Sunday, 30 November 2003

world opinions

Peter Akinola’s opinions on ECUSA, and a lot of background information on him, are reported at length in this interview by the Associated Press.

An ethnic Yoruba from southwestern Nigeria, Akinola abandoned a chain of cabinetmaking shops and postal agencies in the country’s Muslim-dominated north to “follow the calling of the church” in 1968.
These days, Akinola boasts of creating a diocese in Abuja, “from nothing on the ground. No church, no land, no money.” Two decades ago, parishioners worshipped “under trees, others in classrooms,” while today there is a cathedral and several parish churches.
Nigerians still regard him as a “big man” who, traveling in a chauffeur-driven, bulletproof Mercedes, rubs shoulders with the rich and powerful.
For instance, President Olusegun Obasanjo, a longtime friend who hails from Akinola’s hometown of Abeokuta, sent a three-man delegation to congratulate him for being elected leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella group uniting the nation’s 60 million Christians.
During a recent meeting with foreign journalists, church employees greeted Akinola with a combination of affection and obeisance. They chuckled, and kneeled to the archbishop, who laughingly referred to them as “you bushmen.”

Sarah Wildman lives in Washington DC. She writes for The American Prospect that “Conservative Episcopalians huffing over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson are standing on the wrong side of history — their own church’s.” Read Gay Rites Movement.

Tom Harpur is a columnist for the Toronto Star. In his opinion, Alpha’s a giant leap backward.

Alpha is a reactionary, essentially fundamentalist, strategy. It will not satisfy the demands of the Spirit today for radical change. The churches must find another way.

Margaret Rodgers of Anglican Media Sydney writes in this month’s Southern Cross Ripples from ECUSA action felt far and wide

America is the beacon of democracy in the world. Yet it is not always a blessing to other nations. For the US often seems to determine what is, in its judgment, the right way forward, and it then proceeds to move relentlessly in that direction, however much the rest of the world dissents or protests.
This is apparent in US foreign policy. It also seems to be an underlying, though perhaps unconscious, driving force in much of the decision-making of the liberal elements in the Episcopal Church of the USA.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 30 November 2003 at 4:20 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
Comments

The equation of U.S. military power, projected w/ “overwhelming force” far beyond its borders, with the Diocese of New Hampshire electing a bishop for itself alone, never ceases to astonish me.

Yes, there are (U.S. of) Americans behind both: is that all it takes to make this fatuous comparison? Why doesn’t Ms. Rodgers properly equate the Bush/Rumsfeld juggernaut w/ the Episcopal conservative minority determined to shape world Anglicanism in its image (through the power of its considerable purse)? One need look no farther than last October’s meeting in Texas, to see something similar to “coalition forces” in “Operation Anglican Freedom” (or some such BS). In the same way that the U.S. handpicked the Iraqi Rubberstamp Council for its unanimity w/ Uncle Sam, so too did the AAC keep its meeting ideologically pure, by making sure no disloyal elements snuck in the door.

I just hope LGBTs (esp. in the Third World, where they tend to be more socially vulnerable) don’t end up as collateral damage, the way so many Iraqi civilians have.

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher at December 5, 2003 09:10 AM