The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in a phone in on LBC this morning, claimed that African Christians will be killed if the Church of England accepts gay marriage.
He said he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying: “If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.” He said he has: “… stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact.” He added: “If the Church of England celebrated gay marriages the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world.”
The murder of people is evil.
The murder of 330 Christians by their neighbours is a shockingly evil event and would be so whatever the reason given by the neighbours.
Their argument that Christians should be attacked and killed because they might make them become homosexual is based on prejudice, ignorance and magical thinking.
The abuse and murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is evil and wrong in every circumstance.
The Archbishop’s inability to articulate clear Christian teaching about murder and abuse is really shocking.
How can he articulate the idea that protection for one group of people, those who are LGBTI, can be sacrificed for a greater good – the protection of Christians – because the larger group is being subjected to attack and murder based on a prejudice both the attackers and the attack hold against LGBTI people?
All groups need equal protection and mutual understanding. It is ignorance, prejudice and violence that must be condemned and eradicated.
The Archbishop’s comment gives legitimacy to the intense ignorance and prejudice against LGBTI people held by our brothers and sisters in some parts of the Anglican Communion. This is a scandal and the Archbishop’s thinking as a Christian leader is scandalous.
The solution to what has already happened in Nigeria (which may be more related to prejudice between faith communities) is to provide a clear exposition of the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to educate people away from blind prejudice based on religious, sexual or gender differences.