Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

November 18, 2007

African Bishops Afraid of Protests?


Peter Tatchell in the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral, 1998

This from “Anglican Mainstream,” which claims to be “Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Charismatic and Mainstream,” but which is at most two of those, including “Charismatic”:

It has been affirmed that the Lambeth Conference is definitely going ahead and that prior to the Lambeth Conference there will be a mini-Lambeth in each diocese, where hospitality will be offered throughout the UK dioceses to the arriving bishops from overseas. Many bishops of course from overseas have indicated that for many reasons they cannot currently accept the invitation to Lambeth. This has to do with the impossibility for them to have fellowship with those who have blatantly defied the counsels of the Lambeth Conference and the wishes of the Communion over the last 10 years. Some have mentioned their concern at the possibility of being subject to protests over their orthodox stances.

There are at least three ways to interpret this mealy-mouthed, passively-voiced report (“It has been affirmed that…”); one is that the protest I organized against Peter Akinola in Wheaton, Illinois in September has resounded throughout the Anglican Communion. I’m not at all sure this is true, though I might like it to be.

Another is that Akinola now wants to attribute to LGBT people the same violence he incites against us—and has incited against Muslims in the past, resulting in over a hundred deaths at the hand of rioting Anglicans. Accusing Gay people of this won’t stand up to scrutiny, however, as we are some of the most peaceful folks on the planet, despite constant hetero provocations. Why, you’d almost think we were Quakers.

A third is that the Africans are looking for any excuse not to go to Lambeth, since they’ve set themselves up for “the impossibility for them to have fellowship with those who have blatantly defied the counsels of the Lambeth Conference.” Clearly these folks aren’t Anglicans at all; Anglicans don’t cluster around doctrine, but about worship in the Book of Common Prayer.

Whatever excuse they come up with, I really don’t care. Lambeth Conferences have NO power to legislate for the Anglican Communion. Neither do Primates’ pronouncements.

But I do note that Peter Tatchell, the British Gay Christian activist, has already been accused by Akinola of “violence” for interrupting the Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey’s Easter sermon in 1998—with an entirely peaceful protest that lasted all of three minutes, for which he was convicted by an English court of the mildest possible misdemeanor, the court noting that nothing approaching violence occurred. Tatchell didn’t touch Lord Carey.

That didn’t stop Akinola, though, who has since exclaimed repeatedly about Gay thugs.

I have previously noted (in my novel “Murder at Willow Slough”) these dueling stereotypes of Gay men as passive sissies (“It has been affirmed that the Lambeth Conference is going ahead”) and marauding thugs. These opposites can’t both be true, and in fact neither one is. We’re not passive, but we don’t commit violence. If you’re looking for thugs, go to Akinola’s Nigeria.

Akinola’s remarks go beyond spin to utter falsehood. The man’s a liar, and by their fruits ye shall know them.

I don’t approve of what Tatchell did necessarily, interrupting a church service (on Easter no less), but Carey is a homophobic bigot and sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Meanwhile I note that Davis Mac-Iyalla’s protest that Abuja, Nigeria ought not to be awarded the British Commonwealth Games, backed up by Tatchell, has been successful; the 2012 Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fewer thugs there, I take it.++


  1. Fr. Josh,

    You know what is funny is that Glasgow is considered a high crime city by Scots. I read ‘The Scotsman Online’ almost every day (better than a good many American papers by the way) and see the references frequently.

    I so wish a few straight and gay folk, one straight couple (I think we were the only one) and a few signs terrorized the poor arch-heretic of Nigeria. Maybe it was those rainbow ribbons that scared him? I know, standing there with you in Wheaton I did not feel particularly terrifying.

    Of course seeing us, you know, real, rather ordinary folks who could be anywhere, even in their businesses or neighborhoods, standing there might have terrified the holy people.

    Maybe they can make us wear signs? Here is an idea, armbands! (I want a pink “L” for Liberal with pearlized beads! 🙂 Nah, been done.

    ;;sigh;; I get so tired of the holier-than-God pretension as victims. Poor ABp Akinola might encounter someone who is not a sycophant! How distressing!


    Comment by jimB — November 28, 2007 @ 7:56 am | Reply

  2. JimB, I think we did send Akinola a message that people could protest against him anywhere he goes. And he got that message.

    The first thing I did when I got home from Wheaton that day was to pull the pictures out of my camera and e-mail Fr. Jake the pix of you and SueZ. I was so glad to meet you both there, in your “God is not a boy’s name” T-shirts. The LGBT movement has always gotten help from Straight people. The dearest woman I’ve ever known became Mom to Cincinnati’s entire Gay community—and to me. (God bless Martha.)

    Now I’ll get to work on your beads…

    Comment by josh — November 28, 2007 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  3. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 10, 2009 @ 7:02 am | Reply

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