Monday 2 April 2018

Kindred and affinity

Last year, reflecting on the many hours I whiled away reading The Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, I mentioned the Table of Kindred and Affinity. This starts off  A man may not marry his
. . . Mother; Daughter; Father's mother; Mother's mother; Son's daughter; Daughter's daughter; Sister; Father's daughter; Mother's daughter; Wife's mother; Wife's daughter; Father's wife; Son's wife; Father's father's wife; Mother's father's wife; Wife's father's mother; Wife's mother's mother; Wife's son's daughter; Wife's daughter's daughter; Son's son's wife; Daughter's son's wife; Father's sister; Mother's sister; Brother's daughter; Sister's daughter. I won't bore you with the precisely symmetrical list commencing with A woman may nor marry her . . . Father; Son etc. But feel free to check out one of the few areas of equality between the sexes in the Established Church.

It is, of course, the source of some ironic amusement among us marriage equality moderns, that it is now not explicitly forbidden for a protestant man to marry his own father.

I was reminded of this on receiving a blanket e-mail from the Teachers' Union of Ireland about their/our Credit Union. Those eligible to join the TUI credit union are not only members of the Union but also the Union's employees - the secretariat are not teachers and not TUI members but are welcome to keep their money with the TUI-CU - and also retired members in either category. All that is fair enough.  But this codicil brought me up short:

Also included are family members. “Family members” include, husband, wife, civil partners, son, daughter, parents, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece and first cousin.

The nicety of the principles of inclusion / exclusion that went into compiling this list suggest that the TUI is harbouring protestants in its midst. Thus each true member of the TUI can bring five (5!) generations of collateral relatives into the Credit Union. And if you take it at its pedantic face value, each member can have multiple civil partners; maybe I am a member of the Teachers Utah of Ireland? Every true Irish family aspires to have at least one priest, one nun and a teacher in their ranks. I reckon that there are more people in Ireland eligible to join the TUI-CU than are excluded.

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