Caving In

September 09, 2007

An Episcopalian church in the Chicago area caved to pressure from Rwandan Anglican leaders and disinvited internationally honored hero Paul Rusesabagina, the man whose life-saving work was featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda. The church, which started under the oversight of the Rwandan branch a few years ago, was told to disinvite Rusesabagina because he has had a conflict with Rwanda's president. The Rwandan Anglican leaders feared the invite could thus cause problems. So the Chicago church disinvited a hero who saved more than 1,200 people. Why? Because of politics. How sad!

The Chicago pastor justified the decision by saying:

The bigger reality for us is having to accept the whole concept of obedience, and that is a harder cultural pill to swallow than I realized.
But at what point does one take a courageous--even if disobedient--stand? Why dishonor a hero because of politics? Ironically, this same pastor left the U.S. branch of the Anglican Church because of disagreements, so apparently he was not willing to be disobedient back then.

5 comments

  1. You included Mennonite under religious affiliation!! So proud.

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  2. Jennifer H9:35 AM

    How incredibly sad. Any church should be more than honored to have Paul come. Thanks for letting us know.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Chuck6:05 PM

    Careful ya'll (especially Jennifer)!

    Your criticism borders on treading on the 2nd most important Baptist principle of all--church autonomy!

    While our Anglican friends don't enjoy it, surely we wish desire it for them.

    :)

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  5. Thanks for the comments! (Texas in Africa, where did you go?)

    MEP: I'm glad you noticed! I was trying to think of people I knew and you were the reason I added that one to the list.

    jennifer h: I agree.

    Chuck: Huh? I am not sure you understand church autonomy. This case shows that the local church did not have autonomy and that's part of the problem. I really don't see how any of the criticism here treads on that principle.

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