Friday, 13 March 2009

some reactions to the Nigerian church story

Updated Saturday afternoon

See previous articles here, here, and here.

Andrew Brown has commented about this at Comment is free: Belief in The latest hate speech from the Church of Nigeria.

Pluralist has commented on his blog in Expel the Nigerian Church - Time to Move On.

Episcopal Café has a further article, Nigeria’s legal system adequate for persecution.

The US State Department report mentioned there can be found at 2008 Human Rights Report: Nigeria.

The current legislation is not the same as that proposed in 2006 which was also commended by the Church of Nigeria.

There is no mention of this matter at the website of CANA, but the front page does have this in the sidebar:

Every person is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated that way.
-the Rt Rev’d. Martyn Minns

Episcopal Café points out that Martyn Minns and Robert Duncan are among the bishops at the Church of Nigeria House of Bishops meeting, read Meeting of the CON Standing Committee: PRIMATE’S OPENING REMARK [sic] from the official website of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion):

We are glad to welcome back home our CANA bishop, Martyn Minns. With us at this meeting is Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh. Bob leads the Common Cause Partnership that will soon metamorphose against all odds into a new Anglican Province in North America.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 13 March 2009 at 11:37pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Having read the new Bill and reflecting on the horrors the last Bill contained I think this is a substantial victory and a deep humiliation for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

I say this not only because the new draft Bill has been stripped of its draconian measures but because there was convincing evidence to suggest that the last Bill and its host of outrageous measures had been originally drafted in the offices of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). It seems that Akinola having intervened in the UsofA was deeply worried that TEC might fund a gay friendly Episcopal Church on his patch. The idea was to make the foundation of a such a church impossible in Nigeria and to close down all the gay friendly organisations that already existed and were a thorn in his flesh.

I suspect Akinola and his allies thought they could legislate himself back to the time when he was telling people there were no gay people in Nigeria – he would silence them all. They have not got their way!

It's important to realise that several other African countries have passed legislation outlawing same-sex marriage, one at lest (I can't remember which at the moment!) changed its constitution to enshrine an anti gay marriage principle within it. Much of this legislation was also inspired by religious leaders and came about I believe as a consequence of the new constitution of South Africa and the later decision arising from that constitutional settlement to permit gay marriage.

But what is important to stress is that not only have the Akinola sect not got their way but their evidence is shameful and as we see from reports at the scene their spokesman even has to lie about what his Primate has already agreed to – they are an open wound, a public scandal.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 14 March 2009 at 2:16pm GMT

My take is that Akinola's church is pandering to homophobes -- in other words, his church is OF this world because it plays to the prejudices in the society in which it lives. His church is in a race to the bottom with the pentecostal churches, and the Catholic church in their competition with Islam in Nigeria. I rather doubt his church wrote the earlier version -- just jumped on the bandwagon, and tried to pretend to be leading it.

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Saturday, 14 March 2009 at 6:42pm GMT

[If this is a "victory", Martin, I think it's a Pyrrhic one at best.]

Can someone in the Anglican blogiverse please start one of those web-clocks wherein we can measure the duration of the silence from Messrs Minns and Duncan about this?

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 14 March 2009 at 7:22pm GMT

"Can someone in the Anglican blogiverse please start one of those web-clocks wherein we can measure the duration of the silence from Messrs Minns and Duncan about this?"

An excellent idea, but don't hold your breath waitiing for such. And don't hold your breath waiting for comment for the ABC - he's too busy writing lofty treatises about economics.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 16 March 2009 at 1:24am GMT

It is rather curious that the Archbishop in Nigeria is supporting legislation against the LGBT community - a community which he has already declared doesn't actually exist in Nigeria!

Perhaps this sort of ephemeral 'ghost-dancing' is one of the more questionable preoccupations of His Grace at this time - when other, much more life-threatening things; like starvation and HIV-Aids, and an escalating national and local ethos of endemic corruption, ought to claim his and other religious people's attention.

The oft-delivered excuse of having to conform to other religions' (e.g Muslim) sensitivities on sex and gender issues must surely be a cop-out from the thrust of the Gospel ethic of 'Love Thy Neighbour', which should be the real and only basis for Christian Justice and tolerance in the treatment of these important human issues.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 16 March 2009 at 3:16am GMT
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