Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Gay Ugandan and Religion 1

(Wrote this some time ago. One thing led to another, and I did not post it. Today I have to post it. Will update in the next post.)

Its official.

The Church of Uganda, Anglican, has confirmed that they will not sit together at the same table as the Episcopal Church of America.

The issue is my sexuality. Homosexuality.

The Church of Uganda believes that my sexuality is unnatural. And that it is a sin. They believe that it is sinful to encourage a person like me to salvation in Jesus' name.

The opposite point of view is held by the Episcopal Church. Homosexuality is taken, not as a choice, but as a fact of life. There are people who are homosexuals. And these people have a right to the call of Jesus. They also have a right to be called to minister in the name of Jesus.

So, the Episcopal church ordained a homosexual as Bishop. Gene Robinson. Starting off the schism.

The Church of England? Well, they are in the middle (apparently), believe that homosexuals exist, and they are natural, but we are called to be celibate(?). So that we do not sin. The idea, I believe, is that since we are all made by god, and homosexuals were also made by god, then we are children of god. But we sin when we have forbidden, sinful sex.

That is what the Catholic Church also believes.


Before you begin bashing me for my opinions, I must affirm that this is what I have picked up from a constant awareness of what is going on. Not a study of the religious views.

I was 'born' in the Church of Uganda.

True. My dad was very shocked when I told him that I don't believe. When I made the mistake of casually mentioning it to Maama, her distress nearly made me take back my words. But it has been a long journey. No, I cannot state, truthfully, that I believe. And my parents distress does not take away my 'faith' in no faith.

So what do I think about the COU move?

Curiously, I don't have the restrained anger I once had. Don't even remember clearly why I was angry at them. Something about being duped and having to consider something important when in actual fact it isn't. At least not to me, at the moment.

I see the same anger in my lover. He does believe.

He has changed, from a daily 'prayer' to a once in a blue moon. He is angry at the way the church seems to consider him a sinner simply on the basis of sexuality.

My lover, I believe, has a right to faith. To believe. I have no doubt about that. Just as I have no doubt that I have a right to not believe.

What is the general reaction in the country?

Uganda is a very homophobic. And the fact that the debate was actually going on amazed people. They could not believe that homosexuality was compatible with Christian beliefs. And to be told that there was a Church, which had ordained a homosexual as a Bishop? That, to them, was a long stretch of the credulous.

When I listened to the language of the bishops here, I knew it would come to that. Slowly, very slowly, the schism has widened, to breaking point. When the guys here said that they could not sit on the same table as the Anglicans, I knew it was just a matter of time. Cultural considerations. You don't share the table with an enemy! (Or an inferior)

To the man in the street, it is good riddance.

To the homosexual Ugandan, the kuchu, the gay Ugandan?

I made my peace with my faith. I don't know how the others are going to.

Have a friend, a kuchu, forced to marry, very involved in the schism and whole dialogue issue. Cant say I know how he is taking it. Remember, when I used to visit him, he had a sticker affirming his faith in his room.

Funny, the whole idea of Jesus eating with sinners. The COU are so hostile to us that they have refused any dialogue, except the monologue when they condemn us from the pulpits. When we came out last year, they were at the fore front of the 'Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality'. They were instrumental in making sure that we did not have a say at the Peoples Space during CHOGM.

It is a fierce battle, apparently, for the faith. And until last year, mid August, it seemed as if they were shadow punching. There seemed to be no homosexuals in the country.

Oh yes, now they accept that we are there. That there are Ugandans who are gay. But still, no dialogue, except 'Repent Sinner!'

If I tell them that this kuchu is Gay and Proud, they will not understand it, will they?

Anyway, it is official. Cant be gay and in the Church of Uganda, since it is the cause of the modern day reformation. Will be interesting how it is written up 100 years from now. Reformation 2 or 3?



spiralx said...

Well, it has been said by someone wiser than me that "spirituality" is God-made, while "religion" is man-made. Some of our best 'spiritual demonstrators' are people who have no religious beliefs!

And I hold no truck with fundamentalist religionism (Christian, Islamic, Hindu, whatever). "The work of the devil", if you like! God doesn't hate, only people do that. And whenever they do, they stray from being spiritual.

DeTamble said...

I guess that means you'll be going to hell. I'm sure if there is one I'll see you there, since I'm an atheist and according to most Christians I will be punished for it.

Eh, bite me!

Or should I say burn me? :D

gayuganda said...

Me, I will sit on the fence and look on!


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