Statement on Homosexuality Law – Right on morality campus, wrong on political campus
When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, I talked like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. This is written somewhere in the book of 1 Corinthians 13:11
The way I was brought up – strong Christian family from grandmother’s time, farming livelihood (raising cattle), I have an interpretation of what is natural that I hold dearly.
That is why discussing this topic is going against my own nature. Ever since this thing (Homosexuality) became a Ugandan issue (which is pretty much less than 3 years ago), a lot of Ugandans, including myself were caught unaware; some of us were thinking “why are we even having this conversation”, “this is cut-out wrong”, “people do that?”, “I don’t think God wanted the world that way”, “What happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?”, “This is a white people’s thing”. These were the notions running in my head. I later learned that those on the other side of the argument had a name for my kind of thinking, a disease called “homophobia” – the prejudice against or dislike of homosexual people and homosexuality. Until this time, I was not aware that such a word existed, or that the homosexuality or lesbianism itself existed.
But I knew that my reactions to this was not the whole solution – I needed to clear my moral conscience and put the matter to rest, something along the lines of 1 Corinthians 13:11
As a keen student of history, my ideas on the state, theology, society, and mankind have by now taken a form. I know that mankind has always wanted to govern him-self. Therefore governing him requires his express permission.
An example from one of the fullest revolutions in history – The French revolution of 1789, is that the French did not just abolish the rule of the Bourbon monarchy, but along with it the influence of the Catholic Church from the affairs of state.
The French wanted (and this is also the principle of a country being republic) that religion and monarchism be removed from state administration. They called their consequent government “the rule of reason”.
That said, on this homosexuality legislation, my personal conviction is that this is a moral question, not a political one. If the state is attracted towards the trap of legislating the morality of people, the work of religion will be confused with the work of government. It is not sustainable; it is not “the rule of reason”.
We can extrapolate this idea further. The world today is trying to stop Muslims from governing themselves by Sharia Law and declaring Islamic states ruled by the Quran – a case in a point; Somalia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc.
One would imagine that if people are governed by their revered books of faith, this is a good thing; but the argument against this is that for a government to be able to govern its entire people, it must be secular, i.e. govern by the rules of the temporal world, and not those of the spiritual world. This is to avoid throwing sections of the people off a cliff (by a government whose essence is to protect them).
Now, should the state be without ANY religious connection or faith? No. But must the state legislate on the religion or faith of the people? Still No
So in this anti homosexuality law, the government has just said: we cannot live with our own people, please, anyone out there who can buy them, they’re all yours! With the poverty levels in Uganda, that law will sell out a section of people to exile, to sexual slavery and other forms of slavery.
The reasons Africa remains easy prey to the western world have very little to do with the “influence of western powers”, and a whole lot to do with our own “failure to develop adaptive ideologies & systems that can govern ALL OUR PEOPLE”.
And for the exact same reason above, PEACE does not reside on this continent.
This failure to harmonise with all people in our society is the epicenter of all the reactionary wars, reactionary laws that have bedeviled post-independence Africa. The solution is always there, beyond the surface. But to arrive at it, we must have a method of approach. In order to solve a complex puzzle, the start is not to move the pieces around, but studying the puzzle itself for a long time, and seeing its pattern. That way you know which pieces to move in which position, and big puzzle is gone.
The signing of this law and other recent laws is part of that reactionary episode. A bunch of other recent laws in Uganda do not quite fit the methodology of reason – the “anti mini-skirts” law, the “Public order management” law; all this is part of leadership failure.
A world more connected cannot be more isolated. We need the whole world to deepen the meaning of life. In order to contain homosexuality and all its related effects, our religious system will have to step up its role and re-invigorate its essence in community. The society can pick up the chorus, and protect the vulnerable people against such practices.
The black continent’s future depends on developing capacity-to-think-through. A processor utilises hardware resources to produce fine information; Africa is not short of resources, what we need is the processor to utilise them in aligning the whole independence project on the correct track. Part of that processor is “superior thought”. Right now many African leaders are riding on “superior egotism” and confusing this for knowledge or progress. Its not.
To still be picking up “western groups” for problems on the African continent in the 21st century is mere escapism. It does not make one iota of sense; but to even focus on these individual laws is diversionary; Uganda has a deeper problem. We have had rule by dictators since independence, and even at present these laws are only measures to overshadow a dictator’s actions holding onto the straws of state resources for more than 30 years, to continue the theft of government resources
Our vulnerability to external groups is rooted in our inability to encompass our problems, and the tendency to go for pitch-forked solutions.
I think it is time for post-independence processors to let more recent processors produce better information, and laws.
Young Revolution Organisation