Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wall Street on Nigeria

Nobody has ever accused The Wall Street Journal of being a lap-dog of the radical left. So I was amazed to find this article on page A1 of the January 12 edition of the Journal: "In Nigeria, a Bill to Punish Gays Divides a Family." The article puts a face on two men in Nigeria, both of whom are ministers of the Gospel: a father (the Rev. Augustus Olakunle Macaulay) who is supporting the law that would jail gay people and their supporters, and his son (the Rev. Rowland Jide Macaulay) who has recognized he is gay and is ministering to gay Nigerians.

While Nigerian Archbishop Akinola declares there are no homosexuals in Nigeria, the Wall Street Journal reports: "Gay men and lesbians are becoming more visible, even as their society, which is hostile to homosexuality, threatens to become still less tolerant of them." The WSJ reports:

Homosexual sex is already punishable by up to 14 years in prison -- or death by stoning in the Muslim north, though that Shariah sentence is rarely meted out.

The sweeping new bill [advocated by Archbishop Akinola] would punish by up to five years in prison anyone who enters into a gay marriage, "performs, witnesses, aids or abets the ceremony of same-sex marriage" or is "involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings." The U.S. State Department has denounced the bill, proposed in January last year, as a violation of basic freedoms.

But the bill is widely expected to pass. It is supported by most mainstream Christian and Muslim clergy in Nigeria, including Peter Akinola, the Anglican archbishop who is leading an international revolt of conservative Episcopalians angry about the ordination of gay priests and the consecration of gay unions.

Read the complete article. It says so much more than I have excerpted here! Read how both father and son are endeavoring to minister to Christians in their care. Read how the son has been subjected to hatred and rejection from both his father and his son. This story gives the lie to much that we are hearing from the supposedly monolithic "Global South." It puts an incarnational face on the abstractions that are being thrown about by folks like the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Panel of Reference, and our primates and bishops.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find this article oddly hopeful. The story tells of the struggles and dimensions of Nigeria and gays and lesbains. Listening to Abp Akinola and his allies one would think there is only one opinion. The other hopeful bit is the Wall Street Journal and the global business community looking at Nigeria and how citizens are being treated. World opinion begins to matter through stories like this. Anyway, I live in hope.

1/13/2007 11:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I agree completely, Ann. The Bush administration -- certainly no friend to gay people -- and the WSJ decry the Nigerian legislation. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Nigeria actively supports it, and Anglicans in Virgina and elsewhere give their tacit support through their ungodly silence on this issue. Let us hope the secular voices will stir the consciences of the Christian community.

1/14/2007 8:36 AM  

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