CORRECTION: SEE STORY ON 8/13 – Bishop says this is false
Despite some seemingly hopeful developments in the Anglican Communion, proponents of spiritual equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender should have no illusions about what they are up against in some quarters. Standard Media of Kenya reports:
The gay movement in Kenya is posing greater threat to Christianity than terrorism.
Mombasa Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Julius Kalu told a congregation including Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi that Christians are confronted by “the enemies of the Church” mainly homosexuals and lesbians and terrorism was a lesser threat.
Our greatest fear as Church should not be the grenade attacks, but the new teachings like same sex marriages,” Kalu said, urging Christians to be “spiritually fully armed” to confront the challenges. Kalu has been out of the country for about two months during which the debate on gay sex unions has raged across Coast Province where the practice is prevalent. In April, a grenade attack on Christians killed one worshipper in Mombasa and on July 1, armed men massacred 17 people including a Muslim policeman in a hail of bullets on two churches in Garissa.
That a debate is raging in Kenya’s Coast Province on same-sex relationships is welcome news, but the notion that LGBT relationships are more dangerous to Kenyan society than are mass murderers is deeply unsettling, because if gay and lesbian couples are more dangerous than terrorists, one can easily argue that they deserve harsher penalties.
This report of the bishop’s views is at odds with one from a few months ago. In March of this year Colin Coward met with Bishop Kalu at the diocesan office next to Mombasa Memorial Cathedral. From Coward’s blog post:
We talked about the possibility of Michael speaking to the archbishops and of being invited to speak with others to the House of Bishops for 20 or 30 minutes about homosexuality. The House meets next week in Mombasa but given that Archbishop has been avoiding Michael ever since he was described in the press as a gay campaigner (he’s straight) and the Archbishop declined to meet me when Michael phoned and told him I was coming, next week’s meeting may be too soon.
I’m grateful to Bishop Julius for engaging in conversation for well over and hour when many other people were waiting to see him. He has a generous, open spirit and has been committed to the listening process since Lambeth 1998 and Resolution 1.10. He seems to have realised then that those urging the adoption of an extreme anti-gay position were misguided. Today’s meeting has added to my confidence that there are many bishops in the Communion who are still committed to the vision of GAFCON as a spiritual force, but not to GAFCON as a focus of the anti-gay agenda.