Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conversation with a liberal: the "listening process"

A few weeks ago on the MCJ blog, I had opportunity to exchange a few posts with another poster, a fellow called David, when the subject of +Akinola came up. In the course of these exchanges, I realized we were being treated to a rather stereotypical example of liberal "conversation" and "listening" in action. I excerpt the relevant posts from that thread here...

Submitted by David at 7/2/2008 9:23:32 AM

No, Diane, you did not detect a note of "racist cultural imperialism", but I think there was probably a note of "cultural imperialism". Both sides of this debate have been guilty of yelling "racist" at the other side, while the reality reveals that one of the few things everybody can agree on is the condemnation of racism.

As far as the size issues, TEC is "relatively tiny" in membership when compared to the Anglican Churches of Nigeria and Uganda. Of course, on the other hand, the splinter groups (AMiA, FIF, ADV, etc.) are "relatively tiny" when compared to TEC.

When considering the actions of certain African Bishops I come to two conclusions: First, TEC needs to do a far better job of listening to the concerns of Anglicans outside the USA and not dismiss them as ignorant or uneducated. And second, if the Archbishops of Uganda and Nigeria invested an equal (or greater) amount of time addressing the desperate needs of the people in their own Churches as they spend pointing out the flaws in Churches half-way around the world, they might be taken more seriously.

Besides, if you consider the amount of people in many parts of Africa that are hungry and don't know where their next meal is coming from, do you really think that person gives a #*@$ what some Church in the USA is doing?

I find it strange that some find the "relatively tiny" remark humorous, as that begs the question of why they are so obsessed over actions and pronouncements coming from such a "teensy-weensy, miniature, and wee" group of people?

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 10:00:43 AM

why they are so obsessed over
Not "obsessed" but "concerned". And a concern with, along with their many concerns over the plight of their people (on which they _do_ spend more of their time), they faithfully exercise.

The reason being that -- like Christ's own apostles and the Christian tradition throughout the ages, as well as the majority of faithful Christians today -- their chief commitment is to proclaiming the Gospel. For that is the true "desperate need" of all mankind.

Feeding the hungry and nurturing the body - while of huge importance (as Christ Himself shows us) - is ultimately a secondary priority to feeding the soul (again, as He shows us) with the Truth of the Gospel and salvific, sacramental grace.

Which is why reaffirming Christian truth in the face of the apostate whining and media frenzy of a tiny and shrinking - but culturally influential and vocal - post-Anglican organization is, thus, an appropriate exercise of their responsibilities.

But, of course, for those coming from within PEcUSA circles - as I guess, from the tenor of your posts, may possibly be your case - you've probably never encountered that sort of faithful and Scriptural Christian thinking before, so I can understand why you may find it mystifying.


Submitted by David at 7/2/2008 11:15:51 AM

Whatever gets you thru the night, there LP. I doubt, however, God is impressed by those who use that line of thinking to justify their ignoring the basic needs of others. Agreed, proclaiming the "Good News" must be foremost, but to do that and ignore the rest is what a great many are guilty of doing.

Please don't get offended if there are some who do not seek your stamp of approval concerning what is or what is not "faithful and scriptural Christian thinking". I have encountered a great deal of "faithful and scriptural Christian thinking" on this website, but have yet to see it in great amounts from your posts.

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 11:33:08 AM

I doubt, however, God is impressed by those who use that line of thinking to justify their ignoring the basic needs of others.
You do seem to get a kick out of making that accusation -- first against ++Akinola, now against me.

Should you care to investigate the facts of ++Akinola's ministry and Church, you will find that they do tremendous work - and spend much of their time and energy - striving to meet the desparate needs of their people.

However -- unlike PEcUSA, which touts its 0.7% contribution to the MSGs while spending 100s if not 1000s of times that much in legal bills for their continued persecutions of Christians -- ++Akinola and other faithful Christians recognize that feeding the body is not a substitute or replacement for feeding the soul... nor a justification for abandoning the Gospel. Which is why - by proclaiming that Gospel as they minister to the body - they do both.

Please don't get offended if there are some who do not seek your stamp of approval
I have no interest in whether or not you care for the Christian content of my posts. In my beliefs, I strive to be faithful to the norms of Scripture and Tradition, and so (in part) seek the approval of the Christian God who speaks through them. It is his approval - not yours - I seek.

Like others here, it grieves me to see when folks -- like the leadership of PEcUSA -- turn away from obedience to God in indifference to His approval, seeking instead to please the "Prince of this world" in their conformity to the heresies and apostasies of our time.

Like ++Akinola and others, seeing such individuals acting to poison or steal the Gospel truth, the sacraments, and the message of salvation away from their people, I protest every bit as much as I would seeing a leader poisoning or stealing his people's bread. Perhaps even more so -- for the latter tries only to starve and kill their bodies; the former, their souls.


Submitted by David at 7/2/2008 12:35:29 PM

Indeed, LP, the facts surrounding Akinola need to be investigated. If you do a through job of fact-checking, you may just reconsider taking up for this man. The well-documented facts surrounding his encouragement of (and advocation for) violence against those he views as "unfit" are enough to show me his words carry little weight in matters of faith.

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 12:54:11 PM

The well-documented facts surrounding his encouragement of (and advocation for) violence
Your repetition of this oft-disproved libel from PEcUSA and the liberal media shows that you aren't actually interested in the facts at all.

Of course, ++Akinola -- like all Scriptural Christians -- believes homosexuality is a sin and, thus, is not a behavior that should be blessed or sanctioned as "approved" by the Church... which is, in their view, no doubt sufficient "violence" for them to accuse him of such, regardless of what manufactured incidents they try to pile up on top.

However, your original post here -- it's above, you can review it to refresh your memory -- was to accuse (likewise falsely) ++Akinola of neglecting the needs of his people to spend all his time "obsessing" about the apostasy of PEcUSA.

As it has now been pointed out to you that ++Akinola has done great work trying to address the poverty and hunger in his country, that addressing those physical needs doesn't prevent (or prohibit or replace) the addressing of spiritual needs as well, and that to take a firm stand against apostasy and abandonment of the Gospel is one of the ways to take such a stand, I see that you are now trying to turn the conversation away both from the observations of your own first set of errors and incoherent reasoning with these new cries of "homophobia!" and unsubstantiated accusations of physical violence.

You are, indeed, following to the letter the PEcUSA playbook for trying to draw attention - and turn the discussion - away from its own abandonment of the Christian faith (with, among other techniques, the ad hominem libel of anyone who points out that fact).

The problem with this approach of denial, deceit, and misrepresentation is that it is now, after all these years, so blatantly obvious that it doesn't fool anyone any more... except, perhaps, its own gullible practitioners. To the rest of us, it's just laughable.


Submitted by Ken at 7/2/2008 12:57:12 PM

David -

I tend to agree with you that "racist" gets thrown around too much. There are racist overtones - akin to the classic "white man's burden" - in much western denigration of the Africans. But the racist angle does get overplayed.

And second, if the Archbishops of Uganda and Nigeria invested an equal (or greater) amount of time addressing the desperate needs of the people in their own Churches as they spend pointing out the flaws in Churches half-way around the world, they might be taken more seriously.

Well, CAPA issued a 18 or 19 point statement of needs that was entirely about basic needs, with one little statement about the same-sex heresies rampant in the west. So what did the Integrity types carry on about? That one little thing. They completely ignored the bulk of the document. Now, who is obsessed with sex?

Besides, if you consider the amount of people in many parts of Africa that are hungry and don't know where their next meal is coming from, do you really think that person gives a #*@$ what some Church in the USA is doing?

Well, since Louis Crew let the mask slip and explicitly tied TEC money to acceptance of sodomy, I don't think you have a leg to stand on as to who doesn't care about African hunger. Anyway, the problem is that the African Christians live in an environment where Islamists can tar them as sympathetic to sanctified sodomy. Early on, there were reports of Anglicans being targeted by Islamic assasins over this, but I haven't heard that in awhile and don't remember if it was confirmed. At any rate, the body is one and the world will certainly connect the African experience to the American heresies if they can. The well-documented facts surrounding his encouragement of (and advocation for) violence against those he views as "unfit"

Evidence please. I have yet to see anything but homosexualist claims about Abp. Akinola, not an actual statement from him "encouraging violence".

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 1:16:10 PM

I have yet to see anything but homosexualist claims about Abp. Akinola, not an actual statement from him "encouraging violence".
Yup. All you'll find from ++Akinola is a condemnation of homosexual acts. In this, his is quite clear. To quote his own words (something you'll never find the homosexualists doing to back up their claim that he supports violence against persons, because ++Akinola has never said any such thing):
Homosexuality does violence to nature. As someone puts it: "It contradicts the very light and law of nature." Romans 1.26-27 says it this way: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."... What we are talking about is an attack on the Church by some whose aim is to discredit the gospel, pollute the Church, neutralise its power and pull it down. Christ has forewarned: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matthew 12.30).
His province's own website emphasizes that, while one hates the sin, one is to love the sinner... and that all repentant sinners are welcome in the Nigerian Anglican church:
The Church of Nigeria maintains that God's plan as evidenced in Genesis 2:18 - 25 and affirmed by Christ is for marriage between male and female. Efforts to bless same-sex unions are unscriptural and those in such dilemma are called to repentance as they pray for God's love to lead them aright. As a caring church, committed to Christ's command to "love one another", we do not turn anyone away, but we exhort all Christians to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God as outlined in the Holy Scriptures. Churches and church leaders who teach or live otherwise are walking away from the truth of the Scriptures and they endanger the lives of their followers. Our Church does not hate any human being. Rather, we have been outspoken because of attempts by some to undermine the importance of God's word written as received by the fathers of the Church and accepted by the Creeds and Anglican Book of Common Prayer 1662. We continue to pray for everyone to experience God's transforming power.

But, again, let's not get these replies to David so busy refuting the patently absurd, dishonest, and objectively false claims that ++Akinola supports violence against persons, that we permit ourselves to be distracted from the main points (which is, after all, the real reason apostates and heretics will introduce these falsehoods into the conversation in the first place). To wit:

  • Homosexual activity is unequivocally condemned by Christian Scripture and Tradition.
  • Church leaders have a moral and priestly duty to preach and defend the Christian faith, which especially includes speaking out against those false teachers -- like PEcUSA's leadership -- who deny the Gospel.
  • Preaching the Gospel, and ministering to mankind's spiritual needs, is not incompatible with (nor rendered unnecessary by) ministering to their physical needs.
  • ++Akinola has done a great deal to minister, likewise, to these physical needs (which David, above, appears to deny or ignore)... even while also -- by preaching the Christian Gospel, which David appears to reject -- ministering to their spiritual needs as well.

And, yes, you're quite right Ken, the fact that PEcUSA has made its physical aid to the needs of these people contingent upon their rejection Scriptural teaching on sexuality (just as, back in the '80s, they did in demanding that recipients accept PEcUSA's revisionism on women's "ordination") shows that - unlike ++Akinola's efforts to aid both physical and spiritual life -- PEcUSA makes their physical aid contingent upon the recipients chosing spiritual death. That, in fact, promoting their own anti-Gospel is more important to them than helping the physical needs of the very people David falsely condemns ++Akinola for ignoring. And, as you can see from the quotes above, ++Akinola's not fooled. That little PEcUSAn game has had, finally, the light of day shone upon it.


Submitted by David at 7/2/2008 1:25:17 PM

If I might ask, LP, was it actually Akinola or was it Martyn Minns? One in the same, when it comes to speech writing.

The fact that you, evidently, think the only facts and truths concerning these matters can be found entirely on the Church of Nigeria's website reflects a level of ignorance (on your part) that I do not believe to be true. Your writings give evidence that you are much smarter and more informed than that.

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 1:38:49 PM

If I might ask, LP, was it actually Akinola or was it Martyn Minns? One in the same, when it comes to speech writing.
I notice that you do absolutely nothing to address any of the facts, theology, or information presented above ... nor do anything to show that ++Akinola doesn't mean what he says ... but merely continue to avoid the central issues by throwing out red herrings like this one.

Another classic -- and transparent -- PEcUSA ploy.

found entirely on the Church of Nigeria's website
You have made claims that ++Akinola advocates violence against persons. You have provided no evidence to back up that assertion.

By contrast, I have provided you evidence -- from ++Akinola and his church's own words -- that they do not.

Instead of playing more silly red herring and distraction and misdirection games -- which do absolutely nothing to substantiate your claims -- how about you put down the "how to avoid the issues" PEcUSA handbook and provide some evidence of your own, from ++Akinola's own words, to back up your unsubstantiated assertion that he advocates violence against persons. If you can.

Or will you chose to follow the PEcUSA playbook of red herrings, question avoiding, ad hominem attacks, sweeping claims, manufactured rumors... all the while trying to avoid the salient points. As I noted above. Because, if that's the course you chose to continue to take, then you are confirming, for any enquiring visitor who happens to read this blog, that your position has no merit, truth, or substance... merely rhetorical smokescreens.

Actually, come to think of it, please do continue as you have started -- thus showing that you can't back up your libellous assertions. For, the revelation of that duplicity will be a service to truth and to the Gospel, as it will help seekers realize just how vacuuous and empty PEcUSA's false religion is... and inspire them to turn a more attentive ear to the Gospel being preached and practiced by its many faithful ministers, such as Archbishop Akinola.

Indeed, in that way, your posts may well prove to be a very effective advocate for ++Akinola, for which support I suppose we should thank you!


Submitted by David at 7/2/2008 2:36:06 PM

When I come across certain worn-out and misused phrases like "red herring", and "ad hominem", I have learned that the conversation has gone from valuable to worthless. We past that point an hour ago.

LP, if a person like Akinola qualifies for the status of "faithful minister" in your play-book, then you and I are not even in the same ball park.

Anyone with internet access can, in a fast manner, find numerous articles concerning Akinola's public advocation for jail sentences for all gay people and his support for the attempted passage of laws to make that a reality in Nigeria. Of course, many commenters here on the MCJ would probably be 100% behind a law to do that here in the USA (truth be told). Akinola "grinned and said no-comment" when asked about his knowledge and/or previous approval of an attack on a Muslim village by C.A.N. members under his direction. As recently as last week, Akinola lied thru his teeth at GAFFECON when he said he had no knowledge of violence against gay people in his country. His dishonest and underhanded actions surrounding his getting voted out as leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria has been well reported on. The list could go on and on.

Of course, it would all be refuted by people like you, LP, who believe anything they are told as long as the person telling it is "conservative" enough. Maybe I was mistaken when I wrote you were not that ignorant.

Submitted by Matthew at 7/2/2008 2:59:21 PM

Kewlness, a two fer one ad hominem attack. Let's break it down.

First, I've read the article you're getting your Akinola info from. It's by Eliza Griswold. She's a poet, reporter and just happens to be the daughter of ol' Frank Griswold, fromer PB of these here Episcopal Churches. She doesn't like conservatives. She has never let the facts get in her way in her articles in The American Prospect, The Nation and the New Republic. She is very much a polemical reporter. Other people have very much had a different experience of Archbishop Akinola. If you are going to cite facts, you may wish to find more authoritative or unbiased sources.

I'm not in favour of jailing anyone fro sexual preference. Sorry, but i am not.

Again, do you have actual knowledge that Archbishop Akinola has actual knowledge of violence against gays? Can you please cite sources? Feel free to strengthen your case please.

Insulting people of course is always a good way to prove a point. It rarely proves the point you wish to make though.

Submitted by Sasha at 7/2/2008 3:43:02 PM

David, if ++Akinola were inciting violence against homosexuals, then why did he support a law calling for 5 years' imprisonment for those of them caught in the act - compared to the Muslims' wishing to have them executed? If he was doing what you're claiming he was doing, this was his perfect opportunity to go along with them - AND HE DIDN'T!!!

Submitted by LP at 7/2/2008 4:39:32 PM

A case study in insult, dishonesty, and deception
Presented for your education, edification, and enjoyment

you, LP, who believe anything they are told as long as the person telling it is "conservative" enough. Maybe I was mistaken when I wrote you were not that ignorant.
I see that you have now shifted to "phase 3" of the liberal playbook -- insult your disputant. What a good little foot-soldier you are!

Let's review the exchange to date, shall we?

You began this exhange by posting to assert that it was foolish for ++Akinola to worry about the false gospel being preached by PEcUSA since (a) PEcUSA is so tiny (true... and it's working hard to keep shrinking) and (b) he ought to worry about ministering to his own people instead.

In response, various people refuted every one of your points, observing that:
a) ++Akinola does minister to the needs of his people
b) Including a great deal of ministering to their physical needs
c) But also to their spiritual needs, which is his responsibility as a Christian leader
d) And that ministering to the spiritual does not (as you implied) prevent ministering to the physcial as well.

It has also been pointed out that:
e) PEcUSA has done a very failed job - and one that is continuing to shrink, as their budget is increasingly used up in the litigation costs of suing and driving out traditional Christians from that organization -- in giving to those same physical needs
f) And what little support has been given, has been given with the "strings attached" of requiring the recipients to deny the Gospel and basic Christian morality by supporting the homosexualist heresy, thus showing their priority is to advocating homosexualism, not to social services.

When presented with these arguments and facts, rather than present any comparable facts of your own to back up your sweeping condemnations, you instead attempted to turn the conversation to a discussion of ++Akinola's supposed advocation of violence against homosexuals.

Once again, your sweeping and false generalizations were met with facts to the contrary -- including ++Akinola's own words. And, once again, you failed to answer or present evidence to defend your defamations or assertions but instead threw out more question-dodging irrelevancies, such as "ooh, maybe someone else typed up his statement!"

And now - after your many accusations and substanceless posts - you have provided -- amid a heap of insults to me -- a few brief references, in an effort to support your view... examples which are (as we shall see shortly) at best largely irrelevant and, in some cases, show exactly the opposite of what you claim.

And in this last pot, you turn to the "final phase" of the liberal's traditional rhetorical smoke-screen and assertion-in-place-of-argument tactic by insulting those who disagree with you.

Doing so, you have demonstrated the classic liberal "endgame" -- rather than continue to attempt your campaign in the face of people who present reason and facts that show the absurdity of your own position (a pity more people in the pews of Episcopal parishes are unwilling or unable to do so, it's really not very hard at all) -- you retreat (patting yourself on the back no doubt) with the "oh, there's no point in arguing" claim. Oh, and, of course, with the parting false & libellous ad hominem attack -- such as claiming that the posters on the MCJ are homophobes who would be "100% behind a law" to jail homosexuals.

Dude, you're right... we haven't been arguing. You have been throwing out unsubstantiated claims, accusations and insults. The rest of us have been presenting facts and rational discussion. That is, indeed, not an argument. How can we have an argument or discussion with you, when all your posts have amounted to no more than a screed and a hissy-fit? Some of us left that kindergarten-level playground misbehavior behind us years ago. I'm sorry you haven't.

Your methodology is quite apparent in your concluding remark:

Of course, it would all be refuted by people like you, LP, who believe anything they are told as long as the person telling it is "conservative" enough
In other words, when presented with facts and arguments, rather than engaged in reasoned exhanges, you've simply said "there's no point in discussing things with you, because you are a 'conservative' and so would credulously believe anything 'conservative' and never agree with me!"

As seen from the above exchanges, it is the 'conservatives' who have been giving facts, reasons, and quotes -- basing their position on something objective -- while as all you've done is handwave and make unsubstantiated claims. If anyone deserves to be called "credulous", it would be those who agree with you!

Thus, as shown above, you make quite clear that your posting here is merely to have that on-line tempertantrum. I'm not sure why. Who could you hope to convince? Anyone approaching this exchange with an open mind and a view to the facts will see precisely what I have outline above... do you really think that will convince them of anything?

In point of fact, virtually nothing you have written has merited reply, but it has been such a delightfully obvious and typical example of the typical liberal/apostate propaganda machine -- based on insult, ungrounded assertion and distraction rather than facts or reason -- that showing it up for what it really is ought to prove an excellent "object lesson" for those genuine enquirers who do run across this thread. I thank you for providing that demonstration.

Now, to turn specifically to your last post above: finally, after all your other ones -- you attempt (amid the usual insults and contempt) to give some actual "evidence".

Of course, the "evidence" you claim is nothing of the kind -- you have presented a misrepresentation of the various incidents rather than anything honest. Still, trying to present any "fact" at all is a big step forward for you, and I congratulate you on that accomplishment.

And perhaps you're repeating them merely as a credulous mimic of things you've seen posted elsewhere, without having bothered to check the facts yourself, since they appear to flatter your own preconceptions and you wouldn't want the facts to get in the way, eh?

But -- in a contrasting desire to actually base opinions and interpretations on actual facts and statements -- let's take a look at your points in order, shall we?

You will notice that, by doing so, I have done something you have yet to do -- actually engaged in a reasoned discussion with points you have raised and examined them each for their actual merit. And, as usual, investigation into the facts show just how much dishonesty and distortion has to be employed by liberals to come up with arguments which even appear to support their position. No wonder you folks prefer to stick to insult, hypothesis, and unsubstantiated accusation!

Indeed, since you have now -- after giving us such a terrific example of the "liberal argument strategy" -- provided a sterling example of "liberal misrepresentation and distortion of facts", it's worth a similar examination... yet another object lesson for interested readers.

1. Nigerian secular law.

The proposed law that you refer to did not, as you claim, call for "jail sentences for all gay people." Rather, that law made homosexual advocacy organizations illegal (its section 7(1)) and called for a 5 year jail sentence (section 7(3)) on those who founded or participated in such organizations, those who made a public show of homosexuality, or those who engaged in homosexual "weddings".

In other words, this was a secular law directed against actions, not persons. Of course, you could claim that denying the actions would be denying the persons... but that would just be silly. Or, at least, utterly inconsistent with Christian teaching.

Now, founding an Integrity chapter or screwing another man out on a park bench might be "essential" behavior for you (or whomever), and you might feel excluded by a law which prohibits it -- but it is those actions, not you yourself (or whomever), which were criminalized.

Moreover, this was a secular law being proposed by a civil government, not something proposed by the church. And ++Akinola's support for it was - as he himself explained - because it reflected "the moral position of Nigerians regarding human sexuality." I.e. that homosexual activity is sinful.

Further, as has been pointed out above, strange as it seems, ++Akinola's commendation of this law is actually support for the more tolerant option, given what Islamic law calls for!

And while you and I, as Westerners, may find this foreign prohibition of free speech and free assembly to be an alien and distasteful secular policy, that is a separate issue from the ethical question of "is homosexual activity moral or immoral". I disagree with ++Akinola on his Nigerian toleration of such strict restrictions on reasonable free speech and free assembly. But I agree with his Christian and Scriptural condemnation of homosexual activity as immoral.

2) CAN attack on a Muslim village

CAN is the "Christian Association of Nigeria". The question to which Akinola responded "no comment" was whether he had sent them into that Muslim area. Given Muslim Shari'a law about missionaries, OF COURSE he said "no comment". That had nothing to do with persecuting homosexuals or Muslims -- that had to do with protecting himself and the Christian missionaries.

Second, the implication that these attacks were carried out "under his direction" is false. The "no comment" was answering whether or not they had been sent as missionaries into that region, not whether or not they had been sent in to attack people. His "no comment" referred to whether or not he had authorized their presence, not their actions. Thus, by it, he was not condoning their actions. In fact, on the subject of the violence itself, he replied "No Christian would pray for violence".

Third, these were not unprovoked attacks by CAN, but were in response to the incident in which "a group of Muslims raided a Christian church, set it on fire, and killed 78 people." I am not saying that that condones the retaliation -- I am simply pointing out the larger context, which you conveniently chose to omit.

Fourth -- and only here to we find a shred of possible support for your position in any of your "evidence" -- ++Akinola said in the interview:

I’m not out to combat anybody. I’m only doing what the Holy Spirit tells me to do. I’m living my faith, practicing and preaching that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to God, and they respect me for it. They know where we stand. I’ve said before: let no Muslim think they have the monopoly on violence
I.e. ++Akinola is not praying or advocating violence, he is not setting out to combat anyone, he is simply preaching the Gospel. But if - as in the incident described above - Muslims attack Christians, he is not going to condemn a Christian reaction.

Now I, personally, am a bit troubled by this. It's hardly "turn the other cheek". Then again, I'm not in Nigeria and have no personal experience with the religious situation there. It may well be that a willingness to defend themselves or respond with force, when attacked and murdered by Muslims, may be the only way Christians in that country can hope to survive. I don't know... and I won't presume to judge.

However, all we can conclude from this incident and ++Akinola's statements is that while he is not praying for violence, not advocating it and not seeking it, he also chooses not to condemn Christians who respond in kind when attacked and murdered by Muslims.


This is your weakest example, particularly as anyone can easily find and read the transcript of the Q & A session you describe. Indeed, the whole homosexualist distortion of the interview has, itself, been a marvelous case study in the dishonesty with which they advance their agenda.

The entire substance of the exchange with ++Akinola was about his country's laws. We've dealt with that above. ++Akinola was defending the right of his society to criminalize certain behaviors and public activities -- again, actions, not people. This is why he said:

in your Western society many of these have arisen but in some of our African societies many things have not arisen and this happens to be one of them.... to that extent what my understanding is, is that those that are responsible for law and order will want to prevent wholesale importation of foreign practices and traditions, that are not consistent with native standards
I.e. he supports the right of his government to establish laws (like the one above) to criminalize certain public actions and foreign organizations. A secular question, even if touching on a moral issue.

I take it you -- like the U.N. -- would prefer a "new colonialism" of importing and enforcing a liberal first-world sexual and "ethical" agenda (one which is, in fact, actually a minority position in many of those first-world countries themselves) as normative upon every country on Earth. But that's a separate debate about state, not Church.

You cited this GAFCon press interview to support your claim that ++Akinola advocated violence against gay people. This interview does no such thing. In it he simply defended his secular government's sovereign right to criminalize certain public behaviors and organizations. Nothing new here not in #1 above.

Additionally, this exchange was not in a vacuum. ++Orumbi and +Jensen both also addressed the question, and ++Akinola is reported as nodding affirmation to what both of them said. Here is ++Orumbi, pointing out precisely the church/state issue which ++Akinola spoke to:

There’s very little influence to stop the legislation of a law, an institute, in practice by the church. The church’s practice is to preach, to proclaim... And that is in Uganda as already Archbishop Akinola is saying.
And here is +Jensen:
Can I add to that, because I think it needs to be said, on behalf of these brothers, if not by themselves, any violence against any person, is in Christian terms wrong... I certainly have public condemned and will continue to publicly condemn any violence against any people and in particular gay and lesbian people.... I am sure I speak for all in saying that any such violence, any such behaviour within the prison system, for Christians of another variety, or whatever, is condemned by us.
In short, as an honest reading of this press conference makes quite clear, ++Akinola did not say what you claim he did (he did not advocate the imprisonment, torture, or rape of homosexuals for being homosexuals) -- in fact, he nodded his agreement to a statement that said exactly the opposite ("I speak for all in saying that any such violence, any such behaviour within the prison system, for Christians of another variety, or whatever, is condemned by us").

So, let us, again, review. You have posted almost nothing but red herrings, insults, sweeping generalizations, and false assertions.

Your initial post was to condemn ++Akinola for criticizing PEcUSA's homosexualism while not doing enough to minister to his people, which was shown to be both factually inaccurate and logically incoherent. Evidence was provided to show your error.

You then jumped -- having provided no proof for your assertions nor counter-evidence to what others provided showing your error, despite being asked repeatedly for such evidence from those other posters -- to the "homophobia!!!" game, announcing ++Akinola's "advocation" of "violence" against "those he views unfit" such as homosexuals, again with only generalizations and continued insults (both against ++Akinola and, increasingly, against me as well.)

And finally, in this recent post, you announce that conversation is useless, that I am ignorant and credulous, claim that I (and others here) would be "100% behind" a law to jail homosexuals, and so forth. I take it this is what qualifies as "discussion" and "reason" in your book? It certainly is a fine example of precisely the kind of "conversation" and "dialog" and "listening" we've come to expect from PEcUSA!!

But you did -- mirabile dictu visuque -- in this final post (now that we've digressed far from your original topic) mention a few items as "proof". I have analyzed those 3 examples above, and we find (shouldn't suprise anyone at this point) that #1 doesn't give any support to the position you are trying to defend; #3 - if one looks at the transcripts and reports from GAFCON - shows that ++Akinola actually endorsed +Jensen's rejection of precisely the position you falsely claim for ++Akinola; and that #2 (the closest you come to anything relevant to the larger point we've digressed to) doesn't say what you appear to think it does -- i.e. the incident does not show that ++Akinola ordered C.A.N. members to go burn down a Muslim village -- it merely shows that he wasn't willing to condemn Christians for responding with force to a murderous attack upon their community. (I wonder, do you condemn self-defense? If someone is threatned with mugging, murder or rape, is it their Christian reponsibility - in your view - simply to submit? Would you condemn them if they did resist? No? SHOCK Why, you're not better than ++Akinola then!!!)

So, once we discard all your increasingly shrill insults, empty rhetoric, unsubstantiated claims, and misrepresentations of fact, I believe we can boil down your argument to the following statement:

I reject Scripture's teaching on homosexuality and reject the right of anyone to criticize it, because Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria once failed to condemn Christians for responding with force to a murderous Muslim attack on their community and church.
Hello? McFly? Hello?

I don't understand why you homosexualists don't just save yourselves lots of time and bother by saying:

We reject the teaching of Scripture, Tradition and the Church about homosexuality (and women's ordination; and the divinity of Christ... etc) and we have no intention to change those views or engage in constructive discussion or cooperation with anyone who thinks differently. We reject any other Anglican's right to dispute with us over this; we reject any authority of the Anglican Communion to discipline us. We intend to drive out of our organization anyone who thinks differently on these issues.
That, at least, would have the virtue of being honest, and would save lots of time and bother, allowing the traditionalists to get on with their preaching of Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ... and allow you to simply ignore them and get on with your advocacy of your own new religion and morality.

Perhaps if you folks weren't so preoccupied with spending time on blogs acting out the "liberal handbook" argument style; weren't so obsessed with insulting those who strive to be faithful to Christian Scripture and Tradition; weren't so committed to suing and persecuting them in and out of courts... why then you might just find that you had more time and funds and man-power to go do all that social service work which you obviously think is so essential -- funds for which PEcUSA is increasingly cutting as it puts ever higher percentages of its resources and energy into advocating homosexualism and persecuting traditional Christians.

But, anyway, thanks again for the quite sterling "object lesson" in liberal Episcopalian norms of "conversation" and "evidence". I hope many readers will find the example illuminating.

pax omnibus,

Submitted by David at 7/3/2008 10:02:10 AM

Quite an emission, guys. I suppose that, since I have been accused of wasting bandwidth, that the best thing would be for me to briefly address a few points and drop out.

LP: It's amazing what you can find by using yahoo and google searches, if you are willing to spend some time and work your way down from a broad search and not limit it to the point of uselessness as Fuinseoig done in his search. I'm sure you realize that Akinola is not an ignorant person, and as such, would know better than to have information posted on his Church's website that would reflect poorly on him as a Bishop. You accuse me of being fooled by believing everything you claim I read on "liberal blogs", while you trust everything you read on a website Akinola controls. I don't place a great amount of trust in articles on leftist blogs because the agenda they espouse sometimes trumps truth, and the same thing goes for ultra-conservative blogs. In the end, despite any "weaknesses" you perceive in my views, your vulgar comments about "screwing a man on a park bench" served to strip away a layer of your facade to reveal a person I'd rather not associate with.

It's a funny thing to me that you and (many, but not all) of the people here can spout off ad homenim attacks, make outlandish claims, and demean anybody not "conservative" enough for your tastes....but just let someone come along and direct a little of the same thing your way, and all he** breaks loose. Hypocritical is the most tactful and accurate description I can come up with....

In the end, it's a shame that I've not been banned from here, but that would make the MCJ no better than SFIF (and we know it is). Thanks, Chris, for not banning me. But, never fear my conservative pals, I will voluntarily refrain from posting. That doesn't mean that "ad hominem attacks" won't happen any more, because if you took that away, at least 75% of the content of the MCJ would disappear.

I will leave you all to your own dark devices.

Submitted by LP at 7/3/2008 10:35:14 AM

Addendum: How a liberal says "goodbye"
I will leave you all to your own dark devices.
Ah, of course, the "exit strategy". David wasn't quite done with us yet.

He has been confronted with arguments, facts, quotes and analysis, all which confound and contradict his vague assertions, sweeping generalizations, and petty insults. Some posters have done so with more vigor and rhetoric, some with less -- but all have posted substantive and fact-based refutations.

David, now, perceives that his bluff has been called. It has been repeatedly pointed out that all but one of his posts contained no facts or evidence... and, of the one that did, investigation into the actual quotes and incidents shows that the examples he provided do not, in fact, support his assertions after all.

Does David respond with a differing analysis, to show that our examination was incorrect? No.

Does David respond with new evidence or quotes to provide more substantive support to his wild suppositions and allegations? No.

Does David, in short, begin to attempt, in any way, a mature and fact-based rational exchange in an effort to arrive at some coherent and objective view? No.

Because that's not the liberal exit strategy!.

Nope, the liberal knows that when he's met with actual challenge and argument -- rather than credulous acceptance of unsupported assertions and sweeping condemnations -- that the game is up and he's going to continue to look sillier and sillier if he keeps trying to defend his subjective and counter-factual point of view.

(It is not, mind you, just the homosexualist heretics who do this -- I've seen it regularly (though not always) in discussions of women's "ordination", and it's a staple of liberal political discussions and behavior (Dick Morris reports that the Clintons had an employee whose official full-time job was to dig up dirt for ad hominem attacks on opponents, precisely to distract from examination of the substance of the disagreements and discussion); etc.)

And so now it's David's turn for the cut-your-losses "exit strategy" with the liberal's "goodbye". And -- no surprise here -- he has treated us to a wonderful "object study" of the phenomenon.

Look back over his post. Does he address any of the facts raise? No. Does he refute any of the arguments or analysises of his supposed "evidence"? No. Does he, in other words, engage any of the substance of those who have replied to him? No.

Nope... all he does is get in his "parting shots" of contempt, insult, and attack... oh and, of course, the "victim" angle. "You said something rude that hurt my feelings.. if you're going to be mean to me, then I'm going home!" AHA! I see that your retreat from this discussion has nothing to do with the fact that your assertions were shown to be so, your illogic pointed out, your lack of factual support noticed, and the inadequacy of your 'evidence' revealed. Nope, that had nothing to do with it. It is merely we are evil people who hurt your feelings. Riiiiiiiiiiiight....

In short, his "reply" is to say:

  • You were rude
  • You said something I think is ad hominem
  • I don't trust your sources.

(By the way, David, all the sources I used in examining your "evidence" are the exact same news media reports that you yourself cited... it was you who picked those sources to "support" your position, not me. If you don't trust those sources, why did you use them to try to support your position in the first place?)

And, having done so, he proudly announces that he shall "voluntarily refrain from posting". Now whether that's because he is soberly and rationally refusing to participate in a conversation with rude, irrational fundamentalists who refuse to listen to a word he says because of their blinding preconceptions -- or, instead, if it is because we have listened to what he has said, examined its logic, pointed out its lack of substantial content, and (by checking the facts and sources) undermined what little "evidence" has has claimed for his assertions and contemptuous and inaccurate characterization, challenged him to rationally support his claims... and thus revealed that the only check-your-brain-at-the-door fundamentalism going on here is the accustomed liberal type -- well, I'll let the reader decide. All the pertinent documentation is available to you above... don't take my word for it: check the facts and reach your own considered decision.

And, meanwhile, let us all wave a charitable goodbye to David... and then evilly slink back to our "own dark devices" of objective and fact-based analysis & discussion of newsreports, Scripture, and cultural developments. More shame to us.

pax omnibus,