Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Good Riddance

Orombi in Uganda is resigning as well. Good, couldn't come too soon - not that he'd be replaced by anyone better. This is from an interview he gave on 15 April in The Independent News published in Kampala, first of all answering why he's going a year early:

Some people think you have to retire when things are hard, when you are sick, or worn out. But that's not retirement. That's completion of work. For me, I'm moving on to accomplish things that I would need energy to do. That's really why I'm moving on a year early.

An idea of his self-assured arrogance is given here:

What sort of things would you say you could have done differently or given more time to?

None. Every leader has got a calling by God...

Then there is the nub of the issue, of his breaking away from other Anglican Churches:

Unity for the Anglican Communion is not going to come back easily. The Western church and the African church are no longer walking on the same premises. The African church is still a Bible-believing church. Its congregation responds, worships, is growing. You will never say the same about the church in Europe, not even in America.

We don’t interpret the Bible the same way. Whereas for them they’re influenced more by the status quo in terms of the modernised way of interpreting sexuality, we still, as believers, understand sexuality from the creation story, from our cultural background, which to them is all mixed up.

I think because we are a vibrant church, we see things more clearly than they do. And I suppose that the more you grow old, the less teeth you have, the dimmer your eyes, the more hard-at-hearing you become. That’s the church in Europe and America.

It is all mixed up if you cannot see that the biblical creation story is a myth. The Bible is no more informed on sexuality than it is on science or indeed on doing history. We are evolved in common with apes, and like other higher animals some fancy and mate with their own sex. If someone wants to do some 'natural theology' then the normality of such attraction is a consequence of all of the most successful species in evolution: where evolution includes variation and difference, maintaining minorities, because, then, the species can cope better with rapid environmental change. You never know when variation produces positive even unintended and indirect consequences.

Later on he is asked and replies:

You’ve also mentioned that the British hegemony over the Anglican Church is over. If Rowan retires, how do you see chances of Uganda’s own John Sentamu replacing him?

Unfortunately, it’s only the Anglican church of England that [elects Archbishop of Canterbury] then imposes it on the Anglican Communion. So, as for personality, we can’t say anything. We take what they give us. So if he can work with us, we can work together. If he can’t work with us, we are mature enough to say no.

Struth. The idea that they could not get on with Sentamu, after his behaviour in the back rooms of Anglicanism, and recent expressions about marriage, seems bizarre (and why this Revd. Arun Arora, already in place as the next Communications Director, doesn't get the serious criticism of Sentamu) - but that's the extent of the difference between Sentamu and Orombi. Perhaps the following question, like a piece of underarm bowling for Orombi, ought to be asked of John Sentamu or indeed Rowan Williams Mark II:

Gay people and their supporters insist it’s their right to love people of the same sex. Are human rights incompatible with faith in God?

There’s nobody who respects humanity more than God. This other human rights movement is totally a different agenda. If they were talking about human rights per se, don’t I have the right to exercise my faith and believe the way my faith teaches me? These guys will say no. Do it the way we want you to do it. That’s not human rights. That’s imperialism. We Africans need to begin to understand some other new approach of subjecting us to the thinking of the western world. When they coin it to be human rights, you can never get better human rights and justice than what’s in the Bible. It’s the same Bible they reject.

Has he read the Bible recently? It's a catalogue of war and rape and slavery and relative ignorance. Paul says some equalitarian things about the Kingdom of God (and you could extend the sentiment to relationships) and then someone else later in his name decides that women should keep quiet and give way to the male in home and church. I wouldn't have much hope for toleration under Orombi's guide book interpretations.

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