Friday, January 28, 2011
The situation in Uganda demonstrates something that the LGBT community MUST start to make an issue. If anyone has followed this situation, there is a direct link to conservative Christian influence in Uganda to the results that we are seeing today. Though we can see this religious connection quite clearly - only those who are blind to the correlations can deny it - why are we seeing Ugandans act in the way that they are, and not seeing the same in the United States? Though I do think that we are seeing a "watered down" version of these consequences with the LGBT suicides - I think the difference is the type of message that is being conveyed and the honesty of the people in the different nations.
We do not see the same blatant consequences of conservative religions in Western nations because in those nations religious leaders cannot use violent "lets kill them" rhetoric and thus it must water their words down. Does this mean that the feeling or the rhetoric is any different? Not at all. In Uganda we are seeing the natural consequences of the demeaning of LGBT people. We are seeing the consequences of blaming them for the social ills in the world, for saying that they are a threat to Christians, for saying that they are the reason that the family is falling apart. For Ugandans, LGBT people are a threat, and the state (heavily influenced by Christianity) must necessarily be at war with them. Thus, the only way to protect our society is to rid the world of LGBT people - which is exact sentiment that we are seeing in Uganda.
In reality, the majority of the people of Uganda - in their blatant hatred for LGBT people (I know there are many people in Uganda that do not feel this way) - are being honest in their treatment of them. They believe that our community is a threat and thus are dealing with them as such. LGBT people are Christianity's "Al-Qaeda", and cannot therefore be tolerated. Western conservative Christianity on the other hand, recognizes that they cannot advocate for the murder and genocide of an entire community, so they instead try to bar said community from any form of societal recognition. Yet their rhetoric is the same. Just read the Manhattan Declaration - which I outlined in this blog - and you will see the same words that are being used in Uganda - just couched in more flowery language. The logical extension of the Western Christianities claims about LGBT people is calling, in fact, for their destruction.
Though I admit that this conclusion will not at all be popular to my religious readers, I for one cannot shy away from it. To often we fail to realize that rhetoric and beliefs have consequences. We do not exist independently - what all of us do and say have consequences. I am sure that conservative Christians in the West are appalled by what is going on in Uganda, but that in no way changes their complicity. Their discriminatory rhetoric (disguised as niceties) of LGBT people and their relationships being somehow inferior to their heterosexual counterparts, does have real world impacts - the worst of which we are seeing in Uganda today. I write this today, not out of animus to those who are of the conservative religious mindset, instead I do it because I for one believe that it is time that the LGBT community hold the conservative branch of Christianity to account for their words and the actions that result from them. The time has started for us to not be silent.