Thinking Anglicans

Nigeria: New York Times editorial

In Denying Rights in Nigeria the New York Times today expresses its editorial opinion, starting this way :

A poisonous piece of legislation is quickly making its way through the Nigerian National Assembly. Billed as an anti-gay-marriage act, it is a far-reaching assault on basic rights of association, assembly and expression. Chillingly, the legislation — proposed last year by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo — has the full and enthusiastic support of the leader of Nigeria’s powerful Anglican church. Unless the international community speaks out quickly and forcefully against the bill, it is almost certain to become law…

Update
Matt Thompson reports Passage still imminent.

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Craig Nelsonkieran crichtonRichard LyonCheryl Cloughchoirboyfromhell Recent comment authors
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james lodwick
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james lodwick

What, if anything, is Rowan Williams doing or saying about this? What about the other primates and bishops on the Anglican Communion? Reluctance to speak out fiercely against this dreadful legislation reflects a grave lack of courage and moral leadership.

matthew hunt
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matthew hunt

And here are some more clear reasons why ‘conservative’ ‘Anglican’ silence equals death: http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL0159088020070301 For those who suffer from the ick factor, it’s about how persecuting, oppressing and criminalising LGBT people in Africa leads to a greater incidence of HIV infection and also death from AIDS. It’s fairly uncomplicated stuff. Very easy to grasp if you care to look. But if you keep very quiet and pretend it’s not happening then your ‘conservative’ fellow ‘Anglicans’ who are pushing for this furtherance of death – these people with whom you are allied – (and who value your opinion over all others)… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

The publisher of the NY Times, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Junior, is an Episcopalian. He is the fourth or fifth generation of his family to hold the job. Of course publishers do not write editorials, but it is hard to imagine that he would not have approved this one.

Robert
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Robert

“…has the full and enthusiastic support of the leader of Nigeria’s powerful Anglican church.”

Where does Lambeth Palace stand on the Nigerian anti-gay legislation? Is the silence part of the listening process? Help us understand. The world is entitled to know.

Aaron
Guest

From Canada…not about this post but cannot find a good spot for it.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070308.wxbishop08/EmailBNStory/National/home

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

I hope that someone will forward this not only to Bishop Minns of CANA, but also all of his followers.

I wish also that this would be sent to ++Rowan and the bishops in England who have been so quick to lecture TEC about morality. The I am sure ++Rowan would issue a statement deploring this legislation [but I won’t hold my breath].

I also hope that our own Bishop Katharine would issue a statement deploring this hateful and potentially lethal legislation.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The legislation will probably come to pass. Sometimes bad things must happen so that good things can come out of it. If players had not had their hearts hardened, the debate would never have become so public; and thus the dynamics, lessons and principles would not have been articulated. The same thing happened when Moses was trying to get the people out from under the pharoah. In refusing to cooperate with Moses, God could demonstrate and educate. The same with Jesus’ ministry. If there had not been such an outrage, there would not have been the manifestations and the written… Read more »

Fr Joe O'Leary
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Not only Akinola, the Catholic Cardinal of Lagos has also spewed ignorance and hate in his rhetoric in favor of this bill. Nigerian gays have to rely on American newspapers for their defence — they find no friends in those who call themselves their fellow-Christians. This rancid homophobia — whose full extent is visible in Anglicanism, invisible in Roman Catholicism — is no longer an excusable sin or a tolerable scandal.

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

More chillingly, The Anglican Primates at their very recent meeting in Tanzania IGNORED the dangerous to LGBT Christians/Muslims legislation in Nigeria in favor of focusing their grim/greedy attention on “restricting” LGBT Episcopalians at all levels of The Episcopal Church life…meanwhile the “primates” also turned their head to the Diocesean Boundry intrusions and the “poaching” on Episcopal Church property in the U.S.A.! Are we viewing great sins of ommission from the Primates or just plain cowardly and self-seeking leadership or “selective thinking/believing” at the Anglican Communion? Morally chilling is the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury has enthusiastically endorsed the “communique”… Read more »

Richard Lyon
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Richard Lyon

Bishop Katharine is too busy trying to remain at the table to do anything that might rock the boat. I guess as part of her season of fasting she’s fasting from standing up for human rights.

Dennis
Guest

Leonardo is right: the fact that the meeting in Dar es Salaam ignored this is unacceptable. That Rowan continues to ignore it shows that he has lost whatever moral authority he may once have had.

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

Presumably ++Rowan and his friends know all about this and for some tragic reason remain silent. What *we* need to do is pray for the poor souls who will suffer under this legislation.

Reed
Guest
Reed

+++Rowan is Judas in this passion play. He condemns with his silence.

Thomas+
Guest

Richard,

May I suggest that it was a cheap shot on ++KJS? The fact is that you — nor I — do not know whether she has written or spoken with ++Akinola on the matter. Publicly, at least, every time she has underscored our baptismal call “to respect the dignity of all human beings”. I just barely know her, but I would say that she is not a “shrinking violet” kind of person. Further, can you imagine her trying to buy ++Akinola by keeping quiet? Is she secretly shining Orombis’ shoes too?

C’mon…

Thomas+

Merseymike
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Merseymike

The CofE has no right to talk about ‘morality’ – they abandoned any moral high ground when they opted for cuddling up to Gauleiter Akinola.

Still, I warned that this would happen but certain people wouldn’t listen (are you reading, Colin??)

kieran crichton
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kieran crichton

Why is it seemingly impossible for any bishop in the world to say that Akinola has crossed the line with his support (or should that be Championship?) of this legislation? Rowan Williams, for all the frustration he is causing among us layfolk, is pursuing a line that has a perfect logic. While I respect the logic – moral compromise in the present for the achievement of a longer-term unity – I consider the consequences so toxic that it would be better if he reconsidered it and moved in a direction closer to the very writings and statements of his own… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Gene Robinson spoke out the other day friend. Alas I do not have the reference or quotations to hand.

It was a clear, courageous and defiant piece.
Perhaps Simon will know of it.

Robinson must be under terrible pressure. He is one of the few to emerge from all this with integrity. I feel encouraged by him, but know I mustn’t lean on him. He must think of his health and family too. He has done so much for us all who are lgbtq

NP
Guest
NP

nice idea Kieran – I am sure the “moral authority” of VGR would stun the ABC and ++Akinola to change their views!

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Unity is something which should be rejected. Who wants unity with the evil beliefs of Akinola and the Nigerian Church?

Richard Lyon
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Richard Lyon

Thomas,

I do not think that my comments about the activities of KJS are a cheap shot. What she might or might not be doing as a private individual is not relevant. She is a public leader in a very public position. Other religious and political leaders are showing moral leadership on this issue and she is not. She talks on terms of other people fasting so that she can remain at the table. It seems entirely plausible to me that her unfortunate silence on this matter is directly related to her political wheeling and dealing with the primates.

Andrew in Montreal
Guest
Andrew in Montreal

Breaking news from ‘Voice of America’, Davis Mac-Iyalla is now in Togo, having sought refuge from Nigeria.

See here for details: http://voanews.com/english/2007-03-09-voa30.cfm

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Perhaps +KJS’s silence (or least at this point) is a tactical device to let ++Akinola hang himself, as he seems to be doing a very good job of it. Then again, something from ++RW would be encouraging. As for +VGR, please leave the poor man alone.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Richard I was concerned by KJS signing such a document, but when I look at the politics that was going on at the time I think she played the most appropriate way at the time. Before she went, I referred to Jesus’s final trials and that he chose not to be defiant or fight back but allow his enemies to throw the full force of their vitriole at them. They have done their worst. But she still is there. We will have to wait a bit longer to see if she is strong enough not to be co-opted into preserving… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

“I pray that KJS has a strong back and remains loyal to protecting the least and oppressed.”

So do I but I am having my doubts. Her stated assumption that she has to do whatever necessary to remain at the table seems to me to be highly questionable. She really doesn’t have any demonstrated track record for actually having stood up to oppression. She’s said some very nice sounding things and a lot of people have some fervent wishes about what she will do. That is not the same thing as actually having done them.

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

I fear a typo crept into my comments above:

“This might be an alliance, but at this cost it will be unity.”

should read

“This might be an alliance, but at this cost it will NOT be unity.”

Craig Nelson
Guest

Certainly very interesting that divine providence has so ordered things at the moment. Dar es Salaam focuses in its near entirety on North America without much of a thought, if any, for upholding human rights. In parenthesis I should say that there are of course many human rights violations of people of faith but human rights work best as a seamless web of protections – as soon as you begin to cut holes in it for this or that group that you’re not so keen on, don’t matter quite so much or are expedient for the greater good, the cloth… Read more »