Skip to comments.And Now...Idiots (Bishop Chane),
Posted on 02/28/2006 1:40:15 PM PST by sionnsar
Washington, DC Episcopal Bishop John Chane gets all warm and cuddly:
Its no secret that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion are engaged in a bitter internal struggle over the role of gay and lesbian people within the church. But despite this struggle, the leaders of our global communion of 77 million members have consistently reiterated their pastoral concern for gays and lesbians. Meeting last February, the primates who lead our 38 member provinces issued a unanimous statement that said in part: "The victimization or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us."
The primates also wanted you to stop giving pointy hats to practicing homosexuals and to ban same-sex marriages and that was DOA before the ink was dry.
We now have reason to doubt those words.
Why is that, John?
Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria and leader of the conservative wing of the communion, recently threw his prestige and resources behind a new law that criminalizes same-sex marriage in his country and denies gay citizens the freedoms to assemble and petition their government. The law also infringes upon press and religious freedom by authorizing Nigerias government to prosecute newspapers that publicize same-sex associations and religious organizations that permit same-sex unions.
I have not yet managed to find a direct quote from Dr. Akinola saying that he supports this law. But even if he does, what's the problem? Nigeria is not an American state and it has the legal and constitutional right to pass laws many rich liberal westerners find abhorrent.
For the last three years, we have been told that ECUSA's "legal and constitutional right" and America's "cultural context" were two of the reasons why Gene Robinson should get a pointy hat. Well, this is Nigeria's "cultural context," John. So stick a sock in it.
Once again, we see that with leftists like Chane, there is only one right answer. Either accept homosexual activity as perfectly normal and not at all sinful or you're a bigot. End of story as Chane, putting on his tinfoil miter, admits here.
Were Archbishop Akinola a solitary figure and Nigeria an isolated church, his support for institutionalized bigotry would be significant only within his own country. But the archbishop is perhaps the most powerful member of a global alliance of conservative bishops and theologians, generously supported by foundations and individual donors in the United States, who seek to dominate the Anglican Communion and expel those who oppose them, particularly the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Failing that, the archbishop and his allies have talked of forming their own purified communion -- possibly with Archbishop Akinola at its head.
Because the conflict over homosexuality is not unique to Anglicanism, civil libertarians in this country, and other people as well, should also be aware of the archbishop and his movement. Gifts from such wealthy donors as Howard Ahmanson Jr. and the Bradley, Coors and Scaife families, or their foundations, allow the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Democracy to sponsor so-called "renewal" movements that fight the inclusion of gays and lesbians within the Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches and in the United Church of Christ. Should the institute succeed in "renewing" these churches, what we see in Nigeria today may well be on the agenda of the Christian right tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Vast Conservative Anglican Conspiracy. It's not yet been explained to me just why wealthy corporations and foundations should want to spend massive amounts of money to do to ECUSA what ECUSA is doing to itself for free. And I wonder what they're spending it on. I haven't seen a dime of Scaife or Ahmanson money and I'm getting pretty ticked off about it. Then Chane really steps in it.
Surprisingly, few voices -- Anglican or otherwise -- have been raised in opposition to the archbishop. When I compare this silence with the cacophony that followed the Episcopal Churchs decision to consecrate the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay man who lives openly with his partner, as the bishop of New Hampshire, I am compelled to ask whether the global Christian community has lost not only its backbone but its moral bearings. Have we become so cowed by the periodic eruptions about the decadent West that Archbishop Akinola and his allies issue that we are no longer willing to name an injustice when we see one?
I also feel compelled to ask the archbishops many high-profile supporters in this country why they have not publicly dissociated themselves from his attack on the human rights of a vulnerable population. Is it because they support this sort of legislation, or because the rights of gay men and women are not worth the risk of tangling with an important alliance?
As a matter of logic, it must be one or the other, and it is urgent that members of our church, and citizens of our country, know your mind.
To my knowledge, John Chane has never publicly denounced the imposition of Islamic law in northern Nigeria or anywhere else, a system far harsher on homosexuals than this proposed legislation could ever hope to be. Is that because Chane supports "this sort of legislation, or because the rights of gay men and women are not worth the risk of" jeopardizing his good relations with the Islamic community and his invitations to interfaith events? As a matter of logic, it must be one or the other, and it is urgent that members of the church, and citizens of our country, know Chane's mind.
Agitate, aggravate and alienate that's your cry, then put your head between your legs and kiss your parishioners goodbye.
I have been engaged in conversations on this topic. I was accused of not having love for gays when I opposed gay rights, and thus of being unChristian. I said something along the lines of, "Is it love to allow or encourage someone to defy God's will and adopt behaviors that lead to both material and spiritual destruction? If my son wanted to stick his hand in the fire, would it be love to allow him to do so? Love is to help someone see the light; to do right, to turn away from wrongful behavior. Love is helping someone change their ways and reform."
I was told, "I don't want or need that kind of love."
O.K. Apprently they don't think that someone trying to convince them that what they're doing is wrong can come from love; they think that not accepting what they do as right comes only from hate. I seem to recall in the Bible more than one instance of when someone, or an entire people, turned away from God's love. That usually didn't turn out well.
Perhaps those two personify the entire rift in the Church.
Sad that Chane is also a bishop. Sad that he comes out of a country that professes to be 85% Christian.
Strange that the example of the true path of Christ comes out of Africa, from 1/2 Christian, 1/2 Muslim Nigeria.
Or maybe not so strange.
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