Monday, 26 March 2007

Nigeria: what Archbishop Akinola did say

Anglican Mainstream has published the following comment in response to the LGCM advertisement in this week’s Church Times:

From Canon Ben Enwuchola, Chaplain to the Nigerian Community and Canon Dr Chris Sugden. Member of General Synod and Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream

The Lesbian Gay Christian Movement has a full page advertisement in the Church Times this week linking the church’s dilemma over engagement in the slave trade with its current dilemma on issues of human sexuality. It states: “Should it (the Anglican communion) support the end to the slave trade? Some said ‘no’ and turned to the Bible for justification. But just as the Church was able to search its soul and overcome this to support the abolition of slavery, it ought to be able to support justice and inclusion for lesbian and gay people.” The advert also makes a number of allegations about the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola.

The following should be noted.

1. The very people who were set free from slavery, which was a powerful global expression of western culture at the time, do not wish to come in bondage to that culture again in the form of its sexual licence.

2. Those who cited the Bible to justify their views on supporting slavery based their views actually on economic theory, not on the Bible.

3. When he met a representative of Changing Attitude Nigeria in Tanzania in February, Archbishop Akinola treated him with courtesy. Those of us who know Archbishop Akinola and have discussed these matters with him know that none of the imputations of this advert have any basis in his thinking or action. He is committed to the human rights of all the oppressed, including those who feel they are oppressed because of their sexuality. He is seeking in his context which is characterised by militancy on this issue to operationalise that decision. He needs our prayers and support.

What the advertisement says about Archbishop Akinola is this:

Shamefully the Anglican Primate of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has promoted this legislation, condemned by UN officials as “an absolutely unjustified intrusion of individuals’ right to privacy” which goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In Archbishop Akinola’s view, “homosexuality is flagrant disobedience to God”, and an “acquired aberration” which “does violence to nature”.

These quotations all come directly from an article Why I object to homosexuality written by Archbishop Akinola for the Church Times and published originally on 4 July 2003, during the campaign against the appointment of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading:

…Our argument is that, if homosexuals see themselves as deviants who have gone astray, the Christian spirit would plead for patience and prayers to make room for their repentance. When scripture says something is wrong and some people say that it is right, such people make God a liar. We argue that it is a blatant lie against Almighty God that homosexuality is their God-given urge and inclination. For us, it is better seen as an acquired aberration.

THE ISSUE is such an important one, such a defining one, with the potential of splitting the Communion, because it has become a chronic aberration, which is being defended and promoted in the Church of God. On the authority of the word of God, we see homosexuality as a rebellion against God, like that typified by Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. A rebellion cannot be relative.

Moreover, homosexuality is flagrant disobedience to God, which enables people to pervert God’s ordained sexual expression with the opposite sex. In this way, homosexuals have missed the mark; they have shown themselves to be trespassers of God’s divine laws.

Protagonists of homosexuality try to elevate this aberration, unknown even in animal relationships, beyond divine scrutiny, while church leaders, who are called to proclaim the undiluted word of God like the prophets of old, are unashamedly looking the other way.

The practice of homosexuality, in our understanding of scripture, is the enthronement of self-will and human weakness, and a rejection of God’s order and will. This cannot be treated with levity; otherwise the Church, and the God she preaches, will be badly deformed and diminished.

Homosexuality does violence to nature. As someone puts it: “It contradicts the very light and law of nature….”

Indeed in the same article Archbishop Akinola wrote:

Homosexuality or lesbianism or bestiality is to us a form of slavery…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 10:07am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Following Anglican Mainstream's comments it really is time for our UK bishops to speak out.

Does anyone have a suggestion of how we might get as many UK bishops as possible to distance themselves from what is happening in Nigeria in an open letter or statement? Individual letters and emails clearly aren't doing the trick.

Rowan not speaking out publicly is scandalous enough, but where are all the others?

(Simon, please forgive the double posting)

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 11:21am BST

Not that I understand how anyone could have the affrontery to try to spin the (several) proclamations in writing of AB Akinola - but here it is.

;=)

The Nigerian Primate and his Office have been in the frontline of the (possibly failing) Nigerian federal legislation against (already illegal) Same Sex Marriage & c.

But to me the AB's charge of "Rebellion against God" takes the prize - the "classic" charge of the 1179/1215 Lateran III and IV Scholastic propaganda against the 7 Phantom categories of outcasts from Ecclesiastic and Civil Society:

Jews, Muslims, Cathars, "Bastards" (the sons of married priests), Sodomitas (married priests, according to Lat IV), and Lepers (which could not be diagnosed...)

However, it seems to me that Messers Enwuchola and Sugden need to clarify the exact meaning of this passage:

"He is seeking in his context which is characterised by militancy on this issue to operationalise that decision."

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 11:55am BST

The NT never in any context condones slavery - apart from the glad surrender of one's life to a master whose service is perfect freedom. It speaks to and about slaves (and there were slaves then as there are slaves now) because it speaks to all people in the real world.
Philemon and Rev 18 (where slavery, 'the bodies and souls of men', is the climactic one of the 28 cargoes of the despicable city) indicate an attitude to slavery very different from (much more liberal than) that of Rome.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 12:23pm BST

From Nigeria itself: http://www.thetidenews.com/article.aspx?qrDate=03/24/2007&qrTitle=Statutory%20provisions%20and%20human%20rights%20advancement%20in%20Nigeria&qrColumn=OPINION

Which includes the comment "The whole talk about human right is a fight against the abuse of power."

Ezekiel 16 is useful for this debate, which includes 16:48-56 "...your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.“ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done. Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous. “ ‘However, I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them, so that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all you have done in giving them comfort. And your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to what they were before; and you and your daughters will return to what you were before. You would not even mention your sister Sodom in the day of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered."

Later the Lord goes on to state that 16:59-63 "I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both those who are older than you and those who are younger. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on the basis of my covenant with you. So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD. Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 12:32pm BST

"Those who cited the Bible to justify their views on supporting slavery based their views actually on economic theory, not on the Bible."

Having read extensively about the culture of slavery in the American south, I can vouch for the fact that many if not most Americans who wrote to justify slavery did indeed cite Scripture. I don't know the literature of justification in England.

As recently as the 1960s, a judge in Virginia defended the state's laws forbiding inter-racial marriage on the grounds that the story of Noah and his sons' survival clearly showed that God had created three races and intended for them to live in spearate places on the planet, and that 'race-mixing' was a sinful human practice that defied God's plan.

For more detailed explanation of how the Bible was used to justify slavery, see the relevant chapter in Peter Gomes' "The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart."

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 12:41pm BST

One can quote the bible to support any position one wants. It is a plastic nose that can be twisted either one way or the other. SO the fact that some misguided souls quoted Scripture to justify slavery proves nothing against the Bible. It just shows how scripture can be distorted. This was even recognised by the Apostle Peter who claimed that "ignorant and unstable people disort" not only Paul's writings but also the "other scriptures" to their own destruction.

Posted by: Athos on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 1:37pm BST

For those that are interested in considering the theological and hermeneutical link between homosexuality and slavery that underlies the advertisement in the Church Times, I can thoroughly recommend the following book:

Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J. Webb.

Should be available from all good bookshops and can certainly be found on Amazon very easily.

Posted by: David on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 1:49pm BST

'The NT never in any context condones slavery ' as per Christopher Shell ...

I beg to differ. Peter says that a slave who is beaten because he has done wrong has no cause for complaint (1 Peter 18-21). Paul repeatedly states that slaves should obey their masters.In fairness, he also states in some (but not all) epistles, that masters should treat slaves well. However, in the light of what Peter said, if all Scripture is inerrant, then treating slaves well includes giving them the odd beating for wrongdoing! (See Paul at 1 Tim 6 1-2, where he makes it clear that slaves should obey their masters even if the masters are Christian - in fact the slaves are told that they should 'serve them even better, because those who benefit from their work are believers whom they love') Other choice passages - Col 4:22, (slaves to obey masters not just when they are watching, but with a sincere heart), Eph 6:5-6 (slaves to obey masters 'with a sincere heart'..'with all your heart'). (Quotations from TEV)

When Paul was sending Onesimus back to the slave-owner Philemon he had an excellent opportunity to make clear that slavery was wrong. Instead, he asks that Onesimus be treated kindly NOT because slavery is wrong, but because he (Onesimus) has been useful to Paul.

Posted by: Sam on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 1:49pm BST

"Protagonists of homosexuality try to elevate this aberration, unknown even in animal relationships"

Give me a break! Homosexual activity has been documented among marine mammals, hoofed mammals (including the African Buffalo), other mammals, and primates. A short summary list of these fills several pages.

A statement such as the one made by Enwuchola and Sugden flies in the face of scientific data and recalls centuries of the church with its head in the sand when Gallileo gave them scientific data.

Posted by: Rae Fletcher on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 1:51pm BST

Unfortunately, it is very clear that slaveholders in the US prior to emancipation believed that slavery was allowed by God. As Thornton Stringfellow put it in his work "A Brief Examination of Scripture Testimony on the Institution of Slavery"published in 1841:

I propose, therefore, to examine the sacred volume briefly, and if I am not greatly mistaken, I shall be able to make it appear that the institution of slavery has received, in the first place,

1st. The sanction of the Almighty in the Patriarchal age.

2d. That it was incorporated into the only National Constitution which ever emanated from God.

3d. That its legality was recognized, and its relative duties regulated, by Jesus Christ in his kingdom; and

4th. That it is full of mercy.:

"I propose, therefore, to examine the sacred volume [the Bible] briefly, and if I am not greatly mistaken, I shall be able to make it appear that the institution of slavery has received, in the first place,

1st. The sanction of the Almighty in the Patriarchal age.

2d. That it was incorporated into the only National Constitution which ever emanated from God.

3d. That its legality was recognized, and its relative duties regulated, by Jesus Christ in his kingdom; and

4th. That it is full of mercy."

This is only one contemporary work. A digital edition can be found at http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/stringfellow/stringfellow.html
There are many more works like it. No economics, just straight scriptural interpretation.

Posted by: Nick Finke on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 2:13pm BST

"Homosexuality does violence to nature. As someone puts it: “It contradicts the very light and law of nature….” "

So I guess that justifies throwing suspects into prison to rot. Certainly sounds Christian to me.

++Akinola-For us it would be better seen as an ignorant aberration

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 2:32pm BST

Both of the first two statements by 'Anglican Mainstream' are extremely dubious from an historical perspective:

1. The very people who were set free from slavery, which was a powerful global expression of western culture at the time, do not wish to come in bondage to that culture again in the form of its sexual licence.

2. Those who cited the Bible to justify their views on supporting slavery based their views actually on economic theory, not on the Bible.

Since many have already refuted the second proposition, I will lend my weight as an historian on the first, and point out that slave holding and trading before the 19th century were widely practised in a great majority of world cultures: African, Asian, and South American, as well as in Europe. By the same token, it also is beyond dispute that expressions of homosexual orientation were widely assimilated into many global cultures before the 20th century. Noting these phenomena in no way makes slavery less inexcusable, quite the reverse; in the same way the existence of homosexual people in many cultures makes their persecution appear even further unjustified.

Posted by: Obadiah on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 3:45pm BST

Sam
Christianity fundamentally undermined the institution of slavery. For in Christian congregations there were slaves but now their relationships with their masters was one of brotherhood in Christ. Secondly slaves were given the sacramanets which meant they had souls and therefore were unambigously men. Thirdly with slaves seen as fully human the clergy began to encourage owners to set their slves free. This Christian philosphy meant that slavery gradually came to be abolished in Europe. Unfortunalety it reared its ugly head again and once more Christians had to fight to have it abolished again. Just as today Christians fighting to allow the unborn to live.

Posted by: Athos on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 4:00pm BST

In a response to an advert in the Church Times by the LGCM, Anglican Mainstream claims that ++ Akinola does not hates gays but that his view of homosexuality are well known. They support this by saying that when ++Akinola met with me in Dar Es Salaam he treated me politely.

I would like to point out that my brief meeting with ++ Akinola is not evidence of his kindness towards lgbt people. He could not treat me badly when we were surrounded by priests and the press.

++Akinola’s Director of Communications, Akintunde Popoola, has in the past made false accusations against me. These accusations have resulted in a hate campaign against me which continues to threaten my life.
Despite many requests Tunde has provided no evidence for his claims, nor has he withdrawn them.

If ++Akinola really does not support the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill and violence against lgbt people, let him speak loudly and clearly against it. And let Tunde publicly withdraw all false allegations against me which have put me in so much danger.

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 4:37pm BST

"One can quote the bible to support any position one wants. It is a plastic nose that can be twisted either one way or the other."

Says it all. THANK YOU ATHOS!

Posted by: lapinbizarre on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 4:42pm BST

Three responses to our reverend brother, Canon Enwuchola:

"The very people who were set free from slavery, which was a powerful global expression of western culture at the time, do not wish to come in bondage to that culture again in the form of its sexual licence."

It is truly sad that the same people only so recently set free would seek to place their own gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in bondage.

"Those who cited the Bible to justify their views on supporting slavery based their views actually on economic theory, not on the Bible."

It is interesting to note that the interpretive constructs used to support slavery from the Bible (Old Testament law and ambiguous New Testament references) are almost identical to the polemic deployed against homosexuals. It is truly sad that this new oppression is based actually on cultural taboo, not the Bible.

"When he met a representative of Changing Attitude Nigeria in Tanzania in February, Archbishop Akinola treated him with courtesy."

It is shameful, and an act of hypocrisy unbefitting a bishop of the Church that he would greet a man in peace to his face and then work explicitly and openly for that man's de facto imprisonment.

Make no peace with oppression.

Posted by: Nathan Stratton on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 4:43pm BST

"...in Christian congregations there were slaves but now their relationships with their masters was one of brotherhood in Christ. Secondly slaves were given the sacramanets which meant they had souls and therefore were unambigously men. ... This Christian philosphy meant that slavery gradually came to be abolished in Europe."

Someone who knows this history better than I can respond about Europe.

There was no such 'withering away' of slavery in the American South, and, as has been pointed out, the Bible was relentlessly invoked to keep slaves in bondage. Someone else has settled that in an earlier post. We fought a Civil War of [up to then] unimaginable carnage to settle this question, as well as to preserve the Union.
As for 'twisting the Bible to support one's opinion,' that is quite so. But those who used it to support slavery and, later, segregation laws, would have told you that they were using the plain meaning of the text and not interpreting at all.

"The very people who were set free from slavery, ... do not wish to come in bondage to that culture again in the form of its sexual licence."

Nobody is asking them to. They are being asked to treat fellow human beings humanely.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 5:17pm BST

Cynthia
People can say what they like. But you can't just quote scripture as say you are not interpreting it. All scripture is given in a context (grammatical, historical) and to quote scripture without proper regard for where it comes in the canon is to do violence to it; and is to interpret it. Those who used scripture to justify slavery where therefore misusing scripture.

Posted by: Athos on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 7:03pm BST

""... This Christian philosphy meant that slavery gradually came to be abolished in Europe."

Someone who knows this history better than I can respond about Europe."

I /believe/ that this refers to slavery dying out in Europe around the end of the Middle Ages or so. Not sure if this was due to Christian theology or economics, though -- but it did die out for the most part.

Then the New World was discovered, and slavery started again, but with blacks and Native Americans instead of whites this time. I'm not sure of the conditions that led to it dying out again in Europe again, but I know it stopped there before it stopped in the Americas.

Slavery probably would have died out in the US in the early 1800s without a Civil War as well, but then the cotton gin was invented, and it became extremely profitable again.

Those that supported slavery did so for economic reasons in the overwhelming majority -- but quoted Scripture to justify it. But when it wasn't economically profitable, they stopped caring.

Posted by: Thomas on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 7:06pm BST

_But when it wasn't economically profitable, they stopped caring._

The point has been made a number of times recently that this argument is inadequate. There is a place for the relative independence of ideas and the anti-slavery witness first held by the Quakers and then passed along to some evangelicals of that time.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 8:32pm BST

An Anglican response to the issue of sexuality must surely combine scripture, tradition, the Creeds and reason. Of course one might 'weight' each response according to importance but all must be included. My problem with the Nigerian position isn't so much that it is wrong - which I think it is - but it isn't Anglican.

Posted by: David Ackerman on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 8:45pm BST

Athos:

'Christianity fundamentally undermined the institution of slavery. For in Christian congregations there were slaves but now their relationships with their masters was one of brotherhood in Christ. Secondly slaves were given the sacramanets which meant they had souls and therefore were unambigously men. Thirdly with slaves seen as fully human the clergy began to encourage owners to set their slves free. This Christian philosphy meant that slavery gradually came to be abolished in Europe.'

This sounds like a process of gradual discernment, like that which liberals are calling for on the issue of sexuality. If it has happened on the issue of slavery, why not sexuality?

'All scripture is given in a context (grammatical, historical) and to quote scripture without proper regard for where it comes in the canon is to do violence to it; and is to interpret it.'

Exactly the point that liberals make when the 'texts of terror' - e.g Lev 18:22, 20:13 - are brandished by the likes of Akinola to 'prove' that homosexuality is sinful. Akinola seems to take the view that his interpretation of the Biblical verses on sexuality is the only one. At least on these pages we accept - with your spot-on plastic nose analogy - that different people can interpret Scripture in different ways.

Posted by: Sam on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 11:26pm BST

You're falling for Enwuchola and Sugden's smoke-screen, folks - getting side-tracked into discussion of slavery, when the issue is what Akinola and his fellow-travellers have said about homosexuality.

Those who wish to pursue the slavery issue might also care to consider the truth or falsehood of the following Wikipedia statement (yes, I know that many Wikipedia entries are unreliable, so let's not waste time on that one) on the Atlantic Slave Trade. It has bearing on the extent of inherited guilt for the slave trade:

"Europeans usually bought slaves who were captured in wars between African kingdoms and chiefdoms, or from Africans who had made a business out of capturing Africans and selling them."

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 26 March 2007 at 11:32pm BST

Having UN officials condemn the Nigerian proposed legislation misses the mark.

Given the UN's behavior in West Africa ---- aid workers demanding sex from children as young as four (look at the trial in France of UN staffer Didier Bourguet whose lawyer admitted his client was part of a UN peodophile network operating from Africa to southeast Asia. Add in drug dealing in Cambodia, sex slaves in the Balkans, the Oil for Food kickbacks and corruption, money laundering, graft and corruption at the highest levels of the organization, the make up of the various UN Human Rights bodies et al ... citing the UN as the moral paragon in which to criticize Nigeria doesn't quite work.

Posted by: George Conger on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 1:09am BST

I agree with Obadiah that the historical arguments made in the Anglican Mainstream piece are extremely dubious, but I think the problem goes beyond this.

I simply cannot understand how there can be any comparison between opposition to human chattel slavery and opposition to the expression of homosexual orientation. The anti-slavery cause worked towards emancipation, towards freedom. The fight against the dignity of homosexuals is one of repression and subjugation.

Every time I pray Morning Prayer I am caught up all over again by the words of Zachariah blessing the Lord God of Israel who has come to his people and set them free. This freedom is basic to the Christian life.

It constantly annoys me when people who should know better insist on characterizing their anti-LGBT crusades as a struggle against sexual licence. No one is asking for approval of sexual orgies of whatever orientation. We are simply asking that each one of us have the freedom to live out our lives in loving and responsible faithfulness in the way God made us.

Posted by: Nick Finke on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 5:08am BST

George Conger argues that the moral authority if the UN is impugned by the illegal acts of some of its staff.

I regret this is true.

But compared to the recent history of the Church such cases he mentions pale into insignificance.

I am sure we have both read the document in question written by several agents of UN departments, I know of no accusations against the individuals here, perhaps he has other information.

In this case perhaps George and others might concentrate on the message they delivered. Is it wrong? Is it mistaken in its assertions of fact or opinion?

I note that the Anglican Communion now has a permanent representative at the UN – she was commissioned at an impressive ceremony during the last Primates Meeting.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 8:33am BST

Sam
Texts of terror prove nothing: as I said before anyone can quote any text to prove anything. But what I think Akinola and the Pope and the Ecumeniacal Patriarch would do and indeed any christian Church of the past would look at the issue of sexuality as it is presented in the whole of Scripture and in the teachings of Christ and the Apostles and I guess that would be pretty discouraging for those seeking to reinterpret scripture in novel ways.
Nick surely what the Bible celebrates above and beyond social or political or sexual freedom is freedom from sin and its effects that so blight this world. We need a new exodus out of this world and into the world to come. And just as Moses destroyed the Egyptians so Christ at the end of time will destroy this world and lead the redeemed out.

Posted by: Athos on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 9:40am BST

I leave it to you to decide which of these is the Rebellion against God.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 9:46am BST

Hi Sam

I wasn't aware that Peter spoke of beating in so many words, and certainly he does not write directly to masters recommending that they beat. Luke (around ch 11?) does mention various servants and their eschatological beatings, which is a slightly different matter. The other points I covered in my first comment: ie, that he addressed the real world which then as now included situations where equal human beings were treated by the prevailing (nonchristian) structures as far from equal.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 12:27pm BST

Nick

I have enjoyed yours (and others) play on this thread.

There is some awareness that the question of slavery somehow links into the mistreatment of sexual variance. There is a red herring debate about nature and nurture that hopefully this thread will avoid.

What is relevant is the question of choice and complicity. I am reminded of two things. Firstly the question of whether a slave is complicit for the master's sins? If a slave has no legitimate right to say "no", then a slave is not complicit. This one determination alone decrees all females under authoratative patriarchial decrees innocent: they did not have the right to say no.

The other issue is to do with the abuse of power, which applies beyond female/sexuality/religious lines. Actually this Economist article has pared down the debate quite nicely http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8888856 The most important passage being: "...the rights that make open politics possible—free speech, due process, protection from arbitrary punishment—are so precious. Insisting on their enforcement is worth more than any number of grandiloquent but unenforceable declarations..."

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 12:39pm BST

1. "treated him with courtesy"
2. "has promoted this legislation"
3. "committed to the human rights of all the oppressed, including those who feel they are oppressed because of their sexuality"
4. "does violence to nature"
5. "is to us a form of slavery"

I call: confused, hypocritical, ignorant, homophobe.

Posted by: Tim on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 2:34pm BST

"I leave it to you to decide which of these is the Rebellion against God."

This is a comment to a longer comment on the history of the different forms of slavery worldwide and in Europe (abolished 1349 in Westrogothia, 1860ies in Russia and on the books in Mecklenburg until 1904).

Either this comment was censored, or the TA site is technically unreliable; for comments made dissappear rather often.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 at 10:23pm BST

Goran
Your longer comment fell foul of the 400 word limit.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 at 12:47am BST

Sam

Your allusions to becoming free through Christ in the NT is also a repeating fractal. We see exactly the same intervention to create freedom when God annointed Moses to lead the Jews out of slavery and into freedom. Here is a link to a slavery which shows a lot of discussion about the implications of freedom and slavery arising from Exodus http://www.torah.org/cgi-bin/texis/webinator/search/?pr=torahwww

On the nature/nurture, this came up on the BBC website this week. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6498215.stm So are these chimera twins male or female? How should they be treated? The beauty of a theology that acknowledges and sanctifies the dignity of all human life, is that these two children would be loved and welcomed. Their parents and community would want them to grow up to live full adult lives and, if they are so inclined, to take a mate for life. The same as we would want for a testosterone female (a male whose genitalia never formed and remained on the default female setting).

The scriptures acknowledges and talks about giving eunuchs and the afflicted dignity and hope. A theology that does not allow for the full variation of human forms is neglecting important scriptural elements.

Another form of slavery is the slavery we create within ourselves. The bars of failed paradigms, the lack of faith in God, the diminishment of God to human comprehension, the dismissal of God's offer of universal unconditional love, the slander and accusations of denying others' grace or dignity, the dodging of responsibilities, failing to make or keep promises, failing to ask for help, failing to say "I'm sorry", failing to attempt any solution because you can't guarantee success or predict the outcomes.

I snicker about the recent comment that it will take 30 years to figure out the solution. I wonder if the refugees from flooded out cities will care whether the scribes and politicians worked out how global warming is a problem? What they will remember in 30 years time are the leaders who ducked and weaved to avoid all responsibility rather than changing what could be changed. If God is only capable of one covenant, and Jesus gazzumps all previous covenants, then there is no problem with God flooding out cities, is there? As, according to the fundamentalists, none God's covenants with any other souls matter!

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 at 6:34am BST

Well Simon, send it back!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 at 8:00pm BST
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