February 28, 2017

May 10, 2013

Hey Anglicans, hearing the Benghazi testimony, how ‘bout that IX Commandment?

The claims made by President Obama’s administration, blaming last September’s assassination of American diplomatic staff on a YouTube that hurt Islam’s feelings, are in tatters.  It is clear that the story was made up; to what end is “the rest of the story” we should be anxious to hear.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget that a gaggle of Anglicans, some of them prominent and well respected, swallowed the Presidential fib and wrote to the United Nations, calling for international curbs on freedom of speech.

As an attempt to avoid future hostility, Bp Anis united with fellow bishops and has written a letter to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, asking for a declaration that outlaws “intentional and deliberate insulting or defamation of persons (such as prophets), symbols, texts and constructs of belief deemed holy by people of faith”.

European Anglicans have also responded to the video. The Bishop in charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, denounced the film by issuing a statement from Paris on 17th September.

In it he said: “This crude bit of anti-Islam propaganda is nothing more than hate speech, and in France and several other European countries the producers would be facing charges. In the United States, it is famously illegal to cry “fire” in a crowded theater — freedom of speech does not cover every expression”.

Wonder if the authors will repudiate their letters and statements, now that they know that their position was in reaction to a lie?

Wonder if we will hear some Anglican statements to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and to a confused world, warning about a really vile kind of speech,

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)

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Remember that the Obama administration had the purported YouTube producer arrested, held without bond, given a quick hearing before a federal judge and then was thrown into prison where he continues to languish.  For “probation violations” for “using an alias” on the internet and failing to tell his probation officer about it. . . .

[1] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 5-10-2013 at 02:07 PM · [top]

It’s very disturbing that Bp. Anis was involved in this. The video may have offended some people, but it’s truly scary that any sane person would think of asking for “international curbs” on any speech. Where would Bp. Anis and the others draw the line? Who decides what speech should be curbed? How exactly do you curb it? This is terrifying, I think.

[2] Posted by Nellie on 5-10-2013 at 08:20 PM · [top]

It is amazing sometimes how people in other parts of the world think of freedoms we Americans take for granted.  When I was teaching in Rwanda one of the professors at the seminary mentioned in passing that the government was considering licensing pastors and not letting anyone hold a church meeting without this license.  I was shocked and said, “What are you going to do about it?” He nonchalantly replied that the school would wait and see what the licensing requirements were, and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

[3] Posted by James Manley on 5-11-2013 at 01:06 PM · [top]

Here is a powerful summation of what we know about Benghazi at this point;


[4] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 5-12-2013 at 02:03 PM · [top]

Although secular people usually have no idea about this, our modern concept of “freedom of speech” is heavily reliant on Christian witness over the centuries.  There are regularly calls to curtail it, from all sides of politics, but we should resist them. 

As followers of Jesus, freedom of speech holds no real fears for us - we have a message (tellingly, it is called ‘the word’ or ‘the message’ or ‘the great pronouncement’ (euangellion) in scripture).  That message is a powerful one, and we do not need government supoport or enforcement for it to be compelling.

[5] Posted by MichaelA on 5-12-2013 at 07:27 PM · [top]

The idea that the Benghazi attack arose from a “spontaneous demonstration” is surely wearing thin by now?  Ambassador Christopher Stevens was one of the main protagonists for direct US involvement in the toppling of Muammar Qadafi.  He was hated by two groups in particular - ex-Qadafi supporters, and those who want to establish Sharia law in Libya.  He was a high profile target for them and he knew it, and he knew the country.  A carefully planned surprise attack directed at killing him seems far more likely than a demonstration gone wrong.

[6] Posted by MichaelA on 5-12-2013 at 07:39 PM · [top]

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