May 4, 2014

A Challenge to Justin Welby

It’s about the fact that I’ve stood by a grave side in Africa of a group of Christians who’d been attacked because of something that had happened far, far away in America, and they were attacked by other people because of that and a lot of them had been killed.

—Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby,  4/4/2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury made this rather elliptical remark on a radio talk show a month ago. (See “Whither Welby?”) He has done little to clarify his assertion, which has been taken to mean that the Church of England cannot perform same-sex weddings because it will lead to the murder of Christians in Africa, as has happened before as a result of The Episcopal Church’s consecration of  a gay bishop.

Justin Welby on LBC
What I do not want to do here is discuss the morality of the archbishop’s putting the brakes on church blessings of same-sex unions in England with the intention of protecting the lives of Christians elsewhere. That topic has been adequately explored elsewhere, including in my own post cited above. Instead, I want to discuss Welby’s premise.

If Justin Welby is to be taken seriously, he needs to document his contention that Africans have been slaughtered because of actions of The Episcopal Church. I have been unable to find any news reports making such a connection, and I think it exceedingly unlikely that such a connection exists.

As I admitted earlier, I do not doubt that the archbishop was told of the connection by his informants, but that is only hearsay, and hearsay from people who likely concocted their story for their own purposes. Perhaps they even believe their own story. That, however, does not make the story true.

Violence in Africa usually has more proximate causes, however—tribal rivalries, political struggles, contention for resources, or abstract Muslim-Christian antipathies. The people who know why the Christians Welby talked about were killed are not the witnesses of the atrocity, but the perpetrators. Did anyone ask them what their real motives were? Would you expect a truthful answer even if you did? Probably not.

The challenge to the archbishop, then, is to present independent evidence that actions of The Episcopal Church have been a proximate cause of atrocities in Africa. If he can offer no such evidence, he should admit it. Otherwise, it will be reasonable to conclude that Justin Welby believed what he was told because of his own prejudices, and his credibility, or even his veracity, will be in grave doubt.

Well, archbishop, what about it? Is there anyone else out there who can verify Justin Welby’s “facts”?


  1. I do wish liberals wouldn't brush those accusations aside so easily. As someone who has lived outside the U.S. I have no trouble believing that violence in other countries can and has been done due to decisions made in the U.S. Can I document them all? No. In Managua in 1991 we had daily reports where in the city we could or couldn't go safely because of American politics. In Mexico the family I was staying with were often stopped and questioned by police and others. While I was in China teaching we bombed their embassy in Kosovo. Our school had police protection for 2 weeks and I wasn't allowed out for 1 week and then became "Canadian" because other teachers and students had been attacked if they admitted they were American. Some students were spying on me to see if I was indoctrinating the class, asking about my religious beliefs and bringing up every Newsweek/Time/Wall Street Journal article that mentioned Christians behaving badly was common. Same thing in Turkey. The rest of the world is watching and they do react violently, but then so do Americans.

    The real question is if Welby's statement is true, would TEC stop? No.TEC, like the rest of America, is deeply independent, not my brother's keeper, etc. Even if it's true, TEC won't change.

  2. Wow. I live in Central America. A REAL place of North American backed graveyards filled with humble innocents (remember Regan and his accomplices? Have you cleansed your selectrive Scriptural memory block? )...these REAL graveyards are filled with everyday people (mostly, indigneous) who didn't want to be treated like the desperate and exploited slaves they had become.. Period. Tens of thousands of innocents are dead, buried. Welby didn't mention them when he was here as he was very selective about his preaching/beliving and when one listens to the ever-hateful anti-lgbti pontificating of Archbishop Bul/ South Sudan, only a selective thinker like ++Justin Welby could BELIEVE THIS HYSTERICAL MAN! I realize many are suffering and worse these days in South Sudan. For that I am sad for them and offer up my simple payers for their well-being. For Archbishop Bul I suggest he stays nearer his flock of endangered Anglicans and keeps his venimous/blaming far away from US. As for Buls recent conniving at the meeting with GAFCON groupies in London, I think him a grandstanding fellow who begs for mercy while fanning the flames of hate. Shame everywhere and no place to hide from reality...that is, if one is willing to face the TRUTH.


Anonymous comments are not allowed. All comments are moderated by the author. Gratuitous profanity, libelous statements, and commercial messages will be not be posted.