The first time the average un-molested Nigerian is confronted with homosexuality is in secondary school at an age where gender confusion is common and sexual orientation may be blurred. Their only ammunition being what’s been taught on the pulpit by their spiritual leaders or the feelings of shame that accompany any expression of sexuality at that age. For many, experimentation is the driving force. It is usually outgrown, but for the few who don’t ‘outgrow’ a love for the same sex, they are faced with inner conflict, shame, religious crisis and a stigma even worse than the HIV virus.
I remember hearing about two Nollywood movies where homosexuality was the main theme and the general reaction to them was comical. The stars were bashed thoroughly and guys threatened to beat up one of the actors especially, for ‘enjoying’ his role a bit too much. Without doubt, Nigerians are homophobic!
Over the years I have read many stories. From the Nigerian boy in Germany who took a husband, to the few oddballs speaking up for gay rights in Nigeria who have been terrorised, some needing to seek refuge outside the shores of Nigeria, to the weekly City people gossip on what top-shot is gay or not in our society. Nigerians have embraced every part of the Western civilisation but deep down have crowned themselves better than the rest of the world since they have continuously resisted homosexuality. Does that truly make us better?
I’m not sure what the Islamic laws on homosexuality are but the Christians leave no question about it! Our God frowns at homosexuality. He sees it as despicable. If He came down to earth, He would first rain fire down on all the gay people and then the terrorists and probably the corrupt politicians stealing Nigeria’s money and then perhaps, if there was still some fire left, He would then throw a little spark at every other sinner in the world but really is that how He operates?
The bible says in James 2:10-11 ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker…’
Why do people decide to isolate one sin and judge it with such hatred when for the most part every time that sin is brought up in the bible it is listed amongst an array of others ranging from fornication and pride to drunkenness and witchcraft? Yes, our religious sensibilities are insulted by the thought of homosexuality but have we ever stopped to wonder about the excuse it affords us to be cruel to another human being? Do we ever ask ourselves what would Jesus do if he walked amongst us? Surely he must have met some homosexuals in his time since the sin is as old as the city of Sodom, dating long before Christ was born.
The story of the adulterous woman is worthy of note. In John 8:7b Jesus said: ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her’. In verse 11, He said neither do I condemn you… He never held back showing love to all those who were outcasts in society. He was accused of dining with sinners, walking with rejects and misfits and basically shunning societal norms but He demonstrated more love to these people than they had ever known. Matthew
7:1 says ‘Judge not that you be not judged’. Verse 3 says ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log that is in your own?’
For some reason, human beings seek validation by bringing into focus the sins of others. I believe it makes theirs seem a little less awful. As the world has been consumed with ‘righteous anger’ over these people, I sit back and wonder ‘where is the love?’. God hates sin-no doubt, we should too, but didn’t He send his only son to die on the cross for sinners? Would you, holy as you are, let your son die in the place of a criminal even if you knew you had the power to bring him back? I guess not!
Dear friend, who made you ‘the avenger’? When did we become bullies in the school yard who pick on those different from us? Are we any better than the Ku Klux Klan who used extreme violence to achieve their goals of racial segregation?
Homosexuality is not an illness so why the homophobia if you can’t catch it from them? If you fear you may be a target and hence justify being on the offensive, look at the mating ritual, a proposition is made to you, if you are not interested you decline and move on. It ain’t that hard. People have been jailed, brutalised, attacked, vandalised, assaulted, cussed at, shunned, criticised, stigmatised and murdered just because they were different. Why don’t you allow every man the opportunity to face his maker and account for the life he has lived? Why take matters into your own hands?
14 years in jail if you ask me is a bit harsh. Armed robbers walk free, corruption is swept under the carpet. Rape cases are dismissed. This issue is as old as time. As far as I’m concerned, all they were saying was keep being gay in secret, if you rub it in our faces, you go to jail! I’ve heard of stories of people who committed suicide because they couldn’t deny the feelings they had and I know that before these people ‘come out of the closet’, they struggle and struggle with these feelings, trying to suppress, deny, rebuke and reject them, very aware of the effect it would have on their lives. People around them have tried to save them, from prayers to ‘deliverance’ to psychotherapy to shock-therapy to forced marriage to forced sex with the opposite sex but all these people have gotten from the saving is a broken spirit and a scarred soul.
Nigerians have a right to refuse to pass a same sex marriage bill and I’m in support of that, if we condone it who knows what would be next, maybe a bestiality marriage bill may be the next topic, not to say that the two are comparable but becoming a wholly permissive society may not be in our best interest and it is our right to protect the moral standing of the nation and give our children a future not thoroughly exploited by New Age ideas but what is truly in our hearts? Are our hearts filled with trepidation and fear? Is there intense hatred in our hearts? People fear what they do not understand but surely it is not an excuse to be cruel. Jesus asked us to love our neighbours as ourselves. He didn’t add ‘except they are different from you or sinners!’. The British even threatened to sanction us and I smiled when I read this. We are no longer under their rule, without doubt we still need them but who died and made them king? In Nigeria’s defence and this is from a non-religious angle, we have always been conservative and guided by norms and traditions that the rest of the world would never understand. It is a taboo in our culture, I asked my friend’s grandpa who is ancient and he confirmed that. Commendably, Nigerians are becoming aware that not everything the world sells to us must be bought but isn’t it hypocritical that men love lesbians and have great fantasies of girl on girl action but shudder at any guy on guy action? Isn’t it saddening that men who believe they can cure a lesbian by raping her till she appreciates the supremacy of the male genitalia are allowed to go scot free? I read about some incidences in South africa and they were from a lesbian’s perspective and I shed tears for her because there’s never a reason to rape or assault another human being.
I am not condoning sin as my bible states that it is, but i have had my own personal struggles with other sins and I don’t see how judging or hating or discriminating someone else would atone for my seemingly lesser sins. I am a true Nigerian and it is ingrained in my genetic encoding that this act is taboo but all I’m really trying to say here is that our manner of approach is all wrong. There’s so much hatred and pain in the world already, why add some more to an overflowing cup? Are we speaking the truth in love? No religion gives you an excuse to be cruel to your fellow man. Because you offer a bit of kindness to a man in need doesn’t mean you partake of his sin or lifestyle. Let us be kinder and less judgemental. If your child confessed to be gay would you make it your life’s ambition to ‘cure’ him even if it killed him or would you save yourself the hassle and murder him like Marvin Gaye’s father did in ‘righteous rage’? or would your heart grow cold and cease to love him because of his sexual orientation? Don’t be a Pharisee! Heal the world. Love covers a multitude of sins, what would Jesus do?
For my friend T, who ‘gingered’ me to write on this highly controversial topic. 😉
Have a lovely day peeps…xoxoxo 😉 🙂 😉