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And this, my friends, is just one reason (of many) why the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Anglican Church of Nigeria will never see eye to eye: Assuming this can be believed, one of the leading newspapers in Nigeria reported that a theft suspect turned himself into a goat as police were approaching. […]

7 Comments

  1. Has the newspaper article to which you linked been revised since you read it? I hope this is the case, because the article as it currently reads says absolutely nothing about the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

    If, however, the article has not been revised, then your attempt to link this admittedly pathetic story with the Anglican Church of Nigeria — and by implication, I assume, with parishes that have broken away from the ECUSA and aligned themselves with the Nigerian church — is thoroughly dishonest.

    It is rather unlikely that the AP story says anything about the Nigerian church, since the original story in the Vanguard makes no such reference:

    http://www.vanguardngr.com/content/view/27049/42/#akocomment59970

    I couldn’t care less about the culture war battles between the two churches, and my comment is not based upon them – my comment is based purely upon my objection to such a seeming non sequitur being published on a journalistic site.

    If the linked article from the AP *has* been revised and a previous reference to the Anglican Church of Nigeria has been removed, then I apologize for my erroneous criticism. If, however, the linked article remains intact, then I am disappointed in your lack of professionalism.

  2. It seemed to me to be a sequitur, MS. I’m not an Episcopalian myself, but I’ve been told that the Anglican Communion, including the ECUS, some time ago determined not to object to the practice of polygamy by some church members in southern Africa…recognizing that “first world” and “second world” churches should not impose their culture on developing churches in the third world. The theme there was that the missionary effort is about evangelization, and not about spreading western culture.

    Move the clock forward 40 or 50 years, and the ECUS is operating in a culture where gays and lesbians are increasingly mainstream. The ECUS consecrates a married gay bishop…and the third world Anglicans (where homosexuality is seen in an entirely different cultural context) express outrage and facilitate a schism within the Communion.

    One would hope that Anglicans in the third world could grasp the distinction between what is Gospel and what is culture, just as the missionaries of the last century did, who were sent from our culture to theirs.

    I’m not expressing this very elegantly…but that’s what I believe Mr. Ekstrom was driving at: the huge differences in our cultures.

    (And personally, I’d like to thank all the reporters who work this beat for doing a very fine job! I get lots of my religion news from this site.)

  3. Mr. Eckstrom does not appear to be “driving at differences in our cultures”; he is instead creating a grossly unfair and hilariously illogical smear. There is no reason–none!–to link the Anglican Church in Nigeria to this story.

    For shame.

  4. Mr. Eckstrom does not appear to be “driving at differences in our cultures”; he is instead creating a grossly unfair and hilariously illogical smear. There is no reason–none!–to link the Anglican Church in Nigeria to this story.

    Again…I’m neither an Anglican/Episcopalian nor a homosexual. What, exactly, does Mr. Eckstrom seem to be driving at, then? (It seems to me that he’s driving at precisely what I suggested above…but I could be wrong.)

    For shame.

    Really? What warrants “shame” here, Nick? Perhaps this is an in-house Anglican issue–but from my perspective as an “evangelical catholic,” I don’t see it. Could you educate me a bit?

  5. It’s good, Mr. Eckstrom, that you’ve revised your original article so that you are no longer saying that the Anglican Church of Nigeria itself accepts the lunacy depicted in this news story. I’m glad that you implicitly acknowledged your error.

    Unfortunately, however, in making the revision you’ve engaged in another failure of journalistic ethics: you’ve revised your original post *without noting that the new post is revised, and radically different from the original version*.

    For readers who want to see the original version of Mr. Eckstrom’s post, the link below goes to the page in Google’s cache:

    http://tiny.cc/O9lKf

    As you can see, in the original post he said nothing about “cultures.” Instead, he explicitly said, “So maybe it’s not a suprise that one church that ordains an openly gay bishop, and another where people apparently people can turn into goats, keep talking past each other.”

    I am glad that you did the right thing and removed your previous unsubstantiated and unwarranted attack on the Nigerian church. It’s a shame that in doing so you decided to engage in another unethical action.

    At the same time, of course, it can also be noted that the point you make in this revised version of your post is itself more than arguable. It’s no more logically valid to say (I paraphrase), “Some Nigerians believe people can turn into goats, so it’s no wonder the Nigerian church opposes homosexual behavior” than it would be to say, “Some Americans believe that in previous incarnations they were animals (which, of course, some do), so it’s no wonder that the Episcopal Church USA promotes homosexual activity.” Both statements are equally imbecilic – the first, which you made, should have been beneath a professional religion writer.

  6. Fair enough. Mea culpa.

    Looking back on my original post, I realized that I wasn’t as clear as I had hoped to be. You readers were right that my generalizations were a bit too broad, and what I was getting at (but failed to do with precision) was talking about the broader cultural contexts, not the Nigerian Church per se.

    But you’re right — I should have noted that I revised my original post. That was an oversight, though not an intentional one.

    So thanks for keeping us on the straight and narrow. We appreciate your close watch.

  7. MS, I’m glad Mr. Eckstrom sharpened his point. Nevertheless, you still seem to be missing what that point is. (And you’re right; he should have noted his correction.)