’ for Christians and actually damages society as a whole.
As just one of many examples - a Catholic adoption agency which successfully took the most vulnerable young people in society was forced to close down because of their Biblical beliefs on marriage and family. The agency had no choice to close down, leaving the most vulnerable without support. This was done in the name of equality. Was this right?
Sketch added 10/01/14 and updated 18/02/15