I spent the morning looking up information on Bishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria and the problems he is causing here in the US for the Episcopal Church. I was shocked to discover Fred Barnes is a member of one of the churches that voted to succeed from the Episcopal Church and join with the ultra-conservative, homophobic Nigerian Church. After several hours of reading, you have all the links, I made a few interesting discoveries and finally, after nearly four years of soul-searching, came to several well-educated conclusions. I just want to say I do not like what I have found. I also want to say up until a few weeks ago when I started investigating Bishop Akinola, I was inclined to have voted along the lines of Fred Barnes. I’m sure glad I had the opportunity to delve deeply into the subject and the personalities involved. I’ve come to the heart-wrenching conclusion that Akinola’s actions have absolutely nothing to do with the church or Christ.
If you follow the timeline presented below, you might be shocked, as I was, to discover Akinola was waiting, like a vulture, ready to swoop into the ECUSA within hours after Gene Robinson being elected as Bishop of New Hampshire. This alone should send up red flags warning we might be dealing with a very ambitious person who was interested in promoting his own personal agenda ahead of doing the ‘blessed are the peacemakers’ thing and trying to heal the breach that had begun. Instead of healing, he took on something of the role of the Grand Inquisitor of old, ready to burn out any mention of homosexuality.
That brings us to the next question.
Why the hell is Peter Akinola such a homophobe?
We all know there are basically two reasons. The first, was the possibility that he was molested by a homosexual as a child or young man. If this is the case then he needs to get a grip and deal with it (as have all of us who were molested as children). Like the sociopath serial killer who claims he/she was molested as a child, this is no excuse for such hatred or actions.
The other reason he is such a homophobe is there’s something in his past. Rank homophobes are afraid of their own sexual orientation. Once again I go back to the Grand Inquisitor analogy, and burning the seductive young woman as a witch because she repulsed his sexual advances. Me thinks the Bishop protests too much. I am of the opinion by the time this is all over and horrible damage has been done, a few gay little skeletons are going to come tumbling out of someone’s closet and it won’t be Gene Robinson’s.
Going back to the Grand Inquisitor analogy, I know of no more prefect example for Peter Akinola. Grand Inquisitors of the Spanish Inquisition were harsh, cruel, hate-filled individuals who exemplified the very worst aspects of Christianity. These were the men who ordered countless thousands of men and women to be executed because they were not acceptable to the faith. While Bishop Akinola has not gone that far, he has given his approval for gays and lesbians to be put in prison for the very fact that they are what they are. Not only does he hate the sin, but, contrary to the teachings of Christ, hates the sinner.
My ‘other sister’ and I were talking about Akinola this evening. A mother, she struggles to live an example of a virtue for her two daughters, one of whom is a teenager. While I have no children, I have two nieces and a nephew. I’ve spent many years of my life teaching young people about Christ. I cannot allow myself to stray from a path of virtue. Young people must have examples. In a world of anything goes, someone must stand for something. I stand for virtue. I do not stand for being narrow minded, bigoted, or homophobic. I do not approve of promiscuity. I think it is wrong. It does not matter what the gender or orientation. It doesn’t matter. Immorality is immorality.
If Bishop Akinola were to come out and stand up for molested children and condemn pedophiles and the African practice of infant rape to cure AIDS I would have just a tad more respect for him. Unfortunately we see none of it, or as far as I can tell by Googling, nothing comes up. Why is it important to condemn homosexuals but give a pass to pedophiles and child molesters?
Let’s be honest. The message against allowing gays and lesbians to marry is not a popular nor a politically correct one. Unfortunately, because I believe in the sanctity of marriage and happen to believe making any sort of change will open a Pandora’s box of defining deviancy down, I must agree. I feel they should be allowed civil unions. I think we should also be prepared to accept the fact that the problems within the world-wide Anglican communion dealing with the issue of homosexuality have been worsened by Bishop Akinola. He shows no love. He is interested in blind ambition and must have his own way. Perhaps while we are praying for the ECUSA, maybe we need to accept the fact that Bishop Akinola is not showing the “Fruits of the Spirit”.
When one has Christ and the Holy Spirit within one has the following aspects of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – and suffers long; is kind; does not envy; does not parade itself; does not get ‘puffed up’; does not behave rudely; is not provoked; does not think evilly, nor rejoice in sin; rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things; hopes all things; endures all things. true; noble; just; pure; lovely; of good report; of any virtue; worthy of praise; tender mercies; kindness; humility; meekness; patience; bear with one another; forgive one another; love; let the peace of God rule their hearts; be thankful; have the Word live in them; teach and admonish one another; sing with grace in their hearts.
How many of these aspects does Bishop Akinola display? Maybe we should be praying for his soul and his personal relationship with the Lord.
MY RANT FOR THE DAY
The transcript of Dec 18th Brit Hume discussion about the problems in the Episcopal Church and the back and forth between Juan Williams, Episcopalian and Fred Barnes, also Episcopalian and a member of one of the churches to vote to leave and go with Islamic appeaser Bishop Peter Akinola.
“…FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: I do. I belong to the Falls Church. And my wife and I — Barbara and I, both voted to withdraw from the Episcopal Church, or disaffiliate, which the word that seems to be going around. And one of my daughters and her husband did, as well. And it wasn’t just Gene Robinson, the gay bishop, that was sort of a catalyst, here, but there’s been a trend in the national Episcopal Church for the last 30, 40, 50 years to move away from the authority of scripture to move away from the belief in the divinity of Christ and the resurrection and that the way our lives are saved and we go to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. All that’s been rejected by somebody in the National Church….”
I am very disappointed in Fred Barnes. I thought he was a stand-up ally in the War for Civilization. Evidently homophobia and the hysteria that these specific parishes have created is more important than his standards on the war. Like I read the other day about a conservative pro-lifer in Iowa. We are at war for our lives. We cannot allow minor arguments to cloud the issue. Bishop Akinola is so determined to prevent homosexuals from coming to power in the Episcopal/Anglican Church he has made a deal with the Islamic devil in Nigeria. He has agreed to either support or not hinder the extreme Islamic laws imposed including execution for homosexuals. Akinola himself endorsed legislation promoting a position that gays and lesbians could not be allowed to dine together in public. This is Christian? This is upholding the teachings of Christ? Allowing monstrous laws that promote the abuse of women and children, and Christians has absolutely nothing to do with Christ. I am ashamed of Fred Barnes. I thought he stood for more than this. To be honest here, Akinola is very much against the extreme sharia of northern Nigeria and has been known to incite riots and violence against Moslems.
As an Episcopalian who has been heart-sick over this issue for the past three years, I have come to realize perhaps we, as a church, are being tested. Somewhere I read or heard the statement, “The Devil has a very pleasing countenance.” Bishop Akinola talks a good game with much smoke and mirrors about HIS version of Anglican theology being based directly on the teachings of Christ (like OURS isn’t?) but he aligns himself with the enemy of all that his truly holy. How can this be a good thing? How can good, honorable men like Fred Barnes be taken in by his pragmatism. I am not that wise. I think I’d much rather associate with Gene Robinson. After all, when Christ was here on earth, He hung out with sinners. There is something repulsively arrogant about Akinola’s political positions and his determination to ram his extreme homophobia down the throats of the Episcopal Church here in the United States. If you go back to this excellent time-table, you will find he is the one who began making trouble not long after Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of New Hampshire. If Akinola had practiced love instead of hate, maybe we would be in a much better position today.
In the Episcopal Church we pray the following prayer, asking for forgiveness of our sins. I have a feeling Bishop Gene Robinson is quite aware of his short-fallings. But, does Bishop Peter Akinola ask forgiveness for the suffering he, through his
Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
in your compassion forgive us our sins,
known and unknown,
things done and left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Check in with Fr. Jake Stops the World and get a different version of this story. You also need to read the article from The Nation . I go back to my premise on illegal immigration. There is morality, there is ‘the law’, and there is basic right and basic wrong. I also go back to my favorite from the Bible – The Sermon on the Mount.
To be fair and balanced, the following is a copy of the letter Akinola wrote to the parishes in Virginia. You be the judge. The site, Thinking Anglicans does an excellent job of covering the issue. You might want to read the Presiding Bishop’s Christmas address and compare it to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s address. If you want my personal opinion, this man is clueless.
Bishop Schori’s address is a little too PC for me, but nowhere did I see a denial of the Divinity of Christ and Mr. Barnes has suggested is part and parcel of the total modern, liberal Episcopalian package. No, I don’t like what is going on here. I have previously stated my objections to Bishop Robinson are due to the fact that he was given a pass for behavior that would be censured at the very least in a heterosexual priest. But, I do not like the high-handed, self-righteous, patronizing tone I read in the statements handed out from the Anglican end of the church. Perhaps those across The Pond had best remember what occurred the last time they became a little bit too high-handed with us Colonials. Can you say 1776? After reading through the postings over on Thinking Anglicans I think we are dealing with a heck of a lot more than the whole homosexual issue. Something else is going on here. I just wonder what it is.
Oh heck, I know what it is. So do you. So does Church Lady from SNL. Is it Satan? Going back to a 2005 posting over at ThinkingAngllicans.org. read what I just read. If you have a heart and a soul, I think it will sicken you. Read this and see what you think of Akinola. Poor Fred Barnes, he has been sucked into the pleasing, ultra, ultra conservative countenance of a man who has cast his lot with those who are against a far greater decency. There is morality and immorality. Homosexuality is immoral. Decency is treating such people as honorable human beings who are no more or no less flawed sinners than are the rest of us. Indecency is treating them like animals. Accepting gay unions is one thing, accepting and allowing a gay to be imprisoned for life just because that person happens to be gay is another story entirely. What is right and what is wrong here? “…A gay Ugandan Christian has been denied a visa to enter Britain in order to attend a meeting at the invitation of the Anglican church next week because there is a warrant for his arrest in his home country where homosexuality is punishable by life imprisonment…” Do you really think Christ would approve of this?What do we really know about Bishop Peter Akinola? How about this commentary from Thinking Anglicans back in May of 2006. It isn’t a story we were told back here in the ‘States’.
“Two recent, egregious, examples: last week our old friend Archbishop Akinola waded into the inter-religious violence in Nigeria with all the abandon of a man waving a lighted match near a pool of petrol, threatening Muslims that they did not have a monopoly of violence. Who knows what the effect, but shortly afterwards Christian mobs in Onitsha started hacking people to death with machetes. The only people I can find who condoned the Archbishop’s remarks were on American blogsites. Even his fellow bishop Cyril Okorocha thought he was being inflammatory.Akinola’s hot on the Bible but he doesn’t seem to have read the Beatitudes recently. Of course Christians were already under attack from Muslims but that’s no excuse. This of course is the archbishop who has just ostentatiously praised the Nigerian government for introducing draconian and inhumane legislation against homosexuals, thereby breaking that great holy writ of conservative evangelicals, Lambeth 1.10, but that’s old news.Let’s take as our second example one of Akinola’s allies, the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Most Rev. Bernard Malango, another primate who is quick to criticise the gay mote in England and America but slow to recognise the beam in his own eye. He’s the man who recently absolved, without trial, Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of Harare. The list of 38 charges against the good bishop, who is a crony of Robert Mugabe, brought against him by his own black parishioners, include little matters such as incitement to murder, intimidation, ignoring church law, mishandling funds and proselytising for Zanu PF from the pulpit. He has also occupied a farm and evicted 40 families from a local village. A couple of months ago he even licensed the acting vice-president of Zimbabwe Joseph Msika, a man on record as saying that whites are not human beings, to act as a deacon of the church.Archbishop Malango decided Kunonga had done nothing wrong after the case faltered in Zimbabwe, because of a little spot of harassment and intimidation. Thanks to that, he has not a stain on his character and is going round saying the charges were all got up by whites.But that’s not all Archbishop Malango’s been up to. He’s also been persecuting the Rev. Nicholas Henderson, the London vicar who was chosen last summer as Bishop of Lake Malawi by members of the diocese impressed by his many years of close association and work with them. Let’s try this again – from Fr. Jake Stops the World blog. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m liking Akinola less and less. Let’s also face the fact that we are dealing with the same knee-jerk RIGHT conservative mind-set that is promoting mindless and irrational anti-immigration laws. I can’t see anything different here. We’re dealing with the same people. They are so determined to have their own way that they cannot see the collateral damage they are causing. I don’t care what political persuasion or religion you are, the events detailed above and below are just plain wrong. They are NOT CHRISTIAN. “……last week our old friend Archbishop Akinola waded into the inter-religious violence in Nigeria with all the abandon of a man waving a lighted match near a pool of petrol, threatening Muslims that they did not have a monopoly of violence. Who knows what the effect, but shortly afterwards Christian mobs in Onitsha started hacking people to death with machetes. The only people I can find who condoned the Archbishop’s remarks were on American blogsites. Even his fellow bishop Cyril Okorocha thought he was being inflammatory…From the Catholic Information Service for Africa: …Media reports say suspected mobs of Christians armed with machetes and guns roamed the streets of the mainly Christian city of Onitsha, in the south-east, killing at least 40 people in retaliation for Muslim violence in the north.
The revenge killings came a day after the country’s leading Anglican primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, warned Muslims that they did not have a “monopoly on violence.” He said churches “may no longer be able to contain our restive youths should this ugly trend continue”… Abp. Akinola’s statement is dated February 21. Here is a segment of a report regarding the violence in Nigeria that appeared in the New York Times February 24: ONITSHA, Nigeria – Dozens of charred, smoldering bodies littered the streets of this bustling commercial capital Thursday after three days of rioting in which Christian mobs wielding machetes, clubs and knives set upon their Muslim neighbors.
Rioters have killed scores of people here, mostly Muslims, after burning their homes, businesses and mosques in the worst violence yet linked to the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad first published in a Danish newspaper…
The main thoroughfare leading into the city across the Niger River was covered in carrion – the bodies of Muslim Hausas trying to flee rampaging bands of youths, witnesses said. Many of the victims appeared to have been beaten to death; most of the bodies had been doused with gasoline and burned…
…At the central mosque, rioters burned the building and hacked down trees.
Someone wrote in chalk on a charred wall: “Jesus is Lord. As from today know more Muhammad.”
Thousands of Muslim residents fled the city, some on foot over the bridge leading to Delta state, taking refuge in neighboring cities. Thousands more huddled in police and army barracks in Onitsha and surrounding towns…”
style=””> How about this version?
Contrary to his comments, Akinola has been working on this compromise with the Islamic leaders of Nigeria for months. And an excellent history of the whole ‘affair’