Dining while gay, and other crimes

The members of Truro and the Falls Church have now declared that belonging to a church that permits gays and lesbians to become bishops is too great a tax on their conscience, while belonging to a church that believes gay people should be imprisoned for eating together in public is not.

I can suggest three reasons that Bishop Martyn Minns and his flock may have taken this decision. The first is naked bigotry. The second is a willingness to trade the human rights of innocent Africans for a more advantageous position in the battle for control of the Anglican Communion. The third is a profoundly distorted understanding of who Jesus was and what he taught.

I’d like to believe that the last of these reasons explains the majority of the votes, because I recognize that my own salvation may depend on God showing mercy to those of us who are sincere in our misapprehensions.

But, if Bishop Minns and his followers do, indeed, believe that gay Nigerians should be imprisoned for visiting a restaurant together, they need to inform us whether they believe gay Americans should be imprisoned for similar activities. And if they do not support the criminalization of such behavior in the United States, they need to explain why they favor–or, at the very least, acquiesce–in depriving Nigerians of rights that Americans enjoy.

Jim Naughton

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