anti-gay hate

Christina Engela's picture

Feeling Threatened?

Later today, Ecclesia de Lange, an ordained minister of the Methodist church, who is a lesbian - goes on trial for being married. If it weren't heartless and inhuman, it would be laughable. A day or two ago I received notification of the drama unfolding in a South African Methodist church. Let me start off by quoting from the Facebook support group:

Ecclesia & Amanda were recently married. After Ecclesia announced the news to her congregations she was charged by her Superintendent Minister for being in breach of the discipline of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. While the MCSA affirms the place of homosexual people in its membership, leadership and ministry, the Church at this stage still only recognises marriage between heterosexuals. Homosexual marriage is still a matter of great debate in the Church and Methodist ministers are not allowed to conduct homosexual marriages. So the Church is at the place where it welcomes and affirms gay members but it cannot celebrate and affirm the natural consequence of two people who love each other and who wish to commit to each other in a public religious ceremony. Sadly the Church seems to encourage deception and subterfuge from its gay members and ministers who are indeed already living together in committed relationships, reminiscent of the American military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Ecclesia very bravely refused to hide or to lie about her commitment to Amanda and was married at a religious ceremony by an ordained minister of another denomination.

Ecclesia will appear before a disciplinary hearing at the Edgemead Methodist Church on the 12th of January at 16:00. Please join us for a silent prayer vigil at the church to pray for Ecclesia and to show support for her.

The intention of the show of support on the 12th is not to try to pressurise the Church into changing its policy. That could happen at another more appropriate forum. We will be there to love and to pray for Ecclesia and Amanda. We will be there to pray for the Commission as it deliberates. We will be there to pray for the Church.

Please feel free to post words of encouragement on the wall or to start a discussion thread."
I find it incredible when people who claim to value marriage above living together - which they claim is a "sin" - attack and discriminate against us when we marry. Funny that they're not happy about that either. Go figure. I wonder, is this opposition to same gender marriage in order to continue claiming that gay people are "immoral"?

Christina Engela's picture

Shifting Blame

The "culture war", now more than 30 years old - today is far from the obscure reference cloaked and made fun of by the little quotation marks which try to create the impression that the culture war is a euphemism and not really a war at all. The truth is very different, because when people's lives are destroyed through the actions of other people - even people on the other side of the planet, even without the use of conventional weapons - and when people die - it is a war in every real sense of the word.

Far from fading out over time, it is a war that has escalated if anything - and now employs advanced weapons such as the internet, science, medicine, psychology and multimedia - along with more traditional hardware like covert operations, surveillance, intelligence, counter-intelligence, propaganda, politics, dirty tricks, entrapment, investigative journalism, expose's, espionage, infiltration - and denial.

In the past, if you were Black, you faced serious levels of discrimination, intolerance and prejudice in many countries. That has changed a lot in the past century or two - to a point where the civil rights movement seems to have taken on a paradigm shift from focusing on race and eugenics to more subtle shades of sexual orientation and gender identity. These days, if you are gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex - it is certain that you will run the gauntlet with prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and violence on a regular basis.

There is the saying that goes "pink is the new black" - and nowhere is this more evident than on the continent of Africa. Those who are both Black and gay and living in Africa - well... to put it politely - you're between a rock and a hard place.
Christina Engela's picture

Blood Feud


Every year around December the South African National Blood Service starts shouting frantically that blood stocks are low and that they are desperately in need of donors. This past month I have seen the familiar call on lamp post advertising and in newspaper headings, heard their plaintive whining for blood on the radio and on TV - and cursed theSANBS under my breath every single time.

And every year around this time, many people will answer this call - whether out of civic duty or simply out of helpfulness and love for their fellow human beings, they will go to donation centers to answer this call to satiate South Africa's lust for blood.

What I find both sad and hypocritical in this scenario, is the fact that every year this time, many people who do so, will find themselves turned away and indirectly told that neither they, nor their blood - are good enough for the high and mighty standards of the SANBS.

I find it unbelievable that despite this "shortage of blood" which has the SANBS in such a flat spin annually, gay or bisexual men and transgender people are still banned from donating blood - based on fairy-tales, right-wing junk-science and plain old-fashioned prejudice.
Christina Engela's picture

Genocide In Eight Easy Steps


"Never again", the world says - and yet genocide has occurred numerous times since 1945. The most infamous recent example is in Rwanda, but Saddam Hussein also dabbled in genocide against the Kurds in Iraq back in the 1980's. And it still goes on today - with the state-sponsored murders of gay people in Iran, the religious fundamentalist militias in Iraq, the mob violence and murders of gay people in Jamaica and Uganda. The laws being passed in numerous countries which turn ordinary people into criminals and fugitives based solely on their sexuality or gender identity are a precursor to genocide. They put it in people's minds that such people are a threat and are in fact criminals.

Discrimination against and murder of gay people around the world is recognized by genocide watch groups around the world as genocide, even though it was not specifically included in the technical definition of the Genocide Convention, which only specifically mentions national, ethnic, racial, and religious groups.

I refer to the Stanton Report - the "8 stages of genocide" presented to the US State Department by Genocide Watch in 1996. The Stanton paper was presented at the State Department, shortly after the Rwanda genocide and much of the analysis is based on why that genocide occurred and suggests steps that can be taken to prevent similar outcomes in time. The headings are from the Stanton Report, while I discuss the similarities between "conventional" genocide and the circumstances faced by the pink community in various hot-spots around the world.
Christina Engela's picture

Hate Speech - The Gospel Of Genocide


Let's focus on hate speech today, shall we?

A petition on the "Petition Spot" website, a service which allows the creation of online petitions caught my attention - it is creatively entitled "Sign to kill all the gays". The subtitle of the petition says "Gays are gross and do not have the right to live. This is a petition to get the government to kill them all. Please sign if you support my cause."

It has been up there since September 14 2009, and so far it has a whole 39 signatures. Stop the press. Perhaps they should have advertised it in Uganda, Jamaica, Iraq and Iran to meet their target of 1 million signatures. Shame, poor deluded little psychotics.

It isn't the only "petition" of its kind though, apparently you can see the others listed on the same screen under innovative names like "Kill Gays","Kill All Gays". All of which have equally psychotic rantings by signatories such as "I support this petition. We should kill the niggers too while we're at it! White POWER!", "I support this petition. ****ING GAYS.", "KILL ALL THESE ****ERS!!!"

Judging by the low quality comments of the people supporting this affront to decency, I can only conclude that these are either petulant children with too much time on their hands or a bunch of half-wits of the order of the KKK - except that I now feel I owe an apology to village idiots everywhere as well.
Christina Engela's picture

Misplaced Blame


Many fundamentalist Christians today are calling for a return to what they call "biblical values", which in essence ignores the New Testament and even Christ's existence altogether - thus discarding the New Covenant entirely. They focus almost completely on Old Testament ritual laws and cry for the death penalty to be reinstated (apparently this is a "biblical value") as a so-called "deterrent" against crime - crimes which many of them feel should include adultery, divorce, "blasphemy", lying and their personal favorite, homosexuality.

The death penalty is in this case, euphemistically speaking, their holy grail - a piece of legislation that will miraculously fix everything that is wrong with South Africa (or the world, why stop there?) - a grasping at straws wrapped in the mantle of justice and authority which they claim comes from God.

So let me get this straight - in a country where the justice department is incompetent, likely to screw up in convicting the right person for the crime - may even be corrupt - and where the government is making increasingly conservative and oppressive noises, people are seriously asking for the return of the death penalty? What are they smoking?

They seem to think the death penalty will somehow fix everything. Punishing people left and right for crimes already committed will somehow prevent other people from following their example. And killing people for their crimes will teach them not to do it again. Yeah right, that'll learn 'em. They won't do that again.

Human nature isn't like that, because people think they won't get caught.
Christina Engela's picture

Year End 2009

So here we come to the end of another year - and what a year this was! Over this past year a great many things have happened around the world as well as in South Africa.

We have seen the South African General Elections in April - and we have seen, for various reasons, both cause for concern - and hope for the future. Over this past year, with all the threats against our civil rights both in South Africa and around the world, we have seen a renewed interest in the affairs which affect us - namely politics and religion. It goes without saying that apathy is a deadly trap which we must be careful not to fall into. Over the past two years since I first started getting involved in activism I have seen steady increase in awareness and participation, and have been trying very hard to encourage GLBTIQ participation.

"Get involved" I have been telling you, "Get off your ass - before somebody who hates you kicks it." It is very encouraging to me to see that some people finally seem to be getting it.
Christina Engela's picture

Rubber Room With A View


Despite clear and easily understood press releases, explanations and statements released by eminent scientists to explain that diverse sexual orientation and gender identity is perfectly natural, and despite their attempts to simplify the explanations - some people, typically narrow minded religious fundamentalists, refuse to accept that gay people are born gay and transgender people, transgender.
"No, that's not it - it has to be a sin!  These perverts like it - they're choose to be gay."
Really?  Is it nice to get fired because your playboy boss finally figured out you're actually into girls?  Is it fun to be chased down a dark alley by a gang of rough-necks who figured out you're trans?  Do they really think this is fun to us?  Is being gay or transsexual THAT good?
No, they are "sinners who make a sinful lifestyle choice", or they are tragic "victims of child abuse", "examples of bad parenting" or (my personal favorite) they are "mentally ill".
They insist that although they made no conscious choice to be straight, get married and make lots of little rug rats, some people inexplicably woke up one morning and chose to be gay.  Despite all the answers being clear and easily available (can you spell "plain as the nose on your face"?) they stubbornly and consistently reject facts which they CANNOT argue against in favor of rhetoric, propaganda and junk-science.
Christina Engela's picture

Bad Apples


Just a week or so ago, I sent out a request from a pink community related religious organization to the supporters of another pink advocacy group, asking for support in speaking out against the pending Genocide Bill in Uganda. Surprisingly, I got a barrage of outrage from one of the recipients on the mailing list, letting me have both barrels because I dared to associate Christianity with the pink community!  Most confusing of all, this was from a gay man!

It seems, from the lengthy and somewhat disjointed rant, (including a little gem about some pastor who threw him out of church for his sexuality and that he had now embraced Wicca) that this person hates everything to do with Christianity and sees it as an implacable enemy to gay and human rights and cannot in any way comprehend how any gay person could have anything to do with Christianity - even going so far as to label those brave and outstanding GLBTIQ folks who are also clerics, ministers and pastors preaching moderation from a religious perspective, as "traitors" and "enemies"!

Christina Engela's picture

Sun Stroke

Everybody have a nice Christmas? Ever think about the tradition and where it comes from? I did, and decided to find out. I must say, what I found reinforced my misgivings about organized religion, after all, Christmas is a good time to point out Christian hypocrisy - "peace on Earth and goodwill to all 'men'" soon turns to "take all you can" and "hang 'em high!" and "it's God's will".

This could be the pink folks in Uganda's last Christmas before getting herded into camps and exterminated by folks calling themselves "Christians" - but hey, let's all enjoy the peace while it lasts.. 'Tis the season to be jolly, after all. Anyway, I hate to be a wet blanket - so, in the spirit of a religion that can't even invent its own festivals, I wish you all a very happy Saturnalia (and ask you to remember that Santa's red hat you're wearing is the symbol of a freed slave in ancient Roman times. Interesting symbolism... and don't forget the decorated trees and sprigs of holly and greenery about the house... AND the celebration of anyone's birth - were all considered PAGAN traditions by the early Christians - who apparently knew a lot more than we give them credit for in modern times. Now how about that? Seems to me this all indicates something modern evangelicals tend to fanatically deny - that like a living language, a living faith is subject to CHANGE...and things that are unable to adapt to change die.  Sweet.

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