Peddling democracy, sexuality and power
From the tone of the letter sent by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in England to the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, where gay marriages are illegal, it is apparent that the two senior Anglican clerics think that they were talking to inferior democracies that need to be fine tuned to respect sexuality as perceived and recognised in Britain. It is my intention here to show that both men are wrong in indulging in such perception. They need to be referred to events in Tunisia where a new constitution has been adopted in an Islamic nation that scrapped all references to Islamic laws, and guarantees equality for men and women, in an environment typical of the Middle East which is predominantly Muslim and where women hitherto are second class citizens, only to be seen and not heard. The two Anglican leaders also need to find out why the anti gay movement in nearby France which has also recognised gay marriage has become such that the Socialist French government is embarrassed by the large size and spontaneity of the antigay demonstrations with their slogan that says women and children should be considered first, and that there should be no room for artificial parentage in Modern France .Similarly these two highly placed Anglicans should be told to take a look at the democracy being practised in Ukraine where the President tried to stop demonstrators asking him to resign by sacking the PM and cabinet and offering the powerful posts to the opposition which however turned down the offer to have power. It is my contention here that these references need to be considered for the education of the two leading Archbishops in Britain , who seem to be misled by a colonial mentality that equates modern civilisation with contemporary British values and culture. This is a sickening attitude that is inconsistent with even the values of the British Commonwealth of nations that recognises unity in diversity, as well as the sovereignty of member nations like Uganda and Nigeria to which they have directed their ill timed, highly disrespectful and extravagant letter, stating that gays are loved and valued by God and should not be discriminated against or diminished. In sending such letters to at least the Nigerian leader they have vindicated the opposition of former Nigerian Anglican Primate Peter Akinola who turned 70 recently and who, while he was in office led the African Anglican opposition to the enthronement of gay priests as bishops in the global Anglican Communion. In writing the Nigerian president now on this matter are the two leading Archbishops saying that that they never took their Nigerian counterpart seriously when he was telling them that consecration of gay priests was un biblical and un African?. It is therefore sheer hypocrisy on the part of these two Archbishops to be writing the Nigerian president now on a matter that the former Nigerian Primate had articulated so forcefully to the world at large, so brilliantly to the Lambeth Conference and to the predecessor of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, who connived at the consecration of gay Bishops in the US, as he looked the other way while the abomination was going on at his doorsteps and during his tenure. It is also pathetic that while these men of God were soliciting for love for gays in Africa a new form of recognition for women rights and tolerance on political and religious beliefs was taking place in a Muslim nation like Tunisia in Africa. Please recall that Tunisia was the fountain of the street revolutions of 2011that swept N Africa dismantling the despotism of Ben Ali in Tunisia, Housni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. It was Mohammed the fruit vendor who set the revolution rolling in Tunisia when he doused himself with petrol after corrupt municipal officers seized his weight measure illegally because he refused to give them further bribe to sell his wares. The Tunisian revolution started at his funeral. Of course the revolution has derailed in Egypt with the Army poised to make its boss, newly promoted Field Marshal Sissy the anointed presidential candidate in the April presidential elections. But Tunisia has learnt from the mistakes of the hapless and misled Egyptians and I will illustrate this carefully again for the education of the misguided archbishops from Britain. The Islamist Coalition won the post Ben Ali elections in Tunisia and went the path of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt seeking to establish Sharia Law. Secular Tunisians protested against the new theocracy which responded by assassinating two prominent secular opposition leaders. At the end, both secular and Islamist Tunisians buried the hatchet as the army remained truly neutral unlike in Egypt. The result was that the Islamist government stepped down for a Caretaker government of Technocrats which supervised the creation of the new constitution which is secular and acknowledges the rights of Tunisian women as equal with men in this Arab, Muslim nation. I have no doubt in my mind that God has infinitely more love for the Tunisian arrangement which has recognised and raised the status of women rather than the dubious love the British Archbishops would impose on both the sovereign states of Nigeria and Uganda over the enactment of gay laws. In France too where shirtless bachelors took to the streets in French cities last Sunday to protest gay marriages passed into law by the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande, the protesters hammered on the fate and traditional roles of motherhood in such marriages and wondered how gay couples can raise children. This is an issue that should have concerned the British Archbishops rather than their embarrassing their former colonial subjects with their exposition on God’s love for sexual deviants in an African environment which is different from theirs. Indeed, the French Anti gay protests showed the religious side of France in spite of the randy life style of its president who has like an Emperor terminated the partnership with France’s first lady just by texting a simple sentence to AFP to announce the break up. If French bachelors are so concerned with the legalisation of gay marriages in France that they come out in protest in the near nude how come these Anglican Archbishops cannot see the predicament of women and the danger to human procreation in their plea of love by God for gays in Africa where it is a taboo to have same sex marriages? Anyway I expect a robust reply from both the Nigerian and Ugandan presidents to the patronising and irritable letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on the passing of gay laws in both nations. It is a pity that the Archbishop of York is an Ugandan but I live that to his conscience to sort out, as he has shown that the quest for power in the Anglican Communion is far greater than his cultural heritage as an African. I wonder if either Archbishop has heard of Boko Haram, the mindless Islamist movement that is slaughtering Nigerians, burning churches and mosques and whose name means ‘No to Western education’. The equally mindless letter from these men of God in Britain provides needless and murderous ammunition to Boko Haram in its suspicion and hatred of western education not to talk of its civilisation which these highly placed Angican leaders symbolise. Really men of God, especially powerful and influential ones like these two Anglican High Priests should respect global cultural diversity and ethnic peculiarities and should not invoke God’s love to hide, like the proverbial ostrich, a brazen motive of ecclesiastical ethnocentricity, under the pretence of invoking the authority and love of God. That certainly is one mischief too many from the ‘Holy of Holies‘ and one that God, I pray fervently, will never endorse. Amen.