Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

April 28, 2008

Giles Fraser: Take Death Threats Seriously

The Rev. Giles Fraser, “team rector” of Putney in Greater London and lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford, exhorts readers of The Church Times to take seriously the death threats recently received by Changing Attitude, an Anglican LGBT organization in England, Nigeria, Togo and elsewhere.

Dr. Fraser writes:

I get my fair share of hate mail writing this column. But I don’t get half the nastiness received by the Revd Colin Coward, the UK director of Changing Attitude. Here is a sample: “Evil homosexual promoter, we gave your Nigerian homosexual representative and his followers long time to repent but he underrated us. Come and save them if you can.” Then there was the equally charming: “You will loose ur life for what u re doing go and write todays date u have few days to live.”

And again: “WE HAVE NOT STARTED AND YOU ARE PANICKING, HOMOSEXUAL PROMOTERS. WAIT AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALL YOUR AGENT IN NIGERIA SOON, ONE BY ONE.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly commented: “The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitude are disgraceful.” But I do not think we as a Church are taking all this nastiness seriously enough. It is not at all impossible to imagine that the hatred coursing through the veins of the Anglican Communion could soon result in somebody’s death.

It’s interesting to me, in a macabre way, that Davis Mac-Iyalla, director of Changing Attitude-Nigeria, is twice described as Fr. Coward’s “agent” or “representative.” Apparently the Nigerian thugs think an African man is incapable of coming to his own conclusion that Gay people have and are entitled to human rights, and must therefore be an “agent” of a (superior) White man in Great Britain.

But this belief may bolster Nigerian thug ideology that homosexuality is a White, Western import, as if words for Gay people didn’t already exist in native Nigerian tribal languages (“bowo!”) before English Victorian missionaries ever arrived.

Dr. Fraser continues:

There will be those who say that the Church of Nigeria cannot be held responsible for a few bad eggs. This would be true, if the Church did not describe homosexuality as “devilish and satanic. It comes directly from the pit of hell. It is an idea sponsored by Satan himself and being executed by his followers and adherents who have infiltrated the Church. The blood and power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth will flush them out with disgrace and great pains.”

Language matters. The history of human violence suggests that if you can persuade people to describe others as “cockroaches” or “rats”, or “unclean” or “evil”, then those thus described are not far from harm. And the Bible tells of a God who is for ever by their side.

Since the most recent attacks on Davis Mac-Iyalla and his colleague in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, a schismatic American website called Stand Firm in Faith has taken up its favorite Gay-bashing cudgel to deny that any such attacks occurred; demanding proof (police reports, physicians’ statements—so reliable in Africa) not only of the attacks themselves, but also that if any such assaults did occur, that the victims can prove that Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola is directly and personally responsible.

Without a smoking gun, Viagraville shouts, who can prove that anyone got shot? Forget the victim over there on the floor bleeding to death; where’s the proof he was shot?

It’s a Trojan Horse demand, exactly like this one out of the corrupt, murderous government of Zimbabwe, where the entire world knows that president Robert Mugabe is doing everything he can to steal yet another election (aided by another renegade Anglican bishop). From today’s New York Times (“Signs of Attacks on Zimbabwe Opposition”)”

Senior officials in Mr. Mugabe’s party have denied that it has organized attacks on the opposition. The justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, who lost his own parliamentary seat in the elections, has suggested it is the opposition that has fomented violence, and he challenged those accusing the party to come forward with proof.

I mean, Mugabe (who blames all Zimbabwe’s troubles on Gay people) ran TV commercials this year promising violence to his opponents: “If you want to live, vote for me.” (Background: Frontline on PBS.)

Stand Firm, of course, has no presence in Africa and no way to know whether Mac-Iyalla was targeted in an assassination attempt or not; this hasn’t prevented them from loudly denying that it occurred. “Proof proof proof! Show us proof!” If they actually got proof, they’d change the subject or find a way to denounce the proof. They don’t care about the truth; they care about their ideology, their income and their power. Everything, including God, is subservient to those goals.

Their problem is, with a few thousand other ex-Episcopalians in the U.S., that they’ve hitched their wagon to Akinola, a Nigerian huckster they barely know. One day they will pay a heavy price for this. The blood on their hands won’t go away, no matter how much they wash.

I caution Mr. Akinola: If anything further happens to Mac-Iyalla, your short life will become a living hell.

As to our pals at Viagratown: enjoy it while it lasts, kids, ’cause it won’t last long.

These are not threats; they are simply predictions. Real Christians don’t arm themselves, but trust God to carry out the justice human beings are incapable of.

We’ve seen thugs like these before. We grow plenty of our own here in America. Thomas Blanton:

Bobby Frank Cherry:

April 18, 2008

Archbishop Kwashi Promises Probe of Anti-Gay Violence, if…

Peter Akinola, Anglican Primate of Nigeria

From The Lead, part of Episcopal Café, an Episcopal Diocese of Washington website, posted by the Rev. Nick Knisely, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, this afternoon:

Last week the Church of Nigeria was accused of being involved in some way on a series of assaults upon the leadership of the Changing Attitudes Nigeria organization. While some have questioned whether or not the assaults took place, today the Nigerian Church has responded by deploring any possibility that they might have been connected in any way, calling for an investigation if evidence points their way.

From a statement by the Nigerian Church’s Archbishop of Jos which has appeared on the provincial website:

“We are saddened and worried that some Churches and Christians now find these teachings and standards unacceptable. However, we will never seek to bring any person or persons to our way of thinking and believing by using violence, force, slander or blackmail: to do so would be to contradict the gospel which we proclaim. Should anyone bring a case against us in this respect we will most certainly investigate it and deal with it. I would have hoped that the accusations made concerning the attack on Mr. Davis Mac-Iyalla could have been properly presented in this manner, with evidence: it would then have been dealt with swiftly. This was not done, and it would be helpful to consider that there may indeed be other reasons why certain individuals felt they had a score to settle with Mr. Mac-Iyalla. All my attempts so far to discover the place or the nature of these attacks and threats have proved unsuccessful.

Simply to accuse the Anglican Church of being the perpetrator of a physical attack on the streets of a large city, does not make sense. If a Nigerian Bishop or church leader were mugged in England, would the Archbishop of Canterbury, or even the Church of England in general, be blamed for this? That the Archbishop of Canterbury, backed by a group of English bishops should – without evidence being presented – choose to accuse any other person(s) of resorting to violent crime and illegal acts, is in fact to resort to the unchristian bullying and behaviour which they so abhor.”

The statement by the Archbishop continues:

May I note that I was invited to speak at a fringe meeting of the Church of England Synod last year. Mr. Mac-Iyalla was present at this public meeting, and at the end of my paper he made comments to which I responded. This all took place without there being any feeling of aggression, or any indication that the Church of Nigeria is homophobic or violent.

The full statement from the Church of Nigeria can be read here.

What follows is my comment, which also appears on The Lead:

It is significant that this comes in the name of the Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi, who has been something of a centrist on these issues.

He is correct in noting his friendly and respectful encounter last year with Davis Mac-Iyalla during General Synod. Davis considered this to be of some significance, since shortly before this the Church of Nigeria had publicly questioned whether Davis even exists.

They labeled him a con man, denied that he was Anglican (“we can find no record of him on our rolls”) and various other claims that appeared to be part of a smear campaign – all because he has the audacity to say that he is Gay, Nigerian and Anglican.

Archbishop Kwashi knows full well why the Nigerian Church has been accused in this latest matter. Therefore the significance of his statement is not his defense of his church, which is to be expected, but his promise that evidence of Anglican involvement in anti-Gay violence will be investigated.

For that I thank him as a brother.

Finally, I note this description of Nigeria published in The Edge, an alternative newspaper in Boston, published April 17. I believe it to be accurate:

Nigeria’s current leader is Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, whose April, 2007 election to a four-year term was characterized by a U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor report as “marred by massive fraud, vote rigging and political violence.”

That report also noted “government officials at all levels” committing abuses, including “politically motivated killings by security forces, arbitrary arrest and prolonged pretrial detention” as well as “restrictions on speech, press, assembly, religion and movement.” Homosexuality, illegal under federal law, is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

The Anglican Church, headed by Peter Akinola, is the leading religious power in southern Nigeria. Akinola was turned out as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria last year for being too close to the Government. Akinola, the leading proponent of schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church, remains as Primate and Archbishop of Abuja.++

April 9, 2008

Canterbury Denounces Nigerian Violence

Filed under: Christianity — Josh Thomas @ 11:37 pm

My my my; one post on this tiny blog and Anglican Land goes nuts. Our pal Greggy at Viagraville pops more pills; Fr. Jake stops the world; even the Archbishop of Canterbury weighs in. Why? Because of an e-mail Davis Mac-Iyalla sent me a week ago, describing how the leader of the Gay Anglican group Changing Attitude in Port Harcourt, Nigeria was assaulted at Davis’s sister’s funeral over Easter.

I posted the e-mailed press release as I received it, without comment. It speaks for itself as a statement of Changing Attitude-Nigeria. Do I know it to be true? No. Do I know it to be false? No. What I know is that it is a statement made by the only openly-Gay activist in Nigeria, my friend Mr. Mac-Iyalla, who is a prominent layman in the Anglican Church.

Considering how aggressively homohating Nigeria is, goaded on by its politically ambitious Archbishop-Primate who has advocated jailing Gay people for 14 years for the horrific crime of having lunch together, it seems right to me to give Mac-Iyalla a web forum in which to speak.

He gets to be responsible for what he says.

And yes, I’ve known him to exaggerate a time or two—but far less than Peter Akinola, the bloodsucking Archbishop of Abuja.

When Davis says that a Gay leader got beaten up at his sister’s funeral, I think he’s probably right. Greggy doesn’t seem to realize this, but Gay people really don’t have a need to make up persecution stories; they happen quite enough in normal life. It’s hard for us to imagine more of them. We have no need to invent when the examples are all around us.

The good news is that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, denounced the violence:

In response to reports of violence and threats towards Christians involved in the debate on human sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has given the following statement:

“The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitudes are disgraceful. The Anglican Communion has repeatedly, through the Lambeth Conference and the statements from its Primates’ Meetings, unequivocally condemned violence and the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people. I hope that this latest round of unchristian bullying will likewise be universally condemned.”

I am often critical of Archbishop Rowan, but in this case he deserves a little bow. Here is the point Greggy doesn’t seem to get: the Rev. Colin Coward is not a Nigerian, but a priest of the Church of England and a man with a reputation for reasoned, moderate truth-telling. I highly doubt Rowan would have issued this statement based on Davis Mac-Iyalla’s claims alone; Rowan was moved to act because of death threats received by Colin Coward thousands of miles away.

Get-Hard Greggy can “call out” Mac-Iyalla all he wants, demanding photographs, police reports (in Nigeria? oh, those would be reliable), hospital records—as if proof would satisfy; it wouldn’t, Greggy’d just change the subject. After all, it’s an activist site; he doesn’t deal in truth, but ideology.

Imagine that; someone actively trying to kill off the Episcopal Church for the sake of his own homophobic masturbation.

The ambition involved is quite breathtaking. But when he “calls out” Colin Coward, he’s facing someone well-known in the Church of England; hated by the right, not entirely endorsed by the left, but respected even in Canterbury.

Mind you, Colin and I have fought a time or two; but I believe he tells the truth.

I have no reason to doubt Mac-Iyalla’s claims, or Fr. Coward’s. And I know Davis better than anyone else in America. I know his weaknesses, flaws and sins; I traveled and lived with him for two months and believe me, the results were not that pretty.

But I also never caught him in a lie about the Anglican Church of Nigeria. I believe he speaks a prophetic truth about Peter Akinola, a con man who will one day embarrass every innocent in his breakaway American churches.

They’re the ones I feel for, really; they’ve let homophobia and Bible-thumping lead them into schism—a lot worse sin than sucking dick.

I mean, God’s already seen this stuff; he knows what goes on. And like all those liberals Greggy’s so distraught over, I think God’s a lot more concerned with warmongering in Iraq than who does what with a penis.

Wars kill people, and you should have seen the teeth-gnashing on GetHard when William F. Buckley died! They thought he was a saint, when he was just a TV performer with a gimmick—a guy who underpaid college students to search out polysyllabic words no one had ever heard of, which he could then introduce on his little-watched debate show on PBS.

He reminds me of the song from “Gypsy,” “You Gotta Have a Gimmick!” Buckley had one, all right, leaving the morons in Mississippi going ga-ga over the brilliant talk of the snake-oil salesman. “He has to be smart, he says words we never heard of!”

Gee whillikers. And he advocated every war in U.S. history, especially Vietnam and Iraq.

This brings me back to Fr. Jake, the world-stopper, with a cool cartoon of a snake-oil salesman. (Clue: snakes aren’t greasy.)

When I passed on Davis’s (and Colin’s) press release to Jake, I didn’t comment, I just served as a conduit. Like Greggy, I’m doubtful about the formal English attributed to the attackers. I doubt someone had a tape recorder on the scene. I doubt these were the exact words that were said; they’re way too neat—unless the so-called thugs were highly educated Anglicans, who may well have spoken this way. Nigerians are more English than the English are, though they also garble the language continually.

But I don’t doubt that the attack occurred, or that all such attacks are encouraged by Peter Akinola and the Anglican Church of Nigeria. No doubt he’s slick enough to stay several steps removed, but the man advocates violence—which is why several thousand Americans are going to one day feel betrayed.

Let them march on Greggy’s website in Mississippi.++

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