In an interview with Aleitea.org, Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, denounced what he called the “cultural imperialism” of the United States while he also opined that Democratic Party presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton panders to “whatever audiences she is speaking to.”
 
In the interview, the cardinal said of the former senator and Secretary of State, “She is seeking election in America so you can expect that, like most politicians, she will say just about anything to pander to the thoughts of whatever audience she is speaking to.  So I really think that Hillary Clinton is just speaking for votes, rather than speaking for reason.”
 
In the wide-ranging interview, the cardinal also spoke to issues such as the insurgency in Nigeria that is being led by the Boko Haram terrorists, as well as demands from the West to assert specific rights for homosexuals, lesbians, and others who are defined by their sexuality. On April 28, in a Vatican Radio interview, he was also outspoken in condemning industrialized countries for seeking to impose environmental controls on poorer nations.
 
In the Aletheia interview, Cardinal Onaiyekan said of Clinton, I believe there are three groups of people in this world: those who believe in God, those who do not believe in God, and those who think they are gods. Hillary Clinton I think is one of those who thinks she is a god. And I’m not obliged to believe that.”
 
It was on April 23 that Clinton told a group of supporters in New York City that religious institutions must change their views about abortion so as to be consonant with those held by feminists and pro-abortion groups. Said Clinton, “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper.” She added, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.” Clinton explained,“And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”
 
Speaking to Clinton’s assertions, Cardinal Onaiyekan said, From the way she spoke, people like herself very clearly don’t want to hear anything about God. Even if they say they believe in God, they really don’t.  It’s evident even in her language: she talks about “deep seated cultural codes”. I feel she’s gotten too wrapped up in technology and has stopped realizing that there are values, there are things that are innate to people, that are not just “codes” that can be taken up and thrown out.”
 
The Nigerian churchman said that Clinton has no right to demand changes in religious values and beliefs. “We talk about the dignity of life, the sanctity of life, etc. Is she saying they ought to be changed? Well, I don’t know what she is talking about. What are human beings going to change to? We are saying that there is something innate in us as Africans that makes us Africans.  And I am saying that God, in His infinite wisdom — which I think might be a little bit more than Hillary Clinton’s — decided to create us in these forms to add to the beauty of his creation. So those who work to have one generalized, undifferentiated world certainly don’t know the meaning of beauty, which is found in variety, in color.”
 
The cardinal called on Americans to look more closely at the type of person who could become the next president of the United States. 
 
In the interview, the cardinal also spoke to the appointment of Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT persons. He said, “I think the appointment of Randy [Berry] just shows how little the current US administration respects the democratic values it seems to preach, especially when they preach them abroad.” The cardinal affirmed solemnly that homosexuals have a right to life,  but “If the current American government is investing so much effort in appointing a special envoy to promote what it calls the “rights” of homosexuals and gays and the rest of it, as I have always said, I think there is a mix-up between what are actually “rights”, and what are behaviors. And human behaviors cannot be put on the same level as human rights.”
 
Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed confidence in the ability of the new government of Nigeria to address the murderous Boko Haram insurgency. He said, “Much has changed now. The Nigerian army recovered so much territory from Boko Haram, arrested so many and freed up so much space that people are able to continue activities in very many areas. In fact, in many areas where we thought elections could never be held, elections we successfully held.” But, he added, Boko Haram is not dead. And the danger is particularly acute given that ISIS has linked up with Boko Haram. In fact, it would seem that Boko Haram has modified its name now to relate to ISIS. However, I think that if the civilized world decides that terrorism is going to be eliminated, it can be eliminated, if there is sincerity and commitment.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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