Sunday, July 20, 2008


Frankly, it's beyond belief.

The Episcopal activists lobbying bishops at Lambeth have made a little video they are showing to the media (Ruth Gledhill has it) where they are seen exploiting Christian men and women whom they say are gay Africans. Last month the activists were raising money for this effort since they had fallen short of funds. Tragically, the funding must have come through. And it is tragic.

What these activists fail to understand - or perhaps they just don't bloody care (we did try to warn them) - is that these actions are morally and politically irresponsible. In fact, it's shameful. This illustrates to us on a global scale just how ignorant these privileged Episcopal activists are about African culture and society, the Islamic surge in Africa, and African politics on the ground. The recent unrest in Kenya seems to escape their notice. Or perhaps it is that they just don't care.

These activists appear to view everything through the prism of their own personal and political experience. Having exhausted telling their own stories ad nauseum, they now strategically look for new victims abroad to do the dirty work for them, not comprehending or not caring about the cost to these sisters and brothers and their families or their bishops who are still in countries like Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and many others. Actions have consequences beyond the scope of a single western political issue. Did they think the genocide in Rwanda was no big deal? Or the war in Northern Uganda? Or the fighting in Nigeria? Or the recent unrest in Kenya? Who do these Episcopal activists think they are?

If you openly oppose them then they brand you as a stereotyped black African tyrant who can't write his own sermons.

Did Integrity get their victims to sign waivers so that they would not be held responsible if something happened to them? We have Anglican bishops and their families in Africa being attacked in their homes by Islamic extremists and Integrity goes over there to push their own political agenda for their own personal gain? Where were they when Bishop Benjamin Kwashi and his family were attacked? Where were they when Bishop Ali Buba Lamido and his family were attacked? Where were they when Bishop Benjamin Ojwang was attacked? Where were they?

This is exploitation at its worse. It is not the Christians but the Islamic extremists who want to kill those they whom they view as a threat to their own social order - that is the "context" in which they are living. Remember when the president of Iran said with a straight face that they have no homosexuals in Iran? And why is that, pray tell? Why would he get away with saying something so preposterous is either because they are threatened into silence with death or - more likely - they are all dead. For the American Episcopalians to exploit Africans from countries where there are similar efforts underway by Islamic extremists is simply beyond belief.

LATER: Greg Griffith now has an outstanding essay up called Witness a Study in Manipulation where he sets out a "through analysis and commentary [to] strip away whatever mystique or power their makers would claim they have." His analysis is compelling not only for this political video, but also to reflect on how easy it is to manipulate audiences through video to achieve a political end.


Anonymous said...

Oh, sure. Gay Africans would be perfectly safe if it wasn't for the nasty Muslims, right? Sorry, but they have as much to fear from Christian extremists as from Islamic ones.

Typical. They have a chance to speak out against the prejudice they experience in their own Church and society, and you think they must be being exploited. Do you think they don't have the intelligence to understand what they're doing and the risks they're taking? How condescending. Virtually every media network in their countries is closed to their voice, and you now resent the fact they have a global one. I think you'd just prefer it if they kept quiet and went back in the closet. I, for one, applaud their bravery.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, why not pull your head out of your nether regions and actually read some news on the subject? Is that simple act beyond you, or are you so used to making things up as you go along that reality has no bearing in your world?

Arabic Muslims are slaughtering African Muslims, because they are black, Muslims are killing homosexuals, in Africa, and in their own countries because their beliefs promotes doing just that. It goes on in Muslim countries every week, not just in Iran. It's the reason why the rationalizations of the imposition of Sharia in the UK have been frightening to so many, even among those who have been lifelong labour supporters. In London, Ken Livingstone was voted out of office by many of his former supporters, including homosexuals, because he was very vocal about, not only the imposition of Sharia, but calling London an Islamic city.

I watched the video, these people weren't speaking about their being killed or being afraid of Christians, they were talking about their sexuality. Sherrod is spinning those stories into meaning something else entirely, as a means of attacking African Anglican bishops. She is setting a dangerous precedent that violates the rights of others, because in her narrow world view, it doesn't matter who you hurt, as long as you get your way.

Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sherrod's opening comments make it clear that Integrity has been talking about doing this video for some time. They went there looking for people to tell their stories. They did not go there at the request of those who became the subjects of the film.

For Integrity to then say they were concerned for the safety of the film's subjects shows blind, selfish narcissism at a criminal level.


BabyBlue said...

Who did they consult with, Ann? It sounds like they consulted with themselves. Did they get advice from the embassies? Did they??

If those folks are the real deal in those videos - especially the ones that might be in areas where the Islamic insurance is underway, Geez Louise, Ann, this is not playtime. What authorities did they consult with before they did these interviews? If we love people we do not help them get themselves killed.

If they are attacking our Anglican bishops you can imagine what they do to gays. I just can't believe how unconcerned the Integrity folks are to put these brothers and sisters at risk.

It would be far more effective if American gays and lesbians moved into Northern Nigeria and lived openly for six months. If you want people to be put at risk, take responsibility for yourselves, don't risk the lives of others when obviously Integrity has no idea what they are doing.

If these folks being interviewed are believing Anglican Christians and communicants in good standing with their local churches - then there is no excuse for the recklessness employed by making this video for American political gain.


bls said...

It's incredibly paternalistic and oblivious to imagine that gay men and women in Africa don't know the risks they take by coming out.

There's a gay rights movement in Africa, just like there is in North and South America and elsewhere.

And no, it's not only Muslims who are the problem. Your friend Peter Akinola wants to imprison gay Nigerians, remember? People who admit to being gay are kicked out of Uganda, just as it says in the article. The Kenyan man in the article was kicked out of his own house by his own father. And FYI: it wasn't that long ago that things were exactly like this in the U.S.; it's within living memory, in fact.

You know how this changed? People fought back against hatred and oppression.


bls ... thanks for that.

As for who we consulted with, ask us. We're not exactly hard to find around here.

And come by the Fringe Event on Wednesday ... or the marketplace stall anytime ... and talk to some of the courageous Africa Anglicans who have counted the cost and chosen to speak the truth their Lord promised them would set them free.

BabyBlue said...

I actually arrive next week. I will stop by, though. By the way, have you stopped over to see Mario there at the Marketplace? He also has a story to tell.