Update on “Hate Speech”

Current Affairs / Religion

The Living Church has news of an email that has been sent to a number of media outlets from the Provincial offices of the Church of Nigeria:

“A spokesman for the Church of Nigeria, Archdeacon Akintunde Popoola, told The Living Church the quote attributed to the bishop was false.

The Bishop of Uyo ‘denied making such a statement,’ Canon Popoola said. While the bishop’s address to his diocesan synod did speak to the issue of human sexuality dividing the Communion, and the Church of Nigeria’s position on these issues, ‘he did not say that [gays and lesbians] are to be hated, nor that they are insane or unfit to live.’

The News Agency of Nigeria reporter has ‘apologized for the misrepresentation and promised a retraction,’ Archdeacon Popoola told TLC.”

I understand also that UPI has pulled the article from their website saying that there are some legitimate questions about it veracity.

Read the rest: The Living Church Foundation

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way. – Bertrand Russell

    Apparently, Father Jake broke a record for number of comments on this now withdrawn article from UPI. I read through a lot of them. Quite sad. Filled with accusations of hate-mongering and not just directed at the misquoted Nigerian bishop but all conservative Episcopalians like myself. I do get tired of being called hateful for merely having the same beliefs that Paul, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Cranmer, Seabury, John Paul II, etc. Yes, I know that I am behind the times according to the culture. I absolutely do not hate adulterers, so why if I, like these others, state that homosexuality is sinful do I get accused of being hateful. Something about not being a false witness comes to mind.
    Nick, I reread your article “Why Schism Can’t Be An Option” essay. Could revisit that topic? To me, it is abundantly clear that the sides are racing to polar extremes.
    You state that you are a moderate and I admire you for that. I used to be one, too. I bought the line, what happens in New Hampshire (or whereever), stays in New Hampshire. Don’t you feel that fence you are trying to straddle is becoming razor sharp?
    Really quite sad.

  2. Actually UPI pulled the piece saying it had never laid hands on it in the firt place and explaining that it reached its Web site as part of a “pass through” arrangement it has with some African news services. That’s different than repudiating a piece that its own reporters had produced. Next we need to hear from the state-run News Agency of Nigeria.

  3. robmdphd, you’re not serious, I hope.
    Everybody in the world, except apparently yourself, recognizes that millions upon millions of people – mostly so-called “religious” people, it should be added – hate homosexuals. The Archbishop of Nigeria has called the election of Gene Robinson “Satanic,” and has compared gay people unfavorably with animals. The Catholic Church refers to us as “evil,” and one of its leaders has said that gay unions will “lead to the destruction of the world”; the Church also says that gay adoption “does violence to children.” Islamic governments put us to death.
    Yet here again, you presume to tell us that the problem is in ourselves; our “instincts” (our “sexual lusts,” no doubt) are to blame. It couldn’t be that our rational minds believe these things based on years and years and years of experience with the hatred we face daily. No, the fault is ours.
    IOW, you don’t believe us when we tell you that people hate us; you blame it us, instead. I won’t say what I think that says; you’ll blame it on me, of course. BTW, many Christians were vicious anti-Semites; Chrysostom was one of the worst. Is that OK, too, since those “beliefs” were held by so many?
    I look forward to Schism, myself. It’s the only way we can have decent lives.

  4. And BTW: since Episcopalians in each Province elect their own Bishops, why are you worried that homosexuality won’t “stay there,” in New Hampshire? Are you really saying that you believe “gay Bishops” will be forced on Episcopalians that don’t want them? How would that work, please?

  5. Hmmmm, I don’t see that our brothers’ sins, even when they are profoundly terrible, excuse us from both loving them and forgiving them.

  6. robmdphd says

    There was a quote from a celibate gay male in a discussion at standfirm, that
    “However, if you are convinced that any expression of disagreement with the notion that a sexually active gay lifestyle is compatible with Christian teaching is inherently hateful, then no amount of evidence to the contrary may persuade you otherwise.”
    Thus, any Windsor type “listening” begins with the statement that we, those who hold to tradition, are hatemongerers. Nice.
    But that is not my point but rather that “Schism is not the answer” seems to be no longer an option because of the degree of polarization. Nick and others are trying to wend a middle path. Good. Here are the two extremes:
    1) Homosexuality is not immoral. Homosexuals can and should serve at all levels of the church. Same sex unions should proceed.
    2) Homosexuality is immoral. They are welcome into the church but not to leadership positions and SSU’s are not allowed.
    These two positions are clearly immiscible, and all people are declaring themselves to be in one of these two camps. Where is the middle way? (Of course, there are those who adhere to 1 or 2 and disingenuously state that they are “just middle of the road Episcopalians.”) The via media leads up a treacherous path with precipices on both sides and the pathway becoming narrower and narrower with everyone eventually falling to the left or right.

  7. Rob – I think the way I am trying to follow (for myself) is one of humility and an honest recognition that I may be deeply in error. The question for me is how can we be pastoral and loving to Christians with whom we are in deep relationship (because of our baptism) but who are in conflict with us because of our commitment to people that they disagree with…
    I pray that the road leads us all to the cross.

  8. Rob, I’m having a little trouble parsing that quote, but it looks like he’s saying the hard-core liberals are inappropriately trying to shut down the debate, not that traditionalists are haters.

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