Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rick Warren's association with Turaki's anti-gay hate-speech in a featured article on homosexuality in the Africa Bible Commentary.

By Rev. Steve Parelli, Bronx, NY.

Rick Warren, endorsing Zondervan's 2006 evangelical Africa Bible Commentary, a single volume commentary on the Bible by 70 African scholars, says on the back cover of the bock, "This monumental work of biblical scholarship is filled with helpful insights into God's Word that every pastor, Bible teach, and Christian will benefit from. We've needed this commentary for a long, long time."

Romans 1 of the commentary features a major article entitled "Homosexuality." Rev. Stephen Parelli writes a review on the article and summarizes his critique with the following:

"Conclusion: Turaki's Bible-study article on homosexuality serves to further the African church's homophobic intolerance of gay people, confirming and reinforcing already existing hateful and hurtful attitudes towards LGBT Africans.

"Turaki's article, entitled 'Homosexuality,' in the Africa Bible Commentary, only enlarges the gap between the need for tolerance in Africa and the African church's failure to speak out against homophobic intolerance which often erupts into physical brutality, murder, unlawful imprisonment, loss of employment, estrangement and isolation from family, hate speech and hate crimes. The African evangelical community needs, at the very least, to speak out for tolerance and humane treatment of homosexuals.

"To summarize: Because of the very volatile African context in which his article will be read and understood,

     (a) Turaki's use of the words "abnormal, unnatural and a perversion" along with

     (b) his uncritical use of the quote that "homosexuals are worse than beasts" tied in with

     (c) his statement of the African Anglican church's rejection of Archbishop Tutu's call for tolerance, as well as

     (d) his one-sided account of African "coercive sexual relationships" as his example of "varied" African same-sex sex(Where is his account, under "African tradition," of same-sex African loving couples? -- this writer knows of some personally!), not to mention

     (e) an uncritical censorship of all views of homosexuality that are not in keeping with his views ("Our views of homosexuality should not be derived from human sources but from the Word of God"),

and, finally, with

     (f) his expressed theological view that to be homosexual is sinful,

this evangelical-Christian article can, therefore, only encourage the already strong, homophobic, hateful and dangerous rhetoric of the church in Africa where civilian and police brutality towards homosexuals is not uncommon."

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