Thursday, 19 January 2006

Nigeria: government move against civil partnerships

The BBC reports that Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions and illustrates the story with this picture. Update the picture has been changed to this one.

See also this earlier story which still uses the first picture (see George Conger’s comment below for why it is the wrong picture).

This is confirmed in a report from Nigeria in the Daily Champion previously found at FG moves to ban same-sex marriage which also says:

Besides, formation of association of homosexuals and lesbians as well as any form of protesting for rights recognition by the affected persons will be outlawed.

That web page has now changed so the full text of it is saved here, below the fold. Thanks to Tunde for providing the original link.

Update Voice of America reports that Anglican Church in Nigeria Welcomes Ban on Homosexuality thus:

…The spokesman for the Anglican church in Nigeria, Reverend Tunde Popoola, says the proposed ban is appropriate. The Anglican community in Nigeria has long waged a vigorous campaign against homosexuals, as Reverend Popoola explains.

“The Anglican church in Nigeria has been in the forefront of condemning the attitude because the church sees it as an aberration, in other words, we see it as against the norm. We see it as an abomination,” he said…

A VOA radio interview with Tunde Popoola can be heard here (Real Audio)

Updated Saturday - additional links

IRIN News NIGERIA: Government proposes law to ban same-sex marriage

Nigeria First via allAfrica.com ‘Gay Marriage Will Be Punished in Nigeria’

Daily Champion article of 19 January
FG moves to ban same sex marriage

LERE OJEDOKUN, Abuja

FEDERAL Government yesterday approved a draft bill seeking to ban same sex marriages and relationships in the country. If enacted by the National Assembly, offenders face a five-year jail term without option of fine.

Besides, formation of association of homosexuals and lesbians as well as any form of protesting for rights recognition by the affected persons will be outlawed.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) who briefed State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, said the move became necessary following the reported cases of the unnatural marriage in South Africa.

He explained that President Olusegun Obasanjo had expressed concern at the development in the former apartheid enclave, last year and requested his ministry to come up with the appropriate legal framework to forestal it happening in Nigeria.

The minister added that the draft bill which FEC approved after some amendments, would be forwarded to the National Assembly for passage into law.

“We all know that marriage is a unique institution between a man and a woman and this fact is universally acknowledged. It is also contained in the Holy Books. But in recent time, this incident of marriage or relationship between people of the same sex has been growing in the developed world.

“Just in December, this incident crossed over to South Africa, we got worried. Mr. President then thought it fit that we should bring a bill to council to prohibit the relationship and marriage between people of the same sex,” he said.

Chief Ojo said various sections of the proposed act include validity and recognition of marriages, non-recognition of marriages of same sex, prohibition of marriages of same sex in any of the recognised places of worship like churches, mosques and customary courts.

He further explained that the state high courts and federal high courts would have jurisdiction over matters relating to same-sex marriage, even as he said that government could not afford an alien culture desecrate African long-held belief of holy marriage.

His words: “You know it is unAfrican for people of the same sex to contract any form of sexual relationship or marriage. This is why government is putting in place a legal framework to checkmate it straightway and ensure we don’t have such incidents in the country.”

Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr, who also spoke on the issue, said government considered Nigeria as a “basically conservative society” where all religious and culture abhor marriage between persons of same sex.

He added that the open canvassing for recognition by an advocacy rights group at December’s summit on HIV/AIDS in Abuja informed the move by government to nip the practice in the bud.

Other decisions at the FEC meeting chaired by President Obasanjo include approval of N5.4 billion for the completion of Nassarawa-Loko road rehabilitation, N580 million for reconstruction and asphalt laying on Okigwe-Afikpo road and N440 million for Onitsha-Enugu road rehabilitation, according to Works Minister, Chief Adeseye.

Others are N2 billion for the Ota-Abeokuta road dualisation, N167.5 million for furnishing of the new office for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and N63 million for consultancy by the Presidential Committee on Consolidation of Emoluments of Public Servants.

© 2006 @ Champion Newspapers Limited (All Right Reserved).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 1:49pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

Can I ask how this coincides with the pledge to listen to gay and lesbian experiences?

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 2:34pm GMT

It is rather amusing that the BBC would use a photo of a Rwandan, Malawian and Sudanese bishop to illustrate a Nigerian political story.

On the one hand it is flattering to think that a photo of Emmanuel Kolini, Bernard Malango and Joseph Marona ---- Anglican Primates all, would be the best way to put a face on this legislation. That Anglicans are a freemasonry of power brokers and king makers.

On the other, it does suggest the photo editor may have been in a bit of a rush to illustrate the article.

One should keep in mind that this is proposed legislation, not law --- that Nigeria is not an Anglican theocracy --- and that gay marriage is no where near the top of the Nigerian Church's agenda --- see the recent statement from their House of Bishops meeting to see what is important (rule of law, corruption, poverty etc)

Posted by: George Conger on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 3:15pm GMT

I am always amused when Episcopalians who favor gay rights are portrayed by their ecclesial opponents as captives of their culture. Whereas the cultural influences of Nigerian society on Nigerian Anglicans are never acknowledged.

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 5:50pm GMT

There have been further developments in Nigeria. Canon AkinTunde Popoola telephoned and spoke with Davis MacIyalla this afternoon, 19 January 2006. He told Davis that he had written to him, with a copy to me, before he published the allegations on the Church of Nigeria web site. Neither of us had received emails about the allegations prior to them being published.

Canon Popoola said it was the people in Otukpo who had given him the information on which his allegations were based, and he wanted Davis to go to Otukpo and clear his name. Canon Popoola maintained that he was told by the Diocese of Otukpo that Davis left with something approaching a million Naira and had also paid Diocesan money directly into his own bank account. Davis continues to deny this outright. He said he wasn’t sure whether the Canon had checked all the churches in Nigeria as claimed before he published his allegations against him, but only Otukpo. I have advised Davis not to go to Otukpo. It is the responsibility of Canon Popoola to produce the evidence.

Canon Popoola would like Davis to stop the Changing Attitude Network and stop the members coming out as gay. He said the Church is not interested in persecuting Davis and had telephoned him because I, Colin, had reported my own fears for his safety. Davis continues to be worried about his safety despite Canon Popoola‘s reassurances, and even more so in view of the proposed legislation published yesterday in Nigeria.

Sir Godwin Obiakor, President of the Council of Knights, Diocese of Otukpo, who is standing with Davis in one photograph, apparently wants to take Davis to court for publishing his picture without permission. This provides further evidence that the photographs are authentic, as are the people shown in them. The picture is Davis’s own, and we published the picture. Perhaps Sir Godwin doesn't like to be pictured standing with a gay Anglican?

Canon Popoola said that the Bishop of Lafia did not sign Davis’s letter of dismissal and will go to court if the scan is placed on the Changing Attitude website. Davis told Canon Popoola that experts would be able to verify the handwriting of the priest who wrote the letter, and of the signature.

As a result of this conversation, a thought occurs to me. Canon Popoola, you must have had evidence in your possession before you made the allegations public, mustn‘t you? You wouldn’t have published the allegations solely on the basis of a (supposed) report from Otukpo?

Posted by: Colin Coward on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 6:39pm GMT

We are all delighted to hear from George Conger that this is just proposed legislation and not law and the dainty ditty about the wrong Primates etc ……what jolly fun! This careful analysis makes such refreshing reading compared to his wholesale reporting of the unsubstantiated charges made against Davis in the CEN, with the one word “alleged” thrown in of course!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 6:48pm GMT

I wonder why Popoola wishes to stop the CA Network when they have signed up to listening to their gay and lesbian members?

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 19 January 2006 at 8:19pm GMT

Colin

Maybe you should refrain from posting the info as you continue to dialogue with Tunde as it may affect the investigative and clarification process. It's a matter of time but we will get to the truth of it all.

Best wishes

Terry

Posted by: Terry Wong on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 3:26am GMT

So, two important facts emerging:

a) The Church of Nigeria (AC) issued (and continues to defend and publish) international press releases on its official website, under the letterhead of the Primate of all Nigeria, which name and slander one of its own members accusing him of fraud, theft, and lack of faith. Astonishingly, it has NO EVIDENCE to substantiate these allegations. In fact there is clear evidence provided by CA and NYT at least that the allegations are false. So, the emerging fact here seems to be that the CofN(AC) is pursuing a policy of deliberately slandering Christians who do not agree with the party line of a puritanical theology and are also gay to discredit them (personally and as a minority) and their cause in the eyes of others.

b) The Church of Nigeria (AC)is encouraging the government of Nigeria (in what openly seems to be a relationship of mutual support as witnessed in the October 04 conference and now in its 'Welcome' of this news - what is happening behind the scenes is for our imaginations) in the development of extreme laws to oppress the LGBT people of Nigeria: "Justice Minister Bayo Ojo said the law would also ban 'any form of protest to press for rights or recognition' by homosexuals, the AFP news agency reports."(BBC) The CofN spokesman Canon Popoola says plainly and proudly, "...the proposed ban is appropriate. The Anglican community in Nigeria has long waged a vigorous campaign against homosexuals" (VOA)

This is clearly not what I ever thought could be described as being 'Christian' behaviour, let alone 'Anglican'. Neither is it humane or just by any moral standard. It is corrupt, unjust, oppressive, dangerous and, I would say, evil. The Church of Nigeria (AC) has no need to 'listen to the experience of homosexual people' as it has agreed, because in Nigeria it is first: actively helping to create their dreadful experience for them, and second: making them too afraid to speak about it.

What is the rest of the Anglican Communion going to do about all this?

How far does it have to go before the Anglican Communion officially challenges this behaviour?

If it doesn't, what is the point of an Anglican Communion? Who is it serving?

Posted by: Augustus Meriwether on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 3:47am GMT

"I wonder why Popoola wishes to stop the CA Network when they have signed up to listening to their gay and lesbian members?"

I suppose that's very simple, actually. It is of course a step to *facilitate* the aforesaid listening process. After all, the fewer voices there are, and the softer they speak, it will be that much easier for Abp. Akinola, Canon Popoola, et al. to hear them and their message. Indeed, if there were no such voices to be heard at all, the listening process would be greatly simplified and quite speedily completed, and its effect upon the opinions of the Church of Nigeria would be quite clear indeed.

At that point, the only voice remaining to be heard will be that of these clerics' true gospel:

"In Christ Jesus, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

So you see, it's all really rather simple, and silencing CAN in Nigeria is actually in accordance with Lambeth 1.10's mandate to listen to lesbian and gay people, and in fact, it even expedites the process.

Nadine
(who nonetheless prefers the Gospel of Jesus over the gospel of "Napoleon")

Posted by: Nadine Kwong on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 5:33am GMT

It is the actions of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) that are an abomination before God, not those of its gay members.

Posted by: BrianMcK on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 7:44am GMT

Thank you, Nadine, for a perfectly Orwellian vision of the Church. The Church is asked to listen, and you redefine that, step by step, until only the clerics speak--which is not listening at all.

Posted by: Christopher Calderhead on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 2:33pm GMT

Corporations and banks rob people of their savings and their livelihoods. Religious fanatics of every stripe massacre hundreds of people with suicide bombs. Crime becomes ever more audacious and violent. And yet, I, an obscure community college teacher and artist, and my partner, a cabaret singer and a hairdresser, become the living embodiments of the worst fears of thousands of people. This is something that I shall never understand.
My prayers are with gay Anglicans in Nigeria and for all the people of Nigeria.

Posted by: Counterlight on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 3:02pm GMT

Dear Rev'd Terry Wong,

Nearer home-ground, you are invited to conversations with lesbian and gay Christians from Safehaven in Singapore. Twice we have written to the Diocesan Office asking for dialogue, that last time being before the Windsor Report was written; but have yet received a response. Do email me if you are keen to do so. Thanks.

tuckleong@gmail.com

Posted by: Tuck-Leong on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 3:04pm GMT

Yes, the further we proceed along this, the better we see the true arc and purpose and spirit of the church of Nigeria.

Everything Popoola has published and said about this have been shown to be pure lies.

His story keeps changing and changing.

First he said that through his miraculous "process," he'd contacted every one of 10,000 parishes and 6,000+ clergyman in the country and determined that Davis was not "active." He sent that out over ACNS. Now that story, since it is so stupid it cannot be believed by anyone with a centimeter of brain tissue, seems to have been tossed in favor of "well this is what some people said."

I can't wait for the next version, when he shifts blame from "some people" to "the tooth fairy."

The things that have not changed are:

1. He would like CA and CA Nigeria to disappear.
2. He has tried to throw the weight of the church against Davis MacIyalla, a church member, simply because he is gay and insists on standing up for justice and dignity in a country 6 years out from military dictatorship.
3. In the process of throwing the church against him he has lied and slandered.

CA has been outspoken and unflinching in its defense of MacIyalla and responded to each and every request of Nigeria to prove his affiliation even though the burden rests on Nigeria.

Posted by: RMF on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 3:16pm GMT

So, to come back to Augustus'point - why DO people wish to preserve the Communion? We would be better off looking towards ECUSA and building a loose-knit federation worldwide of those of us who want an inclusive and open church without those of the opinion and behaviour of Nigeria!

In that way we could far more effectively support those who want the same in the majority-conservative provinces.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 5:21pm GMT

Why all the commotion? For the Primate and Metropolitan of All Nigeria and his fellow bishops, and their US collaborators, the end always justifies the means. Why not maintain biblical orthodoxy, as perceived from their own cultural perspective, even if it involves malicious lies and slander? After all, 'their' orthodoxy is the higher good to which all good Christians ought to aspire. Any other 'orthodoxy' is disordered, an accommodation to western culture and, therefore, sinful.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 20 January 2006 at 5:50pm GMT

By their fruits we shall know them...

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 6:34am GMT

At least Nigeria has flagged up this proposed legislation. When Uganda changed their national constitution to criminalise those in same-sex marriage last year, it came unannounced.

While we had expected many countries to follow Uganda’s example, the proposal to outlaw LGBT advocacy groups would be a sinister development that could have far reaching consequences if it is followed through and other States adopt something similar.

We have warned that the fear of homosexual equality might kick off an ever increasing hostility to LGBT people. We may be witnessing this beginning as nation states that already severely punish LGBT people compete with each other to demonstrate their “conservative” credentials. We may look in vain to the international community to arrest such developments.

As we see from the statements of the Church in Nigeria such proposals are likely to attract the support of faith communities, just how influential they are in formulating and directing government policy will be hotly debated.

I have no doubt that the polarisation will now speed up, murdering a lesbian or gay person in some countries is already viewed as a civic duty and social good. Just who will be culpable, generations yet to come will decide.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 11:08am GMT

Nope, not generations to come, Martin. Consequences of one's 'Bible-based teaching' may not seem relevent to a minority made up of puritans and 'conservatives', but I persist in the faith that there is a sizeable minority of right-thinking people see the link clear as day, now. (God, what will it take, if not)

We have seen the simple formula played out for centuries on British soil (and elsewhere, of course). That's why countless thugs in the UK feel quite justified in viciously beating or murdering a queer. It's scriptural. It is an abomination. The sentence is death. How can you quote the crime without inferring the punishment. Even if they are not Christians, even the basest fool is aware that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. What are the Christians doing? What are they saying to counter-balance this received scriptural legacy of 7 or 10 thousand more years ago? Nothing. The only time homophobia is condemned by the church is as an afterthought after they have just condemned the fags ("yes, gay people are intrinsically evil, but you mustn't be nasty to them" - Really that is the sum of the Christian Church's official response to millenia of violence and persecution. Thanks a bunch.)

They let the homophobia carry on. Criticising homophobia is not the mainstream's responsibility. They even argue whether homophobia is the right word before they oppose it. It is the fags' responsibility to oppose it - if they want to survive. It is too distasteful for the Church, the 'normal', 'straight' Christian to vocally oppose it in an unqualified way. If the fags really are worth saving, worth defending as human beings, let them argue their case for centuries before we decide to reach a satisfactory consensus and stand between them and the thugs.

I'm sick of this mealy-mouthed, "Oh, I love you in Christ, we are all sinners, but your personalities are disordered and what you do is wicked and well, really, if you insist on being so self-indulgent by seeking mutually consensual love and intimacy with another human being in a way that my interpretation of scripture does not agree with, then... well... basically, you're on your own. Sucker. Maybe it's judgement of God', we all have our crosses to bear." Not what Cyrenian Simon said (ah, but did he have a choice?)

The Church, globally, may not want it - I don't want it - but, it seems, it is at a crossroads. Africa (or at least some african countries) is potentially on the verge of a pogrom. Where is the Church? Where is Christ? Where are you? Are you with the Popoola's who have been "in the forefront of condemning the attitude because the church sees it as an aberration, in other words, we see it as against the norm. We see it as an abomination," or are you with the nasty faggots? Decision time, people, or are we just going to sit and watch?

Posted by: augustus meriwether on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 3:17pm GMT

The dichotomy you present is not reality Augustus:
Eg "That's why countless thugs in the UK feel quite justified in viciously beating or murdering a queer."
In the current climate in the UK I put it to you that anyone conservative using much of the language you put into our mouths would receive considerably more than a simple visit from the police.

But yes, I agree there is a crossroads approaching - yet the fork is not as you describe it: it is, will the church continue to uphold the authority of God's word or not?

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 6:33pm GMT

Small correction. It's not Millennia. It's not Bible. Not even Tradition.

It's only a trifle of 800 years of European persecution ;=)

By Lateran III in 1179, Paris Council in 1210 and Lateran IV in 1215, 6 new religious and social minorities – invented for the purpose – were made outcasts;

Jews, Muslims, Heretics (Cathars, but not Valdensians!), Bastards (aimed at the sons of married Priests), Sodomitas (word invented by Peter Damian around 1050, the reference ever-changing but according to Lateran IV, especially m a r r i e d Priests ;=) and finally Lepers.

Basically, the same "groups" we protect today in Europe by anti-hate legislation.

Now, this only entered s o m e legal systems, but not all.

And it was all about Abstinences for the People and Mandatory Celibacy for the clerked.

The Ecclesiastical policies of Papalism joined the Social disciplining of the Empire.

In the process the pupils of Peter Lombard at the Sorbonne in the making, reinvented certain, often obsolete Cultic, Collective (the Household) and Social words as (hetero) Sexual, sometimes with the assistance of the damaged Hebrew (Lev 18:22).

A number of now abandoned "proofs" were invented. We call it the Paris Vulgate.

But, I repeat, for a thousand years all this was about a Neo-Platonist take on Masturbation - the spilling of Semen for non creative purposes: with one self, with somebody else, o n the body, i n the body – and it was one-sided, not mutual.

Only the one actually spilling his semen, who was culpable and was to be burnt on faggots (bundles of branches) at the stake.

It only became "homosexuality" in the 20 century.

The 1947 RSV was the pioneer for "homosexuals" in 1 Cor 6.9.

Now, from the 10th century the same word "mollis"; malakoì, in 1 Cor 6.9 had been claimed as "proof" for Academic teachings on masturbation (see the article "Masturbation" in the 1966 New Catholic Encyclopaedia) in both East and West (and has "become" masturbation in modern Greek for both men and women), but in 1966 this changed: mollis was made into "catamita"; passive gay man, by Pater Zerwick in his Analysis Philologica Novi Testamenti graeci.

From (heterosexual) activity for a l l, to 20th century essentialist i d e n t i t y for the new minority!

About the same time in America "heterosex" was turned around, from the non-abstinence no-no it had been for a thousand years (much longer than that in Platonist Academia), to a kind of mandatory Fertility cult, by way of a new paradigmatic reading of Genesis 1-2 cum Matthew 19...

Adam and Eve, "one man one woman".

This new Paradigm was first put into words, it seems, by one Don Williams in his 1978 book The Bond That Breaks: Will Homosexuality Split the Church?

Following DS Bailey's 1955 Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (which caused some 48 Biblical references to Sodom to be changed back from post-Calvin sex to material) new – hitherto un-heard of – anti-gay passages have been invented, such as Judges 19 (never previously read, to my knowledge), 1 Thess 4.3-7 (one of the 12th century "proofs" for mandatory celibacy) and Jude verse 7 (ditto for Purgatory).

And it's not all about sex, the 1981 Swedish State Translation has also invented new pro-slavery (1 Cor 7.21) and misogynic readings (2 Peter 2.14)...

So here we stand.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 7:31pm GMT

Always interesting how conservatives avoid the consequences of their homophobia.

Anyway,no doubt some of the church will stick with superstitious traditions of bigotry whereas some of us will continue to progress. I simply hope we don't have to do it together. Who wants to be affiliated to people with the sort of views expressed by our Nigerian 'friends'?

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 21 January 2006 at 11:47pm GMT

Erm, 'pogrom' is too strong a word. Sorry. Gin-posting. -shakes head in shame- Shan't do it again.

Posted by: augustus meriwether on Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 1:48am GMT

"In the current climate in the UK I put it to you that anyone conservative using much of the language you put into our mouths would receive considerably more than a simple visit from the police. "

There are few things I find more irritating than conservatives comparing their (just) alienation on this issue with me being threatened with a tire iron or a friend of mine losing all his teeth to a pistol-whipping. All lgbts regardless of race, nationality, or class must live with the constant threat of violence. I'm tired of conservatives, especially over on this side of the Atlantic, always complaining about feeling victimized when they control all the levers of power of the mightiest and wealthiest empire in all history ("the sun never sets on Coca Cola!").
As far as I'm concerned, Nigeria's Archbishop and his minions have lost on this issue. Coercion is the last desperate resort of those who've failed the tests of reason and reality; and in this case, the very important test of charity (see "the first and greatest commandment, and the second likened unto it."). Christian Liberty becomes Reasons of State and in rush the cops.

"I'm sick of this mealy-mouthed, "Oh, I love you in Christ, we are all sinners, but your personalities are disordered and what you do is wicked"

A loud "Amen" Augustus!

Thanks, Goran, for the history lesson. We were not always so "unnatural".

Posted by: Counterlight on Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 3:46am GMT

"But yes, I agree there is a crossroads approaching - yet the fork is not as you describe it"

. . . and *there* is the crux [!] of the problem, Neil: *two different perceptions of reality*.

God only knows, we're ALL partially blind here.

We're all liable to cast god in our own image.

Yet, of these two radically different interpretations of truth, *one* of them has to be closer to the Truth that God wants us to see---to God's Will.

"will the church continue to uphold the authority of God's word or not?"

It won't, in my opinion, if it makes homophobic prejudice INTO "God's word" (as we see the Church in Nigeria doing). Anglicans like Augustus and myself (among many others here at TA) can *tell* you (and Tunde, and Dave, and others) that we live our lives based upon Scripture, Tradition and Reason.

. . . but we can't *make* you believe it (and thus, here we are at the crossroads).


I pray that, in God's Good Time, your hearts may yet open to the revelation of Truth *through* your LGBT brothers' and sisters' faithful Christian lives (never more faithful, than when committed-for-life to a beloved partner).

Grant us More Light, O God-in-Christ!

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 6:18am GMT

Neil, you wrote in response to Augustus:

In the current climate in the UK I put it to you that anyone conservative using much of the language you put into our mouths would receive considerably more than a simple visit from the police.

Sorry, this just has me quite confused about your own position regarding such language, and how they should be responded to by the police. Could you explain it a bit more?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 2:08pm GMT

Simon,
Sorry if that was oblique.
I was meaning that I've not heard a conservative using the sort of language being used in the previous post: so I believe it's putting words into conservatives' mouths. I don't think that sort of language is actually compatible with Christian profession - it is so loaded with bigotry, prejudice and hatred.

And I was also meaning that we seem to be moving in the UK into an era where any expression of a public view which is against homosexual practice leads to police intimidation.

So using the language in the previous post would indeed lead to a lot more than a police visit.

I'm open to correction if anyone can verify that evangelicals in the UK are in the habit of using that sort of language and get away with it?....

Posted by: Neil on Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 5:10pm GMT

Sadly, it is certainly true here in the US that LGBT persons are at risk for violence. Indeed, we have problems of violence against persons who aer perceived as LGBT despite lack of evidence. The largest school system in my metropolitan area has to have a program for the system specifically to protest students who have suffered attacks or threats on that basis.

Even more sadly, there are those who call themselves Christian who do preach hatred - beyond "the Bible won't support this" to "these persons are going to Hell, and if it's not encouraged to help them along, it is all right to cheer when they go."

I still feel there's another elephant in the living room about this. How are we in the Church to evaluate "new knowledge?" I work in health care. It is rare, but not unknown, to encounter a person or a congregation that preaches refusal of modern medicine based on their reading of Scripture. Will those who deny the possibility that sexual orientation is inherent also deny germ theory? My statement is perhaps a bit excessive, but only just. Trust that all knowledge is rooted in God, and the capacity to incorporate, seek God in, and make use of new knowledge has also been a part of the Anglican tradition. Is that to be discarded?

I have family members who believe whole-heartedly and faithfully that the earth was created from nothing over a period of six 24-hour days a little over 6,000 years ago. I love them, but i cannot believe with them. I trust that they are in God's kingdom, too, but I do not worship with them. I have yet to hear whether those committed to not listening to LGBT brothers and sisters are committed fully to an understanding of Scripture as literally true, verbally inspired, inerrant and infallible. If they are, while I cannot agree with them I can understand them. If they aer not, saying "It's in the Bible" simply isn't adequate argument.

Posted by: Marshall on Monday, 23 January 2006 at 8:08pm GMT

Neil, being locked in the U.S., I can't point you to any examples in the U.K. But surf on over to "Virtue" Online, and you'll see a great many self-professed evangelicals using language much, much worse than the tame words Augustus used. It's enough to turn the stomach.

Posted by: Crucifer on Monday, 23 January 2006 at 9:03pm GMT

I wrote, "The largest school system in my metropolitan area has to have a program for the system specifically to protest students who have suffered attacks or threats on that basis."

I miss-typed: the program is to *protect* students, not to protest them.

Posted by: Marshall on Tuesday, 24 January 2006 at 5:38pm GMT

"Neil, being locked in the U.S., I can't point you to any examples in the U.K. But surf on over to "Virtue" Online, and you'll see a great many self-professed evangelicals using language much, much worse than the tame words Augustus used. It's enough to turn the stomach." Crucifer

I go to Virtue Online to read the ongoing REAL hate spewing out from the keyboards of their aledged religious "orthodox" Anglican/Episcopalian contributors. One mustn't avoid reality no matter how offensive and nauseating it is.

I REFUSE to "play pretend" that BOLD hatemongering doesn't exist within our church...my beloved and murdered "partner" of 14 years had parents who refused to investigate his ghastily murder because they were afraid their "known family" would be embarressed IF it was discovered he had a "shameful sin" because he was homosexual... I'm not ever going to look the other way when I see the Anglican Church of Nigeria (or any other viscious Christian cult) dance on the graves of LGBT people while trying to export their "righteous" insanity/stupidity and underlying ugliness abroad.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Wednesday, 25 January 2006 at 6:07pm GMT

Dearest Leonardo Ricardo, and Thinking Anglicans, I am a member of a still-young group called CFLAG - Clergy Friends and Families of Lesbian and Gay persons. We are mostly ECUSA clergy, though not exclusively. Our founder Jane Tully spoke so eloquently at Nottingham on our behalf and that of our loved ones.

It is not easy for clergy to come out as having gay or lesbian children or siblings. Our congregations might not like it; our bishops might not like it; it might make ministry difficult if not impossible for some of us. Not to mention the impossibility if our loved ones are not out themselves. But Jane Tully called us to come together for just such reasons as the inabiity of Leonardo Ricardo's partner's family to come to grips with who their son was even if it meant never calling his murderer to justice.

I know this: the more clergy of lesbian and gay children/siblings/loved ones who come out as being supportive and appreciative of their loved ones just as they are, the safer the world, and particularly the church, will be for us all. This is why I come out personally as the sister of a gay man, about whom I am proud. And I say this as a clergy person, because I believe that when clergy live the belief that their loved ones are holy just as they are, and not unclean or shameful, it gives other people courage to see their own gay and lesbian loved ones in the same way, and, I pray, to rejoice in them for who they are.

Faithfully submitted,
Lois Keen, Priest
Saint Martin's Episcopal Church
Boothwyn, Pennsylvania

Posted by: Rev. Lois Keen on Thursday, 26 January 2006 at 1:56am GMT

Bravo, Leonardo!

Posted by: Jimmy Culp on Thursday, 26 January 2006 at 6:27am GMT

Bravo Leonardo! Thank You Mother Keen.

Posted by: Counterlight on Thursday, 26 January 2006 at 1:40pm GMT

"I know this: the more clergy of lesbian and gay children/siblings/loved ones who come out as being supportive and appreciative of their loved ones just as they are, the safer the world, and particularly the church, will be for us all." Mother Keen

Exacto!

May God continue to bless you in all that you do Mother Keen as you enlighten your flock with TRUTH and REALITY...you are appreciated by me and Counterlight too...another BRAVO and thank you!

I consider you and your CFLAG fellowship to be brave Episcopalian soldiers who are amongst the most spiritually wholesome members and leaders in OUR church.

We are blessed with millions of inclusive and welcoming Anglican/Episcopalian loved ones made up of families and our heterosexual friends. Thanks be to God.

Observing and participating in REALITY is emotionally healthy and a huge Christian (and other) challenge/growth experience...if *we* are willing to STOP ignorance and hate by letting fear fall away we can view ourselves (and our own character) better.

Thanks be to God (again) that we can freely choose to see/be more clearly if we are "willing" to view and accept LGBT Christians as they REALLY are and not *insist* on how they/we *should* be.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 26 January 2006 at 4:17pm GMT
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