Thinking Anglicans

Anglican bishops support Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Updated Friday evening

Jim Burroway reports in Box Turtle Bulletin:

Uganda’s Daily Monitor provides a round-up of religious leaders Christmas messages. The draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which was hurriedly passed by Parliament last Friday, received special mention by these three Anglican bishops:

“In Uganda, there are so many injustices like child sacrifice, domestic violence, drug abuse which are now a big issue in our schools… I want to thank Parliament for passing the Anti-homosexuality Bill. I want the world to understand what we are saying,” the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, said.

…“Can you imagine your son brings another man at home for introduction?… The church preaches forgiveness, reconciliation and transformation. I do not want people to look at us and say the church is against the homosexuals. We love everybody. The homosexuals, and lesbians are all children of God but we want them to repent and have eternal life,” Archbishop Ntagali said.

At St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe, Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira commended MPs for passing the anti-gays Bill but asked them to object the proposed law to legalise abortion describing it as murder.

The Bishop of Mbale, the Rt Rev Patrick Gidudu, asked Ugandans and political leaders who are against the Bill to seek God, repent and renew fellowship to save the country from God’s wrath…

Updates

Episcopal Cafe has a link to video reportage of Bishop Luwalira, here.

And there is this CNN report Gay and afraid in Uganda which also has episcopal input.

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Nigel LLoyd
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Nigel LLoyd

The homosexuals, and lesbians are all children of God but we want them to repent and have eternal life,”

Is that it? And does it work both ways? As an unrepentant heterosexual, if I repented of my heterosexuality, would I have eternal life? Or does being heterosexual mean I qualify without repenting? I do wonder whether this view of Christianity has anything in common with my faith. I find nothing here which equates with the joy of being indwelt by the Spirit of the Risen Lord.

Commentator
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Commentator

Now that these bishops have spoken up, may we hope for a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury? Bishops outside the UK feel perfectly able to comment on such inconsequential things as the Pilling Report. Surely English bishops should feel confident to comment on such consequential things at this bill!

Rosemary Hannah
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Rosemary Hannah

It is just that they do not understand, really, that is all. It is a totally different thought world, and the fact they they do not know all the perfectly normal gay people we know, keeps it that way. The very fact they do not, and cannot, link it to normal things (weddings, family occasions, births, mourning, supporting freinds and family through traumas and sorrows) that very fact, keeps it abnormal. I think my son’s husband is a great guy! The tragedy is not that they found themselves in a position many in the UK were in 100 years ago,… Read more »

Savi Hensman
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Savi Hensman

Even in the Church of Uganda’s terms, throwing LGBT people in prison for life is not an obvious way to promote love and reconciliation.

Flora Alexander
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Flora Alexander

I think Rosemary Hannah’s comment is extremely constructive – thankyou!

Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

Things have changed in Uganda. It was always a conservative country but the gay issue was hardly on the radar in the old days and a homosexual sub culture was allowed to exist in peace. Everything changed with the importation of the American cultural civil war that is now being fought by proxy across Equatorial Africa. Conservative American evangelicals have been stirring this up for some time (successfully from their point of view). If you want to find the root of all this trouble and profoundly unchristian activity look to the Anglican Church of North America and its various factional… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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Craig Nelson

Remember this is coming from inside the Anglican Communion. I thought there was an anathema on this.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“Now that these bishops have spoken up, may we hope for a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury?”

Welby will say nothing because, after all, plenty of his con-evo mates agree with Uganda’s legislation, and Welby himself is hardly unambiguous on the topic. If forced to say anything, he’ll say that it’s racist and judgemental to criticise, and aren’t their robes colourful?

James Byron
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James Byron

Welby will probably say something politic about the Anglican Communion standing against homophobia and valuing LGBT people.

The burning question is why the Church of England is so desperate to be in communion with people such as these. Why’s their distant company so valuable that the oppression of LGBT Anglicans in England is considered a price worth paying to maintain it?

Lorenzo
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Rosemary. The law, as it stands there, makes it quite impossible for gay men and women to be better known. It also envisages jail terms for people protecting them. These prelates have absolutely no excuse, it is culpable ignorance.

Lorenzo
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and they are perfectly able to challenge their culture on many other topics.

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Nigel LLoyd on Friday, 27 December 2013 at 10:59am GMT, The short answer is, being heterosexual means never having to say you’re sorry. There is a so-called “reality series” TV program called “Duck Dynasty” here across the pond on an American cable television channel. The main characters are a family that makes duck calls, kazoo-type instruments for, well, calling ducks so that one can hunt them. For some reason, the show is an absolute ratings smash for the network it airs on. The head of this duck-call-making clan spoke out against gay people, calling them vile names, calling their relationships… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
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peterpi - Peter Gross

Thank you Simon, for giving us the latest about this bill from Uganda.
No world spotlight. No passionate calls of outrage from prime ministers or presidents.
The Ugandans and their allies-in-crime simply improved their timing.

John 11:35 — and Jesus still does so.

David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

The situation is appalling but to demand that Western Archbishops somehow intervene, rebuke them(?) and tell them how wrong they actually shows very little awareness of the significance of their history and ours.
I found this blog very helpful from a missionary couple in Uganda:
they are clear that every experience of Western pressure on this process is actually strengthening their resolve.
http://namugongolife.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/homophobia-in-uganda-is-christianity-the-problem-or-the-solution/

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“Why’s their distant company so valuable that the oppression of LGBT Anglicans in England is considered a price worth paying to maintain it?”

Because the Ugandan Church is only saying what Welby would if he thought he could get away with it. Welby wants to remain in communion with homophobes in brightly coloured robes because he thinks their Christianity is authentic, and if that pisses off gays in England, so much the better.

People are labouring under the misapprehension that violent homophobia is seen as a flaw in African churches. For Welby and his like, it’s part of the appeal.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“The burning question is why the Church of England is so desperate to be in communion with people such as these.”

Because their numbers make the Archbishop of Canterbury look more important?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

The sooner the Anglican Communion separates itself out from the GAFCON anti-Gay Provinces, the better will world-wide Anglicanism be able to present the Good News of God’s love for all humanity.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his Only-Begotten Son….”

James Byron
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James Byron

Interested Observer: I doubt that Welby wants homosexuality criminalized. He’s unambiguously condemned homophobic violence and abuse. He’s called gay relationships “stunning.” Even if the difference is more in degree than in kind, it’s a substantial degree. I suspect that Welby doesn’t care much either way about changing Anglican teaching. He’s already said, in his speech to the Evangelical Alliance, that his mind isn’t made up. This is likely a political issue for him. A mark of “open” evangelicals is a willingness to move when the pressure mounts. If Synod repealed Higton and ‘Issues …’ tomorrow, can you see Welby resigning… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Importance surely plays its part, Jeremy. For Rowan Williams, it seemed to be more about vicarious post-colonialist guilt. I hope Welby’s too pragmatic to follow his predecessor in that.

I hope peacockery is the principle attraction in maintaining communion, because if so, the cost is fast outweighing the benefits. Like Father Ron, I believe that the sooner schism comes, the better. The remaining provinces can then begin the long, hard process of reform and atonement.

Victoriana
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Victoriana

Hang on, Ntangali says: “In Uganda, there are so many injustices like child sacrifice, domestic violence, drug abuse which are now a big issue in our schools…” Excuse me, friends, but *child sacrifice*?! And penalising gay people is the priority here? Being gay is worse than taking the life of your own child? Huh? Just excuse me while I retreat to ponder the skewed priorities of these Ugandan bishops, and you can keep wasting effort speculating about ++Welby. I wonder what he makes of kids being sacrificed, women getting beaten up, and people being left to waste away with drug… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

What happens in Uganda doesn’t stay in Uganda. LGBTs/allies worldwide *notice* this (execrable bill, and Ugandan Anglican support for it), and it is DISASTROUS for mission. Frankly, I’m not sure there’s anything that LGBT-affirming Anglicans can do to wash off the vicarious blood, but for the sake of our SOULS, by God we have to try. And we’re not doing remotely enough now.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

*I doubt that Welby wants homosexuality criminalized.*

You mean, the homosexuality that “dishonours marriage” like domestic violence? That sort?

Rosemary Hannah
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Rosemary Hannah

Of course it is totally wrong – and of course the church leaders are painting themselves ever more firmly into a corner. But pin the blame where it really lies – with the current and last ABCs and with the church leaders and bishops who DO know better and cannot be excused. (And of course the American right-wingers, though they are less under the control of the C of E). Our leaders should have made a stand twenty years ago – ten, five. They are not even making a stand now. Look at Pilling! The Pilling Report is a disgrace… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

These bills in Uganda and Nigeria are antithetical to the Anglican tradition.

Will any archbishop or bishop of the Church of England say as much?

Of course not. And that’s part of the tragedy.

Bishops =?= cowards

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“These bills in Uganda and Nigeria are antithetical to the Anglican tradition.” But their robes are so colourful! It’s a combination of post-colonial guilt (“we can’t say anything because of Empire”), the racism of low expectations (“we can’t say anything because they don’t know any better”) and colonial patronisation (“see how colourful their robes are, and how happy their smiles”). In each case, under the guise of progressive thinking, what you actually have is a belief that black gay people are less entitled to rights than white gay people, because the need that some (and I stress some) black heterosexual… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

I think you nailed it, Interested Observer. However, in addition to the notion of fundamental human rights, there is also the example of South Africa. It has a progressive constitution for LGBT persons, thanks to the likes of retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The racism of low expectations is sadly accurate. Those people (Ugandan and Nigerian politicians and Anglican GAFCON church leaders) know exactly what they are doing. They are following the money of the American conservatives who are desperate for a “victory,” having lost the culture wars in the US. They are coming together with Muslims in gay bashing. Nothing… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

I echo Cynthia’s praise, Interested Observer, although I’d add “vicarious” to post-colonial guilt. I doubt any bishop in-post in England today had anything to do with the Empire (even in the CofE, they’re not *that* old). This “guilt” is an indulgence, not the sting of personal wrongdoing. What’s most bizarre about this affected “guilt” is that colonialism is, somehow, atoned for by allowing reverse-colonialism. “We imposed our values on them, so we have to allow them to impose their values on us.” Which says, by implication, that colonialism isn’t inherently wrong. “Racism of low expectations” says it all. How pathetic… Read more »