Relief. but now the data.

It is relief to hear that the reporter for the News Agency of Nigeria may have misquoted Bishop Orama of Nigeria, or worse deliberately done so. UPI has pulled the story pending further investigation.

In the current troubles in the Anglican Communion there is always an edge of glee in finding that someone identified with "them" has been mean of heart, cruel of mind or loose of tongue.

It was valuable to jump on this story, and Kendall Harmon did a fine job in nailing the issue: If the Bishop said those things, shame on him. If the reporter misreported, shame on him.

Sometimes the collective questioning from all sides issues in a retraction of this sort. And remember, had there not been questions raised by those who spotted this article, it would have stood and perhaps continued to stand as a hate statement, unretracted. Interestingly enough, we have seen nothing in writing from Bishop Orama or the reporter, but only from the press officer for the Province of Nigeria. And of course, the paper was read some days ago and unless retraction is published there the problem remains.

We as yet have not seen the reporter's reported retraction. We will in all likelihood never see retractions for the sorts of things the Archbishop of Nigeria has said or has been reported to have said.

Having said this, I remain hopeful that the retractions will come and a clear statement from the bishop will be published. It does none of us any good to have bishops appear as hate mongers. Most importantly, unless addressed, it remains as yet another painful reminder of the hatred against gay and lesbian persons.


  1. I'm afraid I'm not holding my breath while waiting for a credible retraction, but we can always hope.

  2. If I had been accidentally mis-quoted as saying that some of my fellow human beings were not fit to live I'd be stumbling all over myself to issue a correction. But, that's just me.

  3. What needs to begin to be discussed irrespective of retraction is why so many gays and lebians are not *shocked*. That many of us point out this sort of things goes on all the time, and until now, our supposedly rational, sensible, civil Communion hasn't wanted to listen.

  4. Christopher, even more revealing is that the likes of Harmon and Griffith apparently had little trouble believing that a Nigerian bishop might have said such a thing.

    The only difference between this bishop's alleged remarks and Akinola's many pronouncements is that the former were somewhat less polite.

  5. Evidently the remarks were made at the Bishop's diocese synod. Perhaps, there were recorded. Or there is a transcript of his address.

  6. This kills more people in a day than a mean-spirit phrase by a church leader would kill in a year. -- J

    You're just plain stupid (besides being a potential killer while spreading this biggoted slop around on the blogs)!

    Leonardo Ricardo

  7. Well, including lesbians in a comment about "anal sex" is a bit of a non sequitur, to say the least.

    In any case, perhaps you weren't aware, anonymous, but TEC's position on gay couples is this: "We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God,"

    I'd think that would cover your concerns pretty well, wouldn't it?

  8. Archdeacon Akintunde (Tunde) Popoola is the principal communicatios advisor to the Primate of Nigeria.

    Problem is, he really doesn't seem to be very good at it.

    In the case of the "ghostwritten" letter from Akinola, Tunde issued increasingly incredible denials that anyone else had drafted, seen or offered comments on the letter. In fact, a simple acknowledgement that Akinola had asked Minns and Sugden to look at the draft and that some of their suggestions were incorporated would have been more credible (who sends out a major letter like that without a second set of eyes?) and would have made the story go away.

    On this issue, Tunde waits several days (until after Cantuar condemns the comments) and then issues an unsubstantiated claim that the comments were never said and that the reporter would be issuing a retraction.

    First, he waited until the story was already begin to die off. His statement gave it legs.

    And second, claiming that the retraction was forthcoming means that there will be yet another story in a few days if the retraction does not come. And if I know reporters (and I do PR in my secular job) I doubt a retraction is coming any time soon.

    The position of the Akinolists is no surprise.

    Their ineptitude beggars belief.

  9. More of what affiliating with these nutcases in african provinces will bring about for these other nutcases in the west.


    I think they deserve each other.

  10. Anal sex introduces disease factors while simultaneously reducing the ability of the body to resist them.

    So does Vaginal sex, if you think about it. Most venereal diseases are spread through vaginal sex, not anal sex.

    (And as an aside, not all gay men have anal sex.) Conservative Jews welcome gay couples into their synagogues but ask gay male couple to abstain from anal sex. A similar policy might address your concerns as well.

  11. According to the National Center for Health Statistics: "For males, the proportion who have had anal sex with a female increases from 4.6 percent at age 15 to 34 percent at ages 22–24; for females, the proportion who have had anal sex with a male increases from 2.4 percent at age 15 to 32 percent at age 22–24."

    Do Conservative Jews lecture young heterosexuals too?


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.