SPLINTER GROUP OF EPISCOPAL BIGOTS A BAD SIGN
[Palm Beach] The cat is out of the bag. It is about sex, after all.
The breakaway parishes in the Episcopal Church make all the right noises about their struggle for theological orthodoxy, biblical purity and traditional Anglican values.
Cut through all the verbiage, and their issue is sex, specifically homosexuality in the church's leadership, with a side order of bias against women.
The clergy in Truro Church and Falls Church in northern Virginia led their flocks out of the American Episcopal Church last month. In an extraordinary expression of self-righteousness, they aligned themselves with the Anglican Church of Nigeria and created a jurisdictional nightmare.
They joined a renegade mission of the Nigerian church called the Convocation of Anglicans in North America that now boasts 21 parishes, according to The New York Times.
The group is under the insensitive direction of Nigerian bishop Peter Akinola, who reads Scripture literally and claims it says what he wants it to say. He equates gay leadership in the church with "a satanic attack."
Akinola supports a bill in Nigeria that would make any public expression of homosexual activity a crime punishable by five years in prison.
He wants to bring his prejudices to this country. To that end, he has consecrated an American priest, MartynMinns, rector of the Truro Church, to be a bishop in the Convocation. Minns will work under the authority of his Nigerian master in the vineyard of the American Episcopal Church.
That is the height of ecclesiastical arrogance borne of mind-numbing hubris. Bishops of different jurisdictions do not muck about in another bishop's territory, but this sanctimonious crowd observes no such niceties. They alone, they claim, know the truth and read Scripture accurately.
The great danger in all this — apart from the disgraceful treatment of homosexuals — is the growing power of bigots to use the Bible to condemn those who are different. Christians have long done that against Jews, blacks and women.
They use their religion "as a fig leaf to cover their naked prejudice," said the Rev. Peter Gomes, preacher to Harvard University who is a black, Republican, Baptist, gay minister.
His simple presence would make Bishop Akinola and his American minions apoplectic. His words condemn them.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007