Archbishop of Canterbury says African massacre sparked by gay acceptance “in America”

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Updated, with this story from Anglican Communion News Service, which places the grave Archbishop Welby spoke of in South Sudan.

Archbishop Justin Welby suggested in a talk radio interview today that African Christians have been massacred due to the acceptance of homosexuality “in America”, and that more may be killed if the Church of England accepts equal marriage.


LBC radio has made a six-minute excerpt of the conversation available, and The Guardian also filed a story:

“I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact,” Welby said. If the Church of England celebrated gay marriages, he added, “the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world.”

This reasoning has until now been kept private, although both Welby and his predecessor, Rowan Williams, anguished about it in private.

Welby also condemned homophobia in England. “To treat every human being with equal importance and dignity is a fundamental part of being a Christian,” he said. Although he continued to uphold what he called the historic position of the church, of “sex only within marriage and marriage only between a man and a woman”, he agreed with the presenter, James O’Brien, that it was “completely unacceptable” for the church to condemn homosexual people more than adulterous heterosexual people.

African churches do not share this opinion, and the Anglican churches in both Uganda and Nigeria have given enthusiastic backing to laws which criminalise even the expression of support for gay marriage.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said he could not comment further on the archbishop’s statements, and would not say whether Welby was making reference to the Episcopal Church’s consecration of openly gay and lesbian bishops.

The archbishop will be in the United States next week to speak at Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace, an Episcopal Church-sponsored event in Oklahoma City.

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Lisa Fox
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As some here anticipated, Welby's comments have been picked up in the secular press, and it does nothing to help us Anglicans/Episcopalians.

The wildly popular John Aravosis titles his response with tongue in cheek, "We must discriminate against gays lest someone think we're gay and bash us." http://americablog.com/2014/04/anglican-church-archbishop-must-discriminate-against-gays-lest-someone-think-were-gay-and-bash-us.html

He begins:

"In a horrific statement, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that Anglicans must discriminate against gays, lest bigots in Africa think Anglicans themselves are gay, and then gay-bash them.

Yeah, he really did."

After quoting Welby, Aravosis goes on to say: "This is a church we’re talking about. This is the head of the church. Could Archbishop Justin Welby have said anything less Christ-like than this?"

When a secular columnist asks what is Christ-like, the Church of England (and, God help us, the Anglican Communion) is in deep doo-doo.

Because Aravosis thinks that American Episcopalians are under the thumb of Welby, he concludes his column with this: "For the leader of an entire faith to make this kind of comment is simply unbelievable. Over the years, the Anglicans (aka Episcopalians, as we call them in America), have had more than a few run-ins with their own bigotry. And I’ve always suspected that at its core the Anglican Communion was just as bitter, nasty and hateful as the Catholic church, the Mormons and all the rest. And Justin Welby just confirmed it."

Justin Welby, you just set back the Episcopal Church by about 50 years. Please sit down, shut up, and confine your comments to the little island on which England sits.

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Lisa Fox
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By the same reasoning, "Americans" should not speak out against ethnic cleansing in Africa, nor against genital mutilation in Africa, nor should we speak against any other injustice in Africa. For we might offend our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Meanwhile, we have people like Bishop Senyonjo in Uganda suffering terrible persecution in Uganda, because he dares to minister to LGBT persons.

I thought the See of Canterbury could sink no lower after Abp Williams. Obviously, I was wrong.

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John B. Chilton
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John B. Chilton

Tobias hits NAIL ON HEAD!

"Perhaps the greatest irony (and tragedy) is that Welby sees a connection (or easily accepts there is one) between same-sex marriage in America and England/Wales and violence in Africa, rather than seeing the more obvious (and verifiable) connection between violence against gays and violence against anyone, in Africa, America, England and Wales and where ever it takes place. It is violence he should be addressing, not marriage."

And this is a marvelous point as well, "I am also weary of folks who claim the overturn of the Biblical dietary Law offers no good analogy for overturning Biblical marriage law, appealing to Romans 14 (Paul's call to abstain from foods that offend ones brother)."

It calls to mind this blog post,

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/07/bryan_caplan_po.html

although that's merely my association with the issue Welby has handed us.

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tobias haller
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tobias haller

Perhaps the greatest irony (and tragedy) is that Welby sees a connection (or easily accepts there is one) between same-sex marriage in America and England/Wales and violence in Africa, rather than seeing the more obvious (and verifiable) connection between violence against gays and violence against anyone, in Africa, America, England and Wales and where ever it takes place. It is violence he should be addressing, not marriage.

I am also weary of folks who claim the overturn of the Biblical dietary Law offers no good analogy for overturning Biblical marriage law, appealing to Romans 14 (Paul's call to abstain from foods that offend ones brother). We are not talking about food here, on either side, but human beings.

Those who do violence defame the image of God. Those who marry honor the image of God in each other. There is no comparison -- or connection.

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Robert Martin
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Robert Martin

There are a lot of things we do in America.

-- we respect the rule of law and individual conscience

-- we value life and grieve and honor the dead

--We don't kill people and bury them in mass graves

--we don't have religious militias that go about the country murdering people

-- we don't use children as weapons or soldiers

Killing 300+ people and putting their bodies in a mass grave is barbaric. It's indefensible. To blame this on anything but the evil and sin of the perpetrators themselves is indefensible.

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