Friday, July 14, 2023

Conflicting orthodoxies; The Kuchu’s Right to Faith and Belief (2)

One of the most challenging and spine chilling thing for the kuchu of faith in Africa is the apparent ‘orthodoxy’ of beliefs…, that the religious in Uganda Ghana and Africa, the main religions apparently down right frown about our sexuality. The frowning, the condemnation, the hell and brimstone, spit, thorns and faeces throwing condemnation…, it is held up as unchallenged orthodoxy in much of the African setting.

Yet this is not true…, this is not true at all.

This observation can be surprising for any kuchu on the ground. We live in our bubbles of poverty and circumstances enforced. What we know is what is in the country, the capital and economic big cities, at most. We are not exposed to the wider world, bigger than ‘Uganda the Village’.

And what we see is near universal condemnation.
When the Mufti of Uganda wants us exiled on an island in Lake Victoria so that we can ‘die out there’, that is what we hear. When the Archbishop and Primate of the Church of Uganda espouses his anti-gay views at the pulpit day after day, which is what we hear. That is what is reported in the country, on the ubiquitous radios and televisions airwaves. When Pastor Aloysius Bujjingo, the SALT media mogul, gay bashes in public Pastor Kayanja, televangelist of ‘Miracle Center Cathedral’ and Kayanja ministries, poor Pastor Kayanja (powerful man as is) can barely push back, because the charge is homosexuality.
Homosexuality is the worst of stigmatisation, in Uganda.

Yet this religious ‘orthodoxy’ is a sham. In the major religions believed in most of Africa, there is serious dissension on the subject of homosexuality. And, many in those same religions embrace homosexuals, in various different ways, a sharp contrast to the supreme anti-gay bashers who actually embarrass some of their friends with their fanaticism (like the gay porn showing Pastor Martin Ssempa).

Take the Catholic Church in Uganda.
Oh yes, they frankly bear no love for the African Kuchu, confessing Catholic or not. And they will not preach so, the good Catholic Fathers of Uganda.
Yet, in the face of the reigning Pontiffs parsing of anti-LGBTQ+ feeling, they couldn’t openly air their distaste. Pope Francis is welcoming of LGBTQ+ people, (which is a shock, shock, shock, to any Ugandan Kuchu who happens to be Catholic in faith.) Pope Francis believes, and teaches that singling out the ‘sin’ of homosexuality from other sins is hypocritical. And further, he encourages outreach to Kuchu Catholics; the love of Christ is apparently for Kuchus too.

I repeat, this view would be shocking news to most Catholics in Uganda, to kuchu Catholics most.
The Catholic Fathers of Uganda disagree with Pope Francis. And, faced with actually having to preach an inclusive love by Christ, or going against their popular homophobic prejudice, they chose the coward’s way out. Silence. A resounding silence.
They chose not to comment on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 in Uganda. They then opted to inform the world that they were waiting for the text of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 before they commented…, and, I am personally to hear any comment from the revered fathers of the Catholic Church in Uganda.

But, it is important to remember that their silence has been very effective as a vehicle for anti-kuchu, anti-gay sentiment. They are the biggest denomination in the country, Uganda. Knowledge that their revered leader, the Pontiff was openly anti-criminalisation of homosexuality would have been a shock and set back to the anti-gay forces in Uganda. They were silent…, it was not reported. And Pope Francis chose not to comment openly on a subject that his Bishops in the country supported covertly.

In Ghana, legislator Amidu Chinnia Issahaku relies on this false orthodoxy in this article, claiming religious and spiritual support for his anti-gay views, in this oped. Of course he doesn’t mention that the reigning Pope of Catholics disagrees with him. Nor that the Archbishop of Canterbury also disagrees with the Bishop of Accra…,

The shism of the Anglican Communion.
Instructive.., that a crucial part of Anglicanism disagrees with fanatical anti-gay attitudes.
Again the dispute has been of long standing. But, the Kuchu in Uganda, and in much of Africa, who happens to be Anglican is more than likely not in the know. When Archbishop Welby wrote his letter to the Archbishop Kaziimba of the Church of Uganda, that was the first that many got to know that there were actually Anglicans who had a parsing on the whole homosexuality debate. A parsed outlook, fractured…, but not the orthodoxy which apparently includes supporting the death penalty for the homosexual, in practice, if not in principle.

Of course this is not suprising. ‘Orthodoxy’ in a religion and unity of thought is an impossible aim. We are human beings. We joy and rejoice in our differences.., and thought orthodoxy is sheer lunacy (personal POV).
That is a matter of fact…, yet for the African LGBTQ+ individual, the kuchu, is led to believe that they are so evil and such sinners that they cannot believe, are not welcome spiritually before their God. That its either their spirituality or their faiths. An impossible choice.

It is not often that Kuchus are even exposed to the fact that the major religions actively disagree with that point of view.
That, in a way, is profound insight that was partly gifted to me when I was searching for answers for myself.
I became disgusted with the lies and obfuscation and lack of common decency with our leaders of mosque and church. Way long ago in the evolution of my spirituality. It is still quite relevant today, to the Kuchu on the streets of Kampala, Nairobi or Accra, and anywhere in Africa.

We are, people of faith. And though some reject us, there are others who affirm us. Our humanity, our sexualities, our loves.
And, it is our humanity’s right to have a faith and knowledge of faith, that might or might not contrast with the ‘orthodoxy’ of anti-kuchu sentiment forced upon us.

We are Kuchu. We are human beings. We can be people of faith. It is an intensely personal decision.., and it is ours to make, personally.



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