The Anglican Church to split today?
Here is a picture of two young men on the beach in Stone Town on Zanzibar. Just opposite, on the mainland of Africa in Dar-Es-Salaam the senior primates (sounding like a bunch of old monkeys!) of the Anglican Church is having a meeting - a general convention.
It is being reported that the Anglican Church might finally split today, ceratoinly after reports that seven primates were unable to join the others in Holy Communion earlier this morning.
The row is, of course, about homosexuality, with the conservative wings mainly in Africa, headed by the Archbishop of Nigeria, but also in the US, unwilling to accept homosexuals into the church membership, still less to see them ordained as priests or even a bishop, as happened a couple of years ago in the US. The Anglican church has long been split over this issue and it is thought that the final break may come today.
There was a debate on the Heaven and Earth Show this morning, where it was reasonbly pointed out that there are more important things for the church to be busy with than sexuality and indeed areas where Jesus was much clearer about what he expected of mankind (think of the Parable on the Mount). Everyone agreed that it would be a pity for the church to finally split, but unfortunately, the mild and broad Anglican church has allowed itself to gradually be infiltrated by the poison of religious fundamentalism which is diametrically opposed to the liberal views of a church, which in the 1950's and 1960's in the UK was one of the biggest supporters of the moved to decriminalise homosexuality.
Further, there was an article on the OpenDemocracy website about how church groups were helping civil groups in Africa trying to affect changes in society with respect to women's rights, child labour, the environment and so on, the point being was that anti-church people in the west do not realise the good work being done in the name of the churches in places like Africa. Well, apart from their evangelising and proselytising, I pointed out that if it was not for the mental block towards homosexuality induced by a fundamentalist interpretation of their religious books, such groups would probably be fighting for gay rights as well. Instead, with seeming support and succour from the churches the governments of Africa seem to want to be out-doing each other in designing the harshest anti-gay legilsation they can possibly dream up.