The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Monday, November 26, 2007

"We Stand at Armageddon, and We Battle for the Lord!"

If, like me, you recognize the above quotation, you probably can't read it without wincing. It's the exact moment when my boyhood hero, Theodore Roosevelt, completely loses it, conflating his own political agenda with God's will. It's a moment of hubris, arrogance, and the frightful effect of certitude.

We're seeing a lot of certitude in the Anglican blogosphere, and among various schismatic bishops. We're seeing condemnations of the "Worthy Opponents" to hell, and a Church smugly boasting of its role in secular persecution of gays and lesbians, as well as any who would defend their civil rights. So David Virtue, ante, writes in defense of Archbishop Akinola:
Now if Akinola were an African-American, white liberals would never dare say the things about him that they do. They get away with it because he is ensconced in Africa and does not have access to America's legal system. Bishops Spong, Griswold, Shaw, Bennison et all have all said things about Akinola and his fellow African bishops that would be deemed racist and be subject to lawsuits were they spoken on US soil to a US African-American bishop.
Well, simply put, no. Akinola is, of course, free to bring a case--but under decades old settled caselaw, he hasn't got one. I'm not aware of any racist statements made by the above-named about Akinola, but the First Amendment protects criticism of Akinola, even if it were deemed racist, as long as it was not likely to bring about imminent violence. See Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). Virtue is, quite simply, without a leg to stand on here.

The ersatz bishop, Martyn Minns, prefers to misrepresent the Church of Nigeria's position on use of the power of the state; in a statement issued shortly before the Truro parish vote to affiliate with CANA, he rejected as "not true" a characterization of Akinola as "an advocate of jailing gays." The statement used to appear on the CANA website, but has been removed; as of this writing it remains here. In the Listening Report, the Church of Nigeria states that
In Nigeria the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006 is passing through the legislature. The House of Bishops has supported it because we understand that it is designed to strengthen traditional marriage and family life and to prevent wholesale importation of currently damaging Western values. It bans same sex unions, all homosexual acts and the formation of any gay groups. The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria has twice commended the act in their Message to the Nation.
Prior to Minns's statement, Akinola had sent out a similar one under his own name.

So, let's review: seething anger, co-opting the secular arm to enforce religious norms, misstatements of law (Virtue) and false reassurances to the secessionists to ease their consciences (Minns).

Love and truth be damned; they stand at Armageddon, and they battle with the Lord, after all.

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