But he has finally spoken about the Uganda bill. FINALLY. As I said Here I’m not overly impressed by a condemnation that is so late in the day - but at least it’s something.
Except I cannot imagine him “condemning” this bill in a worst way. Seriously - it’s awful. It has multiple fails on multiple levels.
Let us look at it
Fail the First
It’s in the damn Telegraph. Yes, I know I know not everyone haters the paper as much as I do. But it’s a paper that, quite frankly, doesn’t give a damn about gay people in Uganda or anywhere. He may as well have spoken to the bloody Daily Mail. And if you actually go to the Torygraph’s website you’ll find his statement isn’t even on the first page (X factor? Yeah we have that. A bishop praising the Taliban, yeah we have that). It took me quite a while to find it - not helped by the fact that the title doesn’t even mention Uganda. But there’s a good reason for that.
Fail the Second
The title of the piece is: “Dr Rowan Williams: taking a break from Canterbury travails” What? This is him speaking out about a Ugandan genocide bill?
No, it isn’t. It’s a general interview. A very rambly, chatty interview. It starts by talking about the English countryside. Then we talk about *SHOCK* the Lesbian Bishop in the US, the Lambleth Conference and then FINALLY we get to Uganda and his statement which I’ll get to in a moment. Then we move on again.
So, his condemnation of Uganda? Is a paragraph, a brief reference, an aside in a long and rather tiresome interview.
Fail the Third - THE BIG ONE
Rowan Williams Statement. Let me quote it:
“Overall, the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it could be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades,” says Dr Williams. “Apart from invoking the death penalty, it makes pastoral care impossible – it seeks to turn pastors into informers.” He adds that the Anglican Church in Uganda opposes the death penalty but, tellingly, he notes that its archbishop, Henry Orombi, who boycotted the Lambeth Conference last year, “has not taken a position on this bill”.
The death penalty is a terrible thing and I fully agree with opposing it in all incidences. But is he saying that if the death penalty were removed and if religious leaders were immunity for the reporting clause then he’d be HAPPY with this law? Are these 2 REALLY the only parts of the law he has a problem with?
How about this “Criminalising homosexuality is WRONG!”? Hey, how’s that for a statement, Rowan? Not “the death penalty is wrong” (which I agree with) or “making it hard for religious leaders to tend their flocks is wrong.” How about a simple “punishing homosexuals is wrong.”? How about a simple “this entire law is wrong.”?
Because THIS statement makes me think you agree with it in principle - you just think it’s a little too harsh. I’m really feeling the Christian love.