Following a strong debate on GLBT rights in Uganda,my online friend sent me this note and I thought,though am not mentioning his names,I thought it will be good for my online communities to read it to. Below is my reply to him.
"Thank you for your commenting about gay rights i never even thought of the perception of many people.thanx to facebook now i have a broad mind .my work as a teacher has made me confront gays and i have expelled some boys in an effort to curb this vice.so what is the way forward?? how should we handle gays in Uganda?"
Thank you sir--, for your email.
1 You made a big mistake for expelling those boys based on your concept of "vice." A century ago, Webster's defined vice as such:
2. A moral fault or failing; especially, immoral conduct or habit, as in the indulgence of degrading appetites; customary deviation in a single respect, or in general, from a right standard, implying a defect of natural character, or the result of training and habits; a harmful custom; immorality; depravity; wickedness; as, a life of vice; the vice of intemperance. [1913 Webster]
"Immorality; depravity; wickedness," -- right out of the Old Testament.
What I would like for you to do is to find all those you expelled and bring them to a meeting so that you can apologise for what you did, in the mistaken belief that they were wrong and you were right, based on old European superstitious beliefs. Meantime, Europe has, for the most part, thrown off the shackles of Christianity--but we, the colonialised, have not.
As a human rights activist, I see the value in people's brains--or minds--that need to be educated as much as possible. If all these boys did was to show affection, or sexual affection, to one another (which is far better than boys fighting and injuring one another), then your actions were very harmful and unjust.
I would like to attend this meeting so that all of us, you, me and the expelled boys, can discuss what human rights is, the value of education, and the harm done by religious beliefs.
At the end of the meeting, I hope that the boys can be returned to school to finish their education, and because they were victims of discrimination based on religious belief, they will make a commitment to devoting the rest of their lives to reforming Uganda toward a more secular nation.
In David Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it is stated: "This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic."
Notice how the word recognises is spelt with a "z". That's because this bill was written up by Americans, by members of The Family, a radical Christian group in Washington, D.C.
There are at least 1,860,000 men and women in Uganda who are 100% homosexual. A larger, additional percentage are bisexuals. All these people are oppressed because of religion, the condemnations of same-sex affection expressed by the European god in the Old Testament and St Paul in the New Testament. To the fundamentalists, the literalists, St Paul is as much of a god as is Jesus.
It is claimed by religious gays that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. In a literal sense, that is correct, but Jesus (a fictious character, not an historic figure), said the following in Matthew, Chapter 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true.
5:18 Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with -- not until the end of all things.
We have in the Good News Bible, 1976, Leviticus 18:22 No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.
In the American Standard Version, 1901, this interpretation reads: "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
In theocracies, such as Uganda, if there is to be a discussion on homosexuality, it must be condemnatory. This gives people like MP David Bahati permission to advocate total genocide or elimination of all gay people. The Bible tells him so.
To speak in favour of human rights, including the rights of people who were born gay or bisexual, is to go against Biblical condemnation. In other words, people like me are regarded as evil or Satanic because I'm going against "God's Will."
Elsewhere in the Bible, this European god destroys whole communities that go against his will.
So religious people are filled with fear to speak the opposite of what is stated in the Bible. And this is why the topic of homosexuality is taboo--except for ministers of religion and ardent religionists like Bahati who must condemn gay people.
What is so promising, however, is that the science and technology which lead to the development of the Internet and facilitated easy communication, is breaking this taboo.
In Europe's Medieval Ages, there was no science. Finding facts through scientific methodology didn't develop in until Francis Bacon.
What is the scientific method? From Wikipedia:
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.
Who is Francis Bacon? From Wikipedia:
Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.
As opposed to Bahati's condemnation of millions of Ugandans (including all those who actively support equal rights of all citizens), an inquiry amongst the people of Uganda to explain their sexual attactions, all will tell you that they discovered themselves based on how their body and mind responded to certain individuals. In probably the majority of the population, that response will be toward the opposite sex, but in a large minority, individuals find themselves responding to members of both sexes. And in a minority--about 6%--the response is exclusively toward the same sex.
Sexual attraction is not a matter of will or of good character. It is genetically-based responses. The "right woman" is not based on a formula you developed when you were an adolescent. Your attractions are not based on a list of intellectual or physical expectations of a woman. In fact, your responses are based only on emotions--some part of your brain is turned on by the right facial and body features, which is what an individual discovers. "Wow, when I saw that tall, slightly plump woman--my heart went crazy!" Emotional response directed by the brain--which behavioural scientists are still analysing.
It matters not whether a man is in a whole village filled with young ladies, if his brain responds to a member of the same sex, there's nothing he can do about it. That's part of his genetic make-up. He cannot will a change any more than a black man can change himself into an albino, or a short man into a tall man. We must accept who we are, and we must demand that society accept our neighbours, our brothers and sisters, just as they are.
The discrimination against gay men and lesbians is no less painful than what blacks experienced in racist South Africa, or the Deep South in America. Discrimination based on something one cannot change is very painful. It can destroy a person's will to apply effort toward reaching his maximum potential. This is understandable because any effort toward self-development will be destroyed by the bigots around him. This results in a tragic loss for Uganda. Gay people, like straight people, have considerable value. We must protect and nourish their abilities to contribute to their own happiness and the betterment of Uganda.
Bahati, and most ministers of religion, are destroying Uganda by destroying the lives of millions of people--turning ordinarily happy people into frightened and despressed people because of colonialism--because of adhering to the cruel and superstitious writings of the European holy book.
I know about discrimination because of my being an indigenous African who sees every day how Indians and Europeans are treated with respect and given preferential treatment here in Kampala by National Resistance Movement, while we indigenous Africans are treated like dirt--in our own country! From there, I see how women are treated brutally by men, treated with contempt by men. So from there, I see how gays and lesbians are treated with even greater contempt by the larger religious-heterosexual society.
As our national motto says: "For God and My Country." Is Uganda my country when I'm treated like a second-class citizen because I'm indigenous African? Is Uganda the country of people who were born homosexuals? Of course not. Bahati wants to kill them. Others want all homosexuals to leave--like Adolf Hitler wanted all Jews to leave Europe. But the world, at the time, didn't want more Jews in their country, so Hitler's staff developed methods of exterminating Jews, homosexuals, Roma, trade unionists, and others. This is what Bahati has in mind--and so do most member of Parliament.
And where does all this red-hot hatred come from? Again, American colonialism that most Ugandans are mindlessly embracing. This hatred comes from America's right-wing Christians--the same fascists we can read about in Germany's Third Reich.
In other words, we're not for the people in this nation, we're for something that doesn't even exist! A European god. And we punish so many solely because they aren't superstitious. Again, as an atheist, I know the pain of being a rational person with an appreciation of science in a nation that has only a 50% literacy rate, while the Christians are behaving exactly like the Islamists they so self-righteously condemn!
There's not a dime's worth of difference between Islamists and fundamentalist Christians (Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Baptists). So, in our meeting with the boys you expelled, we will discuss the source of bigotry and hatred in Uganda. This can be our beginning to reverse Uganda's march to persecution, if not genocide, of a harmless minority group. We will discuss the importance of education and to devote our lives to human rights and freedom from oppression. I hope to read another reply from you.