Archbishop Akinola is nothing if not consistent in his ability to make snotty remarks. Christmas, it turns out, is not only a fine time to talk about the Holy Family and the holiness in all families when they are loving households in Christ, it is also a easy time to take cheap shots at perceived decadence. Here is the Archbishop, in his Christmas Letter, on femiinism:
"In our time, we have seen a frightening development as homes break down and children have to be raised by either of the parents. It is becoming fashionable as people take pride in being single parents. If by death a partner is snatched away, this is understandable. We pray for people of such experience that they will be comforted. But there are some men in our society who are utterly irresponsible with carefree attitude and who will not pay attention to their children; likewise are the so called societal ladies, the feminists: the “what can any husband do to me”, the ‘I can survive on my own’ – these too have little or nothing to offer our younger generation in morals or values."
That there are parents who abandon their responsibilities for their children there can be no doubt. Men who do this are rightly called "irresponsible." The Archbishop seems to think that the parallel name for women who abandon their responsibilities for their children is "feminist." He doesn't get it. The proper name for women who take no responsibility is "irresponsible" just as it is for men.
But Akinola chooses to use the term "feminist" to describe such women.
What we have here is yet another example of the Archbishop's ability to use words that carry the possibility of societal reform and use them as words of scorn. "The so called societal ladies, the feminists," become objects of scorn used, just as "gay and lesbians," are made objects of scorn. It's a cheap shot of course. After all, to hear the Archbishop tell it, feminists and gay and lesbian folk are all foreign to Nigeria. They are all decadent western imports into the pure land of Nigeria where everyone ought to know their duty.
It is really unfortunate. The Archbishop's Christmas Letter was really meant to support the family unit. But what his pot-shot at feminism does is cheapen it. And, in process it also attacks feminism as somehow a vice leading to the destruction of civil society. As the button to the right suggests, however, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."
George Conger did a re-write of the letter which can be read HERE. He too understands that the Archbishop "hits out at feminism." So the question is, does anyone in the realignment community get even the least bit upset about the equation of the words "feminist" and "irresponsible"? For the rest of us, here is one more example of the fact that Archbishop Akinola is not a roaring lion (re Rick Warren) but rather a particularly bullying tomcat.
His retirement cannot come too soon.