4/19/2008

So, where is the pity or the care?

The Church of Nigeria webpage has posted a RESPONSE TO ALLEGED ATTACKS ON CHANGING ATTITUDE LEADERS IN NIGERIA: by ARCHBISHOP BENJAMIN KWASHI. Read it for yourself.

Two things:

(i) The Archbishop tries to turn the blame on what happened to members of Changing Attitudes Nigeria to themselves: "
it would be helpful to consider that there may indeed be other reasons why certain individuals felt they had a score to settle with Mr. Mac-Iyalla."

(ii) There is no mention that the attacks were more than alleged (other than the comment above). Perhaps the Archbishop has lost his sense of pity and compassion. He may believe the attacks were "alleged", but it would have cost nothing to say that IF these alleged attacks are true he and the Church of Nigeria are both sorry and appalled.

What we get instead is this: "the Church of Nigeria is committed to the human rights of all people and will work to defend the human rights of every citizen of the country. We will not condone violence against people even though they behave in a way that is not acceptable to us and none of us wishes to be responsible (either directly or indirectly) for murder or violence perpetrated on another person."

That's nice. But it is no show of compassion, pity, or care. It ain't real.

11 comments:

  1. Transparent, shallow, factless and defensive and +KWASHI STILL doesn't address the really sad issue which is +AKINOLA and his careless mouthing off/aggressive and arrogant acting-out against fellow Christians/others...also, the Nigerian HOB backed legislation (twice) to incarcerate LGBT Christians/their families/others for "meeting" openly...it's hard to have a "meeting" and "listen" to "spiritual concerns" or just everyday "moral dilemmas" when one can be arrested for speaking about REAL issues and critical concerns regarding discrimination, persecution and the preaching of fear and hate in Nigeria.

    No soap. We get another press release from the world of Nigerian PRETEND...the kind of pretend that allows corruption to run rampant at all levels of Nigerian society including the Anglican Church.

    Dah, how would instigating crimes of hate occur after "every citizen" is loved so well by +Kawashi the rest of the doubletalking leadership of the Nigeria Anglican Church?

    Sins of omission run deep.

    Leonardo Ricardo

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  2. In the world of hardball political spin, the best answer is sometimes to change the subject.

    The response to "you're fat" is not "I am not fat" - since that simply strengthens the subconscious association of "you" and "fat."

    The better response is "you're bald." Change the subject.

    The Akinola apologists have done that very effectively this week. They have responded to an open letter about their use of inflammatory language and turned it into a discussion about whether Davis Mac-Iyally was ever assaulted. And whether the Church of Nigeria had any role in authorizing or coordinating the assault. (Or, on Thinking Anglicans, a debate into whether Davis was ever formally made a knight - whatever.)

    Of course, no one ever claimed that Peter Akinola picked up is phone, called up some thugs of his acquaintance and directed them to lay a beating on Davis. Given Akinola's refusal to condemn the genocidal attacks at Yelwa, there may well be those who wouldn't put it past him. But nobody - that is to say NOBODY - has made that accusation.

    What the open letter SAYS is that some GAFCON leaders use inflammatory, dehumanizing and degrading language to describe homosexual persons. That's just facts.

    It goes on to call on those GAFCON leaders to give careful consideration to how their languages may encourage or condone violence.

    Nigeria, the GAFCONites and the rest of the "conservative" movement don't want to talk about that. It's too uncomfortable.

    Whatever Peter Akinola may believe, describing people as "cancer," "satanic," d"demonic" or "less than human" is not morally neutral.

    It is no coincidence that periods of violent persecution are virtually always preceded by extended period during which dehumanizing language is used to marginalize the "to be persecuted" group.

    Goebbelsian speeches and films about Jewish "rats" set the stage for mass deportations and mass murder.

    Radio shows calling Tutsis "cockroaches" created an atmosphere in which it seemed perfectly reasonable to set fire to the very churches in which people had gathered for sanctuary.

    Language is not neutral - and only a fool believes it is. Words have power.

    Whether Archbishops Kwashi and Akinola believe it or not.

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  3. malcolm says "Whatever Peter Akinola may believe, describing people as "cancer," "satanic," d"demonic" or "less than human" is not morally neutral."

    I AGREE!
    I have seen ++Akinola describe some teachings in very harsh ways...but please show me where ++Akinola described "PEOPLE" in this way, Malcolm..... I trust you have not misquoted him.


    But if he said what you say he said, those comments are wrong and not acceptable, I agree.

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  4. Akinola called the Episcopal Church - which is made up of people, last time I checked - a "cancerous lump in the body."

    He also said: “I cannot think of how a man in his senses would be having a sexual relationship with another man. Even in the world of animals, dogs, cows, lions, we don’t hear of such things.”

    Also: "Homosexuality or lesbianism or bestiality is to us a form of slavery, and redemption from it is readily available through repentance and faith in the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus the Christ."

    He's also vocally and actively supported laws that would imprison of homosexual people (or any others, for that matter) simply for speaking up about the issue. IOW, nobody in Nigeria could agitate for human rights in this area without being thrown in jail for 5 years. That's what the Nazis did in Germany, in fact.

    Please don't imagine these are not directed at human beings.

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  5. scowvgMalcolm said: "It goes on to call on those GAFCON leaders to give careful consideration to how their languages may encourage or condone violence.

    Nigeria, the GAFCONites and the rest of the "conservative" movement don't want to talk about that. It's too uncomfortable."

    Let's take an example of a GAFCON leader discussing gay issues in the media a couple of days ago: Peter Jensen on whther schools should encourage same sex couples at school dances. "Archbishop Jensen says he supports civil rights for same-sex couples but internal church policies have to be in line with the Bible’s teaching that homosexual behaviour is a sin.

    “People do send their children to our schools - they send them there on the understanding that we understand from the teaching of the Bible that the expression of same-sex attraction ... is morally wrong,” Dr Jensen told Macquarie radio.

    However, he does not want local school formals to be dragged into a bunfight.

    “No one wants to turn a fun event into a battleground for sexual politics,” Dr Jensen said.

    “And I would completely denounce any violence against gay persons - it is morally wrong and reprehensible.”

    //your.sydneyanglicans.net/sydneystories/clarity_on_schools_same_sex_policy/

    Malcolm, you may not agree with part of, or even most of Dr Jensen's comments, but he is shown to be giving careful attention to whether his language might provoke violence against gays.

    Dr Jensen is also on record as disagreeing with the "lower than animals" language attributed to another Gafcon leader.

    Obadiahslope

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  6. And good for Dr. Jensen. Seriously.

    What I find most telling is that the bulk of conservative and "conservative" commentary seems to be focussed on "did anything ever really happen to Davis Mac-Iyalla - surely not."

    A far simpler response to the open letter - and one far more effective at making the issue "go away," frankly - would have been:

    "We agree that violence against homosexual persons is antithetical to Christian values. We likewise agree that inciting such violence is inappropriate for leaders within the Christian Church."

    Instead, they have chosen to get into a debate about whether some particular assault against a gay man ever actually occurred.

    Sad, really.

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  7. (Dan)
    Malcom - ALL of the primates have rejected violence and assaults on any of God's children. Changing Attitudes accused the Anglican Church of Nigeria of instigating or even perpetrating such attacks. That is why they have been asked for evidence.

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  8. That, Dan, is false.

    Have you actually read the open letter?

    Didn't think so.

    The letter makes tangential reference to the attacks and then says that GAFCON leaders should have a care about the language they choose.

    It does not say (despite the repeated lies of many "conservatives") that the Church of Nigeria was involved in the attacks at all.

    But instead of saying "hm, yes, one must have a care," the "conservatives" (who seem to wish not so much to conserve as to destroy) launch into a campaign of slander denying that Davis Mac-Iyalla was ever attacked at all. On Thinking Anglicans one is treated with the dubious spectacle of possibly the least competent communications advisor in history turning it into an argument about whether Davis was ever an ecclesiastical knight, whatever that is. Anything to change the subject.

    The man on the Chatham Omnibus must surely wonder why Tunde and you and others can't simply say, "yes, violence against homosexuals is wrong, inciting violence against homosexuals is wrong and we should have a care about the language we use."

    One logical conclusion surges to the fore. One wishes and hopes it were not true.

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  9. C'mon Malcolm. Read what I wrote. I said nothing about the letter to GAFCON's leadership. On CA website they lead into the article on the "poisonous" syringe and the threats made to Coward and MacIllaya with the accusation that the Anglican Shurch of Nigeria continues its attack on them. That is a clear an unmistakable accusation, just as I wrote it. Without evidence to support the accusation, it is no more than speculation and probably a lot worse. The silence from so-called progressives on this malicious slander is rather telling. The ends justify the means appears to be the new Greatest Commandment in progressive circles.

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  10. Malcolm - many times, violence and its incitement have been condemned (see +kwashi) - but you do not want to hear that because it does not help in the spin against Akinola et al.....because they hold to the position agreed in Lambeth 98 and which still represents the "mind of the communion" according to the ABC

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  11. The irony here is that it is the desperate spin of the "conservatives" that has given this issue "legs."

    From a professional communications perspective, the "conservatives" have chosen the worst possible response to the open letter, desperately trying to divert attention from the issue of language to the issue of whether or not a particular attack occured (and whether or not a particular person holds an particularly obscure title - whatever).

    The effect of that is quite startling. The disinterested observer (the man on the Chatham omnibus) would look at this and wonder "why can't these people just agree that irresponsible use of language is a bad thing?"

    Had GAFCON leaders like Akinola (or his singularly inept communications advisor) simply said, "Yes, people on all sides of this issue should have a care about language," the issue would have gone away almost immediately.

    Had they said nothing at all, it would have gone away almost as fast.

    Instead, the "conservatives," and they alone, have turned it into a story that will not die.

    Ironic, wot?

    And Sharon, I have read Kwashi's statement. Where is that acknowledgement that people should have a care about the language they use?

    I mean, after all, he was responding, supposedly, to a letter about using language responsibly. Perhaps responding to the main (only?) point of the letter might have been a good thing to include in the response.

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