Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Passage Imminent 10

What a letter! Wiser heads than those on the Anglican Right express exactly the right sentiment, addressed to the President and Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate (a southern Christian and a northern Muslim -- Mantu is the current avatar of Nigerian Muslim tolerance):
Most importantly, this bill would strike at the equality, dignity and respect due all people in Nigeria. As faith leaders we are committed to building bridges of understanding across divides of difference. We believe all people of faith are called to work together for a world of justice, peace and equality. We urge you to resist the polarizing rhetoric of some narrow, religious ideologues and instead affirm the fundamental values of freedom reflected in the Nigerian Constitution.

We are asking that you oppose this bill and protect the equality of all Nigerians. Your assistance is necessary in order to overcome the discrimination that takes place in the world today. We are depending on you to do all you can to prevent this bill from being passed and to take a stand for the basic human rights of all people.
Read the whole thing (there are over 250 signatories -- none of them conservative -- but I am really, really looking forward to standing corrected on that point). A press release from Human Rights Watch accompanies the letter. Will this letter do any good? Here's hoping.

Andrew Sullivan linked here earlier, inspiring an old-school Episcopalian to respond on behalf of Nigerian gays and lesbians. Quote:
In the US, many parishes within ECUSA split long ago over the issue of the role of women. We have been here before. In my view, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America is better for having let those voices of repression depart. I say, "Good riddance." While I would never refuse to take the Eucharist with a declared homophobe or misogynist and I continue to pray that we all become more tolerant of one another, the day of reckoning is upon us, and it is better that, as organized churches, we part company and, in the words of St Paul, work out our own salvations.
I don't take a position on "schism," except that I would rather it occur sooner rather than later, so that the cooler-headed conservatives in the Anglican Communion (yes! they exist!) can speak out without worrying about maintaining solidarity with Archbishop Akinola.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The letter says good things, but it's not likely to accomplish much unless ordinary citizens flood the Nigerian Embassy in Washington and the e-mail box of Peter Akinola in Abuja with howls of protest.

How to do just that? Click on Matt's link to "letter" and "press release" in his post. It's that simple, the contact info is right there.

Meanwhile I note that The Episcopal Church's mealy-mouthed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori didn't sign the letter. Some friend, huh?

Josh Thomas