February 25, 2005

Peter Akinola is really starting to piss me off.

Dear Pete,

We've talked about this before, haven't we? I told you if I heard you use the word "abomination" one more time I'd give you something to abomination about. Now, I'll grant you that the particular word in question doesn't appear next to your smiling face in the latest BBC article about you, although really, when you get right down to it, maybe that's exactly the word that should be displayed with your picture. Nevertheless. You can't sit there in your funny collar making angelic faces because you obeyed the letter of what I told you and didn't quite say it in those terms. Similarly, you can't sit there making angry faces about obeying the letter of some old piece of oral literature that was written gradually by sixty thousand utterly fallible humans like your utterly fallible self, just because a few of those Western oppressors you reluctantly allow in your organization have decided maybe it's okay to just let people be themselves if they're not hurting anyone. Yet, because the latter is precisely what they're doing, the former is precisely what you're doing.

No, wait, that's generally what you're doing. Precisely what you're doing is demanding that the Episcopal and Canadian Anglican churches withdraw themselves from the worldwide Anglican Communion because they (insignificant worms) want to exercise reasonable tolerance for others' lifestyles and you (lord high supreme queen of the universe, and what's with the extra "most" in your title anyway? It's just tacky) don't. Jeeez. You're just one country, bub, or the representative thereof. The US and Canada are just one country apiece, doing their own things, which makes them a) not a massive consortium hell-bent on conquering you but also b) not any less important than you. Quit telling them what to do, and take some ibuprofen for that swelled head of yours.

You'll be pleased to hear, I'm sure, that my rainbow-flag-wearing self is not, has not, will not, did not, would not, could not, belong to or believe in your church, making this really none of my business at all. But I'm sick of seeing you every week in another BBC article yelling, "Don't let the gays in, they're reprehensible perverts, what's wrong with you all?" Just calm down, will you? Take your head out of your ass. Remember that the rhetoric of homophobia sounds a lot like the rhetoric of racism and gosh, the gay white US bishop whose ordination you're still screaming about has calmly said that he thinks you're all right and he's pleased to share a faith with you. Do him the favor of saying something equally pleasant and pacifying, and then do me the favor of shutting the goddamn fuck up. Thanks.

Love, your (non)friendly (non)neighborhood angry heathen.

Posted by dianna at February 25, 2005 11:44 AM

1. a person doesn't get to pick whether or not they are gay.
2. a person does get to pick whether or not they are anglican.
3. sometimes you have to choose your priorities.

my delightful housemate, who is a good religious southern boy, is resigning his membership from the methodist church and sending a letter to his childhood minister saying, "dear minister so-and-so, it was lovely to be a member of your flock until i was told that it was in contradiction with my being a lifelong homosexual. please withdraw me from your records and do not expect any further support from me." this is a big, fat deal for him, and for his family, but it's clear to him that if his church is going to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation then clearly he was mistaken about it being "his" church.

let the assholes scream their heads off. i'm a whole lot less exercised about the idea of not getting to climb the ranks of a particular denomination than i am about, say, marriage rights and things that actually have an inescapable legal and financial impact on my life. strikes me that it's a perfectly acceptable compromise for religious gay folks to simply say, fine, i'm leaving, and i'm starting my own congregation and i'm taking my pink dollars with me. this is how schisms happen, right?

Posted by: katie at February 25, 2005 08:49 PM

sorry, i got so wrapped up in my own tirade that i lost track of the fact that you were specifically mad at peter akinola. he's a fucker. i'm tempted to stoop to his level and make some dumb joke about the fact that his title is "primate." but i also find it interesting that for all of the attention that his vitriol gets, it's actually islam and sharia law that make it so much worse to be gay in nigeria.

Posted by: katie at February 25, 2005 09:06 PM

Re: your tirade, you're full of perfectly good points. All logic regarding both my own lack of involvement and other people's lack of need to be involved in said organization indicates that, indeed, people who don't like it can leave and leave the creeps as grand high president of something with no non-creep members anymore. I do beg to point out, though, that people (or countries) choosing to leave and other people demanding that they leave are two slightly different cases. Point still stands, though.

My particular rant was merely based on being annoyed at seeing his damn face alongside another stupid homophobic comment, AGAIN, because he doesn't deserve to have the ear of the media. That probably means I'm only making the problem worse by bitching about him, though, now that I really think about it. Peter who?

As for your DH, I can't help but find that weird. I think our upbringing didn't really equip me to comprehend that most of the world is in some fashion religious, but I always find myself faintly surprised to hear that anyone I know, delightfully Southern or no, actually is. It goes double or triple when that person is queer; I tend to assume that everyone with same-sex tendencies is a faithless disaffected heathen like myself (which I suppose only makes it make less sense that I'm yelling about the interaction of gay people and religious institutions). Soooooo, my first inclination would be to congratulate him on de-affiliating himself with his church, skipping right over the fact that he would probably vastly prefer a situation in which he wouldn't feel compelled to do so at all. When I go back and try to work that thought into my reaction, then I just wind up totally lost. Gah?

Posted by: Dianna at February 25, 2005 10:24 PM

Not to add fuel to the fire, but I'd argue that both katie's #1 and #2 are far more nuanced affairs. Sexuality is a gradient, quite malleable post-birth, and religion deserves credit as the most prominent and pervasive full-blown mindfuck in history. Also, there's pretty solid data on the fact that it directly impacts brain chemistry. Thus, while religious affiliation might be a "choice" in the most theoretical sense of that word (if you indeed believe in choice at all, which I do not,) many people are basically stuck believing what they believe and desiring membership in the particular cult that first washed their dirty brains.

I would, however, fully agree that insofar as much as religious organizations of all types wield far more (and far more direct) influence on people's lives in other countries, those institutions' intolerance is disgusting, inexcusable, and directly and immediately harmful to those living under their control. It's the difference between "if you don't like it, leave," and "if you don't like it, suffer the consequences."

Posted by: poot at February 26, 2005 07:35 AM

I think there is no reason to react this way if you think bible is telling bullshit. I think its very impertinent thing to talk about a person, Mr Akinola, that is giving his opinion about homosexuality if you dont mind a fig about his doctrine. He may be in error but you are breaking the simple laws of human communication. I see you live a world so politically correct that the mere smell of christianity make you bluff like Mrs Gaskell when she did hear the word "shit".

People are not homophobical for having opinions. Acts, and no words, are pertinent for us all. You cant make responsability from words without stating particular acts againts homosexuals. And Mr Akinola is not going to open a sharia againts homosexual people. If you want to see a place where being homosexual is really dangerous go and visit the muslim countries.

I commend you the reading of Camille Paglia, my favourite american writer, because I think she is very true about the question of the debate between christianity and gay groups. The truth, the mere and simple truth, Paglia says "is that gay movement hasnt any person of the moral greatness of Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa". The otehr thing Camille Paglia says is that gay movement always loses the debate with the moral conservative because, at last, the common sense leans to their part. This is the case.

Posted by: Dolores at June 14, 2006 04:15 AM

The latest flap among us Episcopalians (June 2006's ban on further gay bishops) leads me to want to scream: What's holding us up? Why are the African churches holding the cards here? If Peter Akinola and his ilk want to leave the communion,
they should do that expeditiously, without torturing the rest of us endlessly with thological/moral questions we've already answered for ourselves.

Goodbye. Take the American conservatives with you. God be with you, but GO.

Posted by: Tim at June 24, 2006 01:38 AM