More on Nigeria and Virginia
The New York Times reporting on Akinola of Nigeria speaks for itself. The headline is "At Axis of Episcopal Split, an Anti-Gay Nigerian."
ABUJA, Nigeria, Dec. 20--The way he tells the story, the first and only time Archbishop Peter J. Akinola knowingly shook a gay person's hand, he sprang backward the moment he realized what he had done.All the long-winded, circuitous, pathetic defenses of this man coming from the leaders of schismatic churches in Virginia is yet again exposed for what everyone knows they are--lies.
Archbishop Akinola, the conservative leader of Nigeria's Anglican Church who has emerged at the center of a schism over homosexuality in the global Anglican Communion, re-enacted the scene from behind his desk Tuesday, shaking his head in wonder and horror.
"This man came up to me after a service, in New York I think, and said, 'Oh, good to see you bishop, this is my partner of many years,' " he recalled. "I said, 'Oh!' I jumped back."
Whenever the positions espoused by this man are discussed, these schismatics begin to cry about being victims and being subject to personal attacks, etc, etc. It is all hogwash. There is no way to polish this turd. This man is an embarrassment to Christendom and with the exception of the African Anglican bishop who steals from his congregations and tries to protect accused murderers, the very worst Anglican bishop.
The local paper out of the town of Falls Church, Virginia, the Falls Church News Press, has been writing about the abuses and conflicts stirred up by the schismatic churches in their own backyards. They are not well liked in their own home towns, because instead of trying to be good members of their communities, the churches instead try to bully them. Headline: "No surprise to us locals."
[I]t wasn't until the Republican neo-conservatives who'd taken over nearby Washington in the mid-1990s and began flocking, along with their well-heeled patrons, from considerable distances to assemble at the church to hear the likes of Ken Starr and hob-knob with board members of the Bush White House's personal favorite Weekly Standard magazine, that the church's leaders started making pushier demands on its neighborhood. They bought a next-door shopping center, booted everyone out, and tried to bully the little Falls Church City Council into closing a busy public street and giving it to them.Headline: "Descent into the Abyss"
That led to years of acrimony that included a successful push-back from the local community. Meanwhile, many in the community whose families were members of the church for a half-century and longer, became caught up in the church's recent frenzied crusade to defect. Some now claim the church was less than up front to those folk about its real chances of keeping its current location upon defecting.
All in all, this week's news comes as no surprise for those who've suffered the current church leadership in our midst for this long.
The actions of the Falls Church Episcopal's leadership, and that of the Truro Church of Fairfax and some others across the U.S., is a mild replay of the same sad history of centuries of division, slaughter, discord and tyranny within Christendom. This week's action will not trigger another Inquisition, but the mentality is the same.All of this is just more of what we already know. These are not Episcopal Churches, except for the name. These are evangelical right wing churches that have usurped hundreds of years of Episcopal tradition in those places and are now trying to steal Episcopal property. They must be challenged and stopped. They have no right to use what has been nurtured by the Episcopal Church and Episcopalians for hundreds of years.
Rather than affirming a generosity of spirit and Good Samaritan compassion that can embrace and nurture a complex and multi-faceted humanity, in this case, the leaders of the Falls Church Episcopal have chosen to stand against the civil authority of the U.S. Constitution that promises equal rights for all, just as happened in all those pulpits that, in the past, denounced what they called the ''un-Godly" acts of freeing slaves, ending segregation, or more recently, ending prohibitions on interracial marriage. Church folk experience such hate, emotionally, as a burning righteous indignation.
If this week's vote results in the departure of Falls Church Episcopal from the Episcopal denomination, the church will go down in infamy as a regrettable and despised bastion of bigotry, prejudice and hatred.
In order to earn this legacy, the church's leadership is willing to disenfranchise its members from access to one of the nation's most historic church structures and histories. On this one issue, of the consecration of an otherwise completely qualified, but gay, bishop in New England, this church's leadership is descending from the heights of grandiose plans for a major expansion in 2000, to years of development paralysis, to now being expelled from its property by the Diocese of Virginia following this week's vote and its flock sent wandering. The power of hate can be so strong.