A dumb, depressing document from Peter Akinola and his Church

Updated, Friday 10:00 p.m.: Andrew Brown has weighed in. Remember when a similar bill was first introduced in 2006 and Martyn Minns and a host of conservative bloggers asserted that there was no evidence that Archbishop Akinola actually supported it? Turns out that this time around, the Church of Nigeria is actually busing people to the hearings to support the legislation.

Meanwhile, Simon has updated his post with the text of the legislation. [PDF here.] More: Lionel Deimel has done us the service of providing more legible versions of the bill and Akinola’s statement suitable for cutting and pasting (other versions to this point have been image files).


Simon Sarmiento of Thinking Anglicans has received a five-page document (PDF here), signed by Peter Akinola and submitted by the Church of Nigeria in support of legislation that would outlaw same sex marriage, which is already illegal. It is a chilling document, especially the part where Akinola weighs in on just how long the prison sentences for the witnesses of gay marriages should be.

Why does the Anglican Communion continue to attempt to accommodate a man who, by his own admission, has very little use for human rights, and who has yet to answer pressing questions about his knowledge of a well-planned massacre of some 660 Muslims? Pluralist’s suggestion is looking better all of the time: Expel the Nigerian Church–Time to Move On

Changing Attitude has also responded. Still waiting to learn whether some of the high profile members of Akinola’s American congregations like Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson support this bill.

Hat tip to Changing Attitude for all of its hard work on this.

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  1. John B. Chilton

    The document actual says a tolerant attitude towards homosexuality would result in a social holocaust. This is the kind of rhetoric one employs to scapegoat others for the very real problems of corruption, absence of the rule of law, and break down of order endemic to Nigerian society. Nigeria has oil and plenty of it. It should be rich, but it is not.

    Rather than being a church that resists the world it plays to the prejudices of the society it is in competes for converts with Islam, Catholicism, and Pentecostalism all of whom are demonizing homosexuals.

    I’ll give Akinola credit for speaking out about corruption, but the evidence is he’s been completely impotent on that score. So he goes for easy, defenseless and harmless targets.

  2. Lelanda Lee

    Reading Akinola’s letter makes me glad that we have separation of church and state in the U.S. Were it not for the fact that I know that Akinola does not represent Anglicanism and Christianity, I would otherwise be ashamed to be an Episcopalian member of the Anglican Communion and a Christian.

  3. tgflux

    The World Council of Churches suspended the pro-apartheid Reformed Church of South Africa, until they repented. What are the limits here? [Because like Pluralist, it bloody well looks to me as if the AC(N) has crossed them]

    Lord have mercy!

    JC Fisher

  4. I think the Anglican churches need to say clearly, these actions are not blessed by God.

  5. wgority

    I’ve become more and more depressed with the direction of the Anglican communion in the last few years. The leadership of the communion should express clearly that the bigoted views expressed by the African membership is *not* representative of our church.

  6. President Obama, reversing the stance of the previous Republican administration, is supporting a United Nations resolution calling for the international decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. Supreme Court, in 2003, struck down all so-called “sodomy laws” in 2003. But until 2009, the USA and the Vaticam had been the only western nations to reject this important human rights resolution at the UN. Of course, I am saddened and very frustrated by Archbishop Akinola’s hostile statement towards folks like me. And I am concerned this commentary will incite more violence. Since 2005, The Nigerian Church has defined itself as no longer being a province in communion with the See of Canterubury and declared themselves as being in “impaired communion” with TEC. Although I am not enthusiastic about schism and division, when some Nigerians issue such despicable commentary (which puts them and their few American CANA friends way out of the mainstream of the rest of the modern, civilized, international community) I feel a sense of relief, even delight, that Peter Akinola and his supporters understand themselves as being something other than full members of the Anglican Communion. They do not speak for or represent Anglicanism (or Christianity for that matter). With gratitude to God, I also celebrate the fact that for every person like Peter Akinola, there are ten people like Susan Russell, Mac Thigpen, Louie Crew, Gene Robinson, Giles Fraser, and Katharine Jefferts Schori.

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