My anger and bitterness at the religious people shocked me.
A moment of insight it was. Not very long ago, when I started this blog, I used to rail against Christians. I thought I had worked that out. I mean, I realized that I did have some major unsolved issues with Christianity, and it was making me bitter.
Well, maybe I did work it out. And maybe I didn’t.
But, I realized, after that outburst that I needed some major ‘talking to’. Maybe not through Bolton’s ministry. But somehow.
Now, the night I was at Heathrow, I kept seeing this sign, ‘Multi Faith Praying Room’. So, after a good nights sleep in the Hilton, courtesy of an airline, I went early to the airport. Checked in, and discovered that I had lots of time on my hands.
I wrote some. I looked around. The duty free shops were kind of fascinating. But, no euros or dollars or pounds in the pocket made window shopping a wearying thing. Got a brochure which advertised the legend of the praying room. Noticed there were supposed to have some clergy on call, or whatever.
For a while I hesitated, but ultimately, I decided to go. To the prayer room.
Certainly not to pray. I have not discovered any faith as yet, sorry. But I needed to talk to one of these religious people, for peace of mind. A purely selfish thing. I wanted to drain out a bit of the poison. After all I was returning home, and I did not expect to have this kind of chance in Uganda. To unload some poison on someone forced to listen.
Three times I budged into the prayer room next to gate five. And I walked back and forth the Terminal building, looking for any weirdly clergy looking person. I did not dare ask directions. Knew my courage would fail.
But despite an advertised Anglican service at noon, which I did not want to attend, I was just not successful.
But I wonder what if I had been successful? What if I had bumped into one of the clergy? How would that interview have gone?
We have a catholic priest who is gay here. A good man, I may say, mortal as all of us. I used to have some interesting discussions with him. That was a long time ago, but I was driven, by what, I am not sure. I would debate with him on phone, by sms, and whenever we met. High flowing quasi theological debates. I am curious, persistent, and don’t take a plain ‘believe it because it is’ answer. But at a point it deteriorated into an angry exchange. Later, I realized that I was laying siege to his faith. Couldn’t help it. My catholic boyfriend considers a non celibate promiscuous catholic priest an abomination of the worst kind. Maybe his attitude rubbed off on me. Anyway, I was kind of fascinated by the priest’s weird logic reconciling his very promiscuous lifestyle, and ardent faith. Ultimately, I realized that we could not continue as friends if I continued the debate. So, we are still friends, but we don’t debate religion. And he is a mortal man, very comforting. I understand being frail…
What if I had met one who is like the mufti of Uganda? A ‘nonsensical’ uncompromising, do or die, you are a sinner kind of priest; you know, hell and damnation, fire and brimstone. You are a sinner going to hell.
We would not have gotten along at all. I was into drawing bitterness from myself, not adding to it. And I hope I have the judgment not to do quasi debates with the one of that ilk. Like the hate filled American pastor, of the church that pickets soldiers’ funerals because of the US government’s purported support for the ‘gay agenda’. Hate that the entire world sees but the hater. That kind of person is too inhuman. But he is a clergyman, isn’t he?
A Ssempa? There is something false about that gentleman. He is charismatic, but his egomania and self satisfaction are patently false. Nowadays, he glories in the name anti-gay activist. A man of god devoted to hate.
We have seen some of his disciples on this blog. The girl who made me boil, sycophantically lauding the Gambian president’s call to behead homosexuals, in the name of love. Kimbowa, truly into the gay hate agenda, but unable for his life to say why he so clearly hated, but called it love. And Tovi. Seen his logic on how I cannot understand why he loves me but hates me? He seems to want to glorify his illogic with the incomprehensibility of ‘faith’.
I will never forget standing behind Pastor Ssempa, listening to his chuckle because he had managed to engineer the gay activists to be thrown out of the People’s Space at CHOGM. His brown shirts were baying for blood, egging the policemen to beat up the ‘lesbians’ because they had dared to show their faces. I stood in their midst, unrecognized. But their hate was not mistakable. Church people? It was a mob, with a purpose, and certainly not a holy one. And they were church people, members of Ssempa’s Makerere university Community church.
The power of charisma, they do believe in him. Pity questioning people who go to him for healing. Maybe my perception is jaundiced because I am a senior homosexual!!
What if I had run into an Orombi, articulate, charismatic, and so wrong?
Upside, I may have run into a Desmond Tutu, or a Ssenyonjo, or even a Robinson!
Oh well, a religious consultation for a gay man is like playing Russian roulette. With a twist. The revolver is loaded with mainly live rounds, and a few token blanks.
Should I have risked it?
Well, I wanted to. But I did not.