I have a revelation and it doesn’t involve horses and burning chariots. And its simple, Christians do not own the concept of marriage. Marriage is not copyrighted neither is it anyone’s intellectual property. Muslims do it. Jews have it, inter alia. So of fundamental value is who owns marriage and who has the right to determine who gets married and not? Would it be a fellow human being and if so under what premise is he an authority?
This logic is acutely synonymous with one you’d forward against the Catholic Church during those years it desperately yet meekly tries to bin; when they held Galileo Galilei under house arrest and charged him with publishing sacrilegious blasphemous materials. The ‘sacrilegious’ findings postulated the earth was spheroid and that the sun, not the earth, is the centre of the solar system. The question then would have been who owns knowledge? The pope thought the church did. We now of course know that the Catholic Church was shambolic in its dictatorship as it was in operating a simple telescope.
But it’s not only knowledge here or the intellectual right to marriage but an audacious attempt to own morality. The church is trying to be the traffic warden in the highway of morality which in itself is an immoral premise since morality is innate and implicitly human.
Throughout history the church has tried to enforce itself as the owner of knowledge and is such what we are witnessing here with regard to marriage and whether gay marriage is right or wrong? It may mean naught to you but not being allowed to visit your partner who’s critically ill in a hospital bed or not being accorded the same tax cuts and employer benefits just because homophobic anti-gay rights church crusaders(oh that term crusaders) foists the state to decline your union is horrific violation of human rights.
I’ve never been an advocate of gay rights movement but Charles Kanjama’s sentiments on ‘thetrend’ on Friday in which he also called same sex relations a ‘curable habit’ were not only galling but betrayed a vastness of ignorance on the history of religion. He was there in his capacity as vice chair of Kenya Christian Professionals. Demonizing the gay movement will not stop its existence. No one, even the presidency, has the outright jurisdiction to rule over such issues of human rights. He may be our elected official but on such issues he shouldn’t have blanket sovereignty to finagle ideas on the electorate. In the same breadth the church shouldn’t be permitted to impose their ideas and ideologies on citizens without the consent of the citizens. In short if the church wants to be part of government then they should come out and officially ask for the mandate by ballot not hide under the helmet of the church.
And neither should the courts. Courts with regard to civil rights movement have in fact proven to be more tyrannical than emancipating. That’s why the American case of Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896 became a landmark case. The Plaintiff, Homer Plessy, tendered that racial seclusion was illegal and he must not be discriminated against because he was ideally just one-eighth Black. The Supreme Court which heard the case regardless directed that he alongside all other blacks rides in the "separate but equal" coaches reserved for "coloreds." It’s important I affirm that just like in Apartheid South Africa roughly 100 years later, the coaches, railways, schools and other public facilities were indeed separate but never equal.
My reiteration here is that this should be a people and government Issue but not and has never been a church or court issue. In the struggle for civil rights history has shown that today’s churches’ beliefs are tomorrow’s churches embarrassment. I don’t desire to be tomorrows joke. It’s not long ago that the majority of interracial married couples involved in Christian churches before marriage had to renounce their affiliation and boycott going to church all together after marriage primarily because they faced prejudice from the same religious fundamentalists who would hold the bible with such zeal. Why is it that people who are heterosexual can sleep out of wedlock, marry and divorce, and even have open marriages and people find it palatable? Why doesn’t the church complain about Muslim men being allowed to be polygamous?
For years the Kenyan Constitution allowed divorce under four platforms and they are adultery, if your spouse deserts you for more than three years without reason, if they become insane or of unsound mind and if they become cruel to you. Why wouldn’t the church advocate against this, why play blind to divorce terms that I believe are unchristian? Why should homosexuality hence be different isn’t it but an expression of the inherent weakness of all human beings. Isn’t it but stigma to tie down homosexuality with child molestation or pedophilia. In fact if there was a sudden burst of democracy and a vote sanctioned the Catholic Church would be shocked to find a good number of its priests are pro-gay.
God won’t burn you for accepting there are gays. Why brandish the bible to cover-up the real issue. Won’t Christians of latter days learn from the unforgivable atrocities and callous inhumanities peddled by those of former days in the name of God? And please don’t forward the argument that gayism is a foreign/western concept. Christianity and in effect Islam IS also a western concept and gays have always existed. Gays were in fact a welcome faction of the society in ancient Greece and I’m yet to read any documented account categorically stating gays never existed in African culture. I have read though that gays were recorded among Zulus. Don’t forget its Christianity that caused imperialist colonialism. It’s Christianity that preached against and declared a sin copulating in any other sexual position bar lying down hence its famous name ‘missionary’. It’s Christianity that led the crusades, a religious cleansing spree against Muslims, pagans and nonconformist Christians which combined religious agendas with military expansionist schemes.
It’s with such mentality that religious zealots fail to agree to simply not agree with other religions. Not everyone is Christian and imposing your beliefs and culture on them makes you a religious fundamentalist which in turn makes you a religious terrorist. As one Nahashon Njenga would aptly note there is no difference then between Al-Qaeda who deem Sharia law as the only applicable form of government, and yourself. Why would Muslim theocracy be extremism yet yours acceptable?
Am not suggesting a way out; maybe a simple vote is one but the church should stick to its agenda. North Carolina went to the ballot on this and they voted overwhelmingly against gay marriages and that essentially is what democracy is about.