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Archbishops of Canterbury and York urge Nigeria and Uganda to drop anti-gay laws

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  1. But given every opportunity they knock us down.

    1. It’s comes over as a weak and half-hearted letter, it isn’t very specific in that it doesn’t even mention the dehumanising vilification of gays by Anglican clergy or the anti-gay laws that their clergy have enthusiastically encouraged, in Nigeria Archbishop Akinola is just one key example of an Anglican leader instrumental to the enactment of anti-gay laws.

  2. Their milder past, and present, homophobia at home aside…

    This is great news and we should welcome it.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jan 2014, 12:20pm

      Believe me, if they weren’t off to meet their fellow bigots in five days, no such letter would have been forthcoming. We’re not that gullible. It should have said at least….’the Church apologises for the harm we have caused our gay brothers and sisters for centuries and we will no longer tolerate discrimination and homophobia?’

  3. I’m not interested in support from these people. When they were opposing LGBT equality legislation in this country, I was of the opinion that they should be regarded irrelevant. Now they are singing a slightly different tune, my opinion hasn’t changed. This is nothing more than an attempt at spin from the CoE. Let’s not forget exactly where African countries got their homophobic ideas in the first place.

    1. But that would be like saying I’m not interested in the support of the tories, as they were once a homophobic party, as were labour once upon a time. All support is good.

      1. Fair point Mark, but that rather depends on how much you trust their present stance in terms of its sincerity and longevity. As I pointed out below, if this is their genuine view, where were they in the fight before the laws passed?

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jan 2014, 12:25pm

          I truly believe that they believed the marriage bill would fail. Welby conceded that ‘they’ were ‘overwhelmed’ by so much support in the country and importantly in Parliament. Amazingly, there was a bit more support in the Lords where they hold court. I think that was the final straw. This letter is a form of back-pedaling but is really not forceful enough, in fact weak. Their fellow bigoted clergy in Africa will ignore it.

          1. Midnighter 30 Jan 2014, 1:06pm

            Yep, with you there Robert. For all the good it does now, this is a token PR gesture and a salve for their collective conscience. This is a teaspoon of water thrown at a burning building, and I find it hard think better of them simply because they have stopped fanning the flames of the fire they started.

    2. Yes, especially since we know that their efforts to re-invent themselves in the UK are driven by falling attendances and the external influences of secular sentiment. It doesn’t matter how much perfume they throw in the swimming pool, we all know the turds of misogyny and homophobia are floating around in there somewhere ;-)

    3. With respect, your interest is irrelevant. It’s the people in Nigeria & Uganda that this may help. Of course all bigotry is detestable, but there is a huge difference between opposing progressive western laws and imprisoning and killing gay people. In the time of U.S slavery, many abolitionists were still racist, but thought that the way Africans were treated was beyond the pale.

      1. Midnighter 30 Jan 2014, 1:47pm

        “It’s the people in Nigeria & Uganda that this may help.”
        Is David not allowed to express solidarity with those people? How do you know he or his family don’t have ties there?

        Since when was someone’s own failure a reason for thinking better of them? If your enemy wins one battle, they are not your friend simply because they are losing a battle elsewhere.

        With respect, your opinion is illogical.

        1. Illogical? I think in a situation where people are being tortured and killed, refusing support because of (relatively speaking) minor homophobia is illogical. Whether you like it or not, the word of a religious figure will have a bigger impact on these people than a secular one. Gay people in these countries facing a life and death scenario need all the support they can get, forget about the church resisting equal marriage laws for a moment, that is f*ck all compared to what is happening in Uganda & Nigeria.

          1. Midnighter 30 Jan 2014, 4:35pm

            What was illogical was your original argument against David, yes.

            You are now presenting a strawman argument and misrepresenting David’s original statement: He is not rejecting their support because of their homophobia, he is rejecting their support because they “should be regarded irrelevant”.

            No one here is arguing that we have it as bad – or worse – in the UK than in Nigeria – this is another strawman argument of your own making.

            If you are going to disagree with someone, it seems only fair to disagree with what they actually said and not put words in their mouth.

            I don’t have an issue with your stated views, I have an issue with you dismissing other peoples views on the basis of your own misunderstanding and poor reasoning.

  4. About time – although one wonders what the intention is behind a letter after the fact when – if they were genuinely concerned – they would have been lobbying in the months and years that such legislation has been in the pipeline.

    Let us not forget that half of Nigeria is Muslim – I’d like to hear something similar from the Muslim Council of Great Britain. While I’m aware they don’t have equivalent links as the Anglicans, a clear condemnation from them could only be helpful.

  5. David, above, is totally correct. This outfit has spent two-thousand years marginalising and victimising us. Now that its support is at an all-time low, it’s seeking to get on the right side of history. Well, I believe the church is an irrelevance. Who CARES what these self-appointed, self-delusional, busy-body moral guardians think? How much more advanced towards peace and equality would this world be had it not be for the divisiveness and war-mongering of organised religion? It cannot be a co-incidence that in places where religious belief has waned, harmony has emerged. The sooner this type of paternalistic, dogmatic, hectoring, ‘established’ organisation bites the dust, the sooner we can all just get on with loving each other which, if memory serves me correctly, was the central message of their religion’s founder …..

    1. Croydon Guy 30 Jan 2014, 7:27pm

      “David, above, is totally correct. This outfit has spent two-thousand years marginalising and victimising us…”
      Reality check here, please. Those attitudes in the church only BEGAN to grow 100 years ago. This followed (not led) changes of attitude in society. The terms in church law changed enough to allow criminal action, only 500 years ago. The church’s attitudes were relatively mild in the 50s, with some senior figures speaking against contemporary legislation in the UK.
      We’ve won great victories with the UCHR and so on, so there has been a recent backlash often starting within the churches.
      But it is wrong to say the Church was always like this. And neither was Judaism.
      Church people no longer condemn black people by finding the odd text to re-interpret. The church is changing in this country. Look at WHY, and see how that change can be extended.
      Opposing a false history of the problem doesn’t help solve it.

  6. I’d prefer them to be saying this than supporting what uganda and nigeria are doing. So this is good news.

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jan 2014, 12:15pm

    Our same-sex attractions are ‘anathema’ to the CofE? Says it all doesn’t it? In other words, aside from hating the sin and loving the sinner, it’s ok to have animus towards us but you must treat us nicely. On which planet are these two living? A feeble attempt to deflect further criticism at home. Where is the formal apology for the centuries of discrimination and homophobia their cult has promoted and institutionalised at home and abroad?

    1. No Robert, I think you’ve read it too quickly: The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.

      1. Correct, Rehan.

  8. Far too little, far too late.

    However, I suppose it’s (just) a bit better than nothing at all.

    Now, what about Russia?

  9. They could do or say something to condemn the antics of the vile anti-gay Andrea Mini-Hitler Williams who still has a place in the Anglican Synod, she who campaigns to block every piece of pro-gay legislation both here and overseas, recently encouraging Jamaica to maintain the criminalisation of homosexuality. What will Welby and Sentamu do about the damaging, anti-gay, extremist evangelicals who have infiltrated the Anglican church here in UK?

    1. They’ll do absolutely nothing. Pehaps they should recruit Nigel Farrage to sort it out ….?

  10. I welcome any degree of support that may help our brothers and sisters in those countries.
    However, I do think it a bit holier than though when you consider what our own laws were until not all that6 long ago. Maybe they should have sent a copy of this to the Pope as well.

  11. George Broadhead 30 Jan 2014, 5:08pm

    What a cop-out!

    It is highly significant that the two archbishops have failed to condemn the staunch support given by the Anglican Church of Nigeria for the Draconian anti-gay legislation recently introduced in that country or the staunch support given by the Anglican Church of Uganda for the equally Draconian anti-gay legislation still pending in that country.

    1. Croydon Guy 30 Jan 2014, 7:31pm

      They have just re-iterated their position.
      Please *read* it.
      They would weaken their position if they had to repeat themselves constantly – a lesson we can learn from.

      1. George Broadhead 31 Jan 2014, 9:26am

        Where can their condemnation be read?

  12. Christopher Coleman 31 Jan 2014, 6:15pm

    The C of E leaders were content not to invite to the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire to the 2008 Lambeth Conference. They did so to please the anti-gay African and Asian contingents, fearing an open schism if they ignored their openly expressed homophobia, thereby encouraging that homophobia. Instead of their feeble protests now they should be reading their Bibles and contemplating the words of St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. He writes in chapter VI:

    Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    The African countries have expressed anti-gay sentiment for a long time. Interestingly, the Ugandans introduced their anti-gay bill in 2009, just a few months after the encouraging Lambeth Conference.

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