8/21/2008

OK, Enlighten Me on the Uganda Homosexual thing....

The Anglican Journal posted an article today with the headline, "Ugandan Anglican leaders support president's speech on gay issue." So the President is against homosexuality. So is the Church of Uganda. It was a happy occasion, a consecration of a new bishop, with the President in attendance. And some profoundly warped collusion took place, the logic of which is so twisted that we might question the sanity of both church and state. It was not a proud day for Anglicans.

A few observations:
(i) the Martyrs of Uganda are held up by the Church of Uganda for having resisted the King of Buganda who seemed to be interested sexually in young men or boys, one or the other, within just a short time after Christianity appeared in Uganda. So these martyrs are portrayed as resisting homosexual advances. (See BUGANDA pages on the Martyrs.)

On the
Buganda page on the Martyrs it is stated, "Although homosexuality is abhorred among the Baganda, it was unheard of for mere pages to reject the wishes of a king. (It is alleged that Mwanga learnt or acquired homosexual behavior from the Arabs)."

(ii) So, the king of
Buganda, Mwanga, at least was identified as exhibiting homosexual in "behavior." He did so, it is said, because homosexual behavior was imported from elsewhere and did so because after all he was king and could do as he wished. But he was Ugandan, and what he wished to do was classified as being about homosexuality. (By the way, it is incorrect to say that the king is homosexual because he wants to rape young men. He is perforce a rapist, yes. But we cannot tell anything about his sexual orientation at all from the fact of his demanding that these young men yield to him. (At least that is how I read it, but what do I know.)

(iii) The Ecumenical News International quotes from New Visions, a Uganda paper, that President
Museveni of Uganda at the consecration of an Anglican Bishop, said that homosexuality was a result of "Western influence". (See Anglican Journal article HERE.)

I guess he doesn't agree the Arabs brought it in. And I guess he doesn't think that the King of
Buganda actually was homosexual, etc, but only duped.

(iv) Also from the New Visions's article, "Describing homosexuality as mtumbavu (Swahili for stupid), the President said: “Don’t fear, resist and do not compromise on that. It is a danger not only to the believers but to the whole of Africa. It is bad if our children become complacent and think that people who are not in order are alright.” Museveni was speaking yesterday as chief guest at the consecration of the Rev. Canon Patrick Gidudu, as the seventh bishop of Mbale Diocese, at St Andrew’s Cathedral. “These foreigners should go and practice their nonsense elsewhere. That is the minimum demand.”

All of which leads me to think:
I am sure Muslims in Africa are not pleased to hear that some Ugandans think homosexuality is a practice imported from Arabs. But never mind, the President thinks it brought and supported by foreigners, now, and that homosexuals are "not in order" i.e. deranged.

Now it is probably easier these days to kick the westerns than to kick the Arabs. No doubt all "these foreigners" will find the "minimum demand" that they depart something of a threat. What is the maximum? Perhaps the same temper operates with the President as with the King. The maximum threat is always there, and martyrs are always possible.
The idea that there are no genuine actual Ugandan homosexuals is what is deranged.

Blaming the Arabs or the Westerners for it all is no help. The martyrs were not the subject of a foreigner's will, but the king's. And the King's behavior came not from his being homosexual but his being ruthless and rapine.

The whole story is a fabrication and a smoke screen and a dishonor to the martyrs, to gay and lesbian people in Uganda and in the world, and to the Church.

The fault lines in the whole government and church enterprise in claiming homosexuality is a foreign invention and a moral degeneracy is the deeply cooperative controlling state and church interest in showing that they are moral bastions of society. Better they can shout "beware, beware!" about something awful rather than have either be examined too closely about the regular paid up excesses of power and authority, such power and authority being of course something the King of Buganda would have known something about.

It was not a good day for Anglicans in Uganda. It was a day of shame.

10 comments:

  1. Amen, amen, amen...and +Henri can't seem to think before he speaks...or, he simply is reciting a script? Whatever, it's nonsense with the shame/blame angle and denial/pretend makes him and the President look "stupid" (no matter what language one thinks "stupid" in when reading/hearing their words).

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  2. Sheesh! The argument from African leaders that homosexuality is a "western thing" is nothing new; this has been a popular rant from Mugabe, as well as some Afro-centric radio personalities in Atlanta. Now, the Arab angle is new. Hmmm...maybe the foreigners were actually Iranian!
    Nice to know the Ugandans are living in a world where the earth is flat. So sad since they used to be the companion diocese with New Hampshire.

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  3. The answer is very simple, Mark. The same thing happened among the first nations people in Canada, and it is still happening among RCs and many others. The terms of the argument have been defined perversely. It is 2008, and yet many folks cannot determine the difference between abuse and covenanted relationships. We are reaping what we sowed. Lord, have mercy. Open our ears toward one another.

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  4. Black folk were "foreigners" in this country until recently.
    Jews were "foreigners" in Europe for 2000 years until 1933-1945.
    Mexicans are still considered foreigners despite the fact that the oldest families in California and Texas are all Mexican in origin (Californios and Tejanos).

    Resident aliens are always those whom we decide are alien. They will always serve the role of being convenient scapegoats for the fears and resentments of majorities, and useful distractions from the corruption and incompetence of their rulers.

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  5. Leonardo said "+Henri can't seem to think before he speaks..."
    Leonardo, I usually do not contradict you but I have grown to beleive, base on comments such as these that you should have left it thus,

    "+Henri can't seem to think"

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  6. I am going to Sénégal and Mauritania on a backpacking trip in the fall and found an interesting book on homosexuality in Africa. It suggests that the concept of homosexuality being alien to African values came out of European colonialist and racist attitudes of the late 19th Century.

    The argument is based on the belief that homosexuality isn't found in the animal kingdom. They believed that as black Africans were genetically more primitive, intellectually and emotionally more animal-like, and more ruled by instinct than Europeans, they didn't develop "unnatural vices" like homosexuality like genetically and intellectually advanced, whiter people who are farther removed from acting out of instinct were able to do. Therefore homosexuality must have been brought into Africa by more genetically "advanced" peoples. It's a variation of the "natural man" primitive idealism of the period.

    This was taught by missionaries in religious schools throughout Sub-Saharan Africa through much of the colonial period. The current crop of African leaders - religious and political - are products of these religious schools.

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  7. John-Julian, OJN22/8/08 12:52 PM

    The fact is that it is homophobia which is the foreign Western (Christian) import in Uganda, not homosexuality!

    In much of pre-Christian tribal Africa, a homosexual was considered particularly "sacred" and in some cases was actually revered.

    By the way, the notorious "homosexual" Kabaka Mwanga had 85 wives!

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  8. Not the first time +Orombi has stepped in it. In fact, he just keeps stepping in it. Reflects very poorly, internationally, on the AComm.

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  9. It seems that other societies pretend that homosexuality is something brought in by "foreigners," too (witness the President of Iran's claim that there are no gay people in his country). I was once told by a puzzled Serbian Orthodox priest that there were no gay people in Serbia, either.

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  10. Archbishop Orombi puts the gaffe in Gaf(fe)Con!

    FWIW
    jimB

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