Yesterday,Ã‚Â I wrote a bit about the Time 100.Ã‚Â I had some time to scan through the rest of the list, including the fascinating category of “Leaders and Revolutionaries,” which is where they throw all the terrorists, politicians, and religious figures. One particularly interesting choice was Archbishop Peter Akinola; interesting not because I don’t think that he should be considered an influential person, but interesting because his descriptive essay, written by Rick Warren, is overwhelmingly positive.
Warren admits a few less than admirable traits of the Archbishop: his campaign against the admittance of gays in the clergy and hisÃ‚Â “recent remarks of frustration” over the Muslim cartoon-inspired violence. Each of these admissions is followed by a “but” as Warren goes on to praise Akinola for strengthening Christianity’s hold on Africa and holds him up as a role model for Christians worldwide.
So Warren (with Time Magazine’s full endorsement) wants to give this tremendous recognition to a person merely for spreading his religion. We’re to forget the petty details concerning what Akinola actually believes and just be happy that he is encouraging those beliefs in others. How is that admirable? The man considers homosexuals to be unworthy of salvation; even heterosexuals who believe that homosexuals have a right to practice the Catholic faith are buying a ticket to hell, according to him. Here’s just a taste of what he has to say on the topic, as written in his 2003 essay Why I object to homosexuality:
This lifestyle is a terrible violation of the harmony of the eco-system of which mankind is a part. As we are rightly concerned by the depletion of the ozone layer, so should we be concerned by the practice of homosexuality.
God created two persons Ã¢â‚¬â€ male and female. Now the world of homosexuals has created a third Ã¢â‚¬â€ a homosexual, neither male nor female, or both male and female Ã¢â‚¬â€ a strange two-in-one human.
And we’re to applaud him for encouraging this outlook in his 37 million followers?
But wait, it gets better. He wasn’t just content to ban gays from the clergy — he wants them to be thrown in jail. Just a few months ago, he threw his support behind a Nigerian measure to criminalise same sex marriages as well as theÃ‚Â
“Registration of Gay Clubs, Societies and organizations” and “Publicity, procession and public show of same-sex amorous relationship through the electronic or print media physically, directly, indirectly or otherwise”, on penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment. Wikipedia
And what about his “remarks of frustration?” Here’s what he actually said: “May we at this stage remind our Muslim brothers that they do not have the monopoly of violence in this nation.”Ã‚Â And we’re to encourage this pugilistic one-upmanship? Not only does this one statement contain an obvious threat, but it condones and even celebrates the fact that people have performed despicable acts of violence under the supposedly approving eye of the Christian god.Ã‚Â
Warren wants us all to forget about Akinola’s vile beliefs and actions, and why? So that we can celebrate his promotion of “Christianity” to the poor unsaved African masses. Too bad it’s a form of Christianity that evenÃ‚Â many Christians reject as absurd. How important is the label of “Christian” to Mr. Warren? Is it more important to live out the ideals and morals that Jesus espoused — that of loving one another, turning the other cheek, and living a good life — or is it more important that we have one more African who calls himself a Christian? Never mind, I think I know the answer.