The big gay Nigeria problem

Those of us who have listen to the intra-Anglican fracas tend to see “the Nigerian problem” as the Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola interfering in United States parishes, standing as a spokesman for conservative primates, and by extension challenging the Archbishop of Canterbury as the de facto leader of the Communion. But as I’ve said, I’ve given up bishops for Lent. Or the Anglican ones anyway.

Nigeria has another problem with gays: abject hatred and a proposed law that would not only jail gays but those that defend them. Yes, Archbishop Akinola is a major supporter for this cruel bill. I admit to have hearing about it, but then let it slip my mind.

It did not, however, slip Rev. Tom’s at Sacerdos in Aeternum. He points to a current Voice of America story on the subject, and encourages his readers to write their member of Congress or the Nigerian embassy. The BBC also has coverage.

The Nigerian chancery used to be around the corner from me, but has since moved to the gated diplomatic compound up off Connecticut Aveune, so don’t trust any 16th Street address you might have. Use this one instead, and your best Emily Post/Amnesty International manners.

His Excellency Professor George A. Obiozor
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
3519 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 44, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

11 thoughts on “The big gay Nigeria problem

  1. Yesterday I attended the lectionary study group here on Whidbey Island and our colleague, the rector of the local Episcopal parish who is part of a national Episcopalian governing council (I forget the name), poured out his grief about what is happening to the Anglican communion and described much of what you have said about Nigerian law and the complicity of the Nigerian primate. He added that one of the American charges (and probably the UK as well) is that the Nigerian Archbishop is defying and attempting to override church polity. His spouse is the new rector at a parish north of here, a parish which has split over this issue. It is truly a desperate time for our siblings in the Anglican communion.

  2. And yet in most congregations life goes on, and fruitfully so.

    Also, as my friend and brother in ministry Richard notes on his blog, there are other things going on, internationally and in Africa. as well as in the U.S. See his post at http://caughtbythelight.blogspot.com/2007/03/our-churchs-heart.html about where he thinks the heart of the Anglican Communion really is and also the TEAM (Toward Effective Anglican Mission) website at http://www.team2007.org/ (many Anglicans from many countries at this South Africa conference!) and Episcopal News Service coverage of the TEAM conference at
    http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_23466_ENG_HTM.htm and its focus on the Millennium Development Goals.

    Speaking of Africa, remember the South African Anglican church is a whole different story from the Nigerian Anglican Church. (Read any statement by Archbishop Ndungane, Archbishop Tutu’s worthy successor.)

    And that in all the cases, we need to listen to the women for another side of the story: see http://actsofhope.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-now-anglican-women-speak.html

    Which doesn’t mean we are not suffering from pain and division and nasty politics. But that’s not the whole story.

    And the Nigerian gay legislation –as you do well to remind us and as I have pointed out on my own blog– is appalling and frightening.

    Thanks for the sibling affection and solidarity.

    Jane

  3. Also, as my friend and brother in ministry Richard Helmer notes on his blog, there are other things going on, internationally and in Africa. as well as in the U.S. See his post at http://caughtbythelight.blogspot.com/2007/03/our-churchs-heart.html about where he thinks the heart of the Anglican Communion really is

    and also the TEAM (Toward Effective Anglican Mission) website at http://www.team2007.org/ (many Anglicans from many countries at this South Africa conference!)

    and Episcopal News Service coverage of the TEAM conference at
    http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_23466_ENG_HTM.htm and its focus on the Millennium Development Goals.

    Speaking of Africa, remember the South African Anglican church is a whole different story from the Nigerian Anglican Church. (Read any statement by Archbishop Ndungane, Archbishop Tutu’s worthy successor.)

    And bear in mind that in all the cases, we need to listen to the women for another side of the story: see http://actsofhope.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-now-anglican-women-speak.html

    Which doesn’t mean we are not suffering from pain and division and nasty politics. But that’s not the whole story.

    And the Nigerian gay legislation –as you do well to remind us and as I have pointed out on my own blog– is appalling and frightening.

    Thanks for the sibling affection and solidarity.

    Jane

  4. Scott, my apologies, I posted two or three times because the comment didn’t appear and I forgot that you moderated comments. You only need to post it once, once you see it ;-). I think folks will be interested in the links on it.

    All good wishes,
    Jane

  5. Oops, there is no moderation and it never did post. I’m wondering whether there is a length limit. Let me try again here. Here’s what I tried to post a few hours ago (I kept a copy when it didn’t post)…

    And yet in most congregations life goes on, and fruitfully so.

    Also, as my friend and brother in ministry Richard Helmer notes on his blog, there are other things going on, internationally as well as in the U.S. See his post at http://caughtbythelight./blogspot.com/2007/03/our-churchs-heart.html about where the thinks the heart of the Anglican Communion really is.

    and also the TEAM (Toward Effective Anglican Mission) website at
    http://www.team2007.org/ (many Anglicans from many countries at this South Africa conference!)

    and Episcopal News Service coverage of the TEAM conference at
    http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_23466_ENG_HTM.htm and its focus on the Millennium Development Goals.

    Speaking of Africa, remember the South African Anglican church is a whole different story from the Nigerian Anglican church. (Read any statement by Archbishop Ndungane, Archbishop Tutu’s worthy successor.)

    And bear in mind that in all cases, we need to *listen to the women* for another side of the story: see http://actsof hope.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-now-anglican-women-speak.html .

    Which doesn’t mean we are not suffering from pain and division and nasty politics. But that’s not the whole story.

    And the Nigerian gay legislation –as you do well to remind us and as I have noted on my own blog– is appalling and frightening.

    Thanks for the sibling affection and solidarity.

    Jane

  6. For the readership — comments with multiple links — a good sign for spam — are held for moderation. A spam filter on rare occasion will grab a legitimate comment, and I’ll never see it. One would-be commenter has been banned — others have banned this individual, too — and I’ll delete his writings without acknowledgment. Everything else should post.

  7. Thanks, Scott.

    Of the four links above, the two blogspot links (to Richard’s blog and mine) were broken — it may be my fault. Here they are again:

    Richard on the heart of the Anglican communion:
    http://caughtbythelight.blogspot.com/2007/03/our-churchs-heart.html

    Yrs truly on Anglican women and what they have to say:
    http://actsofhope.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-now-anglican-women-speak.html

    They both have hyphens (en-dashes) in them so maybe that’s the problem. Should you have problems reaching them, you can just click on my name above to get to my blog and then look a few days down for the fabulous Anglican women’s statements, and you can get to Richard via my blogroll in the right-hand column under “Blogging Anglicans.” His comment on the heart of the Communion is his latest comment and it’s short and has a great link to a collective blog by the West Coast folks currently in South Africa.

    Whew — sorry again.

  8. Scott, thanks so much for posting the information about the serious Nigerian situation. Our brothers and sisters in Nigeria need all the help they can get. I’m also glad to see that Jane Redmont posted a link to Matthew Thompson’s Political Spaghetti in the comments above. So I won’t link to it again here. Many Blessings.

  9. Scott or anyone who might know — Any idea what the stand of the Nigerian Unitarian Universalist church might be on homosexuality? They’ve been around for nearly a hundred years, and I do wonder what kinds of stances they take on such matters.

  10. Well, it has to be a bit more complicated. There are — at last count — two Unitarian (no Universalist history there) churches in Lagos, one having come out of the other. The first church (and perhaps both) is ethnically Yoruba, and while I’m no expert in Yoruba culture, I have been reading that there’s a native anti-gay bias among the Yoruba that predates Christian mission, but has been aggravated by it. Abp. Akinola, a Yoruba, prompted the reportage.

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