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Archbishop Rowan Williams Isn’t Mincing Words Over David Kato’s Assassination

The murder of Ugandan activist David Kato wasn’t just a chance for political leaders to speak out against legalized and institutional persecution, as Barack Obama did. It’s also an opportunity for another class of the globe’s figureheads to take a stand. Like the religious ones. And Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has done exactly that.

“You cannot go around sharing information about the identity of proposed lesbian and gay persons and urging people to ostracise them or worse ‘Hang Them’ as in the headlines of one of the Ugandan newspapers,” Williams told reporters in Dublin yesterday. “You cannot do that without taking responsibility for the consequences. Language which demonises gays and lesbians has consequences.”

That message isn’t just targeted at Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhame, who refuses to accept any responsibility for Kato’s slaying. It’s targeted at any person who calls himself an Anglican, or simply a follower of Christ, to realize Jesus’ message was never once about alienating and oppressing your fellow man.

The importance of Williams responding in such a public manner, and with such swift and concise messaging, cannot be understated. While the archbishop has faced much criticism for his handling (or mishandling) of gays inside the Anglican Church, he should be commended for directly addressing the problem of hate. His direction is clear: Mankind cannot brutalize its own people, gay or otherwise.

Call me when Pope Benedict XVI makes a statement — which will inevitably be torn to shreds, because men who preach discrimination, and who disguise bigotry as tolerance, cannot tell his millions of followers not to hate on gays when that’s the very message he regularly broadcasts.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Jan 31, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
    • Nick Kokoshis
      Nick Kokoshis

      I find this article hypocritical. The Archbishop of Cantebury has been just as bigoted against gays as has the Catholic Pope. They are BOTH in the ridiculous position of running around advocating for legal discrimination against gays ( either in and/or out of their churches) but opposing physical violence against them. And where do they think that violence comes from? Rowan Williams has treated the US openly gay bishop with much disrepect and hostility. I think they are both horrible religious leaders.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC

      The Anglican Archbishop og Uganda has been an outspoken homophobe also.

      Williams has done NOTHING about his homophobia.

      Williams is no friend of our community.

      He is a spineless wimp more interested in saving his church from splitting; than he is in human life.

      He disgusts me.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      Am I to understand that we should celebrate this guy because he doesn’t believe in murder??

      Sorry. My standards are a little higher than that.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Durwood

      Too little too late Dr Williams.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thematics

      Aside from the horror that is the “English breakfast” we also have the raw stench of Anglican piety to deal with. If Williams had tended to his flock of Anglican bishops and priests when Ugandan christianists started in with their ‘crusade against the gays’ we might not have to deal with the violence in Uganda and the constant threats.

      How could Williams NOT have seen this coming?

      Jan 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dallas David
      Dallas David

      I don’t like to comment on a person’s appearance, but that fellow looks like a dowdy grandpa at a Burger King birthday party.

      He needs a good haircut and a better hat.

      After he makes himself more presentable, then we can talk him into cutting loose the crazy un-christian Anglicans in Africa. Sure, it will mean reducing the size of his church, but better have a smaller group of nice people as church members than have lots of murderous thugs in other countries torturing and killing gays in the name of the worst aspects of your religion.

      Yep, it’s time to treat the church like a penis and have a good old-fashioned curcumcision, and cut ’em off.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • r83jnhs032

      The five posts above prove that atheism is only interested in the issue of anti-gay theology vs. GLBTQ civil equality as an excuse to vilify Christians.

      If the participants above were truly interested in civil equality for GLBTQ people, and in cleaning out anti-gay theology, they would appreciate Archbishop Williams’ statement for what it is:

      a valuable and important step in rejecting anti-gay theology. He links the consequences of anti-gay theology, like the murder of David Kato, to that theology. To people of faith, like Christians, whose religion teaches that evil is revealed as evil by its evil consequences, this is powerful and meaningful.

      The people posting above demonstrate that Atheism simply uses GLBTQ people to advance the prejudice and hatred of people of faith.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thematics

      @R83: Please do not confound your beliefs and views on atheism or Christianity with my Judaism. Thank you.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy

      Not to worry, it’s just the many headed Hydra formerly known as Cassandra.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tarxien

      As Durwood said “too little too late”. I would be more impressed if he had marginalised the nasty bigots in the Anglican church, like Akinola of Nigeria (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/25/world/africa/25episcopal.html?_r=1). Instead he went out of his way to be ‘inclusive’ of this trash and betrayed and marginalised real christians.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Quintlexia

      I’m not really sure what this guy is so worked up about. After all, the persecution and murder of LGBTs is the logical conclusion of everything he holds dear. People sure are funny.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      “The people posting above demonstrate that Atheism simply uses GLBTQ people to advance the prejudice and hatred of people of faith.”

      Typical whining, self pitying CRAP from yet another idiot christian.

      Christianity preaches hatred and bigotry. Atheism does not. Atheism simply asks that religious cults (such as christianity) keeps its hatemongering nose out of the civil law.

      You can believe whatever fairytales you like. But stop meddling with my civil rights.

      If I say that Jesus is a paedophile cunt, then I am merely exercising my freedom of speech and I am not endangering the rights of any christian.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      Has the anglican priest who used David Kato’s funeral to denounce homosexuality been expelled from the anglican cult yet? Of course not. It’s a church of lying, bigotted hypocrites after all.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayGOP

      I am an Episcopalian, also known as the valid US Branch of the Anglican Communion. One thing that many people do not understand about this Church is that, while we have a hierarchy, we are not like the Catholics, where the world leader can expel the leader of a local church.

      The Anglican Communion, which Archbishop Williams heads, is not a hierarchical group, the way the Roman Catholic Church is. Archbishop Williams is a LOT weaker than the Pope, and cannot simply expel the head of a National Church. The people of that National Church must do that themselves. When it comes to the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Williams is a figurehead. Archbishop Williams heads the Anglican Church, which is a member of the Anglican Communion, but there are a lot of checks on his power, even there.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      @Soupy: Hydra? Cassandra is more like one of the harpies!A screeching vulture like crone , always flapping about befouling the things she come in contact with!

      Jan 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      I’m also an Episcopalium, and yeah, we’ve been disappointed in the archbishop’s weak handling of the conservatives. He’s totally political. But the church is going through schism right now on behalf of gay people, which is a tough road to hoe. When was the last time you atheist rubes ever lifted a finger on behalf of the poor and oppressed? Judging by the venom you spout, I’d say never.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick Kokoshis
      Nick Kokoshis

      ===I’m also an Episcopalium, and yeah, we’ve been disappointed in the archbishop’s weak handling of the conservatives. He’s totally political. But the church is going through schism right now on behalf of gay people, which is a tough road to hoe. When was the last time you atheist rubes ever lifted a finger on behalf of the poor and oppressed? Judging by the venom you spout, I’d say never===

      I’m not an atheist, but I would say that atheists are more humanistic and egalitarian than most of the believers I know. I would also add that if the church isn’t willing to go through a schism for gay people, perhaps it isn’t very Christ-like after all.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion

      Why hasn’t the fucking Archbishop of Uganda said anything? Shameful!!!!

      Jan 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ambrose

      To his Grace, the Arbp. of Canterbury: Doctor, heal thyself!

      Jan 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      @Nick Kokoshis: Atheists are more egalitarian? Please. Where are they in the large charity movements. Nowhere, that’s where. These days, they’re trying to be all self righteous, and attacking genuine christianity. Yeah, that’s real egalitarian. And most atheists lead lives of extreme selfishness learned from the mass media.
      Normally, I wouldn’t criticize others so harshly, but they started it. And I don’t appreciate the gay self destructive crowd sabotaging our movement by trashing our freinds in the church.

      Jan 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff K.
      Jeff K.

      @WillBFair: “And most atheists lead lives of extreme selfishness learned from the mass media.”

      Care to cite some evidence?

      I’m as godless as they get, and while I don’t have the money to donate to charity, during college I volunteered my summers teaching English to immigrants.

      The difference between atheists and Christians when it comes to charity is that atheists don’t advertise to everyone that they don’t believe in any gods when they’re giving or volunteering; unlike the Christians who have to name-drop Jesus every chance they get to feel validated. That’s why you don’t hear about atheists performing charitable acts; we give to others not as atheists, but as fellow citizens.

      Feb 1, 2011 at 4:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kayla

      As a lifelong Anglican…I appreciate his words, though I don’t always agree with his comments…Not all Anglicans are bigots…And I really would suggest that the Anglican church is somewhat more tolerant than the Catholic church…Not that I’m trying to bash Catholics…..But a lot of the posters bashing Anglicanism don’t understand the church….they’re just completely anti-religious and lump every religious person into the same category of hateful bigot, which is hardly the case.

      Feb 1, 2011 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Soupy

      That same “lumping” seems to occur about atheism.

      Feb 1, 2011 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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