It’s a “breaking story” today in Anglican News circles as Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby tied the persecution of African Christians to affirmation of LGBT people by “the western church.”
My reaction: Sad but sadly not surprising.
The sad part is, how can our hearts not break when members of our human family fall victim to the scourge of sectarian violence?
And yet, how can we remain blind to the reality that being blackmailed into bigotry against some members of the human family only serves to feed the pathology of demonization of “the other” throughout the human family?
The “not surprising” part is that this is the same kind of rhetoric we have been getting for years from the leadership of a Church of England.
Where is the lament from the ABofC for LGBT youth who choose suicide over bullying? For those who live in fear of arrest or assault because of their sexual orientation or gender identity? Or for those who are dying the slow death of internalized homophobia not only condoned by but contributed to by “the church.”
The prophetic response to the tragedy in Nigeria would be refusal to allow those inflicting violence to frame the debate and a renewed, articulated commitment to work to form alliances across differences to respect the dignity of every human being.
Instead, we get from Canterbury this pathetic response, once again making LGBT people the sacrificial lambs on the altar of sectarian politics.
La lucha continua — the struggle continues. Kyrie eleison.