Thursday, 12 March 2009


I'm really upset by the Church of Nigeria's support for anti-gay legislation. Come on, people. Humans can do better than this. We can love better than this, we can live better than this, we don't have to be so afraid of one another that we would imprison those who are different from ourselves.

All theological or doctrinal issues aside (and I've got a few of those), how can I even consider joining a Church which is in communion with people who support such hate and violence? I do not expect perfection, I expect there will be diversity and disagreement. I expect people to make mistakes, and I expect it to take time for those mistakes to be rectified. I expect I make a fair few mistakes myself, the sort that frustrate others. But I don't see how this kind of hate-mongering is ethically acceptable. I certainly don't see how it follows Jesus Christ, who (as I understand it) preached love and forgiveness a lot more than judgement and punishment.

It's one thing when your child gets caught shoplifting, age 13, and you take him back home and have a Serious Talk about why that sort of thing is Not Okay, and also seriously examine your own parenting skills. It's quite another thing when that same 'child' is 25 years old and has moved on to armed robbery and is still living in your home. At what point does supporting a person condone their actions? At what point is that support collusion rather than just tacit approval? And yet, and yet. People have to make their own choices. Turfing out that 13-year-old would be considered too harsh. Turfing out the 25-year-old would be, well, it would be too little too late. And where did that 25-year-old learn that armed robbery is an acceptable strategy for success, anyway?

As far as I can tell, as long as the Anglican Communion accepts this sort of thing, it is aiding and abetting some pretty vile discrimination. I don't know how to respond to that, or to the discrimination--less violent, but still marked--within the Communion in supposedly more 'civilised' countries. But joining up doesn't seem like a very good idea.

Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.

Lord, have mercy on these people who re-crucify You, two thousand years later. Apparently Your forgiveness is infinite. Alas, mine isn't. I can't even forgive the sins of my own insignificant life without Your help. I'm pretty sure I don't even perceive all of the ways I nail You to the cross every day. I cannot comprehend mercy on this scale.

(In other news: the essay is going to be a day late. I'll take a 10% docking of marks for it. I'm annoyed but resigned: I can't do everything. Still.)

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