Skip to comments.Dr Crew’s campaign of innuendo [against Nigerian and Ugandan Anglicans]
Posted on 07/17/2005 7:56:15 AM PDT by sionnsar
Brad Drell has drawn the attention of at least part of the conservative Anglican blogosphere to the latest outrage from Dr Louie Crew, in which Dr Crew all but accuses the Anglican Churches of Nigeria and Uganda of being guilty of approving the stoning of a homosexual man in Nigeria and of approving - or committing - the atrocities that the Lords Resistance Army has committed during the long years of conflict in northern Uganda, having the temerity to call these Anglican values, by which I presume he means African (or perhaps only Nigerian or Ugandan) Anglican values.
I encourage you to read both articles to which Dr Crew has linked, as my comments draw on details both in the articles and details which Dr Crew has either omitted or of which he may simply be ignorant.
[N.B. D.C. Toedt, in a comment below, asserts that I have willfully misread Dr Crews meaning and that I have mislead my readers regarding Dr Crews email. So that no one may lightly pass over the link to the email in question and not read what Dr Crew actually wrote, I provide the entire text below. I note that, as before when making accusations against conservative Anglican bishops, Dr Crew identifies himself as a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church (as indeed he is), thus asserting at least a quasi-official status in making his accusations.
Its so much easier to make noise about the sin in the Episcopal Church than it is to make noise about the sin of silence by the Churches of Uganda and Nigeria.
See http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_jorde/20050713.html. See the recent report of death by stoning of a young Nigerian who confessed to having sex with another man, at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200507/s1410598.htm.
Are these Anglican values coming to a parish near you? Who will be at the table to protest these acts now that the ACC has booted TEC and the Anglicans of Canada to the expensive seats that have no voice or vote?
What are American Anglican Council, Ekklesia, and others saying about these atrocities? Anything at all? Or are they too busy with their evil imaginings of the hearts of those with whom they disagree to take any notice of murder and mayhem?
What has the Archbishop of Canterbury said about these matters? What action will the ACC take? Will he yield to majority rule in this matter as he did in betraying his friend Jeffrey John?
The intense focus on lbgt Christians is a well designed smoke screen for this nefarious behavior. Enough already!
God is not mocked. Whatsoever we sow, we shall reap. Those who sow to destruction will reap destruction.
Louie Crew, Chair of Newark Deputation. Member of Executive Council
The accusation of African bishops using the lesbigay issue as a distraction from problems in their own churches and countries is not a new one for Dr Crew, having already leveled it at Archbishop Peter Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria, accusing Dr Akinola of using the issue to unite ethnic factions within that Church. Dr Crew has accused Archbishop Henry Orombi, primate of the Church of Uganda, of jetting about and pointing fingers at sins that he finds on the other side of the world, while cutting the poor of Uganda off from aid from Episcopal parishes that will not dissociate themselves from the consecration of Gene Robinson to the episcopate and the de facto practice of blessing same-sex unions.
Against the Church of Nigeria, Dr Crew lays the charge of stoning a homosexual man to his death. Read the 9 July article to which he links carefully, noting particularly that this injustice occurred in northern Nigeria in an area that is under Islamic Sharia law. The ABC article makes no note of Christians, including Anglican Christians, in relation to the sentence of death by stoning. Dr Crew appears to make the assumption that to be silent in the face of this injustice is to concur with the sentence. But on what basis does Dr Crew make this assumption? Does he in fact know that Anglican leaders have been silent, that they have said nothing, not merely to the media (this may suggest Dr Crew has a Western go to the media first mindset as much as anything) but also to local or state government officials or to federal government officials? Does he know with certainty that no members of the Church of Nigeria have protested this sentence?
Is Dr Crew not aware of the real and present dangers with which Christians in northern Nigeria, in those states with Muslim governors in which Sharia has been imposed (against the protests of Christians, including Anglicans)? Is he unaware of the violence and intimidation against Christians in northern Nigeria, of the killings and the church burnings? (To get some idea of the situation there see, for example, the Christianity Today article from May 2002, Where adultery means death, in which the author quotes (Anglican) Bishop Benjamin Kwashi of the Diocese of Jos.) While Dr Crew might long for a prophetic bishop to stand up and declare No! to such injustices as the stoning sentence (or indeed the stoning sentences handed out against adulterers, both men and women, in northern Nigerian courts operating under Sharia), might he not also consider it possible that operating behind the scenes, quietly, to help end not only this sentence but the injustice of Sharia in these northern Nigerian states is more effective?
Against the Church of Uganda, Dr Crew lays the charge of complicity in the atrocities of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), a longstanding resistance movement that has subjected the people of northern Uganda to decades of terror. The political situation with regards to the conflict in northern Uganda, both politically and ecclesiastically, is complicated and fraught with misunderstanding and grievous errors in judgment and action. Adequate discussion lies beyond the scope of this essay and beyond the scope of my own understanding and ability to convey the truth about the conflict. But it is sufficient for my critique of Dr Crew to point out a few facts of the conflict and the situation within the Church of Uganda.
The northern Uganda conflict has largely been ignored not only by the international community but also by the government in Kampala, largely because of the ethnic division that has existed in the nation of Uganda for many years, an ethnic division between Luo (largely northern) tribes and Bantu (largely southern) tribes that existed in precolonial times but which was exacerbated by British colonialism. About half of the archbishops of Uganda have been Luo (and the other half Bantu), but the ethnic divide plagues Ugandan Anglicanism as well (though not violently).
Perhaps Dr Crew is unaware of this history, but were he aware I suspect that he would then level the charge against Archbishop Orombi that he does against Archbishop Akinola: that of using the lesbigay issue to divert attention away from the ethnic divide in Uganda, or even to unite the Church more fully across the ethnic divide. There are, of course, a few problems with such an imagined attempt. Anglicans, and Anglican bishops especially, are not immune to the privations and atrocities of the conflict. The gravesite of the archbishop-martyr Janani Luwum, an archbishop largely forgotten by the Church of Uganda, lies within a displaced peoples camp in Acholiland. The Rt Revd Benjamin Ojwang, bishop of Kitgume Diocese in Acholiland, was kidnapped with eleven members of household by LRA insurgents in May of last year. Consider also the Rt Revd Macleord Baker Ochola, retired bishop of Kitgum Diocese, who lost both his wife and his daughter in the conflict with the LRA, and who has served as vice-president of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, a group of Christian and Islamic leaders working for reconciliation between the LRA, the government in Kampala and the people of northern Uganda. Archbishop Henry Orombi - a staunch opponent of the actions within The Episcopal Church to bless homosexual unions and to ordain active homosexuals - is himself Luo, and one wonders whether his ability to speak out on the issue of northern Uganda is compromised by the ethnic situation within the Church of Uganda itself. Yet - he still believes that the actions of North American Anglicans are of considerable importance to the whole communion, as indeed Bishop Ochola does, as in an interview conducted with the bishop in 2003 by Australian Radio National:
No, you see in Africa, Christianity does not belong to Africa or to Europe, it belongs to the entire world. That is what Christianity means. It means to all the people in the world, even if Christianity was brought to us by the Western world, and put in the garb of their culture, we are actually seeing the good in Christianity.
My discussion of the situation in Uganda only barely scratches the surface of that conflict and the way in which the Church of Uganda has failed - generally, though not in the persons of several of their bishops and many of their clergy and laity - to speak forcefully about the conflict in northern Uganda in an attempt to bring it to a conclusion. I hope to have a good friend, a Ugandan studying here in the States who has worked closely over the years with those trying to bring a peaceful settlement to the northern Uganda conflict, write on the conflict for this weblog, providing some political and historical background and theological reflections. I especially hope for this in the wake of Dr Crews latest calumny against African Anglicans.
Are the Anglican Christians of Nigeria and Uganda perfect? Of course not. They and their bishops are simul justus et peccatus, at once righteous and sinful, like the rest of us. I too wish that the bishops of Nigeria and Uganda could and would speak more forcefully to the situations in their own countries, but I do not want them to abandon their global and communal understanding of Anglican Christianity that leads them forcefully to reject the unfaithfulness of North American Anglicans in altering the catholic biblical foundations of that faith. In labelling the execution by stoning of a homosexual man and the bestial violence of the LRA as African Anglican values Dr Crews campaign of innuendo has reached a new nadir, remarkable for the depth of its sinful false witness.
(A joyful addendum to this critique: The Church of the Holy Family, our Episcopal parish in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will be privileged and blessed this fall to have Bishop Ochola among us as a parish associate! I pray that God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - richly bless Bishop Ocholas time among us, and that he will find it a time of healing and refreshment.)
Isn't Louie Crew an openly homosexual commentator on anglican affairs? I don't remember much of him, just enough to not take anything he says seriously.
You have identified him correctly.
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