In the past few days we’ve seen a “retraction” (by the writer, not the editor) of the official News Agency of Nigeria report of Sept. 2, in which Bishop Isaac Orama was quoted as calling Gay people “inhuman, insane, satanic and not fit to live.”
The poor NAN functionary who wrote the report (later picked up by UPI, to worldwide outrage) sounds like his “confession” was obtained at gunpoint—or certainly at the risk of his government job. Here is his e-mail retraction, reprinted from Thinking Anglicans:
From: Emeka Samuel
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:00 AM
FROM: EMEKA OGENYI, NAN, UYO
REJOINDER: HOMOSEXUALS, LESBIANS ARE INSANE- BISHOP
This is to inform the agency and the general public that the report on the above subject credited to the Anglican Bishop of Uyo Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama was untrue.
I wish to state here that the report was not a true reflection of what the interview he granted journalists while Bishop Orama never made any statement at any time to condemn perpetuators of such unbiblical acts to such an extent as was reflected in the report.
The Bishop was wrongly misrepresented and misquoted and I hereby render my apologies to him, the Anglican Diocese of Uyo and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for embarrassment caused them by the report.
While I apologize for the mistake and to state that the report was not written in bad faith I wish to express my commitment to the evangelization of the gospel through this medium.
The last part strikes me as very strange. Evangelism is supposed to take place through the official government-owned News Agency of Nigeria?
Isn’t that exactly why Mr. Ogenyi’s original report on Bishop Orama was not only written but approved by his superiors—because demonizing Gay people is the Nigerian Church’s method of evangelism?
Here is a version the official Nigerian Church website is running about the incident. It tries to confuse Orama’s statement after the synod with his official synod address:
Also, speaking on the recent publication on the internet about an homophobic statement attributed to him in his recent synod address, Rt. Revd. Isaac Orama lamented over what he called a false statement published on the internet and called on the media to desist from publishing wrong statements for public consumption.
According to him, what he said was that CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop.
He doesn’t denounce the vicious sentiment attributed to him, he just claims he never said it. Of course a Nigerian bishop would never call Gay people “satanic and unfit to live!” Wouldn’t be prudent, especially if it’s widely reported.
Meanwhile we have this from AllAfrica.com, a news aggregator which passes along reports from national media, much like UPI does. The Vanguard is an independent, pro-government paper in Nigeria:
Nigeria: Anglican Synod Decries Gay Marriage
10 September 2007
Posted to the web 10 September 2007
Tony Edike & Richard Nzube
THE first synod of the Anglican Diocese of Nike was concluded in Enugu yesterday with a strong condemnation of what it called the debasement of moral values exemplified in same sex marriage and homosexuality.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the synod, the church described same sex marriage as “devilish and a deviation from the Holy Scriptures” which it said is the anchor of the Anglican faith. It called on the Christian faithful to shun such practice in view of the punishments awaiting the perpetrators.
Do the “punishments awaiting the perpetrators” happen in the afterlife, or here on earth? Say, tomorrow in Nigeria?
The demonstration against Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola on Sunday, September 23 in Wheaton, Illinois is ON. Be there, on the sidewalk opposite the Wheaton College Chapel at 10 a.m., or be square.
It’s time to stop the violence against Gay people.++