Thursday, January 23, 2014
The Gays Did It...They Always Do It
I'll never understand obsessive homophobes.
In Syria, Bashir Assad is determined to hold onto power for himself and his dynasty at all costs. Al Qaeda not only wants to overthrow him, but to realize their dream of a reviving a mythic unified Caliphate of all the (Sunni) Muslim faithful at all costs. Both Assad and Al Qaeda between them have made Syria into a hell for its inhabitants.
International corporations in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia bulldoze their way into local cultures, extract natural resources with all the profits going to themselves and to whatever warlord claims the leasing rights, and spoil the local environment and reduce the local populations to de facto slavery.
The global financial industry arrogantly thumbs its nose at national governments while transforming the international system for raising business capital into a vast casino where the house always wins. In the meantime, its machinations moving money around in ever more opaque schemes continue to impoverish millions around the world.
Mexican drug gangs murder each other and anyone who inconveniences their efforts to supply the insatiable American demand for narcotics. The huge market for a decadent luxury good in the American Empire creates death and misery for thousands of people in Mexico.
All the world is caught up in a merry dance of greed, power, death, and trade that leaves millions poor, injured, or dead; a world where everyone, even its rulers, is ultimately expendable; a world where everything and everyone is just so much trash.
And yet despite all that, the one thing that we are supposed to believe pisses off God more than anything else is what two boys or two girls like to do with each other on a Saturday night. We are supposed to believe that God overlooks Bashir Assad and so many rulers like him who eat children and drink blood, that God takes most offense at two young cowboys taking a roll together in a saddle blanket. Somehow God overlooks drug smugglers worshipping an idol of gold and death while they murder and intimidate local populations into submission and collaboration; and yet God sends snowstorms, drought, and hurricanes against states that recognize same sex families.
I'm convinced that these obsessive homophobes project their own fathers onto the cosmos and call them God. They assign sexual minorities the same role that they once assigned Jews a century ago; as a living embodiment of everything they fear and hate about modernity and liberalism. They're not just mad at us, they are mad at everything that they see standing behind us from cosmopolitanism to feminism. Nothing so threatens their hierarchical model of the cosmos more than two men pleasuring each other (especially when they penetrate each other), or two women who prefer pleasuring each other to any man, or that some men and women figure out that masculine and feminine are not biological assignments but cultural constructs that can be easily deconstructed, or that any man or woman could realize that the gender assigned to them by biology might be mistaken. The very idea that all these things are just natural variations somehow is too much to bear ( and massacring thousands upon thousands somehow is not).
The political, social, and cultural success of gays and lesbians in the West (and elsewhere) is awakening expectations among sexual minorities around the world. This deeply threatens guardians of a masculine hierarchy who react with growing hysteria and violence.
Expectations are awakening among sexual minorities in Africa, and much of central Africa is reacting with paranoia and violence stoked by active interference and financing from far-right Americans. The very far right religious agenda may no longer have much popular support in North America or Europe, but it has bottomless pockets from ample funding by right wing billionaires in Texas and California. They are using Africa as a "laboratory" for their Dominionist ideology with every intention of exporting it back to North America. They exploit lingering colonial resentments in Africa while aiding and abetting Western corporations who wish to extract Africa's mineral and timber wealth.
Nigeria recently passed anti-gay laws on top of laws that already prohibit gay marriage and gay sexual activity. Being gay is already a criminal offense in Nigeria punishable by 14 years imprisonment. Under the new laws, providing services and accommodation to gays, forming gay organizations, any gay PDA, is now punishable by 10 years in prison. HIV and AIDS related services will have to close up shop under the new law. Hospitals and clinics cannot treat known homosexuals under the new law.
There is still legislation pending in the Ugandan parliament that would make it a criminal offense punishable by prison time not to report to the government homosexuals.
Muslim clerics have joined Anglican and Catholic bishops in both of these countries in supporting these new laws; laws passed through tears of national resentment, and yet are based on colonial era laws from over a century ago imposed by the British.
In the face of all this, it seems a small thing to demand that the leaders of the Church of England speak out about what is taking place in a former British colony. But it does matter. The moral credibility of the Western churches is dropping like a brick in the wake of criminal pedophilia scandals, cover-ups, sensational corruption scandals, and stands on women and sexual minorities that seem to a growing public not just archaic, but morally offensive.
For the archbishops to speak out on these laws would tell the world that they care more about people than institutional preservation; more about the Gospel than about appeasement.
Those of you out there who are Episcopalian or Anglican (and those of you who are not) please sign this petition to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to speak out against the new laws in Nigeria, and against homophobia throughout the world.
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria endorses the new law.
Nigeria's Muslim north is taking the law much further. A Sharia court in the city of Bauchi will put 11 men on trial for their lives for belonging to a gay organization after a mob demanded that they be stoned to death.
All you good Christian people who are defending "traditional marriage," you are on the same side as these folks, and also these folks. I'm not out to declare you guilty by association. I'm urging you to rethink your position. Do you really want these folks agreeing with you on this issue? And if they do agree with you, then maybe there might be something terribly wrong with your position.
Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, January 23, 2014