It is amazing, but in last night's GOP presidential debate, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo raised their clubs when moderator Chris Matthews asked who did not believe in evolution.
In my view, this means they are backward and ineligible to hold office in a modern country. America, if you want to go back to the Stone Age and lose our position in the world (or what is left of it after Bush) then please vote for these intellectual barbarians.
According to international election monitors, the April 21 vote in favor of Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua was rigged, threatening the very freedom and stability of this oil-rich, but corrupt nation. Braving threats of a brutal governmental crackdown, thousands of courageous Nigerians took to the streets on May Day to protest the political charade that passes for political liberty.
Clearly, these demonstrators could benefit if they stood side-by-side with a moral leader who demanded an end to corruption and called for new elections. Such a man would be regarded as a true national hero who could lead Nigeria from a kleptocracy to genuine democracy.
Anglican Archbishop Peter J Akinola is perfectly situated to step in and fill this role. Not only is he a local powerbroker, he is also the leader of the largest province in the worldwide Anglican Church. This offers Akinola a unique international platform to draw attention to the electoral sabotage that is ripping apart the very soul of Nigeria.
But, instead of staying in Nigeria this week to bring his convulsing country together, he is flying to the comfy confines of Virginia to tear the Anglican Church apart. While his country is on the verge of a Constitutional conflagration, the Nigerian archbishop is burning with rage because in 2003 the Episcopal Church installed openly gay V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.
While the political elites in Abuja will use guns to maintain dominion over voters, Akinola will be lording over a ceremony in Old Dominion to install church rector Martyn Minns as the bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a subsidiary of the Nigerian church. Basically, conservatives who think the Episcopal Church is too liberal, are refusing to submit to its authority, and instead have opted to align themselves with Akinola.
What I find outlandish is that Akinola and his Anglican apostates get all bent out of shape about a gay bishop in sleepy New Hampshire, but fall asleep at the wheel over real problems faced by Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.
Is Robisnon's sexual orientation more important than the heartbreaking fact that two million Africans die from AIDS-related illnesses each year, according to Nuhu Ribadu, the Chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission?
Does a New England homosexual take precedence over the nearly 3,000 African children who die each day from malaria? Is the gay issue a bigger moral concern than the 40 million African children who are not currently in school?
Or, what about the fact that Nigeria has profited to the lavish tune of a half trillion dollars from oil revenues in less than fifty years - and yet, seventy percent of Nigerians live in abject poverty with exiguous incomes of less than one dollar a day? (Presumably, these peasants are not the ones sitting in the pews of Akinola's lavish church).
Akinola would have you believe that he must come to America to save us from our decadence. Yet, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, Nigeria is awash in premarital sex and has STD rates that would make a red light district hooker blush.
In Nigeria, there are 2.9 million people with HIV/AIDS, including 930,000 AIDS orphans. In the past twelve months, 78-percent of men and 29-percent of women, 15-24, have had sex with a casual partner. A 1990 Demographic and Health survey reported that 38-percent of women in Southwest Nigeria were in polygamous marriages.
I bring this up not to point a finger at Nigeria, but to try to comprehend why Akinola is flying to America, when sexual practices condemned by his church are flying off the charts in his home country. It seems that the good Archbishop is a moral coward who basks in the media spotlight abroad, while refusing to spotlight the devastating problems that plague his own country.
Indeed, when confronted with these life and death issues, all Akinola seems to want to prattle on about is his homosexual hang-up.
"To opine that, unknown to humans, God had hitherto created some people to be homosexuals and lesbians (i.e., sexual orientations) is tantamount to creating God in our own image and introducing a cancerous element into the fabric of the African understanding of marriage and family," Akinola once said.
"Homosexuality and lesbianism, like divorce, breed a society of single parents which gives rise to a generation of bastards," the Archbishop has also said.
If Akinola were a real leader, he would be at home fighting disease and tyranny, while leading the opposition against an illegal election. Instead of demonstrating such cojones, Akinola is leaving his countryman to fight this battle, while he jets to America to obsess about Bishop Robinson's cojones.
Could Akinola have his priorities any more backwards?
Finally, if these renegade American church leaders want to submit to Akinol's "leadership," then they owe it to Nigeria's beleaguered citizens to take an active role in their society. To simply become Nigerian in name only - while ignoring the country's daunting problems - is to be profoundly disrespectful and behave like, well, Peter J Akinola.
(Janet Folger Never Reclaimed America For Christ) Failed 'Ex-Gay' Poster Boy Michael Johnston Helped Lead to Theocratic Center's Demise
MIAMI BEACH - Truth Wins Out today rejoiced over the downfall of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, a political arm of theocratic-leaning Coral Ridge Ministries. In 1998, the Center, which was then led by anti-gay activist Janet Folger, gained notoriety by leading a divisive national advertising campaign that featured so-called "ex-gays." The Center's influence quickly declined after its "ex-gay" poster boy Michael Johnston was caught in a 2003 sex scandal.
"Today we celebrate the demise of one of the most insidious anti-gay groups in America that incited intolerance by pumping out virulently anti-gay propaganda," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ bet the bank on the 'ex-gay' message, and by doing so, bankrupted their credibility after their rising 'ex-gay' star crashed and burned."
The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ featured Michael Johnston, an HIV+ "ex-gay" leader in a million dollar print and television advertising campaign in 1998. In the notorious TV ad, Johnston's mother, Frances, used convoluted logic to explain how homosexuality led to her son contracting HIV. In a full-page print version that ran in national newspapers, Johnston is shown as a young boy blowing out birthday candles under the headline, "From Innocence to AIDS."
In August 2003, Johnston's claims at sexual conversion collapsed. Michael Hamar, a Virginia attorney, contacted Besen to say he had a client who had been having an affair with Johnston, not realizing, at first, Johnston's true identity as a prominent ex-gay figure. Besen was also introduced to another young man who claimed to have had unprotected sex with the ex-gay leader. While in Virginia, Besen was shown a video of a man that looked eerily similar to Johnston having unprotected sex with several men. Hamar's client signed an affidavit swearing the man was Michael Johnston.
The news broke in Southern Voice, a respected gay publication in Atlanta. Johnston resigned his ministry in disgrace and fled to a sex addiction facility in Kentucky, Pure Life Ministries, where he sought counseling. The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ never recovered from this scandal and lost much of its self-proclaimed moral authority on gay issues.
"This is a cautionary tale for right wing organizations that think jumping on the 'ex-gay' bandwagon is good politics," said TWO's Besen. "In the short term, it might cause some opponents to shudder, but in the end, it may lead to the shuttering of windows and doors with a sign that reads, 'Out of Business.'"
Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.