Davis Mac-Iyalla launched the Chicago leg of his 20-city American speaking tour this weekend. In a feature, the Chicago Tribune provides good insight into the context of Mac-Iyalla’s visit, recapping his comments from a Sunday talk at Trinity Episcopal Church in Highland Park:
Many conservative Anglicans would agree with Nigerian lay minister Davis Mac-Iyalla that the summer of 2003—when the Episcopal Church approved the first openly gay bishop—left a gaping hole and wrenching pain in their hearts. But not for the same reasons.
For Mac-Iyalla, that summer was when the Anglican Church of Nigeria, in which he was born, baptized and became faithful turned its back on him because he is gay.
“God created me a gay man and put me in the womb of my mother. I was born into the church, baptized and sang in the choir,” Mac-Iyalla told parishioners Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Highland Park. “Now, the church rises against me when I speak who I am. The church is supposed to be a house of joy, a house of peace. It has become a place of fire.”
As the founder of Changing Attitudes Nigeria, part of a larger network that challenges the church’s conservative stance, Mac-Iyalla adds a Nigerian point of view that so far has been silent.
“He’s working for the split and disunity,” Mac-Iyalla said, referring to Akinola. “I’m speaking for unity, oneness and equality.”
The whole thing is here, including comments from Akin Tunde Popoola, Sandra McPhee and Josh Thomas.