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Chicago Anglican church branch nominates lesbian for bishop

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  1. Joanna Rowland-Stuart 1 Sep 2007, 5:52pm

    The debate should not be about whether a lesbian or gay candidate is unsuitable to be a bishop, but about whether priests and vicars should come from within the wider body of faithful believers and genuinely reflect the diversity of their congregations.If we are indeed all kings and priests before God, and we do not restrict the priesthood on grounds of gender or sexual orientation, then why do people insist on restricting Bishops in such a fashion? If someone can be a congregation member, a churchwarden, a deacon, a curate, a vicar, then why not a bishop or an archbishop?The ones bent on breaking the communion are those who seek to enforce sterility and stagnancy and stultification on a church which risks alienating itself from a population which is moving (be it ever so slowly) towards genuine equality. Those who insist on prepared positions, on digging theological trenches for internecine warfare, who are strident in their calls for people to take positions as dogmatic soldiers , should take time to reflect on what will glorify God most – a church in self-inflicted crisis or a church that is seen to welcome all who can help build the body of Christ, irrespective of background and differences?

  2. I couldn’t care less whether or not the Anglican church splits over this issue of homosexuality among priests and bishops.When the debate and media portrayal are artificially polarised between “liberal enlightened Westerners” versus “backward homophobic Africans”, then it becomes both racist and simplistic.For a start, the reason attitudes in Africa aren’t as tolerating of homosexuality than the West isn’t because they’re inherently backward – it’s because Western colonists held the country back in the ruthless plundering of the continents’ wealth. It continues today, both with the world financial institutions holding back Africa’s economy to benefit rich multinationals in the West AND military intervention to benefit US imperialism.It’s not religion (whether it’s Christianity or Islam that’s being demonised) and it’s not so-called “black culture”. The reason so much homophobia exists in third world countries is down to ruthless imperialism.The group representing Iraqi LGBT people has called the current situation in that country the “worst sexual cleansing in history”!The Anglican church in the West owes it to Africa to allow them to self-determine their own future. If that means splitting the church, so be it.

  3. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED Organi 2 Sep 2007, 8:51am

    I believe Andy’s analysis is very perceptive. The anglo-catholic cult and their big brothers in the roman-catholic cult came to Africa, the Americas, etc. walking hand in hand with the armed forces of European empire builders, slave traders and colonialist businesses. If African anglo-catholics are die-hard antigay bigots, and they are, they got that from the English colonialists. Islam also came with conquests and brought with it the slave trade, which still exists in thinly disguised forms. He mentions the situation in Iraq, and we should understand the enormity of the murder campaign going on there. Both the English and the Americans are arming Shiite and Sunni militias, police forces and soldiers to divide Iraqi society so they can gobble up the oil wealth of Iraq. It’s piracy on a vast scale. The competing Shiite and Sunni militias have declared a ‘holy war’ against gays, kidnapping and butchering our brothers in Iraq by the thousands. American and English occupation authorities routinely ignore requests for aid and protection. The morgues are overflowing with innocents caught in the crossfire of Shiite and Sunni terrorists, and with gays who are deliberately murdered. The only disagreement I have is with the statement that “It’s not religion (whether it’s Christianity or Islam that’s being demonised) and it’s not so-called “black culture”. The reason so much homophobia exists in third world countries is down to ruthless imperialism.” I think it’s more accurate to say that religion, homophobia, misogyny and racism are weapons used by colonialists (and the post colonialists) to divide and rule. As for the remarks of Joanna Rowland-Stuart all I can suggest is lithium.

  4. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED Organi 2 Sep 2007, 10:21am

    Oops, I meant Alex’s analysis.

  5. Yeah, Bill, I think you’ll find the Catholic stuff came with the Spanish and Portuguese mainly, and not just in the Americas, the African continent also had it’s fair share of catholic invaders. England is and has been a Protestant country, since Henry VIII and the Reformation. The Americas were barely known to Henry or to England then, let alone Great Britain, which was non-existent at that time. We were a little bit too busy building ships ready to counter a European invasion. That would be from Catholic Spain, urged on by a Pope who wasn’t too impressed with Henry’s behaviour.The British Empire did not exist then and wouldn’t until around the time of King George III but the concept of the British Empire didn’t really take hold until Queen Victoria’s time with the advent of the industrial revolution.And it’s British, Bill, not English. It was the British Empire, it is British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and it was Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English who all went overseas empire building. England didn’t do it all by itself and the inhabitants of the rest of the UK didn’t all leave their birth places because of English tyranny. A lot of them simply went to fill their pockets, despite what successive generations claim. And neither was Great Britain the only European country to have an empire. Virtually every European country had an empire at the time, we were just better at it than others.By the way,it doesn’t do your argument much good when you resort to ad hominem attacks on folk just for expressing their honest opinions.

  6. Anonymous 2 Sep 2007, 6:07pm

    AngieRS, we also had good teachers in empire building, the Romans for over 400 years, then the Normans centuries later. We learned well but glad its over. If it hadn’t been us, it would have probably been France or Spain and in ways it might have been worse because catholicism would have had an even more stronger foothold in other parts of the world. The one good thing Henry VIII did was to get rid of it as the state religion, even though I could do without the Anglicans too who aren’t much better.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  7. fascinating that that we are expected to/willing to accept homophobia from African nations just because the ancestors of our establishment powers (but not our ancestors) exploited them.I’m sorry, we shouldn’t take homophobic stuff from anyone, there’s no excuse, there’s no cultural reason. It’s just nasty bigotry. So let’s call it that.

  8. Robert, yes, we had good teachers, after all, the Romans had most of Europe under their belt by the time they got to us. The Normans were just lucky and they never did it again, though not for want of trying.

  9. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED Organi 3 Sep 2007, 12:31am

    AngieRS”And it’s British, Bill, not English.” Wrong, it’s the English. Plenty of Scots, Welsh and Irish hold that political opinion and I agree with them. For them it’s not the UK, it’s England and adjacent occupied territories. I completely agree that the other European and Islamic/Turkish empire builders were equally culpable of crimes against humanity on the same scale as the English (not the people of England, but its rulers). I pointed that out when I said ‘The anglo-catholic cult and their big brothers in the roman-catholic cult came to Africa, the Americas, etc. walking hand in hand with the armed forces of European empire builders, slave traders and colonialist businesses.’ I picked up the ‘anglo-catholic cult’ from some episcopal friends in the US who are what I think you’d call ‘high church’, verrrry high church. I have no views about anglicans being protestants or junior catholics, or on how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, nor do I view the film THE EXORCIST as a documentary. apYrs‘that that we are expected to/willing to accept homophobia from African nations just because the ancestors of our establishment powers (but not our ancestors) exploited them.I’m sorry, we shouldn’t take homophobic stuff from anyone, there’s no excuse, there’s no cultural reason. It’s just nasty bigotry. So let’s call it that.’I agree completely, bigotry is bigotry and has to be supressed. But I also think that English rulers, empire builders, superstitious cults and slave traders are totally responsible for that bigotry. And it’s not exactly a thing of the past, either in Africa or in your own backyard. Perhaps it will be when the English and the Paisleyite swine get booted out of Ireland (ala Algeria) and when plebiscites decide the fate of Wales and Scotland. And of course there’s Gibraltar and Los Malvinas etc. When all English (and other European, US, etc.) assets in Africa, Latin America, etc. are confiscated without compensation it will go a long way to pay the debts incurred by slavery and colonization.)

  10. Yeah, Bill, whatever

  11. Anonymous 3 Sep 2007, 1:20pm

    apYrs, yes, it IS about insitutionalised homophobia, nothing more. They never condemn heterosexuals for adultery be they celebrities, politicans or whatever and none are the butt of jokes like we are. I defy anyone to say that its not homophobia and when we call them on it, they become defensive, so it proves we hit a raw nerve, forcing them to confront their own bigotry and hatred. We must keep on doing it until it penetrates their ignorance. Robert, ex-pat Brit

  12. sorry, “its england and the adjacent occupied territories”. with arrogance on this scale its no wonder we used to have an empire! The 1707 act of union was when king james IV (of SCOTLAND) became James I of England. There was no blood shed and if anyone can claimto be conquered, its the english.And yes, we’ve done some terrible wrongs to Africa but there is no excuse for the level of homophobia that goes on there. We’ve also had colonies in America, Canada and Australia and they’re much less bigoted. Its patronising beyond words to assume africans can’t take responsibilty and ownership of their own views.

  13. andyP, there are many African countries that we never colonised yet they are still homophobic. Even if we, the French, Belgians, Portuguese, Italians, Dutch hadn’t colonised, there or anywhere else, there would still be homophobia. It was there before we were. Slavery I might add was very common on the African continent long before the white man set foot there, long before the Romans entered north Africa. African tribes were enslaving their own, and in some countries, it sill exists to a lesser extent. This is nothing new. Hinduism in India is very homophobic, a religion far older than British colonialism there. Greece, the cradle of homosexuality, had very little homophobia until the establishment before and ofter the Greek Orthodox church came into existence after the schism with Rome in the 11th century. You’re right, we colonised North America Australia and New Zealand too, all of which evolved socially, long after we were gone. There is no excuse why Africans and others in the emerging world can’t. Its all too simplistic to blame British colonisation and people only consider the bad things aside from the great good tht we did, not that I don’t agree that colonisation was wrong. Religion is at the root cause of homophobia, everywhere on this planet.Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  14. Sister Mary Clarance 3 Sep 2007, 6:01pm

    Ignorance and lack of education is the root of this. Justify it how you like, it all boils down to ignorance.

  15. andyP, if Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales want to secede, let them. They’re free to do so and England will never stop them, its their choice to remain within the union. Personally, I’m all for it! Why should we go on supporting them financially if they don’t want us, makes no sense? We get nothing out of it as it is and we should seriously consider getting rid of the commonwealth altogether, what good does it serve anyway,just to prop up that other anachronistic system called the monarchy, it irrelevant in the 21st century. Robert, ex-pat Brit.

  16. Firstly, to be fair there’s some disagreement about what, if anything, Archbishop Orama actually said. He claims to have been misquoted and has distanced himself from these statements. That said, the sentiments certainly do sound like the things we’ve come to expect from the Anglican Church in Nigeria. Watch this space. Secondly, it is grossly simplistic to say that “religion is the root cause of homophobia.” Homophobia arises firstly out of a binary conception of human sexuality – that is, for homophobia to exist there must first be a concept of homosexuality. And for homosexuality (deviant, perverted, negative) to exist as a concept, there must first be a concept of heterosexuality (acceptable, normal, positive). Neither of these concepts are universal, natural, or obvious. They did not exist in Europe prior to the nineteenth century (when homosexuality and homophobia emerged as major social discourses) and they did not exist in any recognisable form (so far as I am aware) anywhere else until they were spread by the legal codes promulgated under European colonialism (and the evangelical religion that it brought with it). Actually, I am inclined towards the view that capitalism is at the root of much Western homophobia (as it is responsible for 19th century views of acceptable family life and gender roles), but I certainly wouldn’t be so dogmatic as to say that it is “the root cause” of all such prejudice. Attitudes to homosexuality in sub-Saharan Africa (and to a lesser extent in Islamic Africa, though here it is a more complex matter) are heavily influenced by colonial norms. Which makes the African postcolonial reaction against perceived Western liberalism rather ironic. Caliban (former colonial, current Brit)

  17. Hatred bred by a man of religion. Yet again. So much hatred in these religious people. The world would be a better place without them, they are inhuman, and not fit to live. Why do people give such reverence to homophobia like this just because a person believes there is a magic imaginary ‘all-seeing’ man/being/animal in the sky?

  18. Steve_of_Brighton 11 Sep 2007, 11:55pm

    Alex you so, so miss the point. Why are the poverty stricken and exploited, peoples of Africa or the traumatised and violated people of Iraq so, so obsessed with gays (a social group that do no harm to anyone), hardly a priority surely? It’s about corrupt religious leaders finding any way to divide, scape goat, and rule. Gay people are humans… gay rights are human rights. In my opinion the UK and the rest of the EU should withdraw financial aid to countries that do not respect human rights. Sometimes strings should be attached to financial aid.

  19. Does gay equality only apply to white people?

  20. Bill Perdue 12 Sep 2007, 2:01am

    The toxic antigay bigotry now festering in government and religious circles in Africa was implanted by European colonists, often at the point of bayonets. But other factors keep it alive today. I think of no exceptions to the truism that the former colonies were literally raped by empire builders from Europe, Japan, and the US. As a result independence didn’t arrive with a stable economy or finances, a rich cultural and educational establishment, an adequate physical infrastructure, or satisfactory housing, heath and nutrition. The colonies were feeding grounds for ravenous beasts like the East India Company, Leopold of Belgium, the Japanese in China, the US in the Philippines, the French in Algeria, Mussolini in Libya, and etc. If, after decades of independence they’re still suffering from want that’s compelling testimony to the gluttony of the empire building vandals.This poverty breeds race, national, anti female and antigay hatred. But that’s no excuse for the homophobia of African cultists, christian or muslim. What we want to keep uppermost in mind though, is that the chief victims of that bigotry are Africans, Jamaicans, Iraqis, etc. Pogroms and mass murder are a distinct worry for them and a reality in Iraq and Iran.It’s good, clean fun to vilify European and African cultists, nobody deserves it more (except Bush the mass murderer). However the real problem is the victimization of our own kind in Africa, the Caribbean and Mideast. So please check out: and

  21. Not the least of which is Sun Myung Moon’s organization – here with UPI – directing the discussion. One of his “preachers” would call this “pouring oil on the fire.”Moon spent billions empowering, pushing, America’s politics right, theocratic, authoritarian and homophobic. He was wildly successful and yet rarely discussed. 3 billion for the Washington Times alone, providing backbone to the whole “conservative” movement. Funding individuals and other front groups to bring the religious right into control of one party. You think Bush would have even received the nomination in 2000 absent Moon’s billions and fronts deployed over the last 25 years? I am not saying Moon picked Bush even though Moon is close to the Bush family having given over 3 million dollars to Bush family interests just since W took office. But he created the political environment. Had more to do with it than anyone. Outspent them all.He gave the theocrats a death grip on the Supreme Court – game set match.Why do people act like this did not happen? Moon brings billions into the USA from overseas, from Japan mostly, where his “church” has been found guilty of swindling hundreds of millions of dollars. Billions from overseas to push fascism in America and no one sees. Moon brags about using the paper and “other activities” to “influence” America.Well, it is too late here and Moon has moved onto his real goal, the world. People won’t catch him there either. He will tell you the Universal Peace Federation is not his grand plan tool. He will say it is not another name for the Unification Church and people will buy it. and a little info.

  22. Ciaran McMahon 12 Sep 2007, 8:06am

    Christian believe that they eat and drink the body and blood of their god. Right. And WE’RE insane.Someone should dump this retard in front of a KKK meeting place to remind him of what stupid intolerance inevitably leads to… lets see how inhuman HE’LL look after getting the crap beating out of him for the colour of his skin.

  23. UPI has pulled the story, it has been discredited, and the reporter has apologized for misquoting the Bishop who has denied making the remark.As reported here:

  24. From: Emeka Samuel Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:00 AMTo: nanabuja@nannigeria.orgSubject: REJOINDERFROM: EMEKA OGENYI, NAN, UYOREJOINDER: HOMOSEXUALS, LESBIANS ARE INSANE- BISHOPThis is to inform the agency and the general public that the report on the above subject credited to the Anglican Bishop of Uyo Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama was untrue.I wish to state here that the report was not a true reflection of what the interview he granted journalists while Bishop Orama never made any statement at any time to condemn perpetuators of such unbiblical acts to such an extent as was reflected in the report.The Bishop was wrongly misrepresented and misquoted and I hereby render my apologies to him, the Anglican Diocese of Uyo and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for embarrassment caused them by the report.While I apologize for the mistake and to state that the report was not written in bad faith I wish to express my commitment to the evangelization of the gospel through this medium.

  25. Ciaran McMahon 13 Sep 2007, 10:10pm

    “perpetuators of such unbiblical acts to such an extent”Oh, well, this statement makes ALL the difference. Yeah, no bigotry there…

  26. Michael Upright 23 Sep 2007, 4:19pm

    The article mentioned here regarding Rev. Orama’s alleged anti-gay comments was not written by a UPI reporter. The article came to UPI through a feed from NAN, the Nigerian government’s news agency. UPI provides the feeds from several African government news agencies as a service to our customers, and does not endorse or influence the content of those feeds. I am an openly gay man in all aspects of my life, including my workplace. I am also the Director of Web Development for UPI. I personally saw to it that the article was removed from UPI’s pass-through feed as soon as we became aware of the content. Our dissemination of this article, and the Rev. Moon’s comments, notwithstanding, I can personally attest to a total lack of anti-gay sentiment at UPI. Sincerely,Michael UprightDirector of Web DevelopmentUnited Press International

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