Tengatenga under fire for gay flip flop: The Church of England Newspaper, July 28, 2013, p 6. July 31, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Consultative Council, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
Tags: Dartmouth College, James Tengatenga
The chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, has repudiated his opposition to same-sex marriage, telling an American college newspaper the Bible’s call to treat all people with respect outweighed its condemnation of homosexual acts as sin.
On 19 July 2013 The Dartmouth quoted Dr. Tengatenga as saying his views on homosexuality had evolved in recent years. “The interpretation of the Bible is not based on one person or one denomination,” the Dartmouth quoted him as saying.
“What is important is what the scriptures say about the value of a human being. It says they are all equal. One must place more value on this than on the few negative scriptures that are in the Bible,” the bishop said.
Last week The Church of England Newspaper reported Dr. Tengatenga had stood down as Bishop of Southern Malawi to take up the post of Dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College on 1 January 2014. As dean, Dr. Tengatenga will oversee the college’s chaplaincy programs.
However gay activists at Dartmouth, joined by the college chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) denounced the bishop’s appointment. They cited statements made by Dr Tengatenga in support of the church’s traditional teaching on sexuality published in The Church of England Newspaper in objecting to his appointment.
Members of the Dartmouth search committee told the college newspaper Dr. Tengatenga did not believe the things that he said but was merely mouthing the sentiments of the Church of the Province of Central Africa. Search Committee chairman Professor Irene Kacandes said the bishop’s statements had been taken out of context and expressed his church’s views, not his personal beliefs.
However, the bishop’s climb down may have come too late for some members of Dartmouth’s faculty. Adrienne Clay, African and African-American studies department program coordinator told The Dartmouth,“Although Tengatenga’s new statement strikes some encouraging notes, it seems very polished and a little too ambiguous for my taste.”
“How do we measure Tengatenga? By a statement directed to a college audience in the U.S. or by his words and actions, as well as inaction, over the past decade?”, she said.
Dr. Tengatenga did not respond to a request for clarification of his views. However the Anglican Consultative Council’s press office last week said the bishop was under no obligation to step down as ACC chairman following his resignation as Bishop of Southern Malawi.