Total visitors right now: 88

Click here to check your private inbox.

Welcome to Stand Firm!

Calling out Coward: Where’s the Proof of ‘Attacks’?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 • 11:53 am


Peter Ould notes the smear campaign begun by “Changing Attitudes,” the joint English-Nigerian gay advocacy group, in which CA insinuates that “conservative Anglicans,” by opposing the views of CA, are somehow complicit in violence against gays and lesbians. Bottom line: CA’s letter is detestable, and my already-low opinion of Colin Coward and his sock-puppet Davis Mac-Iyalla has sunk even lower.

Now comes this press release from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office in which +Rowan writes:

The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitudes are disgraceful. The Anglican Communion has repeatedly, through the Lambeth Conference and the statements from its Primates’ Meetings, unequivocally condemned violence and the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people. I hope that this latest round of unchristian bullying will likewise be universally condemned.

Let’s leave aside for a moment the unasked question: Is there any indication that the “violence” allegedly perpetrated against the gays and lesbians in question was done by “conservative Anglicans?” I don’t expect Colin Coward to ask that question, but I do expect the Archbishop to lift at least a finger or two in the pursuit of that answer. Yes, I realize that +Rowan’s statement doesn’t accuse “conservative Anglicans” of violence, but he knows good and well that that’s the context in which he issues his statement.

No, forget that question. What I want to do, and please pardon my French, is call bullshit on the whole thing. So far, here’s what we’ve been offered as “proof” of the “attacks,” a post at this ridiculous anti-Akinola web site.

The blog entry contains an account of violence at a funeral in Nigeria, and directly accuses the Anglican church in Nigeria of orchestrating the attack:

“The next thing I saw was a mob group who were there to attack me. They started slapping and punching me, kicked me on the ground and spat on me. I have never known fear like I knew when they were brutalizing me. I thought they were going to kill me there and then. While beating me they were shouting: ‘You notorious homosexual, you think can run away from us for your notorious group to cause more abomination in our land?’ Those who attacked me were well informed about us so I suspect an insider or one of the leaders of our Anglican church have hands in this attack.”

Accompanying the entry is a photograph of “some of the young men of Changing Attitude Nigeria.” My question is: Where are the police reports? Where are the photos of the victims’ injuries? Judging from the numerous photos posted online at various sites over the past few years, there is no shortage of digital cameras among the Changing Attitudes folks in Nigeria. Are we to believe that at a gathering of this size, a beating which caused injuries that nearly resulted in death to someone, no photograph was snapped of the “mob group”? No one took a photo of the man’s injuries? If the injuries were so severe, shouldn’t the man have been taken to some kind of medical facility? Shouldn’t that facility have some kind of report describing the man’s injuries and the treatment he received?

And, are we really to believe that the “mob group” not only made ridiculous statements like the one above, but also ones like this…

“We will not rest until we silence you and any who join you to pollute the land with the abominable act of homosexuality. You are perverts who go around corrupting and inducting young people into our evil society. We will kill you and it will be a favour to the country. Nigeria will not contain you or any other person that practices homosexuality.”

...and that someone in the “terrorized” crowd was able to record the statements with such accuracy? I don’t buy it. Not for a second.

Sorry, Colin and Davis, and sorry to all their stateside allies: Absent something resembling real proof of these “attacks,” I’m proceeding from the assumption that it’s a fraud, and that the Archbishop has been suckered into releasing a statement on an “attack” that never happened.


71 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

Please, oh please, don’t let your language sink into the sewer.  Your lips are the lips of God’s holy temple in the world.  Anger, bitterness, and disappointment are portals for the devil.  We can’t join forces with darkness by allowing ourselves to be vulgar.  We have only an audience of One and He sees the truth behind the lies and insinuations.  Shame on you, Archbishop Williams and shame on you Changing Attitudes.  Your sin will not cause me to sin!
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29)
Thank you, Greg,  for the alert to the furthering works of the devil, cloaked in the robes of righteousness.

[1] Posted by wportbello on 04-09-2008 at 12:34 PM • top

Greg, I am having difficulty understanding this stream and who is saying what… Who wrote the obscenity “B-lls—t?” Was that you, or someone you are quoting? I guess I am stunned…

[2] Posted by FrVan on 04-09-2008 at 12:40 PM • top

Two whole posts and the thread is already off track over the use of the French slang for bovine excrement.

Hang out with street people and cops for a while and see how unlikely the scene and statments as they are portrayed by the CA actually are in the real world.  Mob violence isn’t usually the place to find speeches or Thucydidean oratory.

That’s not to deny the hostility that gay folk experience in other countries.  That’s real, I’ve seen it and have had friends threatened for merely looking less than straight.  But this scene from CA has been rightly called out by Greg.

[3] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 04-09-2008 at 12:55 PM • top

Akinola is a murderer” is the theme of an entire revisionist sub-culture, which may well be gaining traction with Canterbury.  This is a more critical topic than many may realize; side discussions of profanity are really not the important thing here.

[4] Posted by Phil on 04-09-2008 at 01:04 PM • top

To tell you the truth, it is equally believable that anti-gay Anglicans in Nigeria tried to murder gays as it is that Changing Attitudes are perpetrating a hate crime hoax.  I’m reserving judgment on this one.

[5] Posted by Violent Papist on 04-09-2008 at 01:14 PM • top

Can we agree that if such an attack occurred, it was deplorable? And that we, perhaps, don’t have the evidence to know whether it occurred or not? (If I were in the midst of mob violence, I’m not sure I would have the presence of mind to use my camera. I hope I would. I imagine there would be risk involved.) The language quoted sounds ludicrously improbable, but may reflect a translator’s lack of skill.

[6] Posted by oscewicee on 04-09-2008 at 01:23 PM • top

Phil, I am surprised at the profanity, yes—- I might use it, BUT GREG!!!???!!! ON STAND FIRM???!!? However, I am really confused as to what happened and who is being attacked, and by whom…Why would Akinola be considered a murderer? It seems that the ABC is suggesting all Primates condemn these activities. Why would anyone assume Akinola? The leader(s) mentioned could well have been a layperson(s). I think at this juncture if the ABC had wanted to besmirch Akinola’s name he would have used it in his statement. However, while I don’t always agree with Greg’s assessment’s, I trust completely the truth with which he writes. I wouldn’t go to gay oriented blogs, though, unless I wanted to be upset and misled by a single focus action group, and a movement organ (no pun intended).

[7] Posted by FrVan on 04-09-2008 at 01:24 PM • top

Reichstag fire

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 04-09-2008 at 01:51 PM • top

It is important to note however that the LGBT activists routinely declare that ANYTHING critical of the lifestyle in question is open to a charge of encouraging violence, of bigoted attitude and so on. This is arrant manipulation of perception, a common tool among activists. Insinuation, attribution and alleged collusion are elements of this. check out these links and tools in common use:
http://www.thetaskforce.org/activist_center
http://www.netaction.org/training/
http://www.trainingforchange.org/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/index.html

Until you understand the reasining an dlogic built into activism, you cannot appreciate the methods and drivers behind things like this.

[9] Posted by masternav on 04-09-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

I really hate when I’m too quick on the send button and don’t check my spelling - apologies to all!

[10] Posted by masternav on 04-09-2008 at 01:55 PM • top

Greg called it b*llsh*t toro doodoo? So what? I’ll take this opportunity to call it that too. Just about everything I have ever heard from Colin Coward/Davis Mac-Iyalla has been b*llsh*t. Does anyone really think that the Primate of the largest province in the Anglican Communion is running secret Anti-Gay Death Squads? This is ridiculous. I don’t doubt that there is violence against gays in Africa and I agree that it should be condemned in the strongest of terms but it is beyond moronic to expect us to believe that it is all being orchestrated by Peter Akinola. Mac-Iyalla has been spouting this conspiracy nonsense based on either flimsy or nonexistent evidence for quite a while now and people like Father Jake and his band of merry revisionistas just eat it up with a spoon.

You can call it whatever you please. Call it toro doodoo. Call it bovine excretement. Call if fresh fertilizer. Hell, call it cupcakes if you want to. It’s still b*llsh*t.

the snarkster

[11] Posted by the snarkster on 04-09-2008 at 01:56 PM • top

Yes, FrVan, I understand the shock and the outrage at Greg grin

Actually, there’s a broader attempt to link Akinola to incidents like these (if there was one) and to mob violence in general in Nigeria.  It’s said he tacitly encourages it.  Ref: Fr. Jake’s blog.

[12] Posted by Phil on 04-09-2008 at 01:58 PM • top

It is important to note however that the LGBT activists routinely declare that ANYTHING critical of the lifestyle in question is open to a charge of encouraging violence, of bigoted attitude and so on. This is arrant manipulation of perception, a common tool among activists.

I sure agree with you there. And I’m afraid we need to learn a few activist skills of our own.

[13] Posted by oscewicee on 04-09-2008 at 01:58 PM • top

I could actually see folks being attacked—happens all the time about a wide variety of things, in all countries. 

And of course, it’s expected that if any gay person were attacked, it would be the fault of Akinola

What’s new here, Greg?  This is standard boilerplate rhetoric from the progressive activists.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 04-09-2008 at 02:06 PM • top

Greg, in public it’s more polite to call BS on someone instead of using the vulgarity.

That said, you have posted what I thought but dared not voice.  In today’s world to post such an accusation without accompanying video or cell phone picture of the result makes it hard to believe. 

Especially for people who seem to believe they are always in danger.

[15] Posted by Paul B on 04-09-2008 at 02:09 PM • top

I agree with Greg.  Davis Mac-Iyalla “claims” to be harrassed by Nigerian “Anglicans.”  Is there any confirmation or might this not be another Nigerian born scam to make money like the lottery I supposedly won or the dead bank officer whose widow is looking for a good person to help her steal several milions of dollars her late husband stole?  Fr. Jake runs a poll on his website asking opinions on whether Peter Akinola is complicit in Nigerian massacres.  The latest has some un named Changing Attitudes leader claiming he was beat upon by unknown persons who most likely were Anglicans.  I don’t want gays beaten up by thugs.  I think the Ab Akinola could probably be more articulate in condemning such actions.  I also think laying the blame on him is like blaming TV for teens’ anto-social behavior.  Unless corroborated by a reliable source, it remains bull excrement.

[16] Posted by DaveG on 04-09-2008 at 02:13 PM • top

One other comment: is it profanity if no one on the thread understands it? For example the root of the vulgarity in question is arguably OF boul, boule, bole: fraud, deceit, trickery; also ME bull BUL: ‘falsehood’, and BULL verb,: to befool, mock, cheat. So if Greg had used the French version of the term “conneries” would have anyone been either offended or even understood (which of course in turn begs the question of impact by using the term in the first place). I guess I am neither so refined in taste, nor finicky in company that I would cry foul under the pretense of polite outrage at the use of it.

Quid de utilitate loquar stercorandi?

[17] Posted by masternav on 04-09-2008 at 02:15 PM • top

“You notorius homosexual.”

Yeah. Oh, WOW do I ever believe THAT.

So like, when someone’s getting mugged in Brooklyn, the mugger says things like, “You pro-establishment capitalist, surrender your US currency as rapidly as possible.”

Guys, a year ago we had the same kind of claims, all unverifiable, all coming out of Nigeria, all involving death threats, all alledged to come from the Anglican church, and all of them, perhaps not so coincidentally, involving Davis Mac-Iyall. Yeah, he was SO afraid for his life he couldn’t go home, but in his public e-mails he gave his cell phone number and address where he could be reached.

And nothing further came of it.

In September, a rogue “reporter” invented a story about the Anglican Church of Nigeria, quoting one of its bishops as saying gays must die. When tracked down, which took a lot of effort, he admitted he lied. ABC didn’t investigate then, either.

And now CA is back with the same players as early last year, the same MO, the same story, the same allegations. Only THIS time the attackers seem to be clones of William F. Buckley Jr as they are so refined in their speach while delivering physical punishment. “Take THAT, you scoundrel! I’ll have you know my Cecelie has found it necessary to retire to her chambers following your scandelous statements. Stand, you skallawag, and defend yourself! No man offends my wife as you have, sir!”

Uh-huh. Unless the attacker’s name was Erol with long blonde hair, I’m not buying a farthing’s worth of this.

Greg’s right. The only question I really have is, who is being covered by this? Is VGR doing something we ought to know about? Is KJS visiting someone influentional and we’re not supposed to know until afterwards? Is there something slipping through Parliament that no one is paying attention to because we’re all off chasing this red herring?

[18] Posted by Antique on 04-09-2008 at 02:16 PM • top

With the fact that Nigeria also has a fairly large Muslim population, if such an attack did take place it is also conceivable that they would be behind it and not +Akinola. After all, the Koran does prescribe death by stoning for active homosexual acts.

I am not saying it did or did not take place, but to automatically blame conservative Anglicans for it is just plain dumb, IMHO. Nigeria is not a unified culture by any means, just saying.

But then again it could just be a publicity stunt. I wouldn’t put that past our leftist brothers and sisters either.

[19] Posted by FrRick on 04-09-2008 at 02:17 PM • top

This reminds me of last month’s “scandal” regarding an article published in the March issue of Atlantic Monthly by Eliza Griswold, the previous PB’s daughter - relevant page is here, in which she has him smiling and saying “no comment” when she asks if he sent the people out who committed the slaughter of Muslims in Yelwa.  Upon which people at Fr. Jake’s wanted him up for crimes against humanity (which I suppose would be realistic, were there any value to the accusation that he were actually implicated in this - but on the phrase “no comment” itself, see http://simplemassingpriest.blogspot.com/2008/03/this-months-atlantic-magazine-includes.html ).
He certainly does seem to be targeted.
I wonder why no one asked about questioning the journalistic integrity of the publication, and the journalist for this matter, in publishing this type of “evidence” from an interview conducted from someone in such an antagonistic relationship?  I don’t mean “she’s lying,” I mean: for these kinds of questions, there is little credibility in the journalist as the only witness of the interview (unless she can bring further evidence).  So as a journalist, you avoid getting into he says-she says situations when you yourself are implicated in such a conflict.  In the event that the interviewee denies her accuracy - which he has - there is no reasonable claim to a relatively objective source.
Furthermore, the evidence brought up is enough of a “bombshell” for many to call for indictment - and it is simply placed on page 2 of a journalistic article of impressions, casual interviews, and thoughts on the violence in Nigeria.
In cases where the stakes are so high as here - and the matter is of such life-and-death concern - ignorance of these rules of journalism is more than remarkable, and a story unto itself.
Strangely enough, getreligion.org didn’t publish anything on this either, perhaps they should be informed.
The charge here against the author and the publication of irresponsibly seeding one conflict with the fire of another conflict seems compelling enough.

[20] Posted by j.m.c. on 04-09-2008 at 02:20 PM • top

People…

That violence against anyone simply for being gay should be deplored is not in question, so please let’s not derail this topic over that.

The questions are these:

1. Where is the evidence that this attack took place? I’m looking for something - ANYTHING - other than the absurd description offered at the site I linked to above.

2. Assuming we get some evidence of the attack - photographs, police reports, affadavits, hospital/clinic reports - then where is the evidence that the Anglican Church of Nigeria was behind it?

I don’t know the laws of Nigeria, but I’m certain that in the U.S. (and I’m reasonably certain in Canada, England, and Australia as well) falsely claiming an attack of this nature and severity, and accusing a church of carrying it out, are grounds for a number of criminal (not merely civil) charges.

I repeat: I understand that violence does happen to gays and lesbians simply because it’s known by their attackers that they’re gays and lesbians. I’m not saying it doesn’t, not am I saying that it’s anything less than deplorable when it does.

However - I am saying that CA either needs to produce some compelling evidence of a) the attack itself, and b) the Anglican Church of Nigeria’s involvement in it. Otherwise, we’re all wiser to treat this as the fraud it’s starting to smell like.

[21] Posted by Greg Griffith on 04-09-2008 at 02:23 PM • top

#18 Antique, do you have any links about that?

[22] Posted by j.m.c. on 04-09-2008 at 02:24 PM • top

j.m.c.

Yeah. Search the archives here on SFIF. The two events I refer to were THE topics here at the time they occurred. The first, involving Davis’ alledges death threats from Church of Nigeria (never any evidence and he’s pretty much alive to this day) was right after Dar es Salaam in February/March.

The other was in September. Also covered here in more than one thread and was THE topic at the time.

[23] Posted by Antique on 04-09-2008 at 02:32 PM • top

It sounds like people are whining and freaking out over the use of seamanlike language.  Pity, that.

Also, Buckley wasn’t a penny-dreadful hero when he was about to open a can of, er, donkey-beating on somebody: “Now listen, you queer.  Stop calling me a crypto Nazi or I’ll sock your g*ddam face and you’ll stay plastered.”

[24] Posted by Ed the Roman on 04-09-2008 at 02:43 PM • top

#12. Well, actually, I shouldn’t be surprised that such accusations are out there about Akinola, and that they are unfounded in truth. A few months ago I believed that they were still allowing for polygamy in the Church under his authority. This belief was based on fairly well informed people and what they told me… or I thought they were well informed. Frankly, I was disabused of this notion on this site by Ms Hey (who knocked me out of the ring), I think, and about 450,000 others who followed the charge to “pile on.” I deserved it.

[25] Posted by FrVan on 04-09-2008 at 02:44 PM • top

Dear Ed the Roman:
  My problem is that I have teens I’ve given this website to as a source for information and for its strong religious and moral quality. I’m not opposed to people cussing, myself included, but in the correct forum. This website, though I am not always in agreement with the mainstream, has always been a cut above any others I visit. You don’t feel “dirty” here, even after tempers and emotions have flared. Besides, I bet Gregg is a hero of the faith to many of the folks that visit here, as are all of those who are the webthingys(?) for this site. I mean that as a compliment.

[26] Posted by FrVan on 04-09-2008 at 02:53 PM • top

The French term for bovine excrement is merde, and when used, has similar force to BS. However, unlike BS, it is permissible to use in places like the pulpit, as well as to use derivations like emmerdement which is something about ‘caught in deep doodoo’.

Which reminds me of when my wife was an exchange student in Belgium. Her adoptive mother once entered the room and proudly announced, “I have learned a new word from English: ‘sh$tbull!”

Maybe that would make a nice neologism for the Monty Python like speech attributed to the attackers in Nigeria.

[27] Posted by Siangombe on 04-09-2008 at 02:59 PM • top

I don’t know much about Changing Attitudes, but I find it highly disturbing that Greg and Peter Ould and everyone automatically assumes that they are making this up.  Let’s look at a couple of facts: 1) Nigeria has quite a bit of religious violence and 2) Homosexuality is still pretty taboo there.  So, I don’t understand why such an attack is so improbable.  I don’t know why more proof hasn’t been given, but since it’s not a news article, perhaps the writer didn’t think more hard facts would be necessary.  Perhaps Archbishop Williams has more information than we do, and that’s why he has already released a statement.  Maybe they didn’t want to give more specifics because they are protecting people’s identities.  Maybe that’s why there aren’t hospital reports.  Maybe that’s why the press isn’t reporting on it—because the people involved were afraid to talk about it with the press.  As for pictures, I think it’s entirely reasonable that people didn’t have digital cameras at a funeral.  And even if they did (maybe cell phones with cameras), why would they have been snapping pictures instead of trying to help their friends?  As for the language used, this is probably an approximation that the witnesses put together.  Eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that they have remembered language imprecisely.  I just think that there are too many factors involved here to automatically assume that this is some big fraud.  The victim does suggest that Anglicans were involved, but Changing Attitudes isn’t making an accusation.  They are saying that language used in the current arguments contributes to a negative religious atmosphere and might lead people to believe that violence against homosexuals is ok.

[28] Posted by Episcopalian2011 on 04-09-2008 at 03:10 PM • top

Chase
The problem is that there is a recurring pattern of unsubstantiated allegations that these incidents occur with the endorsement of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.  If the reports were simply that a gay man was beaten up at a funeral by several thugs, it would be one thing.  But to accuse the Archbishop and the Church of instigating and or tacitly endorsing such action is irresponsible.  If the evidence is there, produce it but don’t reason from a smile and a “no comment” that Peter Akinola sent supporters out to massacre Nigerian Muslims.

[29] Posted by DaveG on 04-09-2008 at 03:19 PM • top

The ABC on Nigeria and the PB on canons.  Same boat, folks.

[30] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 04-09-2008 at 03:20 PM • top

don’t know why more proof hasn’t been given, but since it’s not a news article, perhaps the writer didn’t think more hard facts would be necessary.

The only argument against this is that since this is an activist site, I can’t believe they wouldn’t use photographic evidence if they had it. A search of Yahoo news doesn’t turn up an incident like this, FWIW. Er, except on gay activist sites.

I do agree with Greg that there should be evidence for claims like this, considering how many times unsubstantiated stories have been spread as “truth” from the revisionist side. (Is then when “power speaks to truth”?) I don’t rule out the possibility that such a thing could have happened, but I’m not believing that it did without some evidence.

[31] Posted by oscewicee on 04-09-2008 at 03:25 PM • top

They are saying that language used in the current arguments contributes to a negative religious atmosphere and might lead people to believe that violence against homosexuals is ok.

I have heard this kind of comment over and over again.  That somehow by saying homosexuality is a sin you are making people attack gay people or making gay people kill themselves.

The ultimate goal is to turn the very belief that homosexual sex is sin into a hate crime. 

I have been told that Akinola is responsible for this crime.  When I asked for evidence, I got this whole “creating an atmosphere” argument.

But I wonder, does anyone hold VGR responsible for every abortion in New Hampshire, since he has “created an atmosphere” where abortion is an acceptable moral choice? 

The fact is, people are responsible for their own actions.  If Mac-Ayalla was beat up, it is the responsiblity of those who committed this crime.  Period.

DoW

[32] Posted by DietofWorms on 04-09-2008 at 03:28 PM • top

Chase - I think the heartburn here is that there’s an insinuated linkage to Peter Akinola and the Church of Nigeria.  That isn’t stated by Canterbury, but it certainly has been elsewhere.  After all, why is Rowan Williams singling out this incident for a statement?  There are any number of episodes of violence that happen every day, plenty worse than this, but he chose this one.  My suspicion is, this is wrapped up in Lambeth politics, which is why we ought to be sure it’s on the up-and-up.

Consider: I just went to the ABC’s website to look for the statement in which he condemned violence against Tibetans.  There doesn’t appear to be one.  You tell me why this one rates his attention, while Tibet doesn’t.

[33] Posted by Phil on 04-09-2008 at 03:29 PM • top

Off Topic—thoughts on terminology:
Profane: language that denigrates God and the things of God.
Obscene: language that treats sexual matters in insulting ways or that seeks to titillate its hearers.
Vulgar: coarse and thoughtless language about the body and its functions, often (in English) the use of Anglo-Saxon terms where more polite discourse would use Latin or Latin-derived words.

[34] Posted by AnglicanXn on 04-09-2008 at 03:31 PM • top

I have well-placed sources who can establish that these attacks are the work of polygamous bishops.  I would tell you the names of these sources, but they fear that their own lives may be in danger from IRD agents.

I fear that the strain is getting to Greg and he may be losing it.  In a previous post, he suggested that Lizzie Borden may well have been less than the perfect New England Victorian spinster!  And now this—Greg a potty mouth!

[35] Posted by William Witt on 04-09-2008 at 03:36 PM • top

Chase,

Please get serious. “It’s conceivable”... “Similar things have happened before”... “It’s Africa”... doesn’t cut it. We’re talking about accusations that the Anglican Church of Nigeria orchestrated the brutal beatings of homosexuals who were attending a funeral. *Could* it have happened? Sure. Weirder things happen every day.

*DID* it happen? As I said in my initial post: Until I see compelling evidence - photographs, police reports, affadavits, hospital records - all we have to go on is a blog post a web site called “Akinola Repent,” which is part of a years-long pattern of outrageous and unsubstantiated charges leveled against Akinola and “conservative Anglicans” over the years, and call me cynical, but I need more than that.

Look: How many people are at a typical Nigerian wedding? 20? 30? 50? And the “victim” was supposed to have been beaten “nearly to death”? And NOBODY snapped a picture? NOBODY got out their cell phone? NOBODY took it to the police and filed a complaint? NOBODY took the guy to a clinic? NOBODY took a picture of his injuries after they returned to his home, where there were no mobs to threaten them?

Any beating of the kind they allege was administered, is going to produce injuries that are easily visible for days, even weeks, after the event. Are you telling me that NOBODY, in all the time since the “attack,” bothered to snap a picture of the victim and his injuries?

NOBODY?

I can think of a lot of reasons why someone WOULD snap some pictures, but in the context of this wild accusation, I can think of only ONE reason why somebody WOULDN’T: Because it didn’t happen.

[36] Posted by Greg Griffith on 04-09-2008 at 03:41 PM • top

WW #35, ROFL!

[37] Posted by zana on 04-09-2008 at 03:45 PM • top

Does a tree fall in the forest if nobody snaps a digital picture of it and posts it on the internet?

Sorry Greg had to do it….even though I agree with you but I would call Shenanigans! instead of….oh you know.

[38] Posted by Rocks on 04-09-2008 at 03:47 PM • top

Given the incredible problems Nigeria has in general, between its Islamic, Christian and Tradition Africa Religious groups trying to isolate acts against homoesexuals by Anglicans is specious at best. The reports from the US State dept are heavy with warnings about kidnapping, attacks and a multitude of other crimes for those traveling to and in Nigeria:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_987.html
In a response to information request by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board they have posted a review of the situation based on their inquiries:
http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/research/rir/?action=record.viewrec&gotorec=449510

The following information was obtained from a clergyman within the Metropolitan Community Church Lagos, who is also gay (17 Aug. 2005).

Sharia Law is not legally practised in the Southern part of Nigeria, [and] the implications for homosexuals who escape the [draconian] ruling of Sharia law, usually or may well fall in to the brutality of the police force. In the south as with most other parts of Nigeria, the evidence mostly relied upon are insecure and unsafe to convict, such as a report of sexual activity between two males which sometimes can be fuelled following disagreement of any kind, sometimes gay people can also be malicious through blackmailing or revenge.

Given the essentially intolerant general social attitudes towards gays in the country on all fronts, to isolate Anglican “hatred” seems to be trivializing the endemic problem, not illuminating a solution.

[39] Posted by masternav on 04-09-2008 at 03:48 PM • top

Given the essentially intolerant general social attitudes towards gays in the country on all fronts, to isolate Anglican “hatred” seems to be trivializing the endemic problem, not illuminating a solution.

Thanks for this info, and yes - it’s using a terrible, tumultuous situation for a small political end. Pin the blame on Akinola. Sheesh.

[40] Posted by oscewicee on 04-09-2008 at 04:04 PM • top

Wow masternav, that is similar to a warning I saw posted on the Anglican Immigration and Refugee Board (Stand Firm):

  The following information was obtained from a clergyman within the Episcopal church, who is also still Anglican.

  Shoria Law is not legally practiced in the Anglican part of TEC, [and] the implications for reasserters who escape the [draconian] ruling of Shoria law, usually or may well fall in to the brutality of the Executive Council. In TEC as with most other parts of the Anglican Communion, the evidence mostly relied upon are insecure and unsafe to convict, such as a report of Christian activity between two reasserters which sometimes can be fueled following disagreement of any kind, sometimes reappariasers can also be malicious through blackmailing or revenge.

[41] Posted by Rocks on 04-09-2008 at 04:07 PM • top

From the “this” link above:  “You are perverts who go around corrupting and inducting young people into.. OUR .. evil society.” ?? This reads as a made-up statement or frame-up to me.  “Also, Davis Mac-Iyalla, of changing Attitude Nigaria, ‘LEARNING’ of the attack, said:”  ... Wasn’t Mac-Iyalla at his own sisters funeral???

[42] Posted by rose on 04-09-2008 at 04:13 PM • top

Lord Jesus, You are the way, the truth, and the life.  May Your truth shine forth, Bright Morning Star.  Amen.

[43] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 04-09-2008 at 04:19 PM • top

Greg, there was no “It’s Africa” in my comment.  What I said was that there is a lot of religious violence in Nigeria.  You only have to do a google search and start reading some of the news links to verify that.  I am not saying that this incident happened, but I am suggesting that we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the possibility.  I think people are jumping to conclusions—and that includes those who would jump to the conclusion that Archbishop Akinola or any other Anglican leaders had anything to do with this.  But I don’t think it is unreasonable to suggest, as Changing Attitudes did, that the language used about homosexuality by conservative Anglicans is sometimes not helpful.  I think activists on both sides of the Anglican wars often use hurtful language.  If this is a fraud, then it’s a very disgusting tactic.  But it’s still disturbing to me that when a story about a hate crime is told, people say the equivalent of “Yeah, right.”  Hate crimes related to sexuality happen all the time, even in our country, which is much more liberal about such things.  I think it is unreasonable to expect stuff like police reports and hospital records to be produced in a situation where—if it was reported—it was probably reported as a random act of violence or a mugging or something.

[44] Posted by Episcopalian2011 on 04-09-2008 at 04:26 PM • top

Chase,

No one is outright dismissing the possibility. Of course it’s *possible*... that doesn’t mean it actually happened.

What we’re saying here is that Colin Coward, David Mac-Iyalla, and the rest of the CA crowd have not remotely cleared the bar that is set for accusations of this nature.

The description of the “attack” is comically ridiculous, the ease of producing official paperwork, photographs, or news clippings (as would be numerous following a real attack) are simply too easy, and the complete lack of anything - ANYTHING - resembling evidence adds up to an accusation that smells like fraud.

[45] Posted by Greg Griffith on 04-09-2008 at 04:41 PM • top

CA is totally last century, sending out snail mail letters for their campaign.  I bet they used a <a >mimeograph machine</a> to save time.

CA needs a really good web designer who can build in a Random Nigerian Scandal Generator™ into their home page, so that all you have to do is to hit the refresh button to get a different one.  The ABC could then subscribe to their RSS feed for instant updates, so that he would never fall behind pronouncing against the great evils of describing ss behavior as a sin.

Of course, this might burn out the <a >Snopes</a> web server.

wink

[46] Posted by tired on 04-09-2008 at 04:57 PM • top

Appealing to my own experience among African and Caribbean cultures:

A funeral in an urban area would have had several (if not many) cell phones with cameras present.  The noise of an attack outside the compound during or after the service would have not gone unnoticed by those near the windows, if not by all the congregation.  Such an attack probably would have brought a police response because funerals are sacred events in ways we Westerners don’t always comprehend.  The disruption would have been a community scandal.

Pictures would have been taken and shared with the local media of the scandal to bring shame on those who did it within the wider community.  Even if the community thought the person attacked was repulsive, the media and police would have responded because funerals are sacred events for the family and the community.  It would have brought dishonor to the community to have such an event occur without a response.

If it was not considered dishonorable to attack the person invloved, there would have been bragging and boasting to the media about how the community was protected from a horrible person disrupting or dishonoring a sacred event.

In both cases, there would be a public account for the wider community to know of the shame or the defense of the community.  That there appears to be none, as Greg says, smells of fraud or something worse.  That it is being reported on an obviously anti-Akinola website only makes the report even more suspect.  It appears to be fresh cow chips filled with methane and should be condemned as contributing the global warming crisis.

[47] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 04-09-2008 at 05:09 PM • top

Looking over past entries on ChangingAttitudes, I think a lot of the disbelief here stems from the fact that Colin Coward was asked to cite evidence for an accusation that the Anglican Church of Nigeria was behind some threats, and he said the only real evidence was the church’s support a bill banning same-sex relationships - ummm, yeah.

Though I think it is entirely possible that Mr. Iyalla and his followers are indeed being attacked.  Though Mr. Iyalla may be using some hyperbole in trying to link these attacks to the Anglican Church of Nigeria.  Some of the stories here sound a bit incongruous.

He told one gay publication that his organization has 2005 members - http://www.gaypeopleschronicle.com/stories07/june/0608073.htm .  Changing Attitude International claims to be a network of “over 1000 people, including supporters in England, Wales, Scotland, other European countries, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria and Uganda” On his site, he has an article an Episcopal priest wrote about him - http://davis35.wordpress.com/2007/02/09/report-about-davis-and-changing-attitude-nigeria/ .  Here she says that “he convened the first general meeting of Changing Attitude-Nigeria which was attended by over 1,000 lesbian and gay Nigerian Anglicans.”  She mentions that while she was there “Davis used the occasion of his birthday to throw a party and invite all the lesbians and gay men that he knows. Around 30 or so people came to the party.”
” ... everyone knows him, says hello to him and stops and chats.” 
“Most of the work of Changing Attitude-Nigeria occurs online”

[48] Posted by j.m.c. on 04-09-2008 at 05:18 PM • top

Easy on Greg please..he is still reeling from the Cr*p coming out of DioMiss priest deprogramming.
Intercessor

[49] Posted by Intercessor on 04-09-2008 at 05:33 PM • top

SO - Fr. Jake??? Susan Russell??  Elizabeth Keaton??

The chirping from the crickets out there should tell us there is absolutely NO PROOF of these accusations.

Why do the non-orthodox remind me of Nikabrik in Prince Caspian?  “The Drawves are for the Drawves!”  And anyone who supports them - regardless of werewolf, hag or witch it doesn’t matter.

Sad sad sad…

[50] Posted by Eclipse on 04-09-2008 at 06:05 PM • top

#46 tired - LOL “a Random Nigerian Scandal Generator™”

[51] Posted by Cathy_Lou on 04-09-2008 at 07:14 PM • top

Totally, totally off-track.  But two months to Gafcon!!!  Wooohoooooo!

[52] Posted by Bill C on 04-09-2008 at 08:46 PM • top

Eclipse,

I’m afraid you’re not going to hear anything from Jake ,Liz or Susan. Doesn’t fit The Script, you see. In fact, here’s what went out a couple of hours ago on the Integrity listserv:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2008

Integrity thanks Archbishop Rowan Williams for his statement today—which condemned recent violence and the treats [sic - hehehehe…] of violence against LGBT Anglicans.  The Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity, said, “In too many provinces of the Anglican Communion, the LGBT faithful life in fear of violence and even death because of who they are and whom they love.  More often than not, Anglican bishops have been silent about—and sometimes complicit in—bullying and brutality directed at the LGBT children of God.”

Russell concluded, “Members of Integrity USA, along with other LGBT Anglicans from other provinces, will be in Canterbury this summer to offer our testimonies to the bishops gathered for the Lambeth Conference.  We look forward to sharing our lives and our stories with all of them who will listen.”

No, it wouldn’t do for the poobahs at Integrity to ask themselves a couple of simple questions, such as:

- Where is the first shred of evidence of this “attack”?

- Are there any other eye witnesses to the attack who have described what they saw? If so, where are their statements?

- Doesn’t it strike you as a little too convenient that the “attack” happened completely out of sight of anyone else? Is it really likely that at a funeral such as the one described, there would be no one - not a single soul - standing outside the church where the “attack” allegedly took place?

- Doesn’t it seem odd that an “attack” which allegedly involved slapping and kicking, and presumably elicited cries and screams from the “victim,” was heard by no one else - not a single soul - inside the church, despite the fact that, according to the “victim,” the “attack” took place right outside the church door?

- Doesn’t it seem odd that, three whole weeks later, there are no stories - NONE - on any of the news services? And that the only references to it at Google News are these three stories, which are simply cut-and-paste jobs of the CA press release? If this “attack” really happened, AP, Rueters and the BBC - all of them about as pro-gay as it gets - would have all picked up on it and blared it to the heavens. But it’s been THREE WEEKS, and so far… nothing.

Let me put an even finer point on this:

Can you imagine the hue and cry that would go up from the Episcopal left, if we accused the Diocese of Los Angeles - and specifically naming Bishop Jon Bruno - of orchestrating a beating of an orthodox Episcopalian, based solely on the account of an unnamed “victim” at a web site called “Bruno Repent”?

Can you imagine the sneers, the ridicule, characterizations of us as a bunch of irresponsible, paranoid, lying crazies?

Seriously, Susan.

Seriously, Jake.

Would this really pass your smell tests if the tables were turned?

[53] Posted by Greg Griffith on 04-09-2008 at 08:52 PM • top

“We will not rest until we silence you and any who join you to pollute the land with the abominable act of homosexuality”—-Attributed to Mob

There’s a whole lot more we need to know about this alleged incident. But Greg rightly points out that this statement (which CA attributes to the mob) is very different from how mobs usually talk. Unless the mobs come with prepared speeches.

[54] Posted by Irenaeus on 04-09-2008 at 09:00 PM • top

Greg, oh, you’ll hear from Jake, alright.  He has a whole post up on it now:

The early responses from some conservative websites seem to fall into two categories: denial that any violence or death threats ever occurred, or a refusal to admit that Anglicans were involved in any way in these acts of violence.

In other words, they have missed the point, and continue to refuse to take responsibility for the way in which the language they use has direct consequences on the lives of LGBT Christians.

You see?  Not only did it happen, we’re all responsible for it.

Jake might want to consider that, under his logic, the language of those at his site are responsible for the murder of Christians in Iraq.

[55] Posted by Phil on 04-09-2008 at 09:09 PM • top

Didn’t they try something similar WRT the IRD?  Something about some far-left missionaires in Nicaragua getting killed because the IRD had said something about them on their website, as I recall.

But Obama and Wright?  That’s guilt by association, h8r.

[56] Posted by Jeffersonian on 04-09-2008 at 09:17 PM • top

I like Matt’s comment-

Reichstag fire.

This had to happen. Goebble’s TEC descendants were born with deceit in their DNA and a contrived event was inevitable. Rowan Williams is once again a dupe. What a maroon.

[57] Posted by teddy mak on 04-09-2008 at 09:39 PM • top

Greg:

Yes, I love this:  Response for ANY legitimate FACTS to this “”“”“"attack”“”“” = crickets CONTINUE to chirp….

Did you know that Bush is actually an Alien from Alpha Centuri planning to take over the planet on 08/08/08?????

This has as much validity as Jake & Susan.  Weekly World News might be interested - but most intelligent adults ARE NOT.

[58] Posted by Eclipse on 04-09-2008 at 10:52 PM • top

Aint it just like a bunch of Episcopalians to get all out of joint over a earthy, precise, resonating bit of slang word like BS, and not get all judgemental and non-inclusive about a so called offense for which there is no evidence and the slander of a very Godley Man of God.  SHEEEESH!!

[59] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 04-09-2008 at 10:54 PM • top

Not being a Brit, I can say that Nigerian culture is a bloody mess.  What about claims that Akinola has supported laws pertaining to incarceration of gays?  I can’t say I’m drawn to the place.

[60] Posted by monologistos on 04-09-2008 at 11:33 PM • top

“The attacks were reported to the police in Nigeria, Togo and the UK.”, according to the <a/ href=http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=351>Changing Attitude website</a>. If this is true, there should be police reports on file.

[61] Posted by Deja Vu on 04-09-2008 at 11:56 PM • top

Why was it reported to Police in the UK? What could the UK police do about it?

[62] Posted by Derek Smith on 04-10-2008 at 01:46 AM • top

#63 - I think that’s in regard to the death threats Colin Coward says he has received.

[63] Posted by Peter O on 04-10-2008 at 05:21 AM • top

A response from Chris Sugden has been posted on Anglican Mainstream’s website:

A letter from the Bishop of Portsmouth and others to some of the GAFCON Leadership has been posted on Thinking Anglicans. This was received earlier this week and draws attention to alleged incidents in Nigeria.  It is not made clear on what basis the work of GAFCON is connected with whatever may have happened in Nigeria. No details are given in the letter whether these regrettable events were in any way connected with Anglican or any other church or religious group. The basis of these claims is currently being investigated by GAFCON leadership in Nigeria

Chris Sugden

[64] Posted by English Jill on 04-10-2008 at 08:22 AM • top

Today there’s a new publication of news items on the Changing Attitudes site - http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=352 -
One begins:

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has stepped up its campaign against Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) and England. Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of CAN, received a text message threatening his life on Holy Saturday, 22 March.

It goes on, “There is a relationship between the attack in Port Harcourt and the threats” - the relationship being that this occurred shortly after the Port Harcourt incident, and Mac-Illaya had assumed that the incident must have been either the work of an insider, or of his Anglican church:

Those who attacked me were well informed about us so I suspect an insider or one of the leaders of our Anglican church have hands in this attack

Mr. Mac-Illaya has every reason to be distraught and angry; but he himself does not condemn, he only suspects.  An Episcopal priest has recently reported that Mac-Illaya is very popular and well-known.  Surely others besides people of his church would have known about the funeral of his sister.  Here Mr. Coward is also ignoring the other possiblility which Mr. Mac-Illaya himself brings up: an insider.
Even if the people involved were from Mr. Coward’s Anglican Church confirming one of his suspicions - disgusting as that would be, this is also no evidence that the Anglican Church of Nigeria itself is involved.
An injustice cries out to be addressed, and for bringing the perpetrator to responsibility.  This is very understandable. 
However, look at the two important paragraphs of the letter posted at the ThinkingAnglicans site:

The discourse taking place in the Anglican Communion about the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our churches must be conducted in the context of Christian love and mutual respect. If it is not, then people will continue to perpetrate abuse and violence against LGBT people.

Some Anglican Christians act in this way because they believe that the language of criticism articulated against LGBT people in general and the Episcopal Church in particular gives them permission to perpetrate violence and abuse against Christians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. We know that is not your intention, but it is the reality as many experience it.

None of us wishes to encourage or condone violence and none of us wishes to be responsible, indirectly, for murder or violence perpetrated on another person, whatever their sexual identity.

The implicit charge of being responsible, indirectly, for murder or violence is a very serious one.  Do the Bishops of Dorking, Ramsbury, Hulme, Sheffield, Ripon & Leeds, New Hampshire, Lincoln, and Portsmouth, and other signers, have sufficient evidence for laying this charge at the door of Gafcon organizers?

[65] Posted by j.m.c. on 04-10-2008 at 09:50 AM • top

Josh Thomas has a very funny response to this whole affair.

“Funny” in every sense of that word.  It is seriously worth 2-3 readings, a pricelss, unvarnished view into the mind of the Episcopal Left.

DoW

[66] Posted by DietofWorms on 04-10-2008 at 10:29 AM • top

Violent flare-ups are not unusual in Nigeria, as we have seen.  But it’s not the first time revisionists have attempted to pin such a flare-up on Akinola.  When machete-wielding Muslims attacked Christian youths, he warned the Muslim community about the danger of reprisals—and when such reprisals inevitably occurred, some revisionists stated that Akinola had instigated them by issuing his warning!

As for the incident itself, there is good reason why reasserters are distrustful of such claims by GLBT advocates.  When Stephen Boissoin, a Canadian pastor, wrote a letter critical of homosexuality to a local paper, a human rights case was brought against him on the grounds that his letter inspired a violent assault on a gay teenager days afterwards.  Yet to this day the gay teen’s name has never been released, nor has any police report for this alleged “incident” emerged, even though it was the supposed crux of the case against Boissoin.

[67] Posted by st. anonymous on 04-10-2008 at 10:46 AM • top

Thank you for demanding accountability in this report, Greg, the facts of what actually happened.  They must be revealed, if possible.

But consider the position of anyone in the ABC’s position:  if the allegations are true, even in part, he must clearly and quickly indicate Anglicanism does not condon violence.  The response must be made long before all or even most facts are checked out.  So which risk of error should he assume:  one to protect possible victims or one that has them lying?  A difficult choice and I am not uncomfortable with the choice the present ABC made.  I also believe it incumbent on him to do everything he can to verify the claims he reacted to and think he should have said something about the allegation that the Church of Nigeria was linked to the alleged violence.  Maybe he thought this the kind of claim he should not dignify with a response He said, of course, “reports of”, leaving open the possibility that they may be false, in whole or in part.

Masternav’s comment [#39] and others like it are important.  Nigeria is known to have had violent religious conflicts among Christians, Muslims and Animists/indigenous religions for a very long time.  I believe Archbishop Akinola has gone on record to oppose the governmental corruption in Nigeria that probably perpetuates and exploits the religious warfare.  It is hard to quell violence in a large, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious culture with a dysfunctional government.  We are so fortunate in the west to have the relative stability and rule of law we do, despite our own corruptions.

I have no trouble believing that this kind of violence could occur in Nigeria and have no trouble believing it could be grossly exaggerated and exploited by gay rights advocates.  We have seen no evidence that it is being fomented by the Church of Nigeria or any of its bishops.  Whether that allegation is made in fear or for other reasons, the ABC has stated Anglicanism’s opposition to violence.  I hope he learns more details about the incidents and releases them to the public.

[68] Posted by Seen-Too-Much on 04-10-2008 at 03:16 PM • top

“Goebbels’ TEC descendants were born with deceit in their DNA”

No, they engineered that.

[69] Posted by Irenaeus on 04-10-2008 at 10:26 PM • top

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.


Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere about the crisis in our church. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments that you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm, its board of directors, or its site administrators.