Feb 28, 2011

HIS NIGERIAN GRACELESSNESS: ¨Do not come here to tell me about grace; what grace? We will never accept it”, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh furiously replied.

Bishop ¨Furious¨  and ¨ Fearful¨ of  ¨Invading LGBTI people¨ HERE Okoh, Primate of Nigeria
In an unexpected but dramatic turn of events at St Marylebone Parish Church London, the Coordinator of Justice for Gay Africans Society [JfGA], Mr. Godwyns Onwuchekwa, confronted the newly consecrated Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Nigeria on issues relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people [LGBT].

"Let me say this; the Anglican Church in Nigeria, emphatically does not accept gay people. Our bible is against it, the word of God is against it. Gay or lesbianism or whatever… it is like saying we condone drug users. What we offer them is repentance and deliverance from that evil spirit. Do not come here to tell me about grace; what grace? We will never accept it”, the Archbishop furiously replied.

The Archbishop, the Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh succeeded the former well known homophobe Peter Akinola. Mr. Okoh was on a pastoral visit to Nigerians of the Anglican faith in the UK and held an interactive open meeting at St Marylebone Parish Church London.

In his question, Godwyns who was brought up a Christian of the Anglican faith quoted the controversial Leviticus 18:22 which condemns homosexual sex, but also compared it to the subsequent verses in the same line of laws in Leviticus 21:17 which outlaws priests with physical disabilities. He then asked how the Archbishop how he will turn a new page for the church in Nigeria to desist from influencing state-sponsored homophobia...¨

Peter ¨Massacre at Yelwa¨ HERE Akinola, ¨homophoic¨ former Primate of Nigeria
“While Mr. Okoh did not come across as hateful as his predecessor, the hint of homophobia in him was evidently clear. However, unlike his predecessor, his tolerance to take the question and respond to it indicates a ray of light if there be onward peaceful dialogue and this is what we hope to continue to seek. We will continue to engage and hope that people in the black communities would embrace such dialogue towards understanding and respecting the natural rights of LGBT people amongst them”, says Godwyns Onwuchekwa.

The audience of about 100 people, mainly of Nigerian origin were divided on the issue. At the end of the Archbishop’s adamant response, a few of them clapped to it. The meeting ended without any physical quarrel and the Archbishop went to the back seats to meet Godwyns and hugged him... read it allHERE

Nigeria: Anglican Communion Holds Committee Meeting in Owerri

ALL is now set for the standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion) holding in Owerri, Imo State capital from March 1-5.

The twice in a year event, which is the executive arm of the General synod of the Church of Nigeria, would be Presided over by the Primate, His Grace, The Most Rev'd. Nicholas Okoh. No fewer than 1000 delegates including 14 Archbishops and 165 Bishops are expected to congregate at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) in the Eastern Heartland of this ecclesiastical brainstorming event.

Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Orlu, His Grace, Most Rev'd Bennett Okoro PhD disclosed these facts to journalists, at the Bishop's Bourne Owerri, during the pre-event briefing.

He traced the history of church councils to the Apostolic times (The first council in Jrusalem) as recorded Acts chapter 15, where the apostles took decision on the admission of the Gentiles to Christianity without precondition of circumcision.

Bishop Okoro said that during this standing committee of the church of Nigeria, whose theme is: "These dry bones shall live again" (Ezekiel 39:4 - 6) Imo State Executive Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim would present a lecture on "Leadership Role in Rescuing the Nigeria's nation"...

"The dry bones of corruption, selfishness, armed robberies, kidnappings, God-fatherism, ritual killings etc will give way to an egalitarian society where no one would be oppressed".

PLEASE NOTE DANGEROUS EXCEPTION:  ¨...an egalitarian society where NO ONE WOULD BE OPPRESSED¨ (except, of course LGBTI Anglicans/others will still be persecuted, tormented, demonized, despised and shown no ¨Grace¨ )

·  Thanks to All Africa, sidebar
·  Thanks to Justice for Gay Africans Society [JfGA]
·  Thanks to Mr. Godwyns Onwuchekwa
·  Thanks to St Marylebone Parish Church London
·  Thanks to Stop The World, Jakes Place, sidebar

Feb 26, 2011

ATTN Christian Hate Spewers : ¨Every single drop of blood shed by LGBT people, either through suicide, bashing, or murder, is on the hands of homophobic clergy...

"Cultural prejudice has not only succeeded in making most heterosexuals hate gays; it has succeeded in making most gay people hate themselves" Randy Shilts

¨I wholeheartedly agree with this quote from the late Randy Shilts, but I would add that it is cultural prejudice, fueled and reinforced by religious prejudice against LGBT people, spewed by all too many clergy who have vilified Gay people from their pulpits, that has spawned this hate by their justification of that hate and discrimination, that frequently leads to vilification, bashings and murders of LGBT people.

As I've written and spoken of before: Every single drop of blood shed by LGBT people, either through suicide, bashing, or murder, is on the hands of homophobic clergy, professing Christians who in any way support them, and those who remain silent in the face of such ungodly, hateful rhetoric and discrimination, that has others loathing Gay people, and has even many Gay people loathing themselves.

This self-loathing either causes many Gays to lead lives of quiet or not so quiet desperation, some going so far as to kill themselves, believing the lie that they have been told by these clergy and many other professing Christians, that God doesn't love them, or approve of their relationships. Also, many LGBT people commit suicide on the installment plan by engaging in risk-taking behaviors, drug abuse, alcoholism, and the like, as manifestations of their shame and self-loathing.

Always remember that just because someone calls him/herself a Christian, or has his/her collar turned around, doesn't necessarily make that person a Christian! Just because one goes to church every single day doesn't necessarily make him/her a Christian!  please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to The Reverend Dr. Jerry Maneker
·  Thanks to A Christian Voice for LGBT Rights, sidebar

Feb 25, 2011

UGANDAS MARGINALIZED COMMUNITY: ¨...many people have taken advantage of our oppression to satisfy their political, economic, and social greed and bigotry.¨

Kasha Jacqueline:  ¨“Enough is enough! These guys can’t get away with this!”
 In January a judge ruled in favour of a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals exposed in the Rolling Stone tabloid stating that all Ugandans, regardless of their sexual orientation, have a right to privacy and dignity.

Kasha Jacqueline, one of the plaintiffs, recounts her story in the Kampala Dispatch. This article went to press as news broke about plaintiff David Kato's murder.

On the 4th of October, I woke up as usual, with my niece sleeping near me. She was put in my bed every morning so that when I awoke, the first thing I see is her smiling face. I was flying to Geneva that evening for a Human Rights conference where one of the topics of discussion would be Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill. Everything seemed normal about that morning, until I checked my e-mail. In addition to the normal e-mails, I found one from a man named Josh Kron, a reporter from the New York Times, in New York. The subject was: “Is it true?”

The proud publisher/pusher of Ugandas ¨Rolling Stone¨ (not affiliated with U.S. Publication)
The body of the e-mail consisted of a few simple questions asking whether or not a Ugandan tabloid called The Rolling Stone had written about me, naming me as a lesbian. I had never even heard of the The Rolling Stone and wrote him back to tell him I wasn’t aware of ever having spoken with such a publication. Shortly afterwards, Frank Mugisha, a friend of mine, who had also been listed by the tabloid as a gay Ugandan, sent me an e-mail with a scanned copy of the tabloid newspaper. There it was: my picture, my name, and the headline: “100 PICTURES OF UGANDA’S TOP HOMOS.” Beneath the headline were the words, “Hang Them!”...

When I got a full copy of the paper that night, I passed it around, and began to shout, “Enough is enough! These guys can’t get away with this!” But for the next two weeks, I felt too scared to do anything. I was afraid that if I spoke up, someone would hurt me. The following week, Rolling Stone printed more photos, and I knew that if I didn’t do something to stop them, eventually, someone would get hurt. All the news I got from home was terrible. People who had their photo published had been attacked, had rocks thrown at them, and some had to leave their homes. They were too afraid to even file police reports. I decided I had to stand up for them. I was a known human rights defender, I could risk my name. I contacted many people around the world who supported me and pledged to help me throughout the whole process of suing the Rolling Stone.

I talked to my colleagues David Kato and Pepe Onziema, and learned that they were also planning to sue, so we teamed up to lodge a case against The Rolling Stone.

We sued them on grounds that should be important to all Ugandans, whether gay or straight: Our right to privacy and the safety we all have against incitements to violence. Let me be clear: I have never at any one time in my affidavit denied my sexual orientation. Our issue concerned the rights that Ugandans should have to be protected from the incitement of violence and violation of our privacy. No one should ever wake up and see a call for violence and his home address published in a newspaper...

This verdict has shown that indeed, justice is possible in this world and more so in this country. Coming from a marginalized community, many people have taken advantage of our oppression to satisfy their political, economic, and social greed and bigotry. We are victims of oppression in so many ways. And for being just who we are, many have turned us into targets of oppression. But we refuse to be silent. The stories of people fighting against injustice have always been about a minority, because social justice struggles are fought by a minority for a majority.

The court verdict reminded us all that Uganda is no place for hatred and impunity. Irresponsible journalism has no place in this country. The Rolling Stone tabloid and its editors may not have anticipated that they would be victims of their own actions but we would never wish for or call for them to be “hanged.” A media that is based on untruthfulness is an enemy of the nation. Let this be the beginning of responsible journalism for justice and equality. read it all in the Kampala Dispatch, HERE

·  Thanks to Kasha Jacqueline,  Uganda
·  Thanks to Kampala Dispatch
·  Thanks to African Activist,  HERE
·  Thanks to Amplifying Africa's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Voices

GAY IN UGANDA/PART TWO: ¨Once self-accepting, I no longer felt the need to deceive others, myself included. I played the kuchu field, finding, wonder of wonders, that there were others who were like me...¨

¨We are kuchus, all of us, gay and transgender Ugandans¨
What does it mean to be gay in Uganda?

¨It is a tough question because I have never known a different life. I am a gay man, born in Uganda, an African. It is all that I have known; it is my identity. I am African, a Ugandan, and I am gay, my secret identity—the one that has to be hidden from the rest of my countrymen.

¨We call ourselves kuchus, a neutral, all inclusive word¨
We call ourselves kuchus, a neutral, all inclusive word. It is an identity that is ours, separate from the vileness and abuse thrown at us. We are kuchus, all of us, gay and transgender Ugandans, although life tends to be harder for my transgender friends.

Measures of Acceptance

My friends got married, and started having kids. And I played the field, hoping against hope that a change within me would occur. Others had gone and done so, accepted themselves for what they are or what society says they should be, and gotten married, according to the dictates of their surroundings.

Not for me.

I came out to myself, late. Delirious acceptance, of what I was, of the fact that I was not going to change. But I came to an impasse, too. What to do with the rest of my life, which had changed from that moment of self-acceptance? I stopped sleeping with women. Once self-accepting, I no longer felt the need to deceive others, myself included. I played the kuchu field, finding, wonder of wonders, that there were others who were like me. Very much like me, with the same feelings, hidden, with the same impulses. And, we were willing to share with each other our bodies, liberally.

¨I wanted and yearned for something more: love, the companionship and commitment of a life mate.¨
But, something was missing. I wanted and yearned for something more: love, the companionship and commitment of a life mate. When I first broached this subject with some kuchu friends, I was laughed off. Kuchus, I was informed, do not make commitments, because if did, how would you hide? Impossible! Out of necessity, ours was a life of deceit.

But I did meet someone. We fell in love and have been together now for ten incredible years! Gay, Ugandan, and partnered in Uganda!

¨Being in love with the man that completed me was something which helped tremendously¨
The years of self-deception fell off with maturity. Then came the years of active hiding, morphing into one another. Being in love with the man that completed me was something which helped tremendously. Holding him in my arms, making love, it was something which was so beautiful; our togetherness negated all the things that were supposedly bad. I couldn't imagine our love being ugly, bad, unblessed. Yes, I had lost my faith, because I was unable to reconcile what I was told with what I was. If I was a sinner, it seemed fit to sin without the guilt.

We hid, and continue to hide right out in the light. But, our invisibility cloak started thinning with the time that we spent together, the notice we drew to ourselves by not having the companionship of the opposite sex. Not even for show. Of course, the rumors began to seep out of the closet.

But nothing was as decisive as the decision to become active in changing our world...¨ please read it all, HERE


·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to The Mantle, A Forum for Progressive Critique

Feb 24, 2011

INCITING MURDER IN UGANDA: Uganda's leadership is driven by a extremist "Christian" movement that believes gays are possessed by demons and must be destroyed...

Ugandan Brenda Namigadde,  threatened by David Bahati ¨repent or reform¨ (or else be ¨punished¨)
¨On January 28, with the world in a flurry over whether the UK would deport Ugandan refugee Brenda Namigadde back to certain death in Uganda, few reasonable people were doubting the criminal culpability of extremist religious righters who preach death to those they hate.

Anglican and MP David ¨kill all the Gays¨  HERE Bahati  orders  Brenda Namigadde to ¨repent or reform¨
Uganda is a glaring example of how that perilous preaching works -- its deadly domino effect. The country's extremist threats to Brenda in far-off England were aimed from the same threat machine that caused the murder of gay activist David Kato right in Uganda. David Bahati, extremist MP who sponsored the country's anti-gay bill, publicly called on Brenda to "repent or reform" from being a lesbian, and said she would be punished if she didn't.

Ugandan Anglican David Kato, Murdered (aledgedly destroyed
due to  ¨demon possession¨)
Despite police allegations that Kato was killed by a burglar, the fact is this: Uganda's leadership is driven by a extremist "Christian" movement that believes gays are possessed by demons and must be destroyed. Kato's murder was the logical repercussion of Bahati's law, and of government, media and church bigotry.

With Brenda, that bigotry is now on a roll. No wonder Uganda is billed as "the world's worst country to live in if you're gay."

President Museveni and First Lady/MP Janet ¨"In God's word, homosexuality attracts a curse¨ Museveni HERE 
In turn, Uganda bigotry is incited by extremist Americans like Scott Lively, Rick Warren and Lou Engle, as well as various Congressmembers. These, and others, have visited Uganda. They have politicked there, converted Uganda's president and his influential wife, and openly supported the growth of a lethal anti-gay policy there. Bahati hauled his anti-gay bill into Parliament as a direct result of the Americans' activities.

Here in the U.S., we have our own home-grown Bahatis who incite violence against gays and other groups as well. For 30 years now, they've been brazenly building their nationwide falling-domino machine, inciting murder of certain U.S. citizens. And they've been exporting their hate speech to other countries through missionary work.

So far, the American people have let them get away with it...read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to  Patricia Nell Warren
·  Thanks to The Bilerico Project, sidebar
·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar

Feb 23, 2011

PRAISING PURE EVIL: "Martin Ssempa is the man to watch. He’s the most powerful voice for abstinence in the world and his passion, charisma and character make his vital message irresistible...¨

¨Welcome to Jacksonville, Florida, where a federally-funded abstinence-only program taught to more than 50,000 students has some shady and scary ties to a Ugandan pastor who wants to see gay people locked up in jail forever or executed.

Andy Kopsa over at The Florida Independent has an amazing investigative piece looking at the organization Project SOS, an abstinence-only program founded in 1993 by a woman named Pam Mullarkey. Turns out Mullarkey is best buds with a pastor in Uganda who has been championing a piece of legislation known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. That pastor? Martin Ssempa, the religious leader who travels around the country showing graphic pornography to men, women and children in order to whip up anti-gay sentiment, and who has said that LGBT people in the country deserve to be locked up in prison for life, or sentenced to the death penalty.

Ssempa's beliefs have been criticized the world over, and he's been marginalized by many religious leaders who once used to work with him. But that's not the story with Pam Mullarkey, who in addition to founding Project SOS, still serves on the organization's board of directors. In fact, Mullarkey has praised Martin Ssempa, and a quote from her is even featured on Ssempa's own web site.

"Martin Ssempa is the man to watch. He’s the most powerful voice for abstinence in the world and his passion, charisma and character make his vital message irresistible," Mullarkey says of the minister who wants to see LGBT people locked up in prison forever or killed. Now that's some charisma.

Now comes the real kicker though: Mullarkey's Project SOS has received some major funding from the U.S. Health and Human Service Department. Since 2002, Project SOS has received upwards of $6.5 million in federal funding, most recently in September 2010, when a $454,000 grant was given to the organization. All of that essentially means that an organization whose founder praises the work of one of the leading anti-gay activists in the world, gets a boatload of taxpayer money. Thanks, Uncle Sam!¨  read it all   HERE

Fundamentalist ¨preacher¨  Martin Ssempa actually ¨spits¨ from the podium when discussing ¨evil¨ LGBTI Christians

¨The blood of David Kato is on their hands and on the hands of those politicians and religious leaders both in Uganda and in the US who have led the campaign of hate against LGBTIQ people:

David Bahati, Red Pepper (Uganda’s tabloid newspaper); Martin Ssempa, Ugandan Minister of Ethics; Nsaba Buturu, Archbishop of Rwanda; Onesphore Rwaje; Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda; Bishops of the All African Bishops Conference; Prime Minister of Uganda Apolo Nsibambi; Rev Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi; Archbishops Akinola and Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria; Peter Karamaga; the National Anti-Homosexual Task-force Uganda; Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Museveni; Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe; Pastor Mulinde of Trumpet Church Uganda; Lou Engle; Rick Warren; Scott Lively and Dan Schmierer of the ‘ex-gay’ group Exodus International; Jon Qwelane; Bishop Lawrence Chai of Free Apostolic Churches of Kenya; Sheikh Ali Hussein of Masjid Answar Sunna Mosque; the African Union’s African Commission on People and Human Rights who denied Coalition of African Lesbians observer status; and all those who voted at the UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee to delete the reference to killings due to sexual orientation condemning unjustified executions.¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Andy Kopsa
·  Thanks to The Florida Independent

GAY UGANDA/PART ONE: What is it like to grow up gay in Uganda?

It is hard.
¨The first inklings of difference: When one realizes and suppresses the surprising reactions to one’s peers. When one joins in in the raucous, very ordinary conversations of horny teenagers and must hide his own puzzlement at not being similarly aroused; instead, I was increasingly fascinated by bodies so similar to my own.

It was a time of immense conflict, for me, those teen years. I fled to religion, finding comfort in the teaching that sex and sexual feelings were something vaguely “not good.” But I couldn't deny my feelings. Nor could my developing intellect be denied in jumping to its own conclusions about my feelings.

Realizing that I was different, I instinctively chose to hide, but at the same time I was driven to devour all information about myself and these feelings within me. But the first problem was that there was hardly any information available. The old books I scoured in the school libraries hardly mentioned what being gay actually meant for an individual.

And, at the same time, there was much that I could hear from the mouths of my peers and elders. Homosexuality, it was called, this feeling of excitement and longing for the touch of another guy. It was condemned in the Bible, which was one of the few volumes daring to even mention the subject. And, was there any other interpretation than the literal one? The church, the preachers—they mentioned homosexuality only to condemn it. Decisively. Unambiguously.

I could remain celibate, play at being sexless, bury myself in my books which I loved, and pursue a career that I found challenging. But I discovered that I couldn't hide myself from my own thoughts and desires.

I simply could not be gay—it was not an option. I was an African man. I had to fall in love with a woman. I had to have children in order to make my father proud and to build a stronger clan. I had to have heirs because my dad had already designated me as his heir. Being one of the dreaded homosexuals, or homos, as we are derisively termed in popular speech, was impossible...

For some time, I lived in secret; it was so easy to hide. The camouflage is perfect because so few Ugandans can even conceive that the person next to them, a classmate, a work colleague, a relative, a clan-mate, would ever dare to be a homo. We are invisible, and we gladly embrace that cloak.

But, the hypocrisy was not to be—not for me...¨ please read it all HERE

·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to The Mantle, forum for progressive critique

Feb 22, 2011

STRICKEN WITH FEAR ON LIFE´S JOURNEY: “Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither.” Winston Churchill

¨...Many paradoxically fear freedom, precisely because it assigns them (me/us) personable responsibility for their actions. This is the seductive appeal of many ideologies and religious fundamentalism. In exchange for unquestioning obedience and conformity, they promise their adherents salvation. Additionally, the adherent is no longer personally responsible, since he/she had submitted himself or herself to the collective reality, the state or church.

In fact the adherent relishes this absorption into the state/church since it confers on them identity. A false, prefabricated identity, but an identity that requires no personal development. Specifically, it does not require them to face their own fears and demons. This also poisons adherents with a spiritual pride, a delusion that they are superior to those outside their belief system.

This is part of a spiritual seduction by some religious leaders and institutions. They are happy to assume such responsibility and in fact claim that God has bestowed it upon them, in exchange for power, influence and wealth. This also explains the growing divide between progressives and literalists within Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam...¨ read it all  by Father Geoff Farrow HERE

· Thanks to Father Geoff Farrow, sidebar
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

FROM SIGNIFICANT TRUTHS: ¨Using the word ´exegesis´ always reassures an evangelical that he is not dim, research has shown that just saying this word significantly boosts a male evangelical's ego - but sadly not his IQ.¨

Cock a doodle doo -- Is she writing about you?
¨I have been thinking recently about the irony of the fact that so many evangelical men who believe in "male headship" are not terribly bright. In my experience, the sort of men who believe they have an innate God given right to be in authority over women seem to be very limited intellectually. It occurs to me that their belief in male headship may actually be a way of compensating for deficiencies in that area? I hope I am not being sexist, not to mention anti- evangelical here, perhaps I have just been unlucky - or has anyone else noticed the same? read it all,  HERE

· Thanks to Suem
· Thanks to Significant Truths, sidebar

Feb 21, 2011

EARTHQUAKE ROCKS CHRISTCHURCH: Witnesses said the quake destroyed the iconic stone Christchurch Cathedral, its spire toppled into a central city square...¨

Prayers for the people of New Zealand requested

"Make no mistake – this is going to be a very black day for this shaken city," he said when asked about possible deaths.¨  Mayor Bob Parker

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful earthquake hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, collapsing buildings, burying vehicles under debris and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people amid reports of multiple deaths.

Police said they were trying to confirm the early reports of multiple fatalities from the 6.3-magnitude quake, the second major temblor to strike the city since last September, while Prime Minister John Key told Parliament details still were too shaky to confirm deaths.

Witnesses said the quake destroyed the iconic stone Christchurch Cathedral, its spire toppled into a central city square, and there were reports of two buses crushed under falling buildings.

Live video footage showed parts of buildings collapsed into the streets, strewn with bricks and hattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and thousands of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker declared a state of emergency and ordered people to evacuate the city center. HERE

6.3 quake rocks New Zealand city; fatalities reported

Widespread damage seen in central Christchurch in 2nd big hit in 5 months

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A 6.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, collapsing buildings, cracking streets and causing multiple fatalities and serious injuries.

Live video footage showed streets strewn with bricks and shattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered as sirens blared throughout the city. Bodies were being pulled from rubble. Water mains burst, causing extensive flooding.

The epicenter Tuesday was located in the "worst possible location" for city residents, New Zealand's GeoNet Center data manager Kevin Fenaughty told the New Zealand Herald.¨ HERE

The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews Bishop of Christchurch
prayers ascending
Anglican Communion News Service *Updated*

"Visitors and staff may be in collapsed cathedral" - Christchurch Dean HERE

·  Thanks to The Huffington Post, sidebar
·  Thanks to MSNBC
·  Thanks to The New Zealand Herald
·  Thanks to Twitpic and Wounded Bird/photo
·  Thanks to Anglican Communion News Service 

ANGLICANS ONLINE NOT IN FAVOR OF COVENANT: ¨The world is becoming nimbler, fleeter, more connected, and more volatile. Structures are being rethought and certainties are crumbling...¨

¨The old ways of ensuring alliances are passing. The old certainties of known allegiances and predetermined interest groups is giving way to the power of like-minded people connecting and assembling in one place, for an agreed end, in the flash of a few tweets. When everyone in the world has a mobile phone with video cameras, are television studios needed to report news?

The world is becoming nimbler, fleeter, more connected, and more volatile. Structures are being rethought and certainties are crumbling. There will always be bonds and boundaries, but they will be perforce more elastic and more transparent. The rigid structures that have characterised church governance and legislation will change as a result. How can they not?

The very looseness of the Anglican Communion (at least until the Tedious Years of the Anglican Covenant Discussion) is what will give it strength to move with relative ease in this new world. The gentle, unlegislated bonds of affection and the tolerance for variances of custom, behaviour, churchmanship, hymns, divorce, prayer books and the like are far more aligned with the way we live now. The old-speak of the proposed Covenant hearkens back to a world that is passing away, one of rigidity, structure, and complex mechanisms of governance.

It's tiresome enough that we've been considering a Covenant when there is so much about the very concept that flies in the face of all that's been characterised as Anglican. That it could be adopted is, to our mind, one that will signal the death knell of the Anglican Communion as we have known it. (And frankly we don't want to know any other kind.)

There are now wide and considerable differences amongst the provinces of the Communion about matters of importance. There have been so in the past. We just didn't know about them, really, before the Internet. And in that past, we managed to continue on as a Communion, even if every ten years at a Lambeth Conference we were surprised by (in a mild Anglican sort of way) some of the goings-on in other national churches. In the past, the constituent members of the Anglican Communion have been willing to tolerate the right of all to order their lives as may be best for them. Sydney is not Sao Paulo; Dublin is not Abu Dhabi. As long as the Anglicans in those places work through their ecclesial structures to proclaim the Gospel and advance the Kingdom of Heaven as seems right for them, we think it far too Roman to demand that they answer to an Anglican curia for their decisions. Since the late 19th century, the Lambeth Quadrilateral has served brilliantly as a strong and supple web of connection for us all. In our opinion, it's all that is needed.

Here it is, all 108 words of it (five tweets).

(a) The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as 'containing all things necessary to salvation,' and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.

(b) The Apostles' Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.

(c) The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself — Baptism and the Supper of the Lord — ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements ordained by Him.

(d) The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.
In the nearly 20 years that this website called 'Anglicans Online' has existed, we've tried to be a place outside politics, a via media centre where Anglicans of every stripe, opinion, background, and churchmanship (remember that word?) could come and be at home. We shunned the shrill, avoided invective, and cleaved to reason, moderation, and what we've trusted is a genuine Anglican sensibility. We've not voiced our opinion on controversial matters, holding to that fact that reasonable people can disagree — and we're proud to call many of those reasonable people our friends.

But it's time for Anglicans Online to state that we're not in favour of the Covenant and cannot imagine a Communion bound by it.

At the end of its cumbrous process for approval, we hope it will fail and be heard of no more. If such isn't the case, we fear for what the quondam Ecclesia Anglicana will become. ..¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Anglicans Online, sidebar
·  Thanks to No Anglican Covenant Coalition

Feb 19, 2011

UGANDAN FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT: President Yoweri Museveni ¨sweeps the polls¨ just like Hosni Mubarak and Saddam Hussein did in their final elections!

President Museveni ¨winning again¨ in Uganda

¨The President is winning with more than 70% of the vote. The city is in virtual lockdown with troops on every street corner. The ruling party is on course to take a 3/4 constitution changing majority in parliament.¨


¨Remember Egypt. Remember Mubarak. At the last election in Egypt, then President Mubarak swept the polls with 83% of the vote. What a fantastic achievement.¨


¨Remember the referendums in Saddam's Iraq, when he used to win more than 99.9% of the votes? Wonderful, wasnt it?

With that, I end my political commentary.
Gay Uganda

Museveni courts cult, witch doctors and religious heads

Thursday, 17 February 2011 04:25

Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi (big red hat and chair), LGBTI demonizer and ¨religious head¨ -- pictured in yellow hat/gown is Hosni Mubarak´s very recent ¨former¨ supporter, Anglican Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt
¨He removes his grey hat, closes his eyes and bows his head, humbling himself before Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Anglican Church of Uganda, who asks God for the President’s protection ahead of tomorrow’s election and its aftermath.

President Yoweri Museveni is deeply immersed in the prayer and if the Holy Spirit came at that point, he would be the first to be thrown off balance. Yet a few hours earlier, Museveni had sat in Mandela National Stadium Namboole where he prayed with traditional healers who predicted a landslide victory for him.

The spirits have told us you will win by 87%,” Patrick Mudungu, vice president of the Traditional Healers Association, told him.

Sitting in the pavilion surrounded by his security detail, Museveni smiled at the traditional healer who looked like he was about to be possessed by demons. His display of undying love for Museveni was resounded in the stadium as another traditional healer thanked the President for his support to their work.

Two days before that meet, Museveni had sat at Nakivubo Blue in the heart of Kampala, with the faction of the Muslim community headed by Sheikh Zubair Kayongo, seeking their prayers, blessing and support.

Such has been the President’s schedule in the last two weeks, as he winds up his campaigns for a fourth term. He has been meeting religious leaders, firmly aware of the command they have over their flock.

Shifa Mwesigye
The Observer

· Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
· Thanks to Shifa Mwesigye
· Thanks to The Observer,  Uganda
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

Feb 18, 2011

RACISM & HOMOPHOBIA: According to conservatives, because women in the so-called civilized world are not producing enough white Christian babies, the West will be swamped by "godless Muslims bent on world domination."

¨I marvel at the blatant idiocy and blindness of people of color who align themselves with homophobes¨ 
¨Racism and homophobia are two sides of the same coin, so I marvel at the blatant idiocy and blindness of people of color who align themselves with homophobes who wouldn't spit on them on their best day! They align themselves with people who wouldn't want their daughters to marry one of "them."

In the U.S. there is a cultural divide, a culture clash, that pits those who believe in the value of diversity against those who seek a homogenized so-called "Christian" culture as they understand that term; that understanding aligns Christianity with Americanism, patriotism, militarism, and a politics of exclusion that seeks to codify the symbolic equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine HERE  into the lives of people, and weave that xenophobia into the very fabric of society.

Those lives, and that fabric, are seen by those geared to racism and homophobia as being in line with the professing "Christian" fundamentalist mind-set that pits "us" against "them," the "them" being non-White, non-fundamentalist Christians.

And the hope for the perpetuation of White "Christian" hegemony lies in the heterosexuals who are to propagate the species that guarantees the cloning of "White Fundamentalist Christian Americans" who possess the traits mentioned above.

And it is held that Gay Americans have no part in the saving of our society from all threats to this hegemony; indeed, Gay Americans are viewed as the enemy, as are all people and groups that are viewed as enemies that threaten the comfort zones of the power elite, and all those whose false consciousness   HERE  leads them to believe that they are among the elite.

The bottom line here is that if you are not a White fundamentalist heterosexual Christian American you are held in disdain by most all religious homophobes!

Therefore, if we don't fight for full and equal civil rights for our LGBT sisters and brothers, we are aligning ourselves with the most dangerous elements in our society, and it's high time that all of us recognized that fact! HERE

· Thanks to The Reverend Dr.Jerry Maneker
· Thanks to A Christian Voice For LGBT Rights, sidebar


¨We obviously live in a country that presents an ideal environment for the GOP. This is really their land. It's a land where they, and they alone, can effortlessly get away with lying every time. Is there a greater political advantage than this? To be in an country where lying on national TV does not damage your position or worth?  HERE

Feb 17, 2011

A BELATED VALENTINE for RUBY TURNER BEARDSLEY and FAMILY: ¨ I saw her quick fantasmalike image one night in the kitchen but she didn´t seem to notice me¨

Ruby Turner Beardsley, my Grandmother
Day after day I approach life doing all those things that I think will enhance life around me (sometimes more successfully than other times)...things like  keeping nature thriving in my garden, cooking up a storm with fresh foods in my kitchen, greeting friends neighbors as I run errands to buy fresh bread or hot tortillas and while creating the landscape art that keeps growing out from/before me in my studio (which also doubles as a living room when I uncover all the furniture in the 30´ x 30´ sala/gallery snapshot of my colorful life) .  I treasure the sounds of the birds and dogs that live at our house on the Calle Real in the campo/small village of Central America today and even the wind chimes and the sometimes booming live volcano add to the orchestration ...and then there are the times in my day when I´m very deeply consumed with memories, mostly while I´m painting, of being grateful for all that has come my way and for all those who have come before me who added textured real character and overall well-being to my 67 year old life.

There is no place like home even when nobody lives there anymore

My Grandparents The Beardsleys in the Center, flanked by Camerons and Turners, Family all

My mothers father and mother were hard working people who I remember as being quiet--my grandfather read a lot-- as they went about their daily, often difficult, work of living the life that opened in front of their rural Idaho everyday.  My Grandfather, Arch Beardsley, who came ¨west¨ from Iowa, was a engineer/mathematician for the mines, both Silver (closeby) and Gold (Nevada).  My Grandmother, Ruby Turner Beardlsey was the daughter of one of the original pioneers to Southern Idaho.  My Great Grandfather,  Frank Turner (name changed from Jackson) and his wife Emma, half Pawnee/Native American, were rancher/farmers at the foot of a lovely mountain in the Wood River Valley.  They had many children but two died the very same day as a nasty influenza swept through the small town (I later found the black edged death/funeral cards announcing their burial as well as those of my Great Grandparents--all sent off by the little Episcopal Church just a block down the street to the Happy Hunting Ground/Heaven and buried in the ¨old families¨ plot at the nearby cemetery).

I inherited my grandparents home and then spent the next two years making it ¨wonderful¨ (I planted hundreds of gladiolus bulbs exactly where grandma planted hers--they grew gorgeous again)

Later, I inherited my Beardsley Grandparents home (my sister Marilynn generously gave me her half after my Mom died) and I spent the next two years living in it and restoring it and making it ¨wonderful¨--quite a task as it was over 100 years old, added on and on, had been abandoned, had no central heating and the grounds compromised five full lots that were all overgrown fruit/maple/other trees, flower gardens, chicken houses, a corner pasture (with barbed wire fencing) and assorted other decaying outbuildings stuffed full of miscellaneous ¨stuff¨...there was a metal foundation embedded in the kitchen floor where the old wood cooking stove had rested for decades (but the stove had been stolen as the house was stripped of  any ¨saleables¨ over the years before I moved in)....the most ¨modern¨ thing in the house was a complete add-on indoor bathroom that had been added when my mother was a pre-teen.

I can still smell my grandmothers heavenly cooking in black skillets on the ancient wood stove

I had sold my small condominium in San Juan/Condado, Puerto Rico to finance this project and I also used part of the same money to open a little studio/gallery in nearby Ketchum/Sun Valley, just up the road (I was a member of the Sun Valley Gallery Association).  I worked on the house and worked in my studio and was reminded daily of my childhood when I awoke in the freezing cold morning in that old house (which got replaced with cozy central heating) but the heavenly cooking smells coming from my Grandmas skillets when cooking on the ancient wood stove would never be improved upon with my electric stove culinary skills.  Some things didn´t improve the ambiance in that old house with modernazation including the acceptance, easy love and underlying human decency and warmth that were constant and somehow remained intact through the years of decay--and, of course,  I missed the live chickens, the black labador dogs (always named Butch) and my Grandma busily going from one duty to the next (although I did see her quick ¨fantasma¨ type image one night in the kitchen but she didn´t seem to notice me) .  I often remembered grandma plucking chickens in the sink and cooking donuts and rushing out to the chilly adjoining pantry room for supplies (a room I later coverted to a garden room complete with it´s own picture windows and private patio) because there was no refrigerator in that kitchen when I was a child.  My Grandmother had three children and she was a devoted parent.  Aunt Agnes, was a single lady, notable local citizen and grade school teacher....she was sweet and nice to me but I bearly remember her as she died in 1949 of a stroke (I do vividly remember her open coffin in the parlor and her purple dress and the huge outpouring of grief from the community).  My Uncle Dick was a WWII  hero/medalist and all-around outdoorsman, bachelor, mayor and silent/handsome guy.  My Mother was Miss Blaine County (and awarded a gorgeous Diamond Pave Butterfly by P. Lorillard Kent) as a teen but moved away to the ¨big city¨ and had her own ¨successes¨ soon after high school (she had been valedictorian).

I miss Idaho today and the Idaho of before today

Yes, my solo adventures into living in the past are quite rewarding and memorable both then and now and in so many inspirational ways too...that old house was quiet/still but I was always busy with remodeling and reliving memories with those who loved one another as they loved me too.  I miss them but I think they are with me still, even several ¨borders¨ away.

Leonardo Ricardo (Lenny) visiting grandparents as a child

With love,

Leonardo Ricardo (Lenny)

·  Thanks to Jeff Fisher, Nephew, Family Pictures

Feb 15, 2011

RELIGIOUS and POLITICAL LEADERS APPROVED OF THE SLAYING: LGBTI Ugandans have never been safe, but the threats are growing after the murder of David Kato...

Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi/Uganda -- Deadly silent after the murder of Anglican David Kato
David Kato's Death has Galvanised Anti-LGBTI Sentiment in Uganda

¨Religious leaders here have approved the brutal slaying, a state lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require parents to report their homosexual children to police and a local newspaper has outed several suspected gays with the suggestion that they be hanged...

Kasha Jacqueline is the founder and director of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), the only exclusively lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual organization in Uganda
Ugandans’ response to the Kato slaying has created an almost palpable atmosphere of fear among homosexuals. Kato‘s former colleague at the rights group Freedom and Roam Uganda, Kasha Jacqueline, said she has turned off her phone because of an increase in death threats.

“We’ve never been safe, but the threats are growing,” she said, adding that institutions that would be expected to defend gays’ struggle for equality have distanced themselves from the cause.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission has found no compelling reason to take action amid rising hostility. “We don’t want to single out a group,” commission Chairman Med S.K. Kaggwa told The Washington Times. “When you start identifying with one group, you stop doing your job.”...

But anti-homosexual activists have seized on the Kato slaying as evidence that gays are conspiring to corrupt the family and are more prone to sexual abuse than heterosexuals.

“Homosexuals are killing our children,” said David Bahati, a member of parliament. “Theirs is an evil cause for corrupting our youth.”

“Kato‘s murder is bringing the national debate back to where it belongs,” he added.

Anglican and MP David Bahati, chief sponsor of ¨Kill the Gays¨ Bill pending before the Parliament of Uganda
Mr. Bahati is the chief sponsor of a bill that would make it a crime for a landlord to offer housing to a homosexual and require parents to report their homosexual children to authorities. (Homosexuality is illegal in more than 30 African countries, including Uganda.)

He brushes off criticism of his legislation by saying, “God is the author [of the bill]. I am just an instrument.”...

Mr. Bahati predicts his bill will pass after presidential elections this month.

Uganda‘s central government has issued no statements regarding Kato‘s death. HERE

Slaying of Gay Activist Spotlights Homophobia's Rise in Uganda

In this staunchly anti-homosexual country, Allen Mutebi has gotten used to moving -- five times within the last two years, to be exact.

"They suspect. They talk. Threats are made. I move on," shrugs Mutebi, a gay man who spoke on condition that his real name not be used because he feared for his safety.

The killing of gay right activist David Kato last month has reinforced anti-homosexual attitudes in Uganda.But following the killing of prominent gay rights activist David Kato two weeks ago, Mutebi plans to make one final move -- out of Uganda.

"What happened to Kato will happen to more and more people," he predicts.

The motive behind Kato's slaying is still under investigation. Police officials say it did not relate to Kato's sexuality; gay and lesbian activists suspect that it did.

Either way, Kato's death has put the national spotlight squarely on the subject of homosexuality.

Elsewhere, some high-profile murders of sexual minorities -- Matthew Shepard in the U.S., for instance -- became watersheds for greater tolerance. But here, Kato's death has reinforced anti-homosexual attitudes. HERE

· Thanks to African Activist, sidebar
· Thanks to Kasha Jacqueline, Kampala
· Thanks to The Washington Post
· Thanks to The Associated Press, Uganda
· Thanks to Ioannis Gatsiounis
· Thanks to AOL News
· Thanks to The Oslo Freedom Forum