The pond is feeling lazy this meditative Sunday.
So just in case you missed John Oliver brooding about Uganda ...
And then when you're done with Oliver, why not read the Sydney Anglicans on Why Uganda made me cry.
No, they didn't cry in the way that Oliver cried ...
How about Anglican Aid boasting about Theological Scholarships at Uganda Christian University?
And so on and so forth.
Harmless enough you say, but then you remember that the Sydney Anglicans have been front and centre at GAFCON, and in their June Southern Cross published this report:
The GAFCON primates, meeting in London after Easter, urged bishops of the Church of
England to provide clear leadership and biblical teaching in the face of new same-sex laws....
...The statement also touched on the Church of England and a reported breach of church discipline in which it is claimed a hospital chaplain has been married in a same-sex “wedding”. “Meeting shortly after the recognition in English law of same-sex marriage, which we cannot recognise as compatible with the law of God, we look to the Church of England to give clear leadership as moral confusion about the status of marriage in this country deepens,” the primates said. “The Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly noted that the decisions of the Church of England have a global impact and we urge that as a matter of simple integrity, its historic and biblical teaching should be articulated clearly. “We are particularly concerned about the state of lay and clerical discipline. The House of Bishops’ guidance that those in same-sex marriages should be admitted to the full sacramental life of the church is an abandonment of pastoral discipline. While we welcome their clear statement that clergy must not enter same-sex marriage, it is very concerning that this discipline is, apparently, being openly disregarded. We pray for the recovery of a sense of confidence in the whole of the truth Anglicans are called to proclaim, including that compassionate call for repentance to which we all need to respond in our different ways.”
Yep, the GAFCON mob and the Sydney Anglicans routinely demonise "gays" and same-sex "weddings" and "homosexuality" and all the rest of it ... and they're active in Africa, including Uganda, and you never hear a peep out of them about the persecution of gays in Africa ...
It might not be as naked or as blatant as Scott Lively getting nailed by Oliver, and Lively naturally being Really Pissed at John Oliver for telling the truth.
But it's there and it's real.
Remember this report back in 2005, African Anglicans flex their conservative muscle?
...The Anglican Church of Uganda and the diocese of Sydney may be part of the Anglican communion which claims 77 million members worldwide but they are, after all, of disparate culture and heritage, and at opposite ends of the world.
Yet their mutual fidelity to orthodox biblical teachings has placed them at the centre of conservative resistance to the US church's stand on homosexuality and made them leaders of what is now being termed Anglicanism's New Reformation.
Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, Anglican primate of Uganda, prefers the word partnership to alliance when speaking of his new friendship with the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen.
In Australia as a guest of the Sydney diocese, he is so impressed with Moore Theological College, Newtown, he is discussing the possibility of sending postgraduate seminarians for study, as well as conducting joint missions with Sydney parishes in Uganda.
As a further sign of his approval he thinks Jensen would make a good Australian primate to replace the retiring Dr Peter Carnley.
"I think he's an honest man, a man who loves God," Orombi says.
Orombi's endorsement contrasts with his strong denunciation of the US Episcopal Church, which he accuses of departing from historical Christian teachings with its consecration of an openly gay bishop two years ago.
The Ugandan church subsequently severed ties with the US church, resulting in the loss of scholarships and financial aid, barred the US church from sending an official delegation to Orombi's enthronement as archbishop, and then threatened to walk out on the Anglican communion unless the Americans repented and apologised.
But when 35 Anglican archbishops met last month - Orombi was one who refused to take communion with offending church leaders - it was the US church that was asked to do the walking. The Americans were asked to quit a key representative body until 2008. "The language is flowery, the meaning is ... we suspend you," Orombi told the Herald yesterday. "But it's put in the most beautiful language that the English would like to put it. It's a polite way of saying, 'please leave the room'."
Orombi speaks from a position of growing influence, having helped channel discontent among conservative dioceses mainly in Africa and Asia into action against the US church that even the Archbishop of Canterbury was forced to accept with an air of resignation.
He also comes from a position of numerical strength, with the Anglican churches of Uganda and Nigeria making up almost 50 per cent of the world's Anglicans.
As Orombi views it, it's the US church and other Anglican liberals that are on the outside looking in. Anglican conservatives are mobilising worldwide, marking a return to the purity of biblical teaching and breaking free of the strictures of denominational consensus.
"The problem with Anglican communion is you are talking about a big family; and the family is like a body," Orombi says. "If this little finger is aching then the whole body feels the pain and that's really why we have the problem. So when this finger is cut then we say, how should we heal it. Should we heal it by treatment or should we amputate it so that the body can heal. That's the question."
But there can be no reconciliation without the liberal North Americans repenting - and that means abandoning the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson. "If Gene Robinson is going to the next Lambeth [conference] then we aren't going, and if we don't go there is no Lambeth." Robinson's sin is to be openly gay.
While progressives argue a church tradition of inclusiveness, Orombi has taken a hard line on gay issues. In Uganda, homosexuality is a crime punishable by life imprisonment. Homosexuality, the archbishop says, contravenes Biblical teachings that go back to the first God-sanctified man-and-woman union of Adam and Eve, and are reinforced in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and the words of the apostle Paul. It was a "misuse of sexual organs" as God designed them, and society's "stamp of approval doesn't make it normal".
That's not too far away from brandishing bananas and cucumbers, so John Oliver can have some fun - though why anyone should object to a little fun with fruit and vegies is quite beyond the pond.
What else to say abut the guy who gave the Sydney Anglicans the organic stamp of approval for proper use of sex organs, the guy the Sydney Anglicans liked to hang around with?
Well, there's plenty of ways to find out more about Orombi: why not start with Archbishop Orombi, architect of African homophobic hate...
And that's why the pond will always line up to kick the heads of the Sydney Anglicans on a meditative Sunday.
It might not be done in the style or with the skill of an Oliver, but those heads deserve a good weekly kicking, because they're as problematic as Islamic fundamentalists in the harm they do the world and ordinary people wanting to lead persecution-free lives ...
The good thing about a barking mad Islamic fundamentalist is you can spot them coming. The Sydney Anglicans are a little more devious ...
Another trouble for the pond - George "the jidahist mounting a crusade on the jihadists, everybody has a right to be bigots" Brandis notwithstanding - is that other forms of bigotry and prejudice aren't as close at hand and in such numbers as the Sydney Anglicans, who quite ruin the northern part of Newtown (ironically on the other side of the street in north Newtown, there's quite the gay community).
Is there any deeper irony in all this? Well yes, when the Anglican Synod leads with this sort of talk:
“The recent imprisonment and death sentence meted out to Meriam Ibrahim in the Sudan for apostasy, crystallised the fears of many Christians for the state of religious freedom and conscience around the world.”
She cited research which showed 29 percent of countries had high restrictions on religion.
Dean of Bendigo The Very Reverend John Roundhill spoke of the persecution of people from other religions, saying the motion “will be appreciated by many, well beyond our usual constituency.” (here)
So where's the motion about the persecution of gays in Africa, and the Sydney Anglicans covertly supporting the persecution, by fellow travelling with the persecutors?
Sorry, that's well outside the usual constituency and way too great an exercise of conscience ...
And it's not just the zealots of Africa that the Anglicans hang around with.
That's why you can find the Anglican Church League here linking to offensive Southern Baptist blather of the standard Adam and Eve kind, here, as if Adam and Eve offered some kind of literal truth suitable for the world around us ...
Essay topic: the use of fairy tales to devise a patriarchal system, then when challenged, dress it up as complimentary. Or some such thing. At least if it was complimentary, you'd get a free Mintie ...
Which brings us back to John Oliver noting that wretched joke about Adam and Steve that seems to have taken African Christians by storm ...
Ah well, a couple of weeks ago The New Yorker said farewell to cartoonist Charlie Barsotti, and you can see some of his cartoons here.
Here's another one: