Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Comment from Canterbury on anti-gay violence

If you have been following the news in the world of the Anglican Communion, you might have heard about the escalating violence towards LGBT-Anglican leaders in Nigeria. The Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to weigh in:

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 happy the ABC has issued this statement. The threats against these leaders are real, and, frankly, the Church has done little to stop it. In fact, the Anglican Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola is an outspoken homophobe!

And while I'm glad to see the ABC acknowledge that this sort of "bullying" is "unchristian", I wonder if he will take time to meditate on his own actions and how they play into this sort of violence in which bigots are emboldened to beat other human beings simply because they are gay. The ABC could not find it within himself to extend an invitation to the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to attend the once-a-decade Bishop-athon (aka the Lambeth Conference). Surely the Archbishop is a learned man, and I'm sure quite capable of mindfulness and soul-searching prayer. Perhaps now would be a good time for him to consider that by specifically excluding the one and only openly-gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, he unwittingly and unknowingly became a tacit conspirator in the violence. I'm not saying that he condoned these attacks. But too often people in authority fail to see how their words and their actions become the justification for "unchristian bullying".

The Integrity group in the Episcopal Church plans to be in England this summer to bear witness to the bishops in attendance about the realities of our lives, and the discrimination we still face. May God give all the grace to listen and hear the truth that is likely to be spoken.


Anonymous said...

You hsve sized it up just right. The ABC should think again about his inability to invite Bishop Gene.


Poria said...

Well written article.