Thinking Anglicans

Nigeria: a very useful compendium

Political Spaghetti has published a comprehensive review of events in Nigeria relating to the proposed new laws relating to homosexuality in that country.

Will anyone in the Church of England raise any questions about the role of the Church of Nigeria in this affair?

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thomas bushnell, bsg
15 years ago

in answer to the question, no. alas, the church of england has lost whatever moral authority it ever had to lead the communion. the only question left is whether the church of england is going to continue to obstruct communion by continuing to cater to the bullies. i fear that the answer is that the church of england is best at catering to bullies. it can feel very “sacrificial” to give in like that, as long as you don’t stop to ask who is sacrificing whom. (there is a lot of talk of “sacrifice” around these days, but +++Rowan knows… Read more »

Matt
15 years ago

The post at Political Spaghetti has been dramatically expanded since Monday (yesterday).

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

I must concur with Brother Thomas. The Church of England is turning a blind eye to the world of sin in its own Communion. Perhaps because it doesn’t know how to talk to them.

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Indeed. And how can this possibly coincide with ther pledge to listen and dialogue in the Windsor report? You can’t dialogue with those you treat as criminals.

Nigeria and the rest of the so-called Global South (I think the Third World premoderms is a better description) have made it clear that they think the time for listening and discussion has passed. They are far more in breach of the spirit of Windsor than ECUSA.

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Indeed. And how can this possibly coincide with ther pledge to listen and dialogue in the Windsor report? You can’t dialogue with those you treat as criminals.

Nigeria and the rest of the so-called Global South (I think the Third World premoderns is a better description) have made it clear that they think the time for listening and discussion has passed. They are far more in breach of the spirit of Windsor than ECUSA.

Alan Harrison
Alan Harrison
15 years ago

In terms of its secular politics, there’s much that I agree with in “Political Spaghetti”, but the author doesn’t help his case by the really dishonest device of claiming that ECUSA’s position is “moderate”. Among the range of Anglican opinion on homosexuality, the ECUSA is almost as extreme at one end of the spectrum as Akinola is at the other.

When my opinions are extreme, I’m perfectly happy to say that I’m extreme and right. I don’t understand this need to project oneself as “moderate”.

Gerry Lynch
15 years ago

I think the leadership of the Anglican Church in the “Globalnorth” is still so wracked with postcolonial guilt that it feels itself incapable of engaging critically with the Church in Africa on any issue – not just the one of homosexuality. Look at the stony silence from Lambeth that has greeted the co-option of the Zimbabwean Church wholesale into the ZANU apparatus of terror and the extirpation, arrest and torture of dozens of good and faithful priests. Compare our shameful record with the prohetic witness of Pius Ncube and the RC Church in Zimbabwe, and the strong support given to… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
15 years ago

Well, alas, so far – the same Canterbury which has failed to speak in real or sincere welcome of LGBTQ Folks in the Anglican Communion and/or in UK – (We promise not to punch you in the face, even though scripture plainly read says we should stone you to death; well, that just isn’t quite the incredibly deep welcome that some at Canterbury may still believe – though having actually been punched in the face by believers who plainly read scripture, I must say it still counts for something good to the extent that father will seat the queer bashers… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

If ECUSA’s position is seen as extreme, though, does it not say just how far to the right the church is, still, on this matter? No wonder the CofE, considerably to the right of ECUSA, is viewed in such curious, anachronistic ways by so many of those outside.

Matt
15 years ago

Alan, I’m not trying to portray myself as “moderate.” I’m not even trying to defend ECUSA. I just want this legislation to die — and I want conservative Anglicans, the only ones with the power to sway Akinola, to do the killing. My hope is that with this information at hand, those civil libertarians among conservative American Anglicans and CofE bishops and clergy will find it in their hearts to not let this one issue slip by. They can admire Akinola and still tell him to recant his endorsement of the legislation. That said, I’ve changed the word “moderate” to… Read more »

Dave
Dave
15 years ago

I thought that it was highly unfair to attack ++Akinola as if the Nigerian government’s proposed laws are ALL HIS FAULT. After all it wasn’t so long ago that “sodomy” was illegal in Britain and it still is in several US states.. And it is a serious distortion to suggest that “southern” provinces are “anti” and northern provinces are pro-gay-sex. It simplifies the target – “pre-moderns” – read people who are “backward” – but ignores that fact that the real basis for non-acceptance is the Bible’s writers and 2000 years of Church teaching. That is why many people in the… Read more »

Matt
15 years ago

OK, Dave, I’ll bite. I fully support Archbishop Akinola’s “right to believe, teach and act on [his] belief that homosexuality is sinful.” What I do not support, and I think most liberals will agree with me (as should conservatives), is his endorsement of legislation that would put gay and lesbian Nigerans in prison for what amounts to a theological dispute. The timing of the legislation — just months after the appearance of Changing Attitude Nigeria, and just weeks after the Church of Nigeria publicly declared Davis Mac-Iyalla of Changing Attitude Nigeria to be a fraudster — is very suspicious. It’s… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Do you expect people to defend racism too, Dave?

No, prejudice is wrong – and discrimination can never be justified, even if religion is used as a spurious excuse for doing so. You have the right to believe as you wish, but as the outcome of what you believe is discriminatory, it should never be justified other than the product of ideas which need to be defeated and seen as redundant in our pluralist, diverse society.

Gerry Lynch
15 years ago

As far as Archbishop Akinola goes – by your fruits ye shall know them – when will this man ever live up to his reponsibilities under “Lambeth I.10”? This, a proof text he bandies about as if it were holy scripture.

And if faithfulness to the “plain meaning of scripture” is the issue here, why do conservative Anglicans continue to reject the “plain meaning of scripture” on the lending of money at interest.

I look forward to Dave and his compatriots challenging the entire economic foundation of the modern world.

Rob Hall
Rob Hall
15 years ago

Gerry Lynch has raised an important point about the postcolonial guilt that seems to affect Anglicanism’s leaders in the “Globalnorth” (nice phrase Gerry!). Or is it the profoundly racist view that different standards apply to African leaders? One need only look at Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town and Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana to see how false that idea is. It’s interesting to imagine what the Anglican Communion’s reaction would be to Zimbabwe’s murderous bishop and the Church of Nigeria’s antics, if Bishop Kunonga and Archbishops Malango and Akinola were white and actively gay. I suspect that there would… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
15 years ago

Regarding ‘sodomy’ being still illegal in several US states, as one writer stated: not so. The Supreme Court Texas ruling voided all such law as regards consenting adults. The laws remain on the books in many states, like Virginia, where I live. They will probably be there for some time, just as the laws barring interracial marriage were only expunged from the books of a state to the south of us quite recently, even though the Loving case in the mid-60s put the kybosh on all such laws. Like many here, I find ++Akinola’s support of the proposed Nigerian laws… Read more »

IT
IT
15 years ago

Sodomy is not illegal in any US States any more, Dave. The Supreme Court took care of that just a few short years ago in the landmark decision Lawrence v. Texas. From the ACLU’s website: “In sweeping language, the Court said the Constitution protects the right of gay people to form intimate relationships and “retain their dignity as free persons.” Gay people, the Court said, have the same right to “define one’s concept of existence, of meaning, or the universe, and of the mystery of human life,” that heterosexuals do. The Bowers decision, the Court said, “demeans the lives of… Read more »

Dave
Dave
15 years ago

Matt wrote: “What I do not support, and I think most liberals will agree with me (as should conservatives), is …. endorsement of legislation that would put … [people] …. in prison for what amounts to a theological dispute.” Dear Matt, I agree entirely – as I said, “I don’t agree with the proposed Nigerian restriction of people’s human rights to free speech and association” [I meant including “LGBTQ” people] ! Merseymike wrote. “Do you expect people to defend racism too, Dave? No, prejudice is wrong – and discrimination can never be justified, even if religion is used as a… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Outlawing ideas? no, Dave, you can retain your ideas – but outlawing discriminatory practices based on those ideas, absolutely.

Dave
Dave
15 years ago

Dear Mike, if you believe in freedom of speech, and don’t agree with outlawing my ideas, then why have you not spoken out against Canadian, Swedish and UK laws that forbid speaking against people in same-sex partnerships, or saying that they are not suitable relationships for adopting children (for instance) ?

I don’t really believe that many “liberals really believe in freedom of speech. 😮 The real reason many are upset about Nigeria is because they believe in freedom of sex!

Matt
15 years ago

Dave and Merseymike, You’re both making me a bit crazy. You seem to agree that the Nigerian legislation is bad, and I’m sure you could agree that it would affect millions of Nigerians. Yet, all the two of you can think to do is bicker about who’s being politically correct. Dave, if you believe, as you say, that you “don’t agree with the restriction of peoples human rights to free speech and association,” then why don’t you speak up about the legislation — communicate this belief in a meaningful way. Tell Akinola that you admire him, but that his endorsement… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
15 years ago

Dave and Matt, Which UK laws forbid speaking against people in same-sex partnerships? I am not aware of any such laws. If you mean Inspector Plod speaking to the Bishop of Chester, they were acting utterly ultra vires and Chester could quite easily have denounced them, maintained his stance and said he would have his day in court if they kept their nonsense up. You’d need to ask him why he didn’t. We are not comparing like with like here in comparing the freedom of speech situation in Nigeria with that in the UK. While I’m sure there is a… Read more »

Matt
15 years ago

Gerry, I confess I read up on Sweden’s and Canada’s laws before posting, but didn’t go the extra mile to check out the UK’s, deciding instead to take Dave’s comment on face value.

I’ll have to defer to you.

Yet, I’ll stand by my position that Sweden’s and Canada’s laws are deeply wrong headed. As I said before, they have “the effect of preventing well-meaning conservatives from speaking their mind, which only serves to provide them with an excuse not to listen.”

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Dave’s claim about Swedish law is wrong, which I have explained to him in detail several years ago on Inclusive Church Forum.

I suggest that you get back on topic: the proposed Nigerian legislation.

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