Friday, 6 November 2009

Not in my name

Well, one bit of the Anglican Communion has finally said something about the Ugandan Bill. The Church of Uganda. Have a look at this: my comments are in italics

For Immediate Release 6th November 2009 Contact: Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, Provincial Secretary +256 772 455 129

The Church of Uganda and the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”

The Church of Uganda is studying the proposed “Anti-homosexuality bill” and, therefore, does not yet have an official position on the bill (so, it's not, like, urgent?). In the meantime, we can restate our position on a number of related issues.

1. Our deepest conviction as the Church of Uganda is that, in Christ, people and their sexual desires are redeemed, and restored to God’s original intent. Repentance and obedience to Scripture are the gateway to the redemption of marriage and family and the transformation of society. (Position Paper on Scripture, Authority, and Human Sexuality, May 2005)

2. The House of Bishops resolved in August 2008 that “The Church of Uganda is committed at all levels to offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, (how offensive is that!!!) especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.” (AYE RIGHT!!)

3. The Church of Uganda upholds the sanctity of life and cannot support the death penalty. (GOOD)

4. In April 2009, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “I am appalled to learn that the rumours we have heard for a long time about homosexual recruiting in our schools and amongst our youth are true. I am even more concerned that the practice is more widespread than we originally thought. It is the duty of the church and the government to be watchmen on the wall and to warn and protect our people from harmful and deceitful agendas.” (How did this ignorant idiot ever become an Archbishop?)

5. “Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture.” (Resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops.) Homosexual behaviour is immoral and should not be promoted, supported, or condoned in any way as an “alternative lifestyle.” This position has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the House of Bishops and the Provincial Assembly of the Church of Uganda. (And the bits about dialogue and listening are...not mentioned)

6. We cannot support the blessing of same-sex unions or the ordination of homosexuals (Resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops), and we will oppose efforts to import such practices into Uganda. Again, this position has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the House of Bishops and the Provincial Assembly of the Church of Uganda.

I have to say I am rapidly going right off the idea of regarding myself as in Communion with this Province. Words simply fail me.


  1. So, I suppose we are to read between the lines to get that the Church of Uganda, while believing that LGBT are hopelessly disoriented and broken and just overall really icky, doesn't condone the use of the death penalty for some homosexuals?

    And has the Archbishop of CAN'Terbury said anything yet? Does he not see, as you've noted, that there is no possibility of a true "listening" process in places that start from a position of LGBT people are sick?

    I pray for the LGBT people in Uganda... if there are any left.

  2. Well, I don't think we're going to see Fr Dougal on St Augustine's throne for a few years yet ... Or a relevant comment from the bearded one.

    No death penalty. Nice of them. Instead we'll have life in a Ugandan prison. For somebody convicted of being gay. I don't have the stats but I suspect that would be a rather unpleasant way of inflicting an unofficial death penalty.

    On the wider subject, I'm sure we can all find things we are reluctant to give up that are 'incompatible with scripture' - money, for example. Although that's not too much of an issue just now :)

    "Marriage" versus "same-sex union" seems to cause huge issues - but then, so does divorcees being remarried in church.

    You can see why, despite faith, I have increasingly little time for religion (and it's not just Dougal's taste in hymnals.)

  3. Susan: it looks pretty clear that when the COU agreed lambeth 1;10 they meant they agreed with the nasty bits and intended to ignore the bits that were positive. So their claim that TEC and friends were not intending to abide by bits of the darn thing and this allowed them to send in bishops to USAnia looks pretty cynical and loses them any conceivable high moral ground. TEC held to the moratoria for 3 years, Uganda ignored the lot

    Yes, my dear SE, this is a slow death penalty by any other name. And incompatible with Scripture: prawn cocktails if you take all of Leviticus literally. But yep, if you are being serious then no also to divorce. Which would be highly inconvenent for married/divorced conservative US anti gay, anti wifie priests clergy.

    BTW I worked with the Hymnals I inherited: Good grief, you surely don't think I'd CHOOSE Misson Praise or Ancient and More Ancient, do you? Hymns Old and New or Celebration Hymnal are more my taste!

  4. Surreptitious, is it not the church that you have increasingly little time for? I can't think why we have to bother about remaining in communion with these deluded people - save ourselves a lot of grief if we got on with our lives and then worked to do something for the unfortunate LGBT who have to survive in Uganda.

  5. Oooh. Thread hijack time!

    "is it not the church that you have increasingly little time for?"

    Not really (and we have met :) ). "The Church" is often a very good place - the community of believers is a necessary comfort to many people. Intellectualised isolation is not a normal human desire. And hence, I believe, we need to make sure that modernisation of our canons (and C) brings the wider congregation along with it rather than casts them aside.

    But we are clearly in danger of placing too much emphasis on certain bits of denominational creed as opposed to the love and the teachings of Christ. I could stand to see the Episcopal Church of Scotland somewhat more surrounded by friends rather than in Communion with what are increasingly looking like enemies - of the Enlightenment tradition if nothing else. As I have to keep reminding some colleagues - we are not the CofE.

    On the other hand, a considerably more past than Dougal minister (in a different but equally unusual parish) invited (ordered, actually) me to go to his Bible Discussion Group. Once. He was SSC and had collected a group of like, for want of a better word we might have to term as, 'thinkers'. On the other hand, I started as a physicist and cynic very young.

    Once you know that some parts of both Testaments are clearly wrong (Genesis and the faux-Roman-Empire history of the New), it makes it very difficult to take seriously any people who start insisting on literal truth or divine guidance for any bits of it. There are a few bits of revelation (but not 'R') that my faith hangs on - but for the rest of it, having it disproven wouldn't bother me and some of it just seems silly (Virgin Mary, for example - No problem with her being a virgin at Christ's inception - modern medicine can do the same. Find it silly that people insist on her permanent virginity, though - Joseph seems to have been a respected member of Jewish society, not an outcast.)

    But then I'm not trying to bind together a Parish, a Province or the Anglican Communion. Or even going to church tomorrow (Remembrance - I'm shouting instead!) So I can have my heretical opinions without worrying if I'm going to give either 'The Old Widow Muggins' or the Archbishop of Sydney palpitations.

  6. Nice hijack! Holding the show together can push you into not challenging or speaking out about causes you feel strongly about. I too can happily go for the realignment of Christianity - let the conservatives, the more Roman than the Pope Anglicans and the fans of Big Pete Akinola go in with Benny the Hun and let us team up with the Yanks, the Canucks, the Kiwis, the Saff Efrickans and any sane Aussies (not those daft Prots in Sydney). And dogma? Well, say the creed, make what you will of it and don't ask daft questions at the altar rail was what I was taught!

  7. I can't imagine for one minute that this was the Eucharistic teaching of the late Canon Donald Nicholson?

  8. Re Donald Nicholson: The "don't ask silly questions at the altar rail" bit was: but that was really part of the very Elizabeth I business of not making windows into men's souls'. I do wonder if he'd have accepted the offer though.