Thinking Anglicans

Washington bishop criticises Akinola

Updated Saturday 4 March

The Washington Post carries this article by John Chane Bishop of Washington, A Gospel of Intolerance, which will appear in the Sunday edition of the newspaper. It is strongly critical of Archbishop Akinola:

…Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria and leader of the conservative wing of the communion, recently threw his prestige and resources behind a new law that criminalizes same-sex marriage in his country and denies gay citizens the freedoms to assemble and petition their government. The law also infringes upon press and religious freedom by authorizing Nigeria’s government to prosecute newspapers that publicize same-sex associations and religious organizations that permit same-sex unions…

… Surprisingly, few voices — Anglican or otherwise — have been raised in opposition to the archbishop. When I compare this silence with the cacophony that followed the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay man who lives openly with his partner, as the bishop of New Hampshire, I am compelled to ask whether the global Christian community has lost not only its backbone but its moral bearings. Have we become so cowed by the periodic eruptions about the decadent West that Archbishop Akinola and his allies issue that we are no longer willing to name an injustice when we see one?…

Update Saturday 4 March
Martyn Minns has responded to this article.

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ObrienTundeChristopher JohnsonPeter BergmanMerseymike Recent comment authors
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RMF
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RMF

Who in the Communion speaks for the powerless of Nigeria who would be imprisoned by these wicked and pathetic laws supported by clergy? Apparently only the Episcopal Church. I am not surprised that it is a bishop of the Episcopal Church saying this. It has time and again demonstrated moral backbone and clarity. It is prepared to stand up and in the name of our Lord and Savior, speak the Word to wickedness. And apparently, it is ready and willing to do so when no one else will. Bishop Chane is of course right. The recent actions of the Nigerian… Read more »

Prior Aelred
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I have been waiting for someone in the Anglican Communion to speak out on this issue (as those who have noticed my earlier posts are aware) & I am happy to find that someone finally is speaking out. Why am I not surprised to find that it is an American (& a dreaded “liberal”)? It actually sounds as if he waited for someone more senior to speak before finally coming forward. I am glad he did. I hope that he will not be the last one. I hope that more people in authority speaking out will do some good. The… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

I think Akinola leaped before he looked while pushing so hard-and-fast for creation of the dangerous and demoralizing/repressive and UNDEMOCRATIC laws against the LGBT people of Nigeria. Thinking people (and Anglicans) are stunned and silent. I believe Akinola is “caught up” with the sound and excitement of his own voice/mind of hate and his addictive enthusiasm for the gathering power (especially Episcopal Chursh USA goodies/goods) at OUR Church is in overdrive. Akinola’s passionate desire to punish LGBT human beings (who are his fellow Christians and Nigerian brothers and sisters) is a powerful example of his selfwill/egomania and “deadly” righteousness running… Read more »

David Chillman
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David Chillman

I have to say that I am deeply worried about the future for Nigeria. I think that the country is staggering towards a civil war which could well be long and brutal. I can see the nation being split into two parts (Muslim and Christian) with no simple way of healing the wounds which will ensue. From the words of Akinola, it looks as if he is positioning himself to be the leader of the Christian half of Nigeria. As a result, his words and actions are less to do with true Christian values and more to do with sectarian… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

And if you look at these recent Ekklesia articles, the neo-fascist continuum of escalating violence is also seems to be developing in Nigeria (i.e. first pick on the “ungodly” homosexuals, then move onto advocating violence against others…) http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_060221nigeria.shtml which includes: In a statement, the controversial Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, known to many across the world for his outspoken statements about homosexuality said; “May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation. CAN may no longer be able to contain our restive youths should this ugly trend continue,” said… Read more »

Marshall Scott
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With all due respect, Cheryl (and I have respected what you have written), I imagine the loss of the first born sons looked like a blood bath to the Egyptians. Yes, it was God’s intervention; but it can’t have been pretty to be on the losing side. That said, I am also glad Bishop Chane has not only spoken out, but has done so in a very public and not simply Anglican forum. I also fear civil war in Nigeria, abetted – seen as justified – by Akinola’s belief in a very muscular, very pure Christianity. I am not, of… Read more »

Oriscus
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Oriscus

Iirc, much of the known oil reserves in Nigeria are in the South-East, which was one reason Biafra wasn’t allowed to secede. Not altogether sure about this, but that is what I seem to recall.

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

At the time of independence in 1960, English-style common law prevailed throughout Nigeria. All the northern states now have Sharia even though this involves an impossible contradiction with the Federal constitution and there are significant Christian communities in places like Jos, Kaduna and elsewhere. If you have ANY idea how Sharia can be reversed there, you should say so… (/crickets) And if you have ANY idea how a creeping local kind of Sharia can be reversed in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, you should similarly (and more realistically) speak out and act. Don’t be cowed by name-calling. Step by step… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Cheryl Clough

Marshall I found that your position actually has a lot in common with my own. Most importantly you commented that we should “..pray for God to make God’s will clear to all of us…” This is a fundamentally different position to those who come up with an absolutist position and then move to enforce their narrow interpretation of the Will of God (the latter cultural dynamic easily slides into appallingly repressive regimes such as apartheid or nazism). Further, it is consistent with a fundamental lesson that Moses teaches us. Moses fled to Midian (Exodus 2:11-15) after killing an Egyptian, and… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Peter, sorry, but that is right-wing propaganda with regard to Europe.

In any case, whats the difference between sharia law and theonomic reconstructionist Christianity?

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

Merseymike: well, for one thing, one exists and the other doesn’t. Shall I give you a clue? As for ‘right-wing propaganda with regard to Europe’ (so much worse than the ‘true’left-wing variety!): maybe the fish in the sea is not always aware of the water? I have observed Britain and Europe for over 25 years and visited many parts of the continent. The institutionalization of Islamic ways in Europe is very marked: Muslim schools, Islamic dress for girls (even an English schoolgirl, thanks to Cherie Blair), panic over cartoons following by grovelling and apologies, palpable fear in the Netherlands, cantonized… Read more »

Christopher Johnson
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Quick question. Has Dr. Akinola actually stated anywhere that he is in favor of this legislation? And I’ll need a source a great deal more reliable than John Chane’s word for it.

But I don’t see what the fuss is about. As bad as we may consider this proposed legislation, Nigeria is a sovereign entity and has the legal and constitutional right to pass such laws. So it is rather rich reading anyone from ECUSA, particularly a radical like Chane, blathering on about things other people may or may not approve.

Tunde
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Tunde

A wonderful analysis can be found at http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3667

Pray; When did tolerance become condoning?

Obrien
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Obrien

Mr. Johnson posted-Nigeria is a sovereign entity and has the legal and constitutional right to pass such laws.

Interesting that when it comes to an Episcopal Bishop commenting about a human rights travesty, we hear “Nigeria is a sovereign entity!” But when the ECUSA advances the cause of universal equality in their own sovereign nation, Nigeria whines, cries and severs the communion. It’s nice to have a country like Nigeria, taking up the torch as model of human rights and morality for the world.