B.C.’s Barbados: Against black, not Africans
A GOOD CHRISTIAN anti-homosexuality (but pro-homosexual) pastor began his letter to THE NATION (Against The Act, Not The Person) of December 23 by saying no one made him steupse more than me.
I’m encouraged. Now if I can just get him to think a bit, I will myself stop steupsing over the religious attitude to homosexuals.
For the love of God, I cannot see why anyone should object to the private activities of others; especially lesbians. Once you reject the biblical “grounds” – and, if you reject stoning adulterers or banning shellfish from grocery shelves, you’ve rejected them – there is no basis for interfering in other people’s private lives.
I have no wish to “shame the church into silence on homosexuality by describing Christians who reject the homosexual lifestyle as hatemongers”; the church is doing a perfectly good job of shaming itself.
I hope to persuade citizens that the imposition of one’s own belief on others is wrong. The pastor is free to accept or reject homosexuality privately; but he cannot publicly declare someone else immoral because they do not share his superstitions.
Nor was I accusing anti-anti-man preachers of being hatemongers; I was accusing them of bigotry and hypocrisy, and still do.
My point – which the good pastor never addressed (presumably because he had no answer) – was that homosexuality haters may be following their churches but they are disobeying Jesus Christ, who taught us to love our neighbour as ourselves, turn the other cheek, and cast stones only if without sin.
The most offensive thing about the good anti-homosexuality-but-pro-homosexual pastor’s letter, though, was his trotting out the disingenuous at best, hypocritical at worst old rubbish about “hating the sin, not the sinner”.
I would remind the pastor that the Bible has been used to justify the worst atrocities against humanity, including South African apartheid in our lifetime and African slavery in our history; in slavery days, the “against the act, not the person” argument would have said that there was no hatred of black people in slavery, only of the colour black.
You can’t love a black person but hate the colour of his skin; and it would seem to me as easy for a person to cease being Chinese as it would to cease being homosexual.
The good pastor also, perhaps without malice, wrongly described me as a “cynical atheist”; I am neither. I am agnostic: I hold it impossible to know anything of the nature or existence of God and so have neither faith nor disbelief, and am willing to accept the proposition that “God is love”.
I’m not cynical either, because, every day I wake up to my own imminent extinction with some optimism and without any delusion.
The most Christ-like action humans are capable of is love; and it is wrong for anyone, especially preachers, to say love should be withheld from some merely because they respond differently from most.
• B.C. Pires is a lesbian.