Rick Warren To Address Anti-Gay, "Jewish" Breakaway Anglicans. Again.
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 07:37:41 PM EST
Rick Warren typically denies holding public positions that might be characterized as hateful but he nonetheless endorses and supports African clerics, such as Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi, who promote extreme forms of anti-gay and anti-Jewish bigotry. [note: this story has been amended - see footnote] Archbishop Peter Akinola has endorsed proposed legislation that would strip Nigeria's gays of basic human rights and is more severe than analogous criminal codes implemented during Adolf Hitler's pre-World War Two Third Reich. Not to be outdone, Henry Orombi has claimed, in a June 13, 2007 public address in Uganda, that "Acts of homosexuality and lesbianism have infiltrated our schools, especially secondary schools." The Archbishop went on to declare that he has "personally joined the war" against the alleged 'invasion', which Orombi associated with the "moral decay of society." Orombi's statements about the alleged threat have included the suggestion that gay assassins might be plotting to kill him.

But, there's more; the GAFCON Anglicans now seem to have taken up the position that they are "Jews" and "true Israel."

In March 2008 Purpose Driven Life author and global evangelist Rick Warren, pastor of the 20,000 member Saddleback Church in Southern California, traveled to Africa and, as AllAfrica.com reported in a March 29 story, addressed the schismatic 'global South' Anglicans of GAFCON, headed by African Archbishops Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi; ' "Dr Warren said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. "We shall not tolerate this aspect at all." ' Then, in early April 2009, Warren was caught lying about his endorsement of Proposition Eight, an anti-gay marriage resolution on the ballot in California during the November 2008 election. Now, as detailed in an April 23, 2009 story published by Christian Today, Rick Warren plans to meet this summer, in June, with a new breakaway American Episcopalian faction that has aligned with the GAFCON Anglicans.

Belying Orombi's and Akinola's dire portraits, preliminary data from the US Center For Vital Statistics indicates that after four years of legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts, the first US state to legalize same sex marriage, the state will probably retain it's traditional leading role as holding the first or second spot in the little-discussed but culturally significant contest to be the US state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation.

American state-level divorce rate data radically contradicts Orombi's general forecast; divorce rates in the United States are higher, on average, in US states that are hostile to gay marriage - though the reasons probably have little to do, directly at least, with sexual preference. As Carnegie Mellon University professor Richard Florida has outlined in his "Rise of The Creative Class" hypothesis, gay-friendly cities and regions tend to be tolerant of ethnic, cultural, and sexual diversity: so, they attract the best talent and prosper, while intolerant areas stagnate or economically decline.

Perhaps the most absurdly histrionic prediction, on the expected outcome of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, came from Massachusetts Democratic State Representative Emile J. Goguen who was quoted by the "Traditional Values Coalition" website as stating, "It's like a rolling ball of snow. It gets bigger and bigger. You allow it in Massachusetts, it'll spread to God knows where." Ron Crews, President of The Massachusetts Family Institute, as quoted in the Washington Times, March 10, 2004, made a similar prediction; "We can look at those places where same-sex marriage has been legalized to see what the future looks like."

Meanwhile, under Henry Orombi, who represents almost a quarter of the schismatic Global South Anglicans, the Church of Uganda plans to distribute ten million abbreviated copies of a Japanese Manga-style comic book that one authority on conspiracy theory and hate-speech has described as a "training manual for the next pogrom."

Unlike the strain of anti-Jewish hatred in evidence during the Nazi era in Germany however, the GAFCON Anglicans do not appear intent on de-Judaizing Christianity. Rather, while demonizing ethnic Jews they themselves are claiming to being Jewish. During the summer 2008 GAFCON Conference held in Jerusalem, leaders of the Orombi and Akinola dominated 37 million-plus strong faction of Anglicanism, almost a majority of the global Anglican Communion, were taught that Anglicans are 'Jews' who constitute 'true Israel.'

In an April 30, 2006 op-ed in Time Magazine, Rick Warren literally lionized Peter Akinola and compared the Archbishop to Nelson Mandela, writing,

New African, Asian and Latin American church leaders like Akinola, 61, are bright, biblical, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches.

With nearly 18 million active Anglicans in Nigeria, Akinola's flock dwarfs the mother Church of England's membership. And since he is chairman of the 37 million member Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, when he speaks, far more than just Anglicans pay attention. Akinola has the strength of a lion, useful in confronting Third World fundamentalism and First World relativism.

I believe he, like Mandela, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world.

Along with Akinola, Henry Orombi is known for his verbal attacks on gays in Uganda where a mounting campaign of both private and government sponsored anti-gay propaganda correlates with growing police and vigilante harassment, imprisonment, torture, and occasionally even assassination, of gay Ugandans. In a story titled Uganda's Anti-Gay Vigilante Campaign Is Now In Full Swing , journalist and activist Jim Burroway, author of Box Turtle Bulletin describes the mounting antigay persecution in Uganda, driven by actions such as the publication of specific identifying information on Ugandans who are gay (or accused of being gay) - "This is what we have long feared: names, identifying features, places of employment, residences, boyfriends and girlfriends, and other unfounded charges and illicit gossip intended to destroy their reputations and worse."

Burroway has extensively chronicled antigay persecution in Uganda (see stories linked at the end of this post), which has largely escaped mainstream media notice despite the fact that Purpose Driven Life author and evangelist Rick Warren has declared Uganda to be an official "Purpose Driven" nation. As described by journalist Max Blumenthal, in Rick Warren's Africa Problem, one of the items that seems to be unofficially on the "Purpose Driven" agenda, along with the aggressive promotion of the disproved "abstinence-only" approach to AIDS reduction, is incitement of antigay vigilante activity (see 2nd paragraph):

an investigation into Warren's involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education. More disturbingly, Warren's allies have rolled back key elements of one of the continent's most successful initiative, the so-called ABC program in Uganda. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred.

Warren's man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempa enjoys close ties to his country's First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa's stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.

In tandem, the Ugandan Ministry of Education is distributing to Ugandan school children hundreds of thousands of the viciously anti-Jewish comic book Manga Messiah. But Henry Orombi's Church of Uganda is planning an even more ambitious mass distribution of a scaled-down (lower cost) printing of the Manga rendition of the New Testament which  one expert on conspiracy theory and hate speech, Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, has called a "training manual for the next pogrom against Jews."

Virtually all of Uganda's ethnic Jews were driven out during the reign of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The two styles of hatred, against gays and Jews, are not unrelated as Rabbi Eric Yoffie observed in a widely noted November 2005 speech in which Yoffie, leader of the Union of Reform Judaism, stated, "We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933 one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations... Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry." Yoffie's warning was not merely academic.

There are significant theological changes underway within the block of the approximately 40 million Anglicans of the GAFCON faction led by Orombi and Akinola. For example, GAFCON 2008, which was held in Jerusalem a few months after Rick Warren endorsed the schismatic Anglican block, held a workshop at which attendees learned they were 'Jews' and represented 'true Israel.'

At a conference workshop entitled "The gospel and the UK's cultural context", as described in notes written up by the Rev. Tim Davies and currently published at GAFCON's official web site, in the "Resources" section under the heading "Church Planting and Evangelism", GAFCON attendees were taught that Anglicans are actually "Jews" who, collectively, represent "true Israel". It is an oft-repeated accusation that anti-Semitism in Christianity is coming from the the left, but in this case we see quite the opposite. GAFCON's Anglicans seem to have moved to an openly anti-Jewish form of Replacement Theology.

As Rev Davies wrote,

"The issue we face in the UK is that there is already a network of "established" churches across the country. This makes our situation, ironically, closer to the New Testament than perhaps in other parts of the world, as there are two groups in most places: "Jews" (established confessing YHWHists, synagogue in the 1st Century, Anglican church in the 21st Century) and Gentiles (people who aren't religious in any real way, but are vaguely aware of these other religious types who've been a fact of life for a very long time. In lots of places that means opposition from the religious people and indifference from the Gentiles.)"

"Again, interestingly, the argument Paul and the 1st Century Christians found themselves making over and over again in Acts was, "we're the true Israel". Which is what we'd say about us church planters. What drives us is the loss of the gospel in these other "churches", and therefore we're the real Christians just trying to put it back."

Although GAFCON's leaders claim to their faction represents Anglican theological orthodoxy, the position that Anglicans are actual 'Jews' and represent 'true Israel' is not characteristic of traditional Anglicanism and their theological stream, in which Christians lay claim to Jewish identity, includes one of the most viciously anti-Jewish forms of Christianity in existence, Christian Identity.  

Although some evangelical Christians have sought to minimize the significance of rifts within the Anglican communion, or even parody the issue, nonetheless churches continue to break away from the American Episcopal Church, to align with Anglican church leaders from the global south including Archbishops Orombi and Akinola who, together, represent over 1/3 of the world's roughly 80 million Anglicans.

Akinola and Orombi are closely tied, as journalist Frederick Clarkson explains in a 2006 Talk To Action overview of ongoing efforts to destabilize the American Episcopal Church, Episcopal Newspaper Exposes Rightwing Agencies", to well funded and organized rightwing efforts that for years have been attacking liberal American mainline Protestant denominations:

The Washington Window, the newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has joined a growing number of publications inside and outside mainline Christianity that have published exposes of the efforts of rightist agencies to destabilize the historic mainline Protestant churches in the U.S.  

The two-part series by former Washington Post and New York Times reporter James Naughton examines, according to a press release, the network of conservative groups, "their donors and the strategy that has allowed them to destabilize the Episcopal Church.... The groups represent a small minority of church members, but relationships with wealthy American donors and powerful African bishops have made them key players in the fight for the future of the Anglican Communion "to warn deputies that they must repent of their liberal attitudes on homosexuality or face a possible schism."

The expose, which demonstrates the unambiguous motives of rightwing activists to foment a permanent schism in the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and in the world Anglican Communion, comes in the run-up to the American church's triennial meeting in Columbus, Ohio in June.

In a feature article in the current issue of The Public Eye magazine, I reported that the war of attrition against the mainline churches, bankrolled with millions of dollars from rightwing foundations, has been underway for a generation. The targeted churches include the major member denominations of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, (international ecumenical agencies that have also been under attack), including the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Smaller denominations, notably the United Church of Christ, have also been systematically undermined from within by a network of self-described "renewal" groups associated or aligned with the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Democracy, the hub of the network.

Footnote: originally, in this story, I wrote 'According to a September 2, 2007, UPI story, Nigerian Anglican Bishop Isaac Orama, under the jurisdiction of Akinola, declared that "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." ' - I've since learned that the Nigerian journalist who reported the purported, controversial Orama quote, which was published through UPI syndicated new networks, subsequently stated that he invented the quote. Nonetheless, the Nigerian news agency which originally fed the story, and alleged quote, to UPI hasn't retracted its version.

[coverage of recent 2009 antigay developments in Uganda, from Jim Burroway's Box Turtle Bulletin]

Apr 24: Uganda Anti-Gay Activists March, “Storm Parliament”

Apr 20: Alan Chambers Addresses Developments In Uganda

Apr 19: Uganda’s Anti-Gay Vigilante Campaign Is Now In Full Swing

Apr 17: Uganda Government Attacks Human Rights Groups for “Promoting Homosexuality”

Apr 10: Uganda Columnist: “Happy Easter …Irrespective of Sexual Orientation”

Apr 6: Uganda Press Crank Up “Predator” Rhetoric

Apr 3: Uganda to Ban LGBT Advocacy?

Apr 2: Exodus Maintains Month-Long Silence Amid Ugandan Gov’t Calls For LGBT Arrests

Apr 2: Press Release from Ugandan LGBT Advocacy Group

Mar 31: Forced Outings Continue As Uganda LGBT Advocates Allege Oundo Is In It For The Money

Mar 31: Uganda Activist Cites Disbarred “Therapist” As Authority on Homosexuality

Mar 30: Uganda Situation Continues To Deteriorate; Exodus Washes Their Hands

Mar 27: Videos Surface of Ugandan Activist Stirring Anti-Gay Fervor; Fears of Violence Grows

Mar 26: Ugandan Gov’t Poised to Take “Stern Action” Against Gays

Mar 26: The “Ex-Gay” Star of the Uganda Anti-Gay Campaign

Mar 25: More on Uganda Anti-Gay Vigilante Incitement

Mar 25: Another Anti-Gay Vigilante Campaign May Have Begun In Uganda

Mar 23: Schmierer’s & Lively’s Uganda Talks Continue to Reverberate

Mar 17: Lively Defends Forced Therapy Proposal

Mar 16: Commentary: When Good Men Do Nothing

Mar 13: Sanctimony Alert

Mar 13: Scott Lively and Alan Chambers Respond to Questions About Uganda Conference

Mar 13: Exodus Applauds Schmierer�s Part in Uganda Conference

Mar 12: South African LGBT Advocates Condemn Exodus

Mar 12: Ex-Exodus Minister Condemns Uganda Conference

Mar 12: Ugandan Conference Leaders Call For Another Meeting While Pushing Pedophilia Theme; Exodus Continues Silence

Mar 11: Open Letter To the Exodus International Board of Directors

Mar 10: Scott Lively: The Gay Agenda Is �To Turn The Whole World Gay�

Mar 9: Exodus Removes Link To Scott Lively From Its Web Site

Mar 9: EU Group Condemns Ugandan Conference

Mar 8: Uganda Anti-Gay Conference: Day Three � Gays Blamed For Rwandan Genocide & Pedophilia; More Exodus Ties To Holocaust Revisionism

Mar 6: Uganda Anti-Gay Conference: Day Two

Mar 6: Exodus� Silence About Uganda: Day Five

Mar 6: Exodus Board Member Participates In Uganda Conference Calling For Forcing Gays Into Conversion Therapy

Mar 5: Anti-Gay Conference Kicks Off In Kampala

Mar 5: Warren Throckmorton Speaks Out Against Uganda Conference

Mar 5: International LGBT Group Expresses Concern About Uganda Conference

Mar 2: Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists

Feb 24: Exodus Board Member Joins Nazi Revisionist At Uganda Conference


I regularly heard teachings in the parishes that Christians are "spiritual Jews" "Grafted onto the vine".  It's not that far of a step from "spiritual Jews grafted onto the vine" to "the REAL Jews".

And then it goes downhill from there.

by ArchaeoBob on Thu May 07, 2009 at 02:31:32 PM EST

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