Orombi: a child of empire?

Orombi: a child of empire, is the headline in The Guardian today. Priyamvada Gopal writes that Archbishop Orombi’s claims of colonialism by Archbishop of Canterbury reveal a colonized mindset. She sees the anti gay rhetoric from Orombi as learned from the British colonists as the church and the empire moved across Africa:

While homosexuality has come under attack in many cultures at different points in history, the irony is that this particularly immoveable form of hate and intolerance, expressed by Orombi in the name of Christian love, was institutionalised by colonial law. Far from being critical of colonialism, the bishop’s insistence on his reading of the scriptures as the only correct one is, in fact, indicative of a deeply colonised mindset, where extremely literal readings of the written word replaced more fluid customary law and oral interpretive traditions. In India, activists have been fighting a campaign to repeal a 19th century colonial law that criminalised homosexuality, “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. This campaign – not the call to further entrench outdated colonial ideas – is the real movement towards decolonisation and eliminating the “remnants” of colonialism.

The tragedy for the larger Anglican communion is that the intolerance once spread abroad in the name of Christianity has now returned to haunt and hold back its laudable attempts to move forward. But in undoing this colonial legacy, it should not be deterred by false accusations of colonialism. Hatred is not love and homophobia is not anti-colonialism.

Read more here.

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