Rucyahana Joins the Inquisition

The BBC did the world a service earlier this year when it produced the documentary called Rwanda’s Untold Story. Nothing in the documentary is new, it has all been said before, but in print, and sometimes in academic publications or other out of the way places that most nice Western Christians don’t read. For many people, until they watch something on a screen, it isn’t real (see the Ray Rice situation in the NFL).

A measure of how this documentary struck home is the paranoia with which Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame has been trying to eliminate it. In his own country, someone who produced something like this would disappear, be tortured, killed or never heard from again. But Kagame does not control the entire world, as much as he would like to, so he stirs up all kinds of nonsense, equating history and truth telling with genocide denial. Merely labeling something as denying the genocide is enough to silence it for many Westerners who don’t invest time in researching Rwanda.

In Rwanda, discussion is not allowed. Free speech does not exist. Debate cannot happen. The one party state rules all, and exerts its control down to the lowest level. So it should be no surprise that this week, retired Bishop John Rucyahana showed up as part of the dog and pony show Kagame has put together to condemn the BBC documentary. According to reports on Twitter, Rucyahana “testified” to the Inquisition Inquiry Committee that the documentary “poisons the minds of the people” and all kinds of other bad things.

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Why Rucyahana has any expertise on this subject is not apparent. As I have shown repeatedly on this blog, he is a stooge for the regime, a man who says “how high?” whenever Kagame says “jump.” He has no credibility and should be publicly disowned by American bishops and clergy, but instead, they embrace this man. He is a Micaiah to Kagame’s Ahab, if you know what I mean.

Figure 4. Bishops Rucyahana and Barnum

Bishops Rucyahana and Barnum

Figure 5. Bishop Lawrence and Rucyahana

Bishop Lawrence and Rucyahana

While Rucyahana’s support starts with PEARUSA, it by no means ends there. He sits on charities and boards all over the place. Take the Shyira Trust for example, it is a UK charity that works with the Shyira Diocese in Rwanda to fund various development projects. In February, members of the Trust from the U.K. met with Rucyahana — long after the United Nations conclusively showed his support in fundraising and recruiting for M23. You can see their meeting below.

Shyira Trust members with their friend, Rucyahana

Shyira Trust members with their friend, Rucyahana

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I contacted the Trust in March, after this meeting with the “amazing man.” The responses I received are typical of the shallow thinking, lack of reason, and lack of theological wisdom that are hallmarks of western interaction with Rwandans. I wrote:

Hello,
Are you aware of Bishop Rucyahana’s support for M23? In light of that, are you comfortable continuing to work with him?

The answer I received was:




Thank you for your question Joel. We have been working with Bishop John for 14 years now, and have come to respect him as a former diocesan bishop and as a Brother in Christ. Whatever the truth of your statement we see no reason to break our friendship with him – it would not achieve anything.

See what they did there? Who cares what he did? It won’t stop us from being friends. I responded:

Well, Romans 1 says that we should not “approve of those who practice them”, and the group he raised funds for practiced child kidnapping, rape, torture and other atrocities. I think this would reflect poorly on the Trust.

To this, I received the standard “do you know this man?” type of reply. Also, the fact that Rucyahana served on NURC, an Orwellian instrument of oppression in Rwanda, counts as a plus to the Trust:

Joel, I wonder if you have ever met Bishop John and got to know him as a man. I worked with him for the benefit of the people of Shyira parish while he was Bishop of Shyira. Since then I have simply known him as a friend, someone I trust and respect and visit when I am in Rwanda. In Rwanda Bishop John has done outstanding work on reconciliation, including being chairman of the reconciliation Commission. For those and other reasons I completely accept his public letter of 24th July 2012.

So because these nice Westerners have met and “know” Rucyahana, whatever he says must be true, evidence be damned. This is the same response I received from Bishop Breedlove of PEARUSA. As we have seen recently with Bill Cosby, our capacity for self deceit in the face of evidence is a massive weakness in our character.

The Charity Commission might want to investigate the Shyira Trust, to see why they have no problem working with a man who helps send boys off to die for M23, raping and slaughtering all the while. A man who now helps smear the BBC for doing journalism, something that is not allowed in Rwanda.

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Surveying the Internet

Here are some writings that have caught my eye recently:

Paul Anthony McGavin says that Pope Francis “…is anything but impartial, this pope. He wanted the synod to orient the Catholic hierarchy toward a new vision of divorce and homosexuality, and he has succeeded, in spite of the scanty number of votes in favor of the change of course, after two weeks of fiery discussion.

In any case, he will be the one who ultimately decides, he reminded the cardinals and bishops who may have had any doubts. In order to refresh their memory on his “supreme, full, immediate, and universal” power, he brought to the field not a handful of refined passages from “Lumen Gentium,” but the rock-solid canons of the code of canon law.”

A forthcoming book on Pope Francis says that contrary to canon law, an active campaign was behind his election to the Papacy:

“They had learnt their lessons from 2005,” Mr Ivereigh explains. “They first secured Bergoglio’s assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.
“Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned him to ‘be careful’, and that it was his turn now, and was told ‘capisco’ – ‘I understand’.
“Then they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age – 76 – should no longer be considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign. Having understood from 2005 the dynamics of a conclave, they knew that votes travelled to those who made a strong showing out of the gate.”

Charles Simic says of his father: “My father didn’t want us to have a typical father-son relationship, which wouldn’t have been possible in any case. He loved going out to jazz clubs, bars, restaurants—in fact, he took me out to a jazz club my first night in New York. Talking to him was always fun since he had a lot of good stories. Plus, he read everything: history, literature, political studies, Eastern religions, mysticism, philosophy, mysteries, sports pages, and even gossip columns in newspapers. He was one of those people who are always trying to figure out the big ques- tions. The nice thing about him was that he also had an ability to listen. He was interested in what anyone said, so it was easy being with him.”

A logbook has been found from a builder of one of the pyramids:

Over a hundred fragments make up a personal log book recording the daily activities of a team led by the inspector Merer, who was in charge of a team of about 200 men. A timetable written up in two columns records the transportation of fine limestone blocks from quarries at the site of Tura to Giza, where they were used for the outer casing of the pyramid. It took four days, using the Nile and connecting canals, to transport the blocks about 10km to the pyramid construction site, which was called the ‘Horizon of Khufu’. The logbook documents these activities for a period of more than three months.

The designer of Call of Duty is giving national security advice lectures now…Emily Dickinson’s Norway…a summary page of allegations that John Howard Yoder sexually abused women…this is a wonderful summary of one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now.

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Encouraging Words from Archbishop Beach

I have hesitations about ACNA on many fronts, but one thing that heartens me is the basic love for the Bible that Archbishop Beach displays. The latest example of that love is this post on the denomination’s website, part of which says:

4) Learn them – What does the verse or passage really mean? What is the context of the passage? How does this apply today to my life and ministry? How many of the 10 Commandments do you know? How many of Jesus’s Commandments do you know? Can you explain God’s plan of Salvation? Do you know any of the promises of God which apply to your life now? Can you share any of the miracles which Jesus did? Can you explain any of his parables and what they mean? God’s people need to learn the Word of God. Learning the Word of God includes studying and memorizing it.

5) Inwardly digest them – This means to meditate on them; reflect on them; and think on them. The Hebrew word for meditate is a word picture of a cow chewing its food. How does a cow eat the grass? Chews on it; swallows it; brings it back up; chews it some more; swallows it; brings it back up; and chews it some more. This is what we do with the Word of God. We are to inwardly digest it; think about it.

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The Proletariat is the New Israel

Berdyaev writes:

In order to understand the meaning of the sociological determinism of Marxism and of the illusions of consciousness which it exposes, one must turn one’s attention to the existence of an entirely different side of Marxism, which is apparently a contradiction of economic materialism. Marxism is not only a doctrine of historical and economic materialism, concerned with the complete dependence of man on economics, it is also a doctrine of deliverance, of the messianic vocations of the proletariat, of the future perfect society in which man will not be dependent on economics, of the power and victory of man over the irrational forces of nature and society. There is the soul of Marxism, not in its economic determinism. In a capitalist society man is completely determined, and that refers to the past. The complete dependence of man upon economics can be explained as a sin of the past. But the agent which frees humanity from slavery and establishes the best life, is the proletariat. To it are transferred the attributes of the chosen people of God; it is the new Israel. This is a secularization of the ancient Hebrew messianic consciousness. The lever with which it will be possible to turn the world upside down has been found. And there Marx’s materialism turns into extreme idealism.

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Berdyaev on Russian Darwinism

Nicolas Berdyaev writes:

Russians are always inclined to take things in a totalitarian sense; the skeptical criticism of Western peoples is alien to them. This is a weakness which leads to confusion of thought and the substitution of one thing for another, but it is also a merit and indicates the religious integration of the Russian soul. Among the Russian radical intelligentsia there existed an idolatrous attitude to science itself. When a member of the Russian intelligentsia became a Darwinist, to him Darwinism was not a biological theory subject to dispute, but a dogma, and anyone who did not accept that dogma (e.g. a disciple of Lamarck) awoke in him an attitude of moral suspicion. The greatest Russian philosopher of the nineteenth century, Solovev, said that the Russian intelligentsia professed a faith based upon the strange syllogism: man is descended from a monkey, therefore we ought to love one another.

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Analyzing the Appointments of Archbishop Beach

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A couple months ago, the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made some appointments to assist him in governing the Province. While I don’t see anything about Deans in the Canons of ACNA, they do say:

Section 5 – Concerning Officers of the Church

The Archbishop shall be the Presiding Officer of the Church, and the Presiding Officer of the Council. The Council shall appoint a Deputy Chair, a chancellor, a secretary, a treasurer, a registrar, and such other officers of the Church as it deems necessary. The Council shall define the duties of each officer of the Church.

Archbishop Beach appointed seven people to six roles; they are:

  • Bishop Ray Sutton as Dean of College Affairs and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
  • Bishop Terrell Glenn as Dean of College Affairs.
  • Bishop John Guernsey as Dean of Provincial Affairs
  • Bishop Bill Atwood as Dean of International Affairs
  • Bishop Don Harvey as Senior College Chaplain, assisted by Bishops Bena and Ackerman.

As noted in this post, Bishop Sutton came close to a victory in the Conclave before he voluntarily stepped aside. Bishop Guernsey was also thought to be a frontrunner for the job of Archbishop heading into the Conclave.With that in mind, these appointments look a bit like consolation prizes for these men. I am not asserting that they are, but it is a very status quo set of appointments.

The affiliation of these men and their position on women’s ordination are:

 

Bishop Affiliation Position on WO
Ackerman ACNA, FiFNA Against
Sutton REC Against
Glenn ACNA Against
Guernsey ACNA For
Atwood ACNA For
Harvey ANiC For
Bena CANA For

This group also skews Anglo-Catholic or charismatic, with only one Bishop being notably Augustinian in conviction (as far as I know). I don’t know how much to invest in these observations, but the convictions of these men may show up in policy in the years ahead. It also signals that as much as we thought the election of Archbishop Beach signaled the arrival of a new generation of leadership, there are a lot of holdovers from the last two decades still in power. This is neither good nor bad of necessity, but is simply the reality.

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Rwanda’s Untold Story

This is a must watch documentary. Please devote an hour to watching it:

Rwanda’s Untold Story Documentary from RDI-Rwanda Rwiza on Vimeo.

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Who Cares About Facts?

How many people care about truth and where it leads them? Do they care even if it could cost them their job, their status, or the narrative they use to justify their stance in the world? Precious few care when it comes down to it. A TLS review of the book “The Good Spy” says that “U.S. foreign policy is not fact driven.” It goes on to quote from the book:

“You have the notion that all you need to do is get the…facts before the policy makers…and things would change. You think you can make a difference. But gradually, you realize that the policy makers don’t care.”

As Hebrew prophets from Moses to Jeremiah could testify, this is oh so true. Warnings of impending judgement or sober reality do not matter much to those with hard hearts. As Rob Asghar just pointed out, this is particularly true of cause based groups:

Personality cults end badly, because anyone objective finds themselves mauled by loyalists trying to hold the cult together. (Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer remains a pivotal resource for understanding the motivations of cult-type personalities, who often have their entire identities fused into their nation, organization or holy cause.)

Part of accepting the way the world is involves the realization that the truth just doesn’t matter to a lot of folks, despite what they say.

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Body Bags Found in Lake are From Rwanda

This year, as in years past, Rwandans are disappearing inside the country. They simply vanish, never to be seen again. As I mentioned in this post, people are forced into cars and then are gone. Imagine the anguish of their families, who can say nothing in the Police State.1

Recently, body bags started turning up on a lake that borders Rwanda and Burundi, see here. Now, we have confirmation that the body bags originated in Rwanda. It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that they contain the disappeared from Rwanda, whose families will never be able to investigate this heinous evil because to do so would mean the end of their lives as well. A crude Google translation of this story shows the palpable fear on the Rwandan side of the border:

Rwandan fishermen were more reserved: they recognized that it is the Kagera who was carrying the body but when asked where is this river and many answers become a little elusive. They stammer unclear answers and do not hide that they are afraid.

The fears of farmers and fishermen Rwandan side

RFI went up the Kagera River and several canoes approached the Rwandan side. We headed to a dozen straw huts planted among fields of beans and sweet potatoes.

Suddenly we see people rushing into their huts and others running away. The guide is amazed and says these Rwandans are usually very welcoming. He then shows us two men who are likely to speak to us.

After ten minutes spent persuade them, they end up admitting that the Rwandan authorities have passed the previous day, ie Friday. They would have forbidden to speak to Burundian journalists. We promise not to disclose their names. So they begin to explain what they saw.

“I saw and spend twenty bags”

The youngest, aged 20-25 years, says that he saw the first bodies down the course of Kagera in mid-July. ”  Initially, we saw many bags packed, we did not dare touch it , he said. Someone here has said that this could be a product that would sell. This catch one. When he opened the bag, it was the horror, there was a corpse inside. We closed the bag and discarded the body in the stream. O n did not want trouble with the authorities ” , he assures, explaining as he saw and spend twenty bag alone. 

The second man said that it showed that it was the work of a specialist. These bodies were, he said, a hood over his head. They legs folded, attached so that the thighs touched bust. The arms were also tied behind the back and the same rope was wrapped around her neck.

Finally the other inhabitants of this locality Rwanda joined us. Scared, they recognized that these bodies came from off the inside of Rwanda. But ”  we do not know what is happening  “, they all assured.

Will PEAR USA say anything about this? Will Anglicans in Rwanda dare to question what is going on?

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  1. See this post also. 

Leah Karegeya on Rwandan Anglicans

The widow of Patrick Karegeya is Leah Karegeya. She just gave an interview where she exhibits the grace of the Gospel in how she treats her husband’s executioner, Paul Kagame, and his henchmen in Rwanda. The interview is located here. She calls out Rwandan Anglican Antoine Rutayisire for his friendship with a wicked tyrant:

JF: Tell me about Paul Kagame. How would you describe him today versus the man you knew years ago?

LK: I personally have no words to describe Kagame but I think he said it all himself when he told a journalist, “God made him in a strange way.”  How do you define someone who has stolen your property, revoked your citizenship, fabricated  lies and crimes about you and as if that is not enough, murders your husband? There is no human description I have for Kagame but this is what I know and believe; God did not create anyone to kill, to steal and or destroy his people. There is a scripture in the bible that gives me an idea of who he may be, but wise and Godly people should debate to know who he is exactly.

The scripture is John 10:10, which says, “The thief comes to lie, to kill, to steal and to destroy,” referring to the devil.  Kagame perfectly practices these three elements, which qualifies him to be either a devil or someone acting directly on his behalf. His wise friends Rick Warren and Antoine should tell us better because clearly they should know the difference between good and bad.

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

She also exhibits a great deal of mercy for the Anglicans who applauded the maniacal Kagame this January, when he boasted of killing her husband:

JF: President Kagame also made some vicious remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast regarding the death of Patrick. How would you respond to Kagame in regards to these remarks?

LK: The speech was awful, disgusting and embarrassing to those that still have human hearts. It has to be indeed a strange human being to murder another human being and at the same time be proud of it.  Moreover, standing on holy ground, where people are gathered to worship their creator and make such evil remarks.

How can one preach about killing in a place of worship? Kagame is not God; he does not get to go on determining who should live and who should die. To me, this is far from human sanity. Besides, it is one thing to sin but entirely a different thing to be proud of it and expose it yourself before the entire world!  It is human nature to hide one’s sins but it is sociopathic to boast about ones sins in a prayer breakfast. I believe, like the blood of Abel in the bible that haunted his murderous brother Cain, so is the blood of my husband to Kagame. This I believe is what triggered him into confession and surely, it still does considering what he has done since the death of my husband.

I simply sympathize with the listeners that day who were forced to clap their hands for such remarks and I wonder if he believes he received genuine praise or a mere wish to have another day to live.

Applauding a Madman

Applauding a Madman

Finally, she is asked about forgiving the murderer, Paul Kagame:

JF: You are a woman of faith and God commands those to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Do you think you will ever be able to forgive President Kagame?

LK: Yes, I can because the scripture demands me to do it and clearly If I do not I will keep myself in captivity.  Another reason is that when I think deeply I realize that Kagame did not know what he was doing, as Jesus said.  Kagame believed that killing my husband would deliver some peace and consolidation of his power, he lied to himself.  What I know is that my husband is at peace where he is while Kagame is more at war with himself and many others as never before. I guess it is worse to fight with the dead considering what he is doing today to those who are so called “loyal” to him. That makes me consider again leaving the matter to the Lord.

Having said that, I cannot lie to you and say that it is easy, more especially because the death of my husband remains fresh in us as if it happened yesterday and Kagame is a constant reminder which keeps it fresh in our minds.  The bible states clearly that what is impossible to man is possible with God, this includes forgiveness. It will take time and it will be a long process but where there is a will there is always away and i know that it is in the will of God that I forgive.

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