Thinking Anglicans

news from Nigeria

Long-term TA readers will remember the saga in 2006/07 concerning proposed legislation in Nigeria, see for example, Nigerian legislation and the Church of Nigeria and Nigeria: legislation imminent.

The story was covered exhaustively on Political Spaghetti.

That issue has returned, see this from Amnesty International last week, Nigeria: ‘Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill’ violates Constitution, and also Nigeria: ‘Same gender marriage (Prohibition) Bill’ threatens imprisonment of members of the LGBT community.

This development makes even more timely the publication by Ekklesia of a research report by Savi Hensman Contrasting church attitudes on human rights for all.

Simon Barrow writes:

Savi Hensman has produced another very useful research essay for Ekklesia on different church attititudes and stances towards human rights for all. Since 1948 Christians have played a significant role in extending personal and societal respect for human dignity, including promotion of the UN Declaration. At the same time, church leaders have also questioned and denied rights-based precepts and practices in a number of instances. In this paper, Savi traces these discontinuities while pointing to the substantial traditional theological and spiritual resources that can be deployed in producing and developing shared commitments to freedom and justice.

The publication of this document coincides with the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Egypt from 1-4 February 2009, the upcoming Church of England General Synod discussion on the Human Rights Act, the Convention on Modern Liberty in the UK, and recent comments on human rights from the Vatican, from Evangelicals and from the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.

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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Having just read the statement made by the Coptic Pope Shenouda, (supplied by Simon Sarmiento on the previous thread) on the subject of homosexuality, one can perhaps understand why African and Egyptian Church officials are so keen to expunge any signs of ‘the Love that dare not speak its name’ (cf: Oscar Wilde) from their partricular territories of influence. This state of ignorance about the reality of human sexuality, and the need to come to terms with what modern science is bringing to light on the whole subject, would be laughable – if it were not so tragic; in terms… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

This is off topic.
Abp Desmond Tutu was pictured today, at the Davos economic conference, in the San Francisco Chronicle. Tutu has become, in many moral aspects, the number one Anglican of the world, at least in some sophisticated circles. He is certainly the number one Anglican celebrity. I wonder how non-Anglicans view ABC, bogged down still with sex-motivated threats of schism. Is his moral voice seen as ananchronistic, much as the Pope’s?

Leonardo Ricardo
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Just in time for the Primates Meeting…+Akinola can be extra generous to LGBT Anglicans now by pointing out that he NOW/SUDDENLY DISAGREES with this legislation…it´s somehow flawed, he´s seen the light, the error of his ways…er, well, maybe it will, at least, support his major reason for being/beefing…afterall.

Spare us, oh great one, save us from acts of Nigerian political corruption and outright religious bigotry.

We shall see.

Göran Koch-Swahne
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What I could see in Pope Shenouda’s article is rather the Missiological Question:

“How will our adversaries see that Christianity is true, even True, if we deny their (not so very popular) popular prejudices instead of accomodate them?”

And yes, that may be a “deeply held” Theological – even Biblical – question.

Nor does it seem to have been un-known to first Millennium Christians ;=)

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“When asked why the Anglican church was spending so much time on the issue of homosexuality instead of war, AIDS and poverty – a question raised by South African church leaders – Nigerian Archbishop Akinola replied, ‘I didn’t create poverty. This church didn’t create poverty. Poverty is not an issue, human suffering is not an issue at all, they were there before the creation of mankind.’” – Savitri Hensman – In this article, Savitri Hensman has put a finger on the truth at the heart of Abp. Peter Akinola’s ignorance of logical progression. He says that: “Poverty is not an… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Poverty is not an issue, human suffering is not an issue at all, THEY WERE THERE BEFORE THE CREATION OF MANKIND!” So, is this a case where arrogance wins out over intellect? I mean, +Akinola is a very smart, well educated man. Can it be true that he really doesn’t understand what the Fall is about? It’s not merely the idea that human suffering by definition has to come after the creation of humans. It’s that human suffering is the result of the Fall. I mean, I know many of his fellows subscribe to the “humans are all criminals by… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Poverty doesn’t matter…! I noted he had a spanking brand new Mercedes when he was interviewed on the BBC documentary about GAFCON.

Did it come from the 17 million adherents…..or an American billionaire?

Incidentally he also took God’s name in vain.

john
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john

Well, I for one always (or nearly always) enjoy your contributions, RIW. But why not come back? Jesmond Parish Church is admittedly a dreadful church but all your instincts are ‘liberal Christian’. Of course, there are plenty such within the RC Church, but the breed is less clandestinely represented within Anglicanism. You ‘know’ that’s where your heart is.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

A real scandal for believers, and for those who follow something or someone other than Jesus of Nazareth, or nobody in particular at all – is the appaling state of human rights violations around the world for queer folks – not two daddies or two mommies committed ethically (and often seeking to confirm legal protections for the children involved, just as any other parenting family would seek to do). The Shenouda worry is a red herring. Shenouda is completely unable – not a whit of being able – to use both strong scriptural and traditional foundations, as well as contemporary… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Dear John.. I am a Catholic by solid conviction, believing in the Petrine claims, as so beautifully set out in Scripture. I am not a liberal…but I am disgusted how the Evangelicals are using homosexuality to advance their cause…when they have turned a blind eye to divorce/ re-marriage…and in reality have no real understanding of marriage. They claim the clear authority of the Bible and can come to no consensus as to what it means as regards heterosexual marriage. In fact they have left Sodom, but stayed in Gomarrah. The false alliance with Anglo-Catholics is also ungodly and disturbing, and… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

John “Jesmond Parish Church is admittedly a dreadful church but all your instincts are ‘liberal Christian'” I wouldn’t be so sure about that. RIW points out policies and inconsistencies without ever giving a hint of his own views. The only times you get a glimpse of his own thoughts is when he defends the Pope as preaching the absolute truth. And with the current Pope that’s more than enough for me to doubt even the slightest touch of liberalism. RIW is simply stirring it – why? Probably like all fervent converts who don’t convert because they truly believe in the… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“believing in the Petrine claims, as so beautifully set out in Scripture”

*LOL*, RIW!

On-topic: the essay by Savi Hensman is extremely helpful—if chilling. It is disturbing to see so inarguably Christ-like a concept as “human rights” (rooted as it is, in our view, in the dignity of the Imago Dei, redeemed by Christ) dismissed out of purely cultural (“worldly”, nez pas?) biases. Lord have mercy!

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

No more ad hominem comments about other commenters here either, please.