Akinola, Repudiate Anti-Gay Violence

November 24, 2007

Schismatics Hail Support from Malango, Orombi

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Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda

I continue to be amazed, as schism unfolds in Anglican Land, that any sensible American or Canadian would be caught in the same room with such unsavory characters as Archbishop Bernard Malango and Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, much less to consider them spiritual leaders. They’re crooks.

But anti-Gay Anglicans in Canada and the U.S. are falling all over themselves to trumpet Malango’s latest support for schism. He and Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda signed a letter praising the breakaway Canadians who are aligning with the Southern Cone in South America.

Here is how Stephen Bates described Kunonga last year in a column for the Church of England newspaper:

“The list of 38 charges against the good bishop, who is a crony of Robert Mugabe, brought against him by his own black parishioners, include little matters such as incitement to murder, intimidation, ignoring church law, mishandling funds and proselytising for Zanu PF from the pulpit. He has also occupied a farm and evicted 40 families from a local village. A couple of months ago he even licensed the acting vice-president of Zimbabwe Joseph Msika, a man on record as saying that whites are not human beings, to act as a deacon of the church.”

Mugabe is the president of Zimbabwe, and he’s an out-and-out thug. Zanu PF is his political party. He has all but destroyed Zimbabwe’s once-prosperous economy; inflation is estimated at 2000% a year. And Kunonga is thick as thieves with him.

It’s all about that farm, you see; to stay in power, Mugabe pays off his friends and has his enemies beaten or killed.

This is how much of Africa is run, but Zimbabwe’s the worst case. It’s a nightmare.

The State Department has barred Kunonga from entering the United States. He’s not allowed in the European Union either. But he has a protector in Archbishop Malango, who has thwarted every effort by Kunonga’s own parishioners to make him stand trial in a Church court.

Obviously the North American schismatics don’t care what goes on in Zimbabwe. Their only interest is getting support from every Primate they can find.

And there are more waiting in the wings; Peter Akinola, the Primate of All Nigeria, is coming to Maryland next month to ordain more anti-Gay clergy for CANA.

Man, this is some crazy stuff: getting in bed with thugs so you can keep heterosexual supremacy as an article of Christian faith.

It’s bound to backfire sooner or later.

The Africans don’t really care about Gay people; they use Gay people as domestic political scapegoats. That’s why Mugabe says such outrageous things; he blames all of Zimbabwe’s problems on homosexuals.

You can see right through him; this has been going on for years. Here’s the BBC reporting in 1998:

Politicians call them the “festering finger” endangering the body of the nation: churchmen say God wants them dead: and the courts send them to jail. Zimbabwe has declared that it will not tolerate homosexuality – and the country’s tiny community of gays and lesbians says that means they are now the target of a state-sanctioned hate campaign.

Let the schism happen. I don’t want to be in the same room with the friends of Robert Mugabe, Nolbert Kunonga and Bernard Malango—including all the anti-Gay bloggers and commenters.

You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness *
against the godly all day long?
You plot ruin;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor, *
O worker of deception.
You love evil more than good *
and lying more than speaking the truth.
You love all words that hurt, *
O you deceitful tongue.
Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, *
topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling,
and root you out of the land of the living!
The righteous shall see and tremble, *
and they shall laugh at him, saying,
“This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, *
but trusted in great wealth
and relied upon wickedness.”
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; *
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
I will give you thanks for what you have done *
and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence
of the godly.

It’s Psalm 52. God figured out these people a long time ago.++

November 18, 2007

African Bishops Afraid of Protests?

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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.++

October 16, 2007

Ugandan Muslim: Put Gays on an Island, Let Them Die

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That’s Mubajje up there on the left, dedicating a mosque paid for by Muammar Gaddhafi.

Here is a report from Pink News, a Gay British website. (I hate the name Pink News and I’m ambivalent about their journalism, but this report appears authentic to me.) It was also quoted on the Episcopal Church website epiScope. If they hadn’t circulated it, this horrible news would have gone unnoticed in the West. I am very concerned for our sisters and brothers in Uganda. And I cannot believe American ex-Episcopalians would affiliate with the phony Christians there — but they do:

The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.

He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country’s President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria.

“If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country,” he added.

There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as “against the order of nature.” Trans people are also targeted by police and regularly subject to abuse and harassment.

In August activists in spoke out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.

30 people gave a press conference drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.

They called themselves the “homosexual children of God” and demanded that attacks on LGBT people stop.

The following week churches in the country showed their disapproval with a demonstration organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.

UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The Muslim community, who make up 12% of the country’s population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

In response to the gay rights press conference Muslim youth belonging to the Tabliq movement announced they plan to set up ‘Anti-Gay Squads’ to fight homosexuality.

Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in the sect, announced the squads at the Noor Mosque in the capital, Kampala.

He said: “We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society.

“It is the work of the community to put an end to bad practices like homosexuality.”

The Tabliqs are well known for their militant – and sometimes violent – measures.

In 1991 they accused the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) of not serving the interests of Islam and promptly stormed their headquarters to forcibly remove the administration. A few policemen and Tabliqs were killed.

Conservative forces in Uganda have painted homosexuality as a kind of foreign import, but anthropologists point to the well-documented traditions of Bugunda royalty before European colonisation, where gay relationships were openly practised at the court.

October 9, 2007

Human Rights Watch: Nigerian Corruption Endemic

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The Primate of All Nigeria

The Washington Post notes this report from Human Rights Watch about how Nigeria is governed:

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 9 — Human Rights Watch warned on Tuesday that wealthy and violent political godfathers have hijacked Nigeria’s eight-year-old democracy while enjoying almost total impunity for their misdeeds.

The group’s 123-page report portrays April’s disastrous and widely condemned national elections as symptomatic of a system in which political players compete mainly with rival gangs of heavily armed youths, who rape, kill and intimidate opponents. The winners of these battles then use the Nigerian government’s vast oil wealth to entrench their power.

“In violent and brazenly rigged polls, government officials have denied millions of Nigerians any real voice in selecting their political leaders,” the report says. “In place of democratic competition, struggles for political office have often been waged violently in the streets by gangs of thugs recruited by politicians to help them seize control of power.”

The report does not detail the Anglican Church’s involvement, so let me add a few facts which, if more widely known, ought to embarrass American “Anglicans” who have been quick to pledge allegiance to Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola because of his assiduously publicized anti-Gay campaign:

• The Nigerian government donates the land on which many Anglican churches are built, including Akinola’s own cathedral in Abuja. There is no such thing as separation of Church and state in Nigeria.

This is a much bigger danger to the Church and the Gospel than it is to the government. When the Church gets co-opted, injustice invariably results.

• The Nigerian presidency, by common consent, rotates between Christians and Muslims. Christian presidential candidates choose Muslim VP’s and vice-versa. The previous president was an Anglican; the current president is Muslim, and his vice-president is an Anglican. Among all the Christian denominations in Nigeria, only Anglican politicians win the top slots.

• Government officials attend every important Anglican event—a school here, a bishop there—arriving in their Mercedes and BMWs and mixing with the “in” crowd. Indeed, belonging to the Anglican Church is seen as a way to get ahead financially and politically.

• The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria—Akinola until recently, when he was defeated for re-election by his fellow Christians for being too close to the government—is an automatic member of the government’s National Security Council. Akinola tried to stack the deck for his re-election by rescheduling the vote for a date when his main Catholic rival was out of the country attending a Vatican event. Akinola’s fellow Christians saw through his manipulation and denied him even the loser’s automatic vice-presidency. He’s losing prestige at home, even as he continues to attract homophobes in America.

By the time this schism is done there’s going to be hell to pay. Akinola’s American backers have hitched their wagon to a mafioso in a Mercedes; can blood be far behind?

October 2, 2007

Akinola Protestor Rev. Deborah Lake on YouTube

Kenyan Human Rights Chair Slams Anglican Bishops

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L. Muthoni Wanyeki, the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, is one African leader fearlessly doing her job. In an opinion column in The East African newspaper, she says this:

On July 7 this year, two black South African lesbians were executed in Soweto. It is believed that they were followed home after a party. They were removed from their car, taken to a field and gang-raped before being executed.

Their deaths were not isolated. Another woman, also known to be a lesbian, was killed in Cape Town around the same time. And, in line with the ignorant idea that lesbians can be “fixed,” over 10 women known to be lesbians were raped. An atmosphere of fear has been created.

That is South Africa. Closer to home, the Tanzanian Lesbian Association has had to help relocate two lesbians following the publication of a picture of them kissing under the banner: “Uchafu.”

Lawrence Mute, formerly a commissioner with the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, remarked last week, “Being blind, I know what being disadvantaged, being vulnerable, being discriminated against, is all about.” He was, on behalf of the KNHRC, one of the drafters of the so-called Yogyakarta Principles — an attempt to being together, in one document, the range of already agreed upon international and regional human rights standards that apply (or should apply) to ensure the equal treatment of the gay community (or communities).

Noting that the history of human rights is one of claim, contestation and confirmation, sexual rights are human rights — but remain abstract until those oppressed begin that arduous and long process of first staking claim.

That no less than one of the most powerful mainstream churches on the continent does not seem to understand this — or to even be willing to try to do so — is a cause for deep concern. Prejudice and stereotypes both cause and enable systemic discrimination. When they are “sanctioned” by those considered to be authorities, the logical outcome is the kind of hate crimes now being witnessed in South Africa.

LET US BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS. WE all reacted with horror to the kind of human-rights violations seen during the genocide in Rwanda. We all asked ourselves: How could family, friends, neighbours turn on each other in such a devastatingly vicious manner. What we all should remember is that all it takes is sanction from authorities of any kind — the state, religious organisations and so on. We are all capable of being genocidal. We just need to believe that we are “right” in being so.

What the African Anglican bishops have essentially said is that African citizens are “right” in their prejudices and stereotypes about African gay communities. It is thus the African Anglican hierarchy that should “repent.” If we do not stop and check ourselves, we can rest assured that the damage ultimately caused will not just be to the Anglican family worldwide. The damage will be to our own.

Kenyan Anglicans are some of the leaders in the current anti-Gay schism.

You can read the whole thing here.

It is nice to hear an African woman’s voice for a change in all this. Who better knows about rape as a weapon?

September 27, 2007

Canterbury’s Analysis of the Schismatics

Filed under: Anglican,Blogroll,Christianity,Episcopal Church,LGBT Rights,Schism — Josh Thomas @ 7:57 pm

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“Theirs is a sectarian, congregationalist church that can tolerate only one sort of Christian and only the authority of bishops who agree with them. There is no room for dialogue, doubt or debate… Homosexuality is their last great taboo and they are determined to fight it tooth and nail. If they give way now, the whole authority of the Bible, on which they base their belief, must crumble, just as their ancestors thought it would disintegrate if slavery was deemed un-Christian or women were ordained or divorce was permitted or shellfish was eaten. It is the issue they have chosen. It has not been thrust upon them–they spotted it as a rallying point more than a decade ago and have been waiting for their opportunity to strike. They see it as a useful way to unite their constituency in opposition to the shifting sands of belief and secular culture.”

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury,
quoted by Stephen Bates in “A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality” (2005)

“A useful way to unite their constituency”—in other words, a scapegoat.

What do you see when you look at a crucifix? Atonement for our sins, or God as a scapegoat?

September 23, 2007

Success: 1st-Ever Protest Against Akinola & Schism

About 50 people showed up at a demonstration against Peter Akinola today in Wheaton, Illinois. Fifty people, not a huge number; 50 people on three weeks’ notice. Fifty fabulous people.

Toddlers, oldsters, college students, graybeards, Gays and Straights; Episcopalians, Methodists, independents, United Church of Christ, Baptists, Metropolitan Community Church, a closeted Roman Catholic priest from Nigeria; the whole human rainbow.

The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.

The Chicago Tribune, the Sun-Times, local TV, the Associated Press, Christianity Today, the college newspaper, the Religion News Service: we got our message across. Jesus loves everyone.

Best of all, Thinking Anglicans picked up on it; that website is read all over the Anglican Communion, and Davis Mac-Iyalla reads it daily. That means all LGBT activists in West Africa will see it!

They were who we were marching for.

Kudos to the Wheaton College police: they didn’t give us a lick of trouble or deny our constitutional rights. They were completely professional, defined the college turf and enabled our Christian witness to happen. We got closer to the college chapel than I thought possible.

The Nigerian/Rwandan/American schismatics ignored us, but they knew we picketed them. I’m sure they all felt energized to gather together and hear Peter Akinola’s shouting, fire-and-brimstone sermon about sexual sin; but they also knew 50 people said there are other kinds of sin.

Scapegoating is sin.

Peter Akinola scapeoats Gay people so Nigerians won’t notice the government and the “Anglican” Church steals Nigeria’s oil money and blames all the country’s ills on Gay people.

So we picketed his bigoted behind.

Let him recoil in fright; pamphleteers, picketers, is he nowhere safe?

Not in the United States, no. This was the first demonstration against him, but it will not be the last. Peter Akinola, you’re damaged goods. Repudiate anti-Gay violence, or lose the worldwide Anglican Communion.++

September 20, 2007

A Message to Members of AMiA

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As the organizer of the Akinola protest in Wheaton, let me clarify something here. The protest is aimed at those African bishops and American supporters who threaten, endanger, intimidate, imprison, banish and kill LGBT people.

It’s not about territorial boundaries or Biblical hermaneutics. It’s about people endangered by the unholy alliance between their government and Anglican churches.

No matter how nice the people are in AMiA churches, how “loving” they think they are, how much “support” they want to give Gay people to “overcome their sin,” how equal those nice Straight parishioners consider themselves in sinfulness, this is not a protest about American Gay people who can mostly fend for themselves (and reject such phony love). It’s about Africans being killed in the name of Christ.

With every dime and prayer AMiA congregants send to these heretical African bishops, they contribute to suffering and death, all in the name of idolatrous hermaneutics. The Bible is not God!

But the face of God is found in those African Gay souls.

I ask every member of AMiA, Do you want to be hunted like an animal? Do you want to hunt human beings?

September 17, 2007

20 Questions for Archbishop Akinola

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The Primate of All Nigeria hides from reporters while Davis Mac-Iyalla is in the room in Tanzania.

The Chicago Tribune has contacted me for an interview concerning the upcoming march in Wheaton Sept. 23. One Tribune religion reporter will be in New Orleans covering the House of Bishops’ meeting, while the other keeps an eye on things back home.

This got me to thinking; no doubt the reporters who show up at our demonstration will also want to talk to Archbishop Akinola. I hope they do more than ask him softball questions and transcribe his boilerplate replies.

But I’m a reporter; what would I ask him? Here are Josh’s 20 Questions for Peter Akinola:

1. Who paid for your plane ticket and hotel room this time?

2. How much is the Nigerian Church getting per month from your new American parishes?

3. What do the people of CANA get for the money they send you?

4. Will laypeople in CANA get to elect their bishops, or will you keep picking bishops for them?

5. Have you been able to counsel Richard Mellon Scaife as he goes through his second divorce (and third girlfriend)?

6. Why did you lose your re-election bid as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria?

7. Do you miss attending meetings of the Nigerian National Security Council?

8. How much oil money do you figure the former president stole?

9. When is the last time you spoke with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan and what public policy issues did you discuss?

10. Don’t some of your bishops want to go to the Lambeth Conference despite your campaign against the Archbishop of Canterbury?

11. Why does playing the race card work so well with Rowan Williams?

12. Why is Nigerian poverty unimportant to you?

13. Why is the Nigerian Church losing so many members to Pentecostal churches?

14. Do you feel responsible at all for the Christian riots that killed a hundred Muslims the day after you warned publicly that “our Muslim brothers do not have a monopoly on violence?”

15. Why can’t you get the same-sex marriage bill through the National Assembly?

16. Why only five years in jail for people who visit a Gay website or have a Gay rights pamphlet in their car? Why not ten or fifteen years?

17. Why did you make it a point to tell reporters in London and New York about the time you ran away from Louie Crew when he wanted to shake your hand?

18. Can’t you have a Primates’ Meeting without Martyn Minns and Chris Sugden?

19. You weren’t sick that Sunday in Tanzania, were you?

20. What room in your house did Davis Mac-Iyalla sleep in the night the Bishop of Otupko died?

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