Sep 23, 2007
Editorial: Anglican Split And Consequences For Gays
By Viktor Zimmermann
(USA) - Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola is visiting the US congregations, and Gay rights activists do good to let him know he is not welcome. Some 30 protesters expressed their anger outside the Wheaton College chapel, where Akinola was spreading his hateful insights to a willing auditory of several hundred Christian believers. The protesters, who were mostly Christians themselves, accused Akinola of attempts to lure singular Anglican churches away from the official US congregation.
Akinola is a known enemy of the Gay people and has been waging a war against homosexuality in Africa for many years. Akinola’s visit appears to be a bold provocation to the US Anglican churches, considering the fact that on Tuesday, the US bishops will meet to decide on how to deal with the ultimatum issued to them by African and Asian congregations.
Christian commentators write that the majourity of the US bishops are considered liberals, and they are expected to vote for inclusion of religious Gays in the Church, both with regard to the blessing of Gay couples and ordaining more Gay bishops.
The split the Anglican Church seems inevitable, establishing an alternative alliance between Africa and conservatives in the US.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, attempts to put together what does not belong together. His efforts to have it both ways are most probably to fail, since the real motivation behind the split is Akinola’s greed for more power and the 'moral uprising' of the 'Global South' against the former colonial powers. Africa has its very own dynamics, and the times are not good for Gays on the continent. Increasing poverty, environmental issues and the devastating spread of AIDS are increasingly pressing Africa towards violent social schisms, of which Rwanda and Sudan genocides are vivid examples. As always, in times of crisis the populace is turning its hatred towards the ones most vulnerable who are considered easy victims. It goes without saying, that those at power (like Akinola or Mugabe) are utilizing and nurturing the feelings of the mob for their own political benefits.
In Uganda, the government is targeting Gay people with support of the indoctrinated population. In Ghana, the government assured that it will under no circumstances de-criminalize same-sex relationships. In Akinola’s home country Nigeria, the Anglicans have previously played a leading role in introduction of the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill”, which didn’t pass into law earlier this year only because the Nigerian parliament ran out of time. Under that unholy piece of legislation, anybody engaging in fighting for human rights of Gays in Nigeria, or providing social and medical councelling to Gays, would be sentenced to 5 years in prison.
The internal quarrels of Anglicans weren’t of much interest to the Gay people, if they didn’t have manifest consequences for the African Gays. Is it that far to assume that African Gays will pay a high price for those internal disputes of the Anglican Church? Gays who were caught, are already facing jail terms of 5 to 25 years in most of Africa (death penalty in Northern Nigeria), but apparently it isn't hard enough, from the viewpoint of those so-called Christians. To strengthen his position, Akinola will most certainly press for harder measures against Gays once he separated African Anglicans from the control of mother Church. In this power struggle, Gays are simply used as a welcome scapegoat to be first victimized and subsequently blamed for causing the split of the Anglican Church.
Poor Gays in Africa. Will the international Gay community be able to show as much interest in them as their chasers do?