Saturday, March 14, 2009

Protestants protest. It's what we do. Apparently.

Archbishop Peter Akinola in recent days has come out in support of draconian Nigerian laws which would see gay people imprisoned for 'gay marriage' (and witnesses thereof also imprisoned).

Andrew Brown runs the story, with comment, in this way:

"If ever you think the Anglican church of Nigeria cannot get more incoherently bigoted about gay people, you're wrong. The latest proof comes in a position paper (pdf) submitted by the church to a parliamentary committee which is planning a law against gay marriage. Homosexuality is already illegal in Nigeria, of course, as is gay marriage. But the proposed law would provide three years in jail for gay couples who got married, and five years for any witnesses. Earlier drafts have proposed long jail sentences, also, for anyone who argues in favour of gay marriage.

If ever a law were a simple incitement to hate, this is it, and here is Archbishop Akinola of the Church of Nigeria cheering them on:

Same sex marriage, apart from being ungodly, is unscriptural, unnatural, unprofitable, unhealthy, un-cultural, un-African and un-Nigerian. It is a perversion, a deviation and an aberration that is capable of engendering moral and social holocaust in this country. It is also capable of existincting [sic] mankind and as such should never be allowed to take root in Nigeria. Outlawing it is to ensure the continued existence of this nation. The need for doing this is urgent, compelling, and imperative.

His statement also suggests that the penalties in the law be changed around, so that the happy couple be sentenced to up five years in jail, and individual witnesses to up to three years. If witnesses were to be charged collectively, the archbishop suggests, there should be a mandatory sentence for all of them of one year in jail.

Compare and contrast the resolution of the Anglican Primates, meeting at Dromantine in 2005:

We continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.

Archbishop Akinola also signed up to that statement, which tells you all you need to know about his sincerity."

There is enough there, is there not for Protestant Anglicans to protest? An Archbishop who is inconsistent. An Archbishop who supports severe punishment for immorality, contrary to the teaching and the example of Christ.

But here is the rub, being noticed on various Anglican sites: where are the protesting Protestants?

They are hard to find.

Well, here is one. I protest Archbishop Peter. You have gone too far. You have not followed the wisdom of your fellow bishop Martyn Minns when he says on the CANA website (CANA Perspective #8):

"Every person is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated that way."

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