Tuesday, September 18, 2007

20 Questions

Some good questions this morning from this new piece just posted to Dr. Louie Crew's blog NATTER:


The Rev. George Conger reports that Archbishop Peter Akinola's press person is in a huff with the Archbishop of Canterbury for believing a UPI report that Nigerian Bishop Orama said, "Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God's purpose for man."

What are the exact words Bishop Orama said? Is there no manuscript available of the Archbishop's precise remarks?

What motive would the reporter have to make up such statements, especially since there were so many present who could say that the report was false?

How free are reporters in Nigeria to document unpopular stories?

Would the reporter lose his job if he held to what he had heard? Why have we heard no outcry from those present? Did they hear what was reported, and are they afraid to get their bishop in further trouble? Or were they in easy agreement with the hatred?

Why has Bishop Orama not spoken directly to the world, or at least directly to the Archbishop of Canterbury? Why has Bishop Orama not spoken directly with lesbians and gays?

Why has Archbishop Akinola relied solely on his press agent? Is he afraid to speak out himself lest the original report prove true?

The standard of Christian discourse is to speak the truth to one another in love. This entire episode is very shady. It's one thing to hate; it's quite another not to have the spiritual courage to own upto the hated.

I would welcome an opportunity to meet face to face with Bishop Orama and Archbishop Akinola about this matter. I hope that I would be able to give much better News.

Louie Crew
Chair of the Newark deputation to General Convention


Well said, Louie! The biggest question, however, is "Is anybody listening?"


Lorian said...

Susan said, "Is anybody listening?"

I'm not holding my breath. :(

My guess would be that satanic inhumans such as ourselves don't merit a direct response from the parties in question.

RonF said...

is the complete text of the Bishop's remarks - that, BTW, do not contain any such remarks as those reported. If you want to confirm this, you could contact Stand Firm in Faith.

The reporter's motive was probably to make money. Apparently the person involved in this was a freelance stringer, not an employee of UPI.
is an e-mail that Stand Firm in Faith received from UPI wherein UPI said that the source of the report was unreliable, that they could not confirm it, and that they were retracting it.

Or, it could be because the stringer had his or her own agenda. Consider that we have seen stories about blown-up mosques and wedding parties various stringers foisted off on AP in Iraq only to find out later that they were false. Consider that UPI has now retracted this story because they could not confirm it. First, if UPI couldn't confirm it, why did they publish it in the first place? Second, if the only source for this report has retracted it, why should the offended person have the burden of denying it?

Here we have a posting on the Church of Nigeria's site where Bishop Orama is recorded as having denied that he made those statements:

"Also, speaking on the recent publication on the internet about an homophobic statement attributed to him in his recent synod address, Rt. Revd. Isaac Orama lamented over what he called a false statement published on the internet and called on the media to desist from publishing wrong statements for public consumption.

According to him, what he said was that CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop."

Bishop Orama, having not made these remarks in the first place and having had them falsely attributed to him by an obscure stringer picked up by UPI, probably figures that having made a statement in public that can definitely be attributed to him by a reliable source is sufficient to deal with something he didn't do in the first place.

Abp. Akinola likely had his Diocese's press officer speak to the press on the matter because that's what he hired him for and because it's a Diocesean matter and does not involve a statement that he himself made.

Finally; who is Louis Crew that Abp. Peter Akinola or Bp. Orama should have to be accountable to him?

Jake said...

The comments from Bp. Orama were from an interview, according to the initial report, not a prepared statement.

Are you suggesting that SF is a reliable news source? That's not been my experience. Spin doctors who use those they don't like as dart boards during slow news days is more like it. Sorry, but about as reliable as David Virtue it seems to me.

RonF said...

I see no reason to doubt that Stand Firm has these facts wrong. Certainly their reports (plus and the report that was on the Province of Uganda's own website) seem a lot more reliable than a report from a stringer that UPI published without checking, subsequently found unverifiable and that they finally retracted.

MarkBrunson said...

Stand Firm has terminal credibility problems with all but their own kind.

RonF said...

Mark, do you have some specifics?

Understand that I found the information on that site via Google; I have no personal experience with the site myself. Just from getting on the site to access the page I cited I can imagine that it's purpose is to support a particular set of viewpoints regarding what's happening in TEC and the Anglican Communion that is in opposition to many people here. But I have no in-depth knowledge of the site.

So, as I say I have no reason to doubt any facts that they have presented. Do you have any specific evidence that anything they have presented as facts in this case are ... at variance with reality?

"all but their own kind."

Interesting phrase. I've heard racists use it a few times to "other" people they have a phobia about.

RonF said...

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why reports on Stand Firm and the Province of Uganda's own web site are less credible than a report from a UPI stringer that UPI couldn't verify and has retracted. Especially when that statement has been disputed and no one has disputed the other statements.

Perry Lee said...

RonF said...
"I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why reports on Stand Firm and the Province of Uganda's own web site are less credible than a report from a UPI stringer that UPI couldn't verify and has retracted..."

...Sounds of crickets...

RonF said...

Well, Susan, I guess the question "Is anybody listening?" has been answered.

Anonymous said...

I wonder you continue talking, Signor Benedick, for no one marks you....