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“J’Accuse”

“J’Accuse”

One of the more recent developments in the struggle for Gay and Lesbian
Rights has been the overt opposition of the African Anglican Church, the
so-called “Global South” toward our ambitions. Conervative Episcopal Bishop
after Bishop in the United States seem to be harking to the enticing rhetoric
of the “African Mission” or “Anglican Global Communion,” an anti-gay and
anti-Canterbury movement in the Anglican Church and moving toward recognizing
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria as their spiritual leader.

The anti-gay Anglican leadership of Africa is in the process of being
enshrined as more scripturally correct and more genuinely moral than the
Anglicans of America who elected gay Bishop Gene Robinson or the Canadian
Anglicans who bless and recognize same-sex unions. The African Bishops have
gone as far as to refuse to recieve communion with Robinson or the Canadian
Primate. Now they travel to the United States to offer American Bishops an
alternative to the moral leadership of the Arhbishop of Canterbury.

The difficulty with the idea of moral leadership by the African Anglican
Bishops is that it would be anything but moral. American Epicopalian Anglicans
who embrace the statements of Archbishop Akinola overlook all but the anti-gay
posture that he and his colleagues represent.

These men, the Bishops of the “African Mission” are by and large supporters
of dictators. They condone capital punishment for gays and Lesbians. They have
stood silently by or quietly lent legitimacy to the perpetrators of genocide,
rape and torture in Africa. The Bishops of Northwestern Pennsylvania and
Pittsburgh, who are engaging in a dangerous flirtation with the so-called
“African Mission” to the United States by the African Bishops seeking to seize
the spiritual leadership of Anglicanism from Canterbury, are by that action
also embracing opposition to democracy, opposition to dissent, annhilation of
gays and Lesbians through state-sanctioned murder, the wholesale genocides
carried out by the African leaders who depend upon the silence or the support
of the Bishops in those nations to continue horrendous crimes against humanity.

The Roman Catholic Church still finds itself embarrassed by and apologetic
for the effects of theConcordat with Nazi Germany and the Lateran Treaty with
Mussolini. The Lutheran Church must bear the weight of the guilt it carries for
surrendering to the spiritual leadership of a “Reich Bishop” appointed by
Hitler. These “deals with the devil” were carried out before the extent of the
evil nature of the men that those Churches dealt with were generally known.

There can be no such escape for the American Bishops of the Episcopal
Church who either legitimize the “Anglican Mission” from Africa or
schismatically embrace it and state to their flocks by that action that their
Christianity includes genocide, torture, murder of homosexuals and stands in
opposition to dissent, discussion and democracy. The crimes, by action or by
silent assent, committed by the men that they now offer to their flocks as
spiritual leaders are known, documented and publicized in Anglican magazines,
papers and web logs. That most impressive humanitarian and Christian leader,
Bishop Desmond Tutu has expressed gentle warnings and admonitions.

I am not an Anglican. Many would argue that I have no right to take up my
pen in opposition to matters of the Episcopal Church and that I should mind my
own business. Were the actions of the American Bishops solely a spiritual
matter of opposing homosexuality and gay rights, I would agree and just shake
my head sadly at events. But in looking to the African Bishops for moral
leadership the Episcopal Primates in the US who legitimize these men
simultaneously help to sanction their crimes, thereby not only affecting me but
the entire population of the world.

To the American Anglican leaders supporting the African Mission or the
Anglican Global Communion, I stand up as Emile Zola did over a century ago,
point my finger and shout “J’Accuse!” Your reckless and thoughtless embrace of
their leadership makes you accessories after the fact to their crimes in the
past and accomplices to any state sanctioned murders of gays or lesbians in
their nations in the future. “J’Accuse!” You align yourself with the supporters
of genocides, the enablers of the atrocties committed by tyrants like Robert
Mugabe. “J’Accuse!” You have forgotten the warning of Bishop Desmont Tutu that
each of you ought to have forever before you; “There is no neutrality in a
situation of injustice and oppression. If you say you are neutral, you are a
liar, for you have already taken sides with the powerful. Our God is not a
neutral God. We have a God who does take sides. . . .”

Finally, you embrace the use of your Church as a weapon in opposition to the
rights and dignity of all of mankind. You substitute the finality of the firing
squad, the sword and the noose for the forgiveness of Christ. Your actions do
not simply declare opposition to gay and Lesbian rights; they declare war upon
humanity. Be warned by the testimony of history that those who make war upon
humanity are in the end always defeated by humanity.

C M McMahon
14 January 2006

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