Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hurt From Uganda

This is a painful article to read, at least it was for me. This excerpt in particular is very troubling:

Hate speech, being chosen by the religious leaders of my country as the object of hate speech. The impunity they had, the religious zeal. I did not spare them, because they have not spared me. From the Mufti and his idea of a ghetto on an island in Lake Victoria, marooned till we die; the Anglican Archbishop with his fight against ‘colonialism’ using my sexuality as the rallying point. And of course Ssempa, though I did not mention his name. The Inter-faith Coalition against Homosexuality, and the hate speech on the FM stations, the lies about us, and all the other things.

There has been a fair amount of discussion on blogs about the effects of religion--and the language of various religious leaders--on the lgbt community in foreign countries, Uganda, Sudan and Nigera among them. Some see past the lgbt issue, some want to help "them", some want to "heal them", some want to evangelize to "them", some openly or silently hate "them", and some want nothing to do with lgbt people in the US or on foreign shores as though they were the disappeared. I don't have any answers, but I keep asking the question.

In respect to the Anglican Communion, however, I am frustrated and shamed. While Archbishops Orombi, Akinola and Bul of the communion (Uganda, Nigera and Sudan, respectively) call for repentance of TEC, they advocate for jailing and violent action against lgbt in their countries--some of whom are Anglican, some other Christian denominations or of other belief systems. And some, these Anglicans chase away from God altogether in their "love" of God or zeal for power. They ask of me things I cannot do, things I would never do.

And while human rights groups, correctly, point to some of these Anglicans as violating human rights in the spirit of their words (or worse, if the accusations of Akinola are in fact true), and while the Communion as a whole speaks to human rights and dignity, these words ring hollow to me in the face of Communion silence on this topic.

What can we do?