Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, has called for his country to pull out of the United Nations because the organization opposes bias against gays and lesbians. Can we expect Rowan Williams to express displeasure as quickly as he condemned the election of a lesbian bishop in the Episcopal Church? No, because that deadline has already passed.
The Sunday Trust has the story:
Okoh said that it was regrettable that the UN was currently using human rights bodies and non-governmental organisations to ensure the entrenchment of homosexuality globally. The cleric made the call in Lagos at a reception held for him by the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos.
“If the UN has made itself an agent for the propagation of homosexuality globally, then it is time for us (Nigeria) to pull out of the organisation.
“This is because the UN has no right to determine for or impose moral standards on us (Nigeria). Let us stand firm and refuse to be bought over by the West,’’ he said. ....
He warned that the world’s rebellion against God, which started in the Garden of Eden, would culminate in the appearance of the anti-Christ and the eventual end of this age.
An identical story appears in the Weekend Observer, raising the question of whether both papers simply reprinted the same press release.
Two quick points:
Rowan Williams, Tom Wright and others would have you believe that while those who oppose the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships, the ordination of LGBT clergy and the consecration of LGBT bishops are deeply concerned about the welfare of these individuals, but are simply uncertain about whether the church is at liberty to include them fully in its sacramental life. But every now and then, the curtain slips back and the true ugliness of the anti-gay forces within the Communion becomes apparent. This is one of those instances, and it makes more obvious than ever that the effect of William’s policies has been a) to underestimate the radical agenda of the anti-gay forces within the Communion and b) to embolden men like Okoh.
2. The Anglican Church of Nigeria receives significant funding from men on the American political right such as Howard Ahmanson and Emmanuel Kampouris . It has found common cause with these individuals in their opposition to homosexuality, but that issue, while central to cementing the alliance, is actually something of a sideshow. The right’s real intention is to use its relationships with African evangelicals to influence U. S. foreign policy. Some African Christian leaders are supportive of the American right's anti-Muslim agenda due to bitter personal experience. Now, we see an African primate embracing another pet right wing cause, the delegitimization of the United Nations. No sane political analyst would argue that there is any benefit to Nigeria in cutting itself off from the world community in this way, but the benefit to the American right—in having an influential leader in the developing world call the importance of the UN into question is fairly obvious.
Note the modus operandi here: cultivate foreign relationships by wooing influential leaders with gifts; get them to embrace policies that advance your agenda at the expense of their own people; say that those who object those this practice as captives of a colonialist mindset, even as you enact the colonialist playbook.
Hat tip Lionel Diemel.