anti-gay hate

Christina Engela's picture

Dutch Courage


Over the past weekend some things drew my attention. Oddly enough, both of these are related to courage and speaking out. Oddly enough, speaking out can be a sign of courage - and the lack of it. Even stranger, not speaking out can be a sign of courage - or the lack of it. As with everything, this depends on the circumstances.

I read some comments on a letter posted by an activist friend of mine. Yes, my activist comrade was writing about gay rights and the unity of the pink community, and yes, the commenter was himself gay, but the tone of the comments were anything but flattering. It seems this critic felt that "self-appointed" activists were "ruining his image as a gay man" by "speaking for all gay people" - and he certainly did not want to be associated with transgender or intersex people.

Christina Engela's picture

Thick Skin And Stone Hearts

How can people ever know the mind of God?  How can creatures such as us ever hope to understand the thought processes of a God who can create a universe? Who are we to decide what is or isn't acceptable to God?  And what I find amazing is the folks who will stand up and claim that they know what God wants, what God says - and go further to claim the authority of God to act out of hatred and intolerance.

Last week I wrote about a conversation I had with my Facebook friend on the topic of homosexuality and transgender.  Needless to say the conversation did not end so quickly, but continued over a few days, and simply showed that neither of us was prepared to back down.  I suppose the only difference between our arguments was that one of us was arguing human rights based on facts, while the other was arguing religious fundamentalism based on fiction.

All that aside, I must reiterate that talking is better than not talking, because the moment the lines of communication are shut down and people stop freely exchanging ideas, they start to build little fortresses around themselves and make plans for war.

Christina Engela's picture

If The Shoe Fits...

My would-be Facebook friend wrote to me again yesterday.  I say "would-be", because were it not for the tiny detail that I am a transsexual woman romantically involved with another transsexual woman, and the minor aside that this would-be friend is a "bible-believing Christian" who thinks I have made a "sinful lifestyle choice", we might actually be friends.

Aside from this detail, and the fact that I am also a human rights activist for the pink community, I might be friends with a lot of people who think along the same lines as her, but who might otherwise not actually wish me harmed, ill or dead.

She doesn't seem a bad sort though, this disembodied voice that pops into my inbox every so often just to let me know that the people my articles are aimed at, actually do read them from time to time - and are apparently "sensitive" to them.

"I know you mean no harm to what you call sincere people," She says, "but I am afraid that in your writings you are creating a conception that all people are good except bible believing Christians.  I am a bible believing christian and it pains me when people create ungrounded perceptions of us..... "


Christina Engela's picture

Cult Of The Poison Tongue

While I am not afraid to take on religion in my articles - it is on issues of persecution, prejudice and bigotry - and especially ignorance and hypocrisy that I usually write.  While I am often critical of some religious groups, and evaluate the value and worth of religious doctrine and analyze the potential accuracy and truth and application of religious scriptures - and the conduct of those who claim to live by them - I do not attack ALL people or ALL Christians - just the hypocrites, the liars and the bigots.  Prime recent examples of these are the people in Uganda getting ready to commit genocide in the name of religion, or is that the other way round?

Yesterday I received a note on one of my previous articles, with the following comment:

"You said that apparently in order to be a christian one needs to make a decision to follow Christ....  That is not true.  No one comes to Christ UNLESS the Father draws him/her.....  So it is not our choice but God's."

Were I not so familiar with religious distortions, this would leave me far more flabbergasted than I am.  This comes from a person who claims to be a "born-again" Christian - and who is paradoxically also a homophobe and an anti-gay rights crusader.

Christina Engela's picture

Overturning Democracy

More than fifteen years after the New (New, new, new etc) South Africa and the inception of our visionary Constitution, conservative (and invariably religious fundamentalist) groups and political parties who bitterly oppose any civil rights for GLBTIQ people, still complain about the fact that such decisions which have far-reaching consequences for minority groups, were not put to a popular vote.  Some of these groups have increasingly made it very clear that they intend to pursue means to overturn these rights.

To their minds, democracy is just a numbers game, and the weight of numbers automatically makes something right just because it has been voted on.  Does it?

Perhaps you have noticed the recent trend in the US of voters going to the polls to vote on whether or not gay people deserve to be allowed the courtesy of having the right to marry the people they love?  Last year Proposition 8 in the US brought global awareness of this see-saw battle.

Christina Engela's picture

'Tis A Cold Light That Dawns

Is love a "habit"? Is love not as vital to human beings as the air we breathe?

Some people call the links to articles I provide in arguments against bigotry and against the use of religion as a tool to oppress people and as an agent of hypocrisy, "trying to justify" my views on human sexuality and gender and even religion.

Justify? Science doesn't lie. Religion written in dead languages on the other hand is open to interpretation. How can it not be, without evidence or fact to back it up? Add to the lack of substantiating evidence, the documentary proof that many people, and great leaders, have used religion and religious scripture as a tool to "justify" the evil they have done - and do - in the name of God. Whether or not you are religious yourself, you should be able to see examples of this all around you in daily life.

Christina Engela's picture

Situation Normal

I think it is telling that those supporting the Ugandan Genocide Bill make references to sources those of us in the activism game for some time easily recognize and can dismiss as either "cranks" and wildly inaccurate, or "hostile" and overtly malicious.  On the two now internationally infamous Facebook hate groups where people are openly supporting their country's "leadership" of the international community in the surprisingly related fields of gay and human rights, they try to discredit something their sources cannot disprove by just quoting people and studies which cannot verify anything at all - "studies" performed by people who just want to create the impression that being GLBTI is not natural so they can claim that it is somehow a "choice".  This of course - if left unchallenged, gives them a visible advantage over those who oppose this travesty of justice called the Ugandan Genocide Bill - and that is the purpose behind this confrontation - to challenge them, their Bill, their hatred, and their ignorance.

All the while, it becomes increasingly clear that their only motivation to do this is out of religious zealotry, and religious fundamentalism, which even in their hopelessly indefensible case is strikingly founded on ignorance.  Their entire argument rest upon this shaky foundation of religion - a pseudo-Christian, fundamentalist foundation.  Religion, which itself is purely a theory and like their "evidence" and "studies" cannot be proven either.

Nice going.

Christina Engela's picture

Frog Soup

I must admit I find it disturbing that a man who dodged going to trial to face 180 charges of corruption to become president of SA - and because of the violent behavior, rioting and threats of his supporters, and who opposes gay rights - has been chosen as "best President in Africa", despite only being in the post for 6 months and impressing everyone with his charms, despite having no formal education and having not actually achieved anything since election day.

Well, I suppose that isn't quite the whole truth - he did achieve something - shortly before the general election, he managed to get an invitation to address the religious right wing in the Rhema cult's auditorium, much to the chagrin of other political parties who tried to beat the door down after it was slammed in their faces. Hmm, brownie points scored. Once there, he proceeded to schmooze the conservative fundamentalists with allusions to changing the constitution to make the right wing happy, and invitations to cooperate with the ANC government - which resulted in the formation of the NILC, which is currently adding flesh to the fundamentalist threat to GLBTI equality in South Africa.

Coming back to this "contest", I suppose the rest of the field must have provided slim pickings for the judges, considering the plenitude of banana republics and dictatorships in the rest of Africa. I wonder how Ghadaffi handled the news? He is probably jealous, being that he is the driving power behind the threatening new United States of Africa and arguably the best-dressed dictator in the Pan African Parliament, in his selection of - um, dresses.

In all seriousness, this award indicates to me the sorry state of Africa. It even shames me to say I am South African.

Christina Engela's picture

A Conversation With Death

For a few days now, debates have been raging on groups on Facebook which support the genocide bill of Uganda. There is much to-ing and fro-ing, with each side presenting its arguments, and each in general criticizing the other.

The administrator of one of these groups came onto the scene to suggest that this support for the Gay Genocide Bill - I call it that because that's is in effect exactly what it is - is because of the "culture" the Ugandan people "believe in" and "you cant fault them because you too have a culture". He also suggested that it is always better for people "to talk" than not to talk. I agree with this second part, because when people stop talking, well - that's when wars happen.

I can fault them, actually - for institutionalized mass murder is not a "culture", it is an affront to civilization - and arguably, God as well.

While I agree with him that talking is better than not talking - I must point out that dead people cannot talk anymore - which is exactly what this bill the groups showing support for is all about.

Christina Engela's picture

Waiter, There's A Bigot In My Soup

Setting the scene

Two new groups have been created on Facebook. Just days old, their numbers have swelled to in the thousands. The topic? The newly proposed anti-gay bill that has been submitted in Uganda. Far from being populated with outraged citizens criticizing this slap in the face to human rights, they are filled with it's supporters, small-minded near-illiterates crying for blood and if anything, by their obtuse rhetoric, confirming the claims that the US religious right have been influencing Uganda for over a decade. And has Facebook removed these hate groups? Nope. Still there - but at least the hate-mongers are getting plastered and the people they oppress are getting some value for their money for a long needed change. Watch them squirm.  But even so...

Uganda is on the verge of a state-sponsored genocide on GLBTI people - and Facebook allows such groups to exist?

"We are Ugandans and we do not support gay" and "Speak Loud for Family: Support anti-homosexuality bill '09"

Reading the hateful comments on these groups, I have to wonder if these are really people? Are they? Do they have hearts and minds to think and feel with? Do they consider themselves good people? Apparently they do. And they thank God for this law? The same God that made us as equals? The same God who supposedly told them not to kill and that they should love others as they love themselves? Do they deserve any better treatment than they suggest for us? Decide for yourselves...

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