Today's edition of The Washington Post carries this article which got me thinking - to say the least. Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, is supporting a law in Nigeria that criminalises same-sex unions and denies homosexuals the right of assembly. He is supported by a number of conservative Christian groups in the US as well as by a number of socially-conservative private US enterprises.
How far does one go for the sake of a cause? Whether one is 'pro-tradition' or 'pro-gay', how can anyone condone restricting the civil rights of another human being? Most of the pro-tradition Americans and British people I know would claim that they do not promote the restriction of gay people's civil rights, but aren't we all complicit in their restriction if we tolerate this sort of action or turn a blind eye to it for the sake of a cause? At least they think homosexual acts are sinful, which is the most important thing. Or is it?
It seems to me that whenever I point out to people that Jesus did not call down punishment or damnation on the sinners he encountered in his ministry, someone chimes in with something like 'Yes, but he did tell the woman caught in adultery to "go and sin no more"'. Yes, indeed, he did. But that doesn't excuse us from picking up the stones and stoning her ourselves.
It seems to me that criminalising gay people is picking up the stones to stone them. I don't see how the Christian communion can turn a blind eye to this.