Friday 11 April 2008

Violence in Nigeria (and Elsewhere)

There is a blog of an unidentified lesbian pastor. Now one wonders why it might be unidentified... Not exactly difficult to work out, is it?

She writes of a California youth shot and killed by a classmate because he was gay, and about a youth-led Day of Silence as a means to raise awareness of violence to sexual minorities.

The highly disturbing run of violence in Nigeria against sexual minorities continues. A report on Changing Attitude from Monday 24 March 2008 was posted and then removed until 10 April on the Changing Attitude website because it might lead to further threats and actual violence in Port Harcourt. It describes how Davis Mac-Iyalla received cell phone threats in Nigeria. So did Colin Coward. Note how these used Christian language along with the violence:

Davis Mac-Iyalla you refused to repent and leave homosexuality... Prepare your soul to go to hell...

The violence theatened was:

now we will wipe you out and your homo friends out now... we are coming to send you there. [Hell]

Colin Coward's message (from a different phone) had the Christian language:

...long time to repent but he underrated us. ...but keep encouraging them to pollute our country with abomination and immorality ...come and save them if you can

This is not just the plain language of hatred. This is why it is entirely appropriate to send an open letter to leaders of GAFCON, given that a key centre of leadership is Nigeria itself. This open letter had added coverage in Thinking Anglicans.

It's worse than this. The threats by cell phone were then followed by real violence. Davis Mac-Iyalla was attacked on Sunday morning, 30 March 2008. His hand was slashed, and he managed to fend off a syringe.

This nasty web page from 2005 continues to be displayed. It shows the connection between the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the all round attack on the integrity of Davis Mac-Iyalla. He spoke meaningfully in February about ubuntu and the toleration of homosexuality in southern Nigeria before the missionaries came at the Integrity Conference: Rebuilding Communion - Who Pays the Price?

So far the only response from anyone connected with GAFCON has been to repeat commentary elsewhere about smears and a feeble one with a title about a letter from the Bishop of Portsmouth and others, both on the Anglican Mainstream website:

A letter from the Bishop of Portsmouth and others to some of the GAFCON Leadership has been posted on Thinking Anglicans. This was received earlier this week and draws attention to alleged incidents in Nigeria. It is not made clear on what basis the work of GAFCON is connected with whatever may have happened in Nigeria. No details are given in the letter whether these regrettable events were in any way connected with Anglican or any other church or religious group. The basis of these claims is currently being investigated by GAFCON leadership in Nigeria

Chris Sugden

Meanwhile it continues its drip-drip attacks on gay issues: what possible relevance has Newington Green Unitarian Church and Unitarianism to Anglican Mainstream (on the far right of Anglicanism)? Ah it must be the old once Puritans and the New Puritans. Actually, well done to Newington Green for treating heterosexual and homosexual partnerships on an equal footing. Fulcrum is less ambiguous, also highlighting the Archbishop of Canterbury's response (April 10):

In response to reports of violence and threats towards Christians involved in the debate on human sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has given the following statement:

"The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitudes are disgraceful. The Anglican Communion has repeatedly, through the Lambeth Conference and the statements from its Primates’ Meetings, unequivocally condemned violence and the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people. I hope that this latest round of unchristian bullying will likewise be universally condemned."

The last sentence puzzles me (was it universally condemned?) - but at least the response was made. Fulcrum also has a few comments showing the connection between verbal abuse and physical abuse. I have just added this comment.

Another aspect of this is not just the slashing of a hand and the attempted attack with a syringe (the obvious false thought and intent behind that) but the sending by communications technology (texts, emails) of threats of violence. Plus the language used is Christian language - "told to repent" etc. and that you won't we'll beat you up or come and kill you. this feature of using text messages and emails is an aspect of bullying also seen in schools, and it is enough on its own to cause real harm. Yet this so called Christianity - the use of the language - comes with actual violence.

Father Jake has made a point of monitoring violence in Nigeria going right back to the massacre in Yelwa and the alleged involvement of Archbishop Akinola in overseeing this (I mentioned this too) and he continues looking at the latest situation.

I know that my friend Erika wants to put something together and have it posted in a few places. It can come here too.

By the way bullying, forms of violence and the like happens also in dear England - why a vicar had to be dismissed from all functions by the Bishop of Ely (reported on April 10). Fulcrum also hosts a discussion that notes a connection between Elaine Storkey on BBC Radio 4 speaking about Mugabe and his "bullying", other bullying and perhaps drawing deeper meanings from her own experience at Wycliffe Hall theological college.

It is the nasty scum floating on top of all the controversies.

No comments: