9/06/2007

Things are getting pretty strange in Global South land

The Global South Bishops are overplaying their hands.

In the person of the Anglican Bishop of Uyo, The Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, The Church of Nigeria finally has a bishop who makes the case for hate. He said, ..."Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God's purpose for man," the Bishop said. He noted that the Anglican Church in Nigeria had continued to lead the fight against the practice especially in the US where it led the opposition to same sex marriages...” Folk across the blogsphere, from Fr. Jake , Episcopal CafĂ© and Susan Russell to Kendal Harmon and some at Stand Firm have roundly condemned these remarks. Fr. Jake points out that Bishop Orama is not alone, that the Archbishop has said parallel things.

So we have one bishop from the Global South crowd, the crowd that is providing the majority of the bishops in the Common Cause Partnership, coming out with what can only be understood, if truly reported, as a proto-Nazi invitation to violence against gay and lesbian persons.

The Boston Globe also reports on a priest preaching at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Nairobi, “Rev. Samuel Muchiri told the 1,000 worshipers "we in Kenya feel this is not what God wants." An usher advised a visiting reporter to "remember that Sodom and Gomorrah was demolished because there were homosexuals." Another warned that the reporter could be assaulted if he asked worshipers about the issue, and said that America's permissiveness toward homosexuality had led Osama bin Laden to attack.”

So here is at long last a reason to get violent against gay people: they are responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

This stuff is so sick that if any part of either story is true there needs to be more than apologies and removal from the lists of acceptable bishops for Lambeth and suspension of this priest from further service, there needs to be ecclesiastical enquiry and discipline.

One one level there is no way to top this sort of violence.

On another level Archbishop Kolini has taken part in another sort of violence. His Province has determined to make the wholly owned subsidiary called AMiA twice its current size. So the Province of Rwanda will ordain three new bishops for American soil bringing the international component of the Network partnerships to a new high.

Archbishop Kolini had just returned to his synod meeting from the ordinations in Kenya and Uganda. There is no doubt that Rwanda’s efforts were discussed and found approval from other Network and Common Cause Partners present. Bishop Chuck Murphy, head honcho of AMiA was at those ordinations and we may assume was part of the decision making.

The Nigerian bishop has declared human beings less than human and unfit to live. The Rwandan bishops have declared the Episcopal Church less than Christian and unfit to exist. AMiA has decided to look to the unchurched in North America and includes in that number the members of The Episcopal Church.

The first is clearly worse than the last, but they are of a kind.

It appears that at least some of the Global South inter-circle of Provinces are taking various forms of violence to new levels.

So now the question is when will there be objection, distancing, and demands for apology from Primates of the various Communion members and from the Archbishop of Canterbury? Both of these actions serve ends and agendas that have nothing to do with goodness, mercy and justice, and everything to do with positioning for power and influence. They are shameful.

9 comments:

  1. I am with you on the depth and breadth of homophobia found in Africa and that people who spread hate need to be held accountable. There are gay people in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda who are in harm's way. This sick behaviour has to stop and the calls for it to end have to come from the Common Cause folks as well as the Anglican Communion.

    I think calling the consecration of 3 more bishops in Rwanda another type of violence oversteps your case. It shows bad judgment on the part of Rwanda but it isn't violence.

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  2. Mark, please note that Elizabeth Kaeton has not yet condemned his comments.

    A silly statement? Yes. Just like your statement that "some" at StandFirm have condemned his comments. The major contributors there have unanimously condemend them- what do you want, a lineup where they can all check the box ensuring that you can easily keep track? You seem to imply that some must support his comments. I suggest a rewrite is in order.

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  3. Ah, you can now change my prior submission. I see that Elizabeth Kaeton has now indeed weighed in. I will attempt to track down others who haven't so that we can ensure that every Episcopal priest with internet access is checked off.

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  4. A few comments in response - firstly - when you say that: "The Church of Nigeria finally has a bishop who makes the case for hate.", you are of course saying that noone before in the church of Nigeria has made the case for hate, which is in direct contradiction with what many liberals in ECUSA have been accusing Abp Akinola of for the last few years. Either they were right and you are now wrong, or they were wrong all along and you are now right. I suspect that you are right on this occasion, and all the earlier criticisms of Abp Akinola were wrong, over the top, hyperbolic and were not at all credible.

    Secondly - it is a giant stretch to place in the same category of violence the recent consecration of more godly faithful men to be bishops in the Anglican church in North America. Never before in my memory has the consecration of bishops been described as an act of violence. Not even the criticism from the conservatives of Robinson's consecration as a bishop of ECUSA classed it as an act of violence, and yet look at the damage to the unity of the church that was precipitated by that foolish action. The only similarity in your 2 sentences referring to the Nigerian bishop and the Rwandan bishops is grammatical - both sentences have a superficial paralellism and the same structure because of the way you have crafted them - otherwise there is no "of a kind" between the 2 completely separate and unrelated events. I can not for the life of me see how consecrating more godly faithful men to be bishops in Christ's church has the potential to incite physical violence by boofheads against homosexuals as Bp Orama's comments may have.

    Thirdly - I was just as horrified as anyone else by the content of Bp Orama's quoted comment. I don't know of any Biblical passage which refers to any sinner as being less than human. All sinners are certainly led by the prince of the power of the air, and obey the passions of the flesh rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit, but if anything that confirms our fallen humanness rather than denying our humanness. We can not say that sinners are inhuman, but we certainly fall short of the glory of God. This man must be counseled about the error of his words (according to the Bible) and their dangerous implication, if he is being correctly quoted. I wonder though if he was referring to their fitness for eternal life - in which case he would be right; but unfortunately that would not be immediately evident to the unsophisticated hearer.

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  5. Well, at least I can answer one question today. The answer to when there will be any sort of decent reaction from Canterbury is: never. The ABC has so completely caved to the bullies, it is more likely he will go to New Orleans seeking a cave from the HoB. My fear (based on past non-performance) is that he will get it.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  6. John-Julian, OJN6/9/07 2:54 PM

    And not one of them is even in the least bit surprising to any of us!

    Folk have generally tried to avoid the obvious Fascist implications, but now they are right out there in the display window for all to see.

    And I'll bet there are a couple of bishops/archbishops who are trying very hard to un-say what has been said.

    Oh, Rowan, please do listen to this carefully, and then make your decisions.

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  7. Actually, Elizabeth Kaeton HAS, in fact, posted on this subject.

    Check out "What the Anglican Church can learn from Dog Fights" on http://telling-secrets.blogspots. com.

    Elizabeth Kaeton is, it should be duly noted, the rector and pastor of a 300+ family congregation in the affluent suburbs of Northern NJ, and it is, it also should be noted, the start of the new program year.

    In other words, gimme a break, boys and girls. I'm dancing as fast as I can here.

    "And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

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  8. Hmm... if the story about the journalist getting to retract his reporting is true, I wonder how that will be handled at this site and others on the Episcopal left?

    Oh, and Elizabeth- I was really just pointing out that Mark's "some at Stand Firm" implied that everyone on all sides had to make a statement, apparently, lest they be judged as supporters of the perhaps-incorrectly-quoted bishop.

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  9. Thanks, "yawner," for that clarification.

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