This report from the Daily Telegraph tells how the Archbishop of Canterbury has entered a storm of violent protest in Zimbabwe. It seems that an African Anglican bishop who doesn’t like the Church of England’s stance on homosexuality has started pulling churches out of the Anglican Communion and has been assisted by soldiers of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe (who happens to be Catholic).
The soldiers are forcing Anglicans loyal to Canterbury out of their churches and a spokesman for Mugabe says of the planned meeting with Rowan Williams, “We want this man of God to explain to us how homosexuality is good for us.”
Of course no one can support violence and intimidation and Robert Mugabe is just about as nasty as a dictator can get, but the larger issues for the Anglican Communion are fascinating. Its a messy business, and we have to admire Rowan Williams for having the guts to wade into the fray at all. It would have been a lot easier for him to stay home at Lambeth Palace sipping tea and bemoaning the problems.
The larger issues are disastrous for the Anglican Communion. Elitist Anglicans in the USA and UK are faced now with the backlash of their decision to embrace homosexualism. The vast majority of Anglicans in the world are now in the developing world–especially Africa, and for the most part they are offended and disgusted by homosexuality, and they don’t mind saying so. They’re amazed and shocked by the way the Episcopalians and Anglicans continue to endorse and promote the gay agenda despite all their appeals for them to do otherwise.
So what’s a nice, intellectual liberal, white Anglican bishop to do? They have tried telling the African Anglicans that they are ignorant and “One day when they understand the subtleties of human sexuality they too will accept homosexuality….blah blah blah” and the Anglican Africans reply, “Please don’t patronize us. We too have PhDs from Harvard Divinity School and Cambridge and Oxford. It sounds like you are talking down to us ‘darkies’. Please keep your colonialist superior opinions to yourself. In fact, when you talk to us like this you are being racist.”
Whew! How dare they suggest that a nice, well educated, liberal white Anglican be racist!! It’s impossible!! Then the liberals dig the hole deeper and throw stones at the Africans by saying, “These people are all bigamists. Who are they to tell us how to behave in the bedroom?” To which the Africans say, “When you come to understand the subtleties of our our African culture and how very often a man must take more than one wife to look after women who would otherwise be destitute you will be more accepting…”
So the Anglican intelligentsia have been hoisted on their own petard. They’ve disregarded the advice of the vast majority of Christians, disregarded sacred Scripture, disregarded Judeo Christian morality of the last four thousand years, disregarded the vast majority of people worldwide from their own denomination, and where are they going to turn? They can’t turn their back (as it were) on the homosexuals or face a firestorm, yet if they continue their quest to turn the Anglican Church into a feminist-homosexualist sect they will not only lose the Africans, but lose them in what might be a violent and nasty confrontation.
No wonder poor old Rowan Williams wants to retire early.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal which outlines the aggressive tactics of the Episcopal Church of the USA against dissenters. If a congregation wants to pull out of ECUSA they are likely to be sued, kicked out of their property even if they offer to buy it from the Episcopal diocese. If they do buy it they are not allowed to affiliate with any group that calls themselves ‘Anglican’. So much for liberalism and tolerance from the tolerant liberals…The answer is obviously for them to pull out, buy their building and join the Ordinariate. Being Catholic they could not possibly be seen to have any affiliation (or similarity for that matter) to the Anglicans. Deacon’s Bench reports on the first Episcopal parish in the USA to do so here.