Thinking Anglicans

Church of Nigeria statement on legislation

Updated again Saturday

The full text of the statement submitted by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to the public hearing on the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2008 is now available. There are five graphics files (click on each image to enlarge) or there is a PDF file here.

Extracts from this are also available at Changing Attitude, see Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Act and the Church of Nigeria’s position paper.

Friday lunchtime update

The full text of the legislation itself is now also available, it occupies only two pages:

See below for two other versions

Further reports of the hearing from Changing Attitude:

Report on the Hearing on the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibtion) Bill 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria which includes this:

…There was a heavy controversy between me and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) when I mentioned how Archbishop Akinola and the bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) have committed themselves to the process of listening to LGBT people in the Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10. Being committed to listen to LGBT people and coming to the hearing to support the bill is not honest. The representative of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) took offence and denied that.

and Church of Nigeria bussed people in to the Same Gender Marriage Bill hearing:

…On Wednesday, while we were outside waiting to be allowed to enter, some interesting things began to happen. Buses began to arrive carrying members of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Joint Women’s Fellowship together with the Youth Fellowship buses from Jos. They parked right next to us.

The atmosphere became very tense for us lesbian and gay representatives. The church members looked at us with terrible hard faces. They were wearing T-shirts with the slogans saying: IT IS UNAFRICAN, IT IS UNGODLY, IT IS SENSELESS, UNCULTURAL…

…After which a Bishop said that clearly it was a big lie for any gay person to say that he was created by God. He also said from his statement that being gay was an acquired syndrome from the western world.

Friday evening update

Lionel Deimel has made available a more easily readable copy of the legislation, see
Akinola: Anglican Fundamentalist, Fascist, and Theocrat.

Saturday update

And there is a PDF of the legislation available also here.

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Greg
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Greg

Thank you for sharing this shocking document, it is helpful to see what the chief pastor of our brothers and sisters in Nigeria thinks about gay people. It is also tragic to think what the proposed Nigerian legislation will inevitably lead to, if passed; egged on so enthusaistically by the ‘lion of Abuja’. I struggle to see how any Anglican Christian in the 21st Century can, in conscience, support such draconian, vicious proposals that are liable to produce such strange, bitter fruit. Are there still Anglicans in Nigeria?

penwatch
Guest
penwatch

Who is ultimately driving all this? You can trace a linear descent straight back to the Common Cause Partnership.

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

Completely aside from the subject he means to be discussing, the Archbishop’s insistence on inviolable community is completely and precisely opposite to the biblical picture of Jesus, who calls people out of such familial, tribal, ethnic, national affiliations into a new community centered on him.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I certainly hope the ABC is forced to read this. It is beyond shocking, even from this hate-filled source. I hope someone asks Martyn Minns to comment, among others. This is just plain vile. It is biblically ignorant as well as scientifically ignorant. Why should any educated person listen to this venom?

Every minute of silence from the ABC may mean, in time, the brutalization or death of glbt Nigerians. Will it take a Kristelnacht in Nigeria to wake up the ABC? Will even that move him?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Sorry Simon, but what on earth do you mean by making the pages so small.

Not a chance that anything but the headline “Church of Nigeria” can by read by anybody?

Simon responds: Just click on the image to enlarge it, Goran. And I have now added a PDF as well, which should avoid any difficulty.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Now I have been able to read it (copy and enlarge is your friend). I must say that some of the “translations” offered are somewhat faulty, that of Genesis 19:1-29 not even a paraphrase.

Which puts the claim that same sex marriage is un-Biblical in a strange light indeed… I think a Hellenist interpretation, traditional in some parts of Academia, explains the reading.

And I rather suppose the same is true of the claim regarding the Koran; Hellenist translations.

David Green
Guest

It’s a sad thought, ..but HATE LIVES within the Anglican communion!!!

Cheryl Va.
Guest

There are some who comment that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were to do with lack of justice or hospitality, rather than sexual preferences. The issue was not to do with who wanted to have sex with whom or how, but that visitors were not able to safely visit without being made into sexual exploits. It didn’t matter if it was homosexual or heterosexual sex, the issue that was inhabititants insisting in violating souls. Similarly, Jesus judging between the goats and sheep was not based on sexual proclivity, but on whether or not the vulnerable were offered hospitality and/or… Read more »

Colin Coward
Guest

Our profound thanks are due to Patrick from Lagos and Uche from Jos, both group leaders in Changing Attitude Nigeria, who attended the hearing, obtained a copy of the Church of Nigeria report, scanned it and sent it to me. As they discovered on arrival at the hearing, they placed themselves at great personal risk by being there. Without their presence, there would be no independent report on the meeting nor would we have obtained a copy of the report. I will post a further report on the meeting on the CA web site. In often extreme circumstances, the leaders… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

With his selective interpretation of Biblical passages, one wonders what the Archbishop of Nigeria would make of God’s supposed attitude towards ‘The Children of Ham’? And would His Grace, Abp. Peter Akinola, like to give us his rendering of what this story was all about? After all, one must be consistent in one’s method of interpretation, mustn’t one?

toby forward
Guest

The prose of this document bears very little similarity to the prose of other documents from this source. This would suggest that other documents, which have on the whole been more restrained, subtle and careful, did not actually come directly from Akinola, but only after revision from another writer. For me, this raises the question of whether the person(s) who redrafted other statements understands Akinola’s point of view, as expressed here, and agrees with it. If so, that’s worrying, not least because it means that behind the more moderate prose of other documents there is the same mind set. Is… Read more »

Tim
Guest

Just when I’d happily forgotten about him, up pops Akinola again. That document would not stand 10 seconds’ scrutiny given all the fallacious references to the Bible in there.

So hateful, so ignorant… I hate to use such a phrase but it’s completely un-Christian. So much for love for one another, no?

All the more fuel for the atheists’ fires.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

How about some background?

Who made the proposal? In the Senate or the House of Representatives? Which parties are behind? How are the chances this will be adopted? & c, & c…

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Tim: the issue is whether this is in fact a view which the CofE can allow to be expressed without any stated opinion.

If it is so, then is it not reasonable to assume that they are prepared to live with this sort of hatred for the good of ‘unity’

And if so, does this not suggest that the church is institutionally homophobic, and is it really healthy for gay and lesbian people to remain within such an institution.

This one really is in the Church hierarchy’s court. Saying nothing is really not acceptable

Reverend Ref
Guest

This also appears to be more than a “hatred” issue. While I agree that the Nigerian Church (in general) and +Akinola (in particular) are driven by fear and hate (with a little xenophobia tossed in for good measure), it seems to me that at least some of the Nigerian leaders are heretics; and I do not use that term lightly. From the above report: “After which a Bishop said that clearly it was a big lie for any gay person to say that he was created by God.” Even if one believes homosexuality is sinful, just who does this bishop… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Now we have a list of sponsors of this proposed legislation.

Who are they? What do they represent?

Which parties? Which religions?

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Cheryl Va at 0812 GMT, my understanding is that lack of hospitality towards strangers is, from the Jewish Talmudic tradition, indeed the crime of Sodom and Gemorrah. Now, obviously, the word “Sodom” and homosexual acts have been linked in the English language for a long time, but the true crime was how they treated strangers.
The biblical story of the heavenly strangers in Sodom and Gemorrah is a mixed bag for conservatives. After all, Lot offered his daughter to the lust-filled crowd as a replacement for the strangers …

Joan of Quark
Guest

I notice the Church of Nigeria not only supports the legislation, but wishes to amend the penalty for contracting a same-gender marriage from three years to five – an extreme example of rendering unto Caesar.

Any suggestions for what people who are appalled by this and e.g. live within CofE territory should do?

JCF
Guest
JCF

It’s time for the Anglican Communion to decide whether we want to continue being tarnished in the eyes of the world (people) by these THUGS, or whether we want to proclaim that ALL are ONE IN CHRIST.

Lord have mercy…

Pluralist
Guest

Just as a matter of interest, I wrote a new thread on Fulcrum yesterday about this Nigerian oppression, but it didn’t appear. This morning I pointed out that it hadn’t been posted, when other comments had. I’ve been out but it has appeared, down the list (because it has an older date) and has drawn no interest whatsoever.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“After all, Lot offered his daughter to the lust-filled crowd as a replacement for the strangers …”- Peterpi –

Yes! And this might perhaps be considered godly (by the Abp. of Nigeria and his cronies) – in contrast with the supposed ungodliness of what they consider to be the sin of homosexuality. This is, of course – the homophobic view, long established, and needing to be corrected by some decent Biblical exegesis.

Rev. Lois Keen
Guest

Oh, Jesus, please help. How much more can your children, your body, take?

Colin, thank you for names – it makes praying for CANigeria much more concrete, almost horrifyingly, but necessarily, so.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Any suggestions for what people who are appalled by this and e.g. live within CofE territory should do?”

That’s the only real question here.
Any ideas, anyone?

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I responded Pluralist, but so far my response has not yet appeared. (Fingers crossed!). I have just re-submitted it, as I know things sometimes go awol there, due to technical problems. I was glad you put that on Fulcrum. ‘Just as a matter of interest, I wrote a new thread on Fulcrum yesterday about this Nigerian oppression, but it didn’t appear. This morning I pointed out that it hadn’t been posted, when other comments had. I’ve been out but it has appeared, down the list (because it has an older date) and has drawn no interest whatsoever.’ Posted by: Pluralist… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest

A shame that ++Abuja cannot be declared persona non grata in the UK in much the same way that Mugabe and his cronies have.

About the only good thing about this is that it makes me realise that outrageous and inhumane ‘Christianity’ isn’t the monopoly of a particular bit of the worldwide Church (hat-tip Tom Ambrose). T’other side of the Tiber may be a bit dung-encrusted post-Williamson, but, hey, we’ve not much cause to crow about it while we keep Akinola on our books.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Thanks for publishing the Bill – I was very surprised. This is NOTHING like the Bill that published and debated early 2007. That Bill outlawed Gay organisations in schools or social clubs indeed any self-affirming group and even criminalised advocating for a change in the law on homosexuality – it was both preposterous and dangerous. While this Bill remains preposterous the draft I am reading here has had the dangerous elements removed. The Bill is preposterous because it outlaws something that is already impossible under Nigerian Law, and what is more a parson performing a marriage rite for a gay… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Hmmmm. I think your points are not entirely accurate, Martin. The reality is that legally, there is no substantial difference between the rights and responsibilities of civil partnership and civil marriage. The British government gives same-sex marriages civil partnership status in the UK which is ‘not marriage’ in that it has another name but provides the same legal status in practical terms. I don’t think that gay people are all that bothered what something is called, but what legal status it confers. Personally, I think that only civil ceremonies and arrangements should have any legal status and religionist marriage should… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Thanks Peterpi Tried to find the Jewish article that made that insight, but because couldn’t find the link did not make the direct reference. Personally, I like to read and incorporate Jewish interpretations of the Old Testament (after all, they wrote it, and were studying it a long time before Jesus came along). Plus it is from these traditions and teachings that Jesus was incarnated and raised 🙂 I’m with Reverened Ref of heresy perspective. That includes rapture theology (the only legitimate remaining manifestation for Jesus is as a global mass murderer descending in his cloud of glory), or propositional… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

No comment yet from the ABC?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

While I might agree with your last point Dr Mike, I am not so warmly disposed towards Civil Partnership as you. What I say is accurate, Civil Partnership and Marriage are different in far more ways than one is open to gay people and the other straights. I would argue that these differences are substantial and that (as yet) Civil Partners do not enjoy the same protection from the State as is enjoyed by married couples. You may think I am nitpicking, but I think these differences are important, Important enough, I contend, to ensure a British Civil Partnership is… Read more »

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

As to what Anglicans might do, I think one thing is to make a personal resolution to resolve to exclude any thought of keeping the Anglican Communion together from our minds.

I am proud to say that the west of Scotland is already moving gently in the right direction – in St Mary’s Cathedral Glasgow Gene Robinson celebrated the Eucharist and there have been services blessing Civil Unions. What effect the change of bishop and of Primus which will inevitably follow Idris’s retirement will be I dunno.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I think it was wrong for me to say that:
“Nigeria has done no more than to affirm what is already the case in their country.”

Of course by threatening to imprison gay people for 3 or 5 years for Marrying thy are doing much more.

I thought Andrew Brown’s Piece above 1st Class!

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Martin; I know that for some nothing short of it being called marriage would ever be enough, but in common parlance and perception, as well as almost every actual legal provision – there is no difference. I think there is very little evidence that there are substantial differences.
I’m talking in practical terms here – not philosophical which I thought the judgment of the Kitzinger case largely was.

I’m interested purely in the rights and responsibilities given.

Pluralist
Guest

Sarah MacVane. The Archbishop of Canterbury did comment on how to make an ethical judgment. He did it recently in his lecture on economics: “Ethics, I suggested, is about negotiating conditions in which the most vulnerable are not abandoned.” “The reduction of pain or of frustration, the augmenting of opportunity for human welfare and joy – again, these are obviously good things. They are good because they connect with a sense of what is properly owing to human beings, a sense of human dignity.” “But the task is to turn people’s eyes back to the vision of a human dignity… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Any suggestions for what people who are appalled by this and e.g. live within CofE territory should do?” Goad, taunt, humiliate, encourage, cajole, or whatever works, every conservative you know to step up to the plate. I mean, they keep telling us this is not about homophobia, getting all indignant and self righteous about how THEY are being mistreated if someone even mentions the word. Well, I have have goaded twice on this site now, but, I note, not one conservative has deigned to speak against this. These, remember, are the people who tell us they love us, they just… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford
Someone who used to post here has explained on another blog that the problem with the West is that they simply ban homosexual behaviour to no effect, whereas in Nigeria they put such a harsh jail sentence on it that it acts as a deterrent. So the result is that we don’t need to worry because no-one will actually end up in any real jail.

Neat, don’t you think?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Neat, don’t you think?” Indeed! But nauseating is a better word. And I note, still not a word from the conservative members of this online community. Guys? Am I to believe none of you have read this or any other thread dealing with this issue? Can you not know that your continued silence on this issue shows you for what you really are? Do you wonder why “liberals” call you homophobes and bigots? Every passing day of silence from you all proves it. Come on, guys, your Christianity is showing!I’ll keep goading you and rubbing your shame in your faces… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I find the mealy-mouthed platitudes of liberals less scary but more nauseating. Also those of Evanglelicals who wish to soften the blow-or appear good at least.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Evanglelicals who wish to soften the blow-or appear good at least.”

Well, you won’t be much nauseated by this these days, it seems. None of the Evangelicals here, the conservative ones anyway, appear to have any desire to look good on this issue, their silence is deafening.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The presence of gay churches, fellowships and clubs in Nigeria is not only embarrassing but also very unhealthy. The passage of this bill will no doubt ensure that this moral cancer did not destroy the social fabric of our dear nation.” – Abp. Peter Akinola – re new legislation – Yet again, the vitriol of the Nigerian Archbishop is officially pronounced – in his statement here about the Nigerian Anglican Church’s support for anti-gay legislation in Nigeria. To call the Christian LGBT community a ‘moral cancer’ with the capacity to ‘destroy the social fabric of our dear country’ is an… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“an offence against the integrity of all Christian people who happen to be LGBT” But LGBT people can’t be Christian, by definition. And who was it in Nigeria said that homosexuals are not made by God? So, you see, the “moral cancer” is not human beings at all, perhaps the twisted creatures of some malign demigod or other. As someone pointed out, this is just plain heresy. So, the Pseudorthodox become more and more ‘Pseud-‘ and less and less ‘orthodox’ every day. Bp. Popoola is one charged with “rightly dividing the word of God’s truth”, perhaps he could explain this… Read more »