Monday, December 18, 2006

Strange Boat-Fellows


From the New York Times yesterday:

“The Episcopalian ship is in trouble,” said the Rev. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church, one of the two large Virginia congregations, where George Washington served on the vestry. “So we’re climbing over the rails down to various little lifeboats. There’s a lifeboat from Bolivia, one from Rwanda, another from Nigeria. Their desire is to help us build a new ship in North America, and design it and get it sailing.”


From the New York Times today:

Two large and influential Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted overwhelmingly yesterday to leave the Episcopal Church and to affiliate with the Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, a conservative leader in a churchwide fight over homosexuality.
Who are these Anglicans in Nigeria and Rwanda?

From a December 12 AP story

Lawmakers in Nigeria are debating a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and any form of association among gays, even sharing a meal at a restaurant.

Few in Nigeria's deeply closeted gay community have publicly opposed the legislation, which proposes penalties of up to five years in prison and is widely expected to pass. Engaging in homosexual acts is already illegal in Nigeria, with those convicted facing jail terms in the mainly Christian south and execution in the mainly Muslim north.

"This meeting, right here, would be illegal," said activist Bisi Alimi, stabbing the air with a French fry for emphasis as he sat at a table with three gay friends and a reporter.

Other activities prohibited under the proposed law include belonging to gay clubs or reading books, watching films or accessing Internet sites that "promote" homosexuality.


In his Message to the Nation, THE MOST REV. PETER J. AKINOLA, D.D., endorsed the bill saying:

The Church affirms our commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality since it is incongruent with the teachings of the Bible, Quran and the basic African traditional values.
As for the Anglican Church in Rwanda? Human Rights Watch tells us

Far from condemning the attempt to exterminate the Tutsi, Archbishop Augustin Nshamihigo and Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza of the Anglican Church acted as spokemen for the genocidal government at a press conference in Nairobi. Like many who tried to explain away the slaughter, they placed the blame for the genocide on the RPF because it had attacked Rwanda. Foreign journalists were so disgusted at this presentation that they left the conference.


It would appear that the conservative Episcopalians don't much care who or what is in the lifeboat with them as long as it's anti-gay.

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