Saturday, January 18, 2014

Anti-Gay Law...Roundtable Discussion

  • Here's a transcript of a Facebook discussion on the subject of the Nigerian anti-gay law.

  • Interestingly, there seems to be a nexus between the countries that are tolerant to basic gay rights and progress, attractiveness (top immigration choices), harmonious living and general freedoms (Canada, Australia, SA, USA, Netherlands...); while on the other hand, countries with homophobic laws either have their economies in shambles, there is religious intolerance, even straight people are generally not free, there is war or rumors of war, and they are not choice immigration spots...Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Qatar.... Just wondering why...
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    • Niyi Agunbiade and Oladapo Ajibola like this.
    • OA Its really obvious. Intolerance undermines society
    • OA Sharing
    • RP Ocho, I hate to disagree with you, but I am not so sure the analogy is legitimate. There is a general progression of these advanced countries, which you mentioned, which is not really connected to the sole issue of homosexuality. The progression is as such - Industrialization, economic advancement, political democratization, political liberalization, focus on secularism, rigid adherence to the concepts of evolution as opposed to creation and God, hostility to God and deitial precepts, consequent hostility to products of religious adherence, which in turn means a laissez-faire approach to previously proscribed/unacceptable practices like adultery, pre-marital sex, parental discipline of children, and yes issues like homosexuality. It is a societal-progression thing. There are some societies like Singapore and Malaysia, which have advanced economically, but still stick to some of the cultural/religious beliefs of a less advanced society, and there are also parts of the U.S., which have stuck to these religious precepts. It is true that those parts of the U.S. tend to be the parts with the ugliest history of violence and discrimination, but my point is not to argue on behalf of any one side. I'm simply respectfully suggesting that a liberal approach to homosexuality comes as part of a cultural evolution, and is not necessarily a direct factor. The issue of the cultural evolution is complex..some would say it is a bad thing. Some would say black people would still be in chains if not for it. Still it is worth while to remember that it was not philosophers or cultural commentators, but the Christian element of the REPUBLICAN party, that ended slavery, back in the day. The issue is a complex one, but I think in life, anything taken too far, anything without balance or restraint, whether rights pertaining to abortion, children out of wedlock or homosexuality, has devastatingly negative consequences in the long run. Still, the reality is that with the wide range of problems confronting many of these less-advanced socieities, it would be nice if they would apply the same vigour in stamping out corruption and advancing basic citizen needs, to that used in re-proscribing homosexuality. Their anti-homosexuality efforts seem somewhat disproportionate and misplaced, and in most cases, are more of an effort to solidify flagging political fortunes.The usual scapegoat mentality.
    • EIt's really laughable. To think that in spite of all the wanton corruption and abject poverty plaguing the citizens of the so-called 'anti-gay' countries, they would rather vigorously engage in the enactment of such anti-gay laws with the speed of light; whereas the people continue to wallow in penury and unquantifiable hardship with no laws protecting them and their basic human needs, baffles me. I'm befuddled to say the least. 

      My question is: when would the lawmakers and the president enact a law to ostracize corruption, and the aggrandizement of public funds?
    • SG Correlates with the archaic, non progressive, retrogressive, corrupt oppressive ways of these societies
    • AS Ollie, I also do not disagree with you. You points on general progression or lack of it in some societies and appropriate rigor based on priorities are the exact reason for the post and those two points are my case here, more or less.
    • RP Fair enough, Ocho-Baba. But my more subtle point is to assess the overall consequences of the advancement in the long run, rather than in the short term Some would argue that in this next century, the European continent is going into decay in many different aspects, not least of all, economically AND scientifically, while countries like Singapore, Malaysia and China are coming into ascendancy. So although there seems to be a nexus that favours the approach of these advanced societies in general, and consequently, towards homosexuality, my point is that we probably have not seen the end of the story yet. The consequences are still unfolding. I myself am simply not sure. But I think we would do well to take a look at the Ancient Romans and Greeks, and what happened to their empires. These things are cyclical.  Respect, my bro.
    • SS R u supporting gay n homosexuality?,...
    • AS No I'm not. But I would not send them to jail either.
    • SS Sorr to disagree wit u...but dy shld b sent to jail so dy dont eat deep into d tenets of our society,culture n also religion...
    • SG What tenets remain of this society? What can be worse than all the ritual killings and extra judicial killings and blind stealing by the 'vested interests'? 200 houses in dubai with other people's money???
    • NMMos of the anti-gay countries are in Africa. Goes to show how twisted our governments's priorities are and how intolerant we are of those different to us. Why should it bother the government who ppl sleep with? Ocho you have been to CT a couple of times. Did the fact that Cape Town is regarded as Africa's gay capital make you uneasy at any point?
    • SS @ george: Yeah! we r in an ill society full of sin n sinfull pple but does dat giv us a reason to add more salt to injury n go against Gods word???
    • AS  You nailed it P Nolubabalo Mbophane and Sotee George
    • NM So Sherifat Yahaya Shuaib you mean to tell us you dont sin or your sins are smaller compared to the ones committed by gay people. Who are we to judge ?
    • SS Madam Nolu i didnt infer anyone is above sin...pls re-read wat i wrote
    • RP It is more complicated than an issue of 'Judge not, lest ye be judged', or 'He who is without sin should cast the first stone'. God said we shouldn't judge, but he said we should obey his law, for our part. Obviously virtually no human being can obey all God's Laws, but we still charged to STRIVE to do so. Thus, every society must have basic standards. The fact that there is a complete decay of the political, economic and social framework in most African countries doesn't mean we should throw up our hands and say 'well therefore, ANYTHING goes'. The fact that African countries haven't advanced to the economic/scientific level of the west, doesn't mean we should advance in some of the other aspects of the culture, which the average African is not comfortable with, for cultural, religious or moral reasons. I don't say gay people should be thrown in jail, because that in itself is wrong, but those people who don't believe it is an acceptable practice should not be castigated, either, or labelled as 'hateful'. If you are gay, you should be left alone to live your life as you wish, but I don't want it rammed down my throat, as something that I MUST accept as normal. People who chose to live the gay lifestyle have made a choice, to disregard the laws of God, for whatever reason. That is THEIR choice. Those of us who think it is wrong, have a right to our opinions, whether the society we live in is imperfect in other ways or not. Some of us are all at the point of having kids now. I am concerned about the situation in most of the 'advanced' countries, specifically where I live, where your kid is in school, being taught things that are specifically contrary to God's word. It is a trade-off, essentially, economic well-being, for dispensing with all your religious principles. And again, as someone who is at the point of beginning to raise kids in the west, this is a huge, huge, huge concern for me. And I believe there is nothing wrong with me being concerned...just as I believe there is nothing wrong with an African living in Africa, being concerned about where things are headed, and reacting to put a stop to it. The fact that we are wallowing in a large amount of sins and failure, doesn't mean we must wallow in ALL sins and failure.
    • SS Ocho the only ground on which I beg differ from your argument is that the western countries you mentioned developed long before they started accepting gay marriage and homosexuality. So their acceptance or not of gay has no correlation with their advacement and development.
    • NM The point is we need to embrace diversity and tolerate ppl that have different preferences to ours. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your kids values you live by. You have no right to decide who the neighbours kid choose to marry or have an intimate relationship with. The only time you should be involved if it affects your family. I have often heard ppl say some African countries are not "cultured enough" which is something i fail to understand even now.
    • AS But Ollie, I am not God's police. And HE asked me not only to tolerate, but to Love all human beings. My concern once again is why should this be a jail-able offence? Is it based on religious premise? Whose religion? There is a difference between not accepting or formalizing gay relationships and making it a civil offence to be in one.
    • RP @ Nolubabalo - Sure we should tolerate people who have diverse lifestyles and viewpoints, but THEY should also tolerate us, understand that our belief systems are fundamentally different, and realize that this is a better case of 'Live and Let Live.' However, the reality is that the governments of western 'advanced' countries are now FORCING kids to accept things contrary to people's faith, and prosecuting people for 'hate speech' for quoting the Bible and what the Bible says on homosexuality. This is a terrifying reality for those who are Christians in the west, and I can certainly understand how an African government might look at this trend in the west, and overreact in the other direction. I don't excuse that conduct, but that is what happens when you try to force strange things down people's throats. Further, in response to your point, it does in fact affect MY family, if I and the Church (well SOME Churches) are teaching my kid something, and the government is ramming down something strange and contrary to my faith, down their throat. I don't want to control who others marry, but i don't want my children to be forced to believe that living contrary to God's law, is ok. @Ocho, like I said from the beginning, I am not advocating jail for anyone. There is a difference between matters between you and God, and matters of law and order. I love all human beings, but I take the laws of God more seriously than being politically correct or diverse.I am a sinner, but I accept that I am a sinner, and I accept when I do wrong. But once a Christian starts making arguments AGAINST what God has specified VERY clearly in his book, then it is hard to say you believe in God. I have a friend who says he is Christian, but he does not believe in the Bible. That is incongruous and anachronistic. My point is that you can't eat your cake and have it, spiritually speaking. Jesus ate with mainly sinners, NOT people who were following his word, and thus had no need of him. But he NEVER told the sinners that what they were doing was ok. That is the difference. Today, we are being FORCED to say it is ok to live in sin. If you commit adultery or steal or whatever, you KNOW it is wrong..but if you engage in homosexuality, this is ok? Sorry, I will NEVER accept that, or otherwise said, the day I accept that, is the day I will formally renounce Christianity and stop calling myself a Christian. But I do accept that it is between the person and God, NOTHING to do with me, unless you try to ram it down my throat. But essentially you and I have no disagreement on the issue of jail. We are saying the same thing. People should NOT be put in jail for being gay. That is absolutely abominable and reprehensible.
    • NM If only half the energy wasted fighting homosexuality to ensure laws against corruption, human and drug trafficking Im almost sure Africa will be a better place.
    • SS If only half the time and energy we have all expendend on this matter had bee used to educate our neighbours on positive values Nigeria would probably be on path to greatness.
    • KO Ernest Bhabor - You hit the nail on the head...2x like
    • EThat's the sad reality bro!
    • MS I agree with you all.
    • AS Ollie the last sentence of your post is what this thread is really about. It's not about whether it is morally or spiritually wrong but whether we should make it a criminal offense punishable by jail.
    • RP Maybe for you and me, Ocho, but from the comments I have seen on this thread, I don't think everyone looks at it that way. 
    • AS Plus, in sub Saharan Africa, we tend to expend time and resources chasing the rat while nudging the elephant in the room to get off our paths as we do so.
    • EB Bottom line, in my opinion, Africans and their so-called leaders should be more preoccupied with achieving 'real independence' from the shackles of woeful socio-economic upheavals. I'll personally support any government that promulgate laws to stamp out corruption, tribalism and nepotism, disregard for the rule of law, and also the elevation of our brothers and sisters out of squalor. I'm not interested in who is sleeping with who, or with what ... That's none of my business. 

      My concern is about my friends, relatives and neighbors all across Africa who die every day from lack, from diseases that are preventable, and who are jobless even with several degrees eked with sweat and blood; whereas a gang of brigands loot the public fund and live in opulence. Those in government need to be held accountable. The judicial system needs a overhaul. The legislative system too. The police needs fixing. Tons of areas need fixing. Where are the laws that will bring the changes our people crave? How does a law outlawing homosexuality bring succor to the downtrodden? How does that provide food, shelter, health care, etc, for the masses? Frankly, this is nothing but a distraction from the real issues if you ask me.
    • RP Ocho, I don't think the fact that you have an elephant in the room means that you should ignore all the rats, and pretend they don't exist. If you do that, by the time you get rid of the elephant, the rat epidemic might be insurmountable. You do whatever you can, whenever you can.
    • KO rats, cats, elephants...can we just get good people who have a heart for truth and justice to fight for the common guy in places of leadership and power?..or is the wine of power in Nigeria so strong that it intoxicates all who drink of its cup?.
    • RP Most good people will never have the connections to get to such positions, because venality is a pre-requisite to power. However, when the few good people like Ribadu try to make a change, they get fired. Others get killed by hired assassins. So the answer to your question, Karl, is 'YES' the wine of power is so strong that it will always corrupt and intoxicate.
    • EB Karl Omatsola, that is my point exactly!

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