LETTER OF THE DAY - Church Preaching Itself Out Of Relevance
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It appears that the last moral lynchpin of the Jamaican Church (the fundamentalist wing at least) is hatred of homosexuals.
The Church has been forced to accept human frailties - adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, covetousness - as things which secular laws either don't regard as crimes or which the State reserves the exclusive right to punish.
The clergy cannot use biblical admonitions to advocate stoning and murder for such transgressions. To do so, they themselves could be prosecuted for criminal conduct.
But now it seems as if the clerics believe that the last moral code on which they cannot concede is homosexuality.
They are gearing up to take their last stand against the 'gay agenda', which seems also to be a referendum on their own relevance. This gay agenda, which the clerics keep fuming against is, in fact, a human-rights agenda.
Morally speaking, the State does not have the right to be involved in the bedroom affairs of consenting adults - gay or straight. Nor can the Church realistically do anything about what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms.
The premise of the modern State is that chattel slavery is over and the State, therefore, has no business regulating personal thoughts, beliefs, morality or sexual behaviour. The last bastion of this attempt to regulate personal behaviour seems to be drugs (marijuana and coke), abortion, prostitution, and homosexuality. It is, of course legal to drink, smoke and eat yourself to death.
The United States has moved decisively on the matter of homosexuality, going so far as to recognise gay marriage. Legalising marijuana may not be too far off.
The Jamaican clergy have a mortal fear that removing the buggery law will lead to legalisation of gay marriage à la the USA. The buggery law is unenforceable in any event, unless the participants engage publicly, which is a very rare occurrence, or the police decide to come kicking down your door based on evidence!
No gay agenda
There is no gay agenda in Jamaica other than that criminalisation of gay sex is a violation of the basic tenets of the Constitution. This criminalisation has led to murder, discrimination and social ridicule.
Having lost their thunder against fornication and adultery, which is considered normal human behaviour, buggery is now the Church's new clarion call.
The clerics never challenge the State over its terrorist methods against inner-city youths, such as the 2010 Tivoli Gardens massacre. They have nothing to say about institutional corruption - indeed, they have regular prayer breakfasts with state officials who are known kleptomaniacs.
Now is therefore not the time to flinch in front of clerical irrelevance. God is dead. He seems to have died a long time ago.
The buggery law must be repealed. LGBT Jamaicans must be protected against violence, stigma and bigotry. Clerical hysteria on the matter of gay rights sounds too eerily similar to the echoes of Fascism.
Jamaica either becomes a civilised state or it further descends into barbarism and proto-Fascism.
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
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