by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 04 November 2007)
I never cease to be amazed at the lengths to which humans will go to make one set of people somehow appear superior to another group. This is obvious once again in Guyana, as the debate about the homosexual lifestyle has reappeared on the letter pages.
This debate carries the weight of validation for an entire segment of people in Guyana. It is not as if they require the validation of society to exist, for they will exist regardless. However, if and when society finally accepts them, those who are homosexuals will finally be able to life their lives to the fullest without fear of reprisal for being who they are.
Let’s face it, society has at various points in recent history sought to restrain or rid itself of varying segments of the population that it feared would change the status quo. These offensive segments typically reflected factors such as race, gender, intellectual capability, financial status, physical health, mental health and political ideologies. This list could go on forever.
Sexual preference continues to be at the forefront of the “get rid of them because they are different” battle simply because there are so few who wish to accept the fact that a person’s sexuality is as ingrained as a person’s race or gender.
However, even if – for the sake of argument – homosexuals choose to have same sex relationships, society has no right to stand in their way. If society affords a person the right to choose what house to buy, what car to drive and what clothes to wear, then surely people should also have the right to choose the gender with whom they want to have sex.
Moreover, we all know very well that a heterosexual person can choose whom to have sex with. A heterosexual can choose to have sex with several separate people in one day if she/he so chooses and society will have nary a word to say in resistance so long as that person is being responsible by practicing safe sex.
So why must those who practice safe homosexual sex be constantly chided by society for their lifestyle? Do they not have the same right to have sex with whomever they want as the heterosexual? Oh, I know that many of those who fight against the homosexual lifestyle are religious and use their holy books to make this segment of humans feel like social outcasts.
For example, the Bible says in Leviticus 18:22 that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. If a Christian wants to accept this as law, so be it, but give some thought to this. A few verses later Leviticus 19:19, the Bible also says “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” I need not say how many people wear clothes of varying material nowadays.
Likewise, in Exodus 35:2, the Bible says, “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”
Why do I not see the letter pages of the newspapers marking a movement against working on the Sabbath? Obviously, this is so offensive to God that death is mandated for anyone who does not observe the Sabbath.
In Exodus 21:7 a man can sell his daughter. Does that mean the Bible condones the trafficking of humans? In Deuteronomy 22:9 we are informed that a crop will be defiled if two different kids of seeds are planted in the same field. Defiled? Should we be eating defiled food?
I am not attempting to malign these Scriptures in any way. However, my desire is to point out that many of these ancient customs are no longer practiced. Even if a Christian wanted to insist that the New Testament is the guideline for contemporary living, this thinking gives luminosity to the hypocrisy used when singling out the homosexual lifestyle.
For example, the scripture used by Christians to treat homosexuals so badly in the 21st century is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. It says, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
It seems to me that if Christians are going to be so publicly adamant about the homosexual lifestyle being wrong, there should also be a public outcry against all who are sexually immoral (having sex outside of marriage), adulterers, male prostitution (I guess female prostitution is okay), thieves, the greedy, drunkards (no rum?), slanderers and swindlers.
I guess that just about covers us all.
Jesus said that the person without sin should cast the first stone (I carefully lay my stone down and walk away). Who among those letter writers does not fall into one of the categories listed with “homosexual offenders”? If you have been guilty of any of the sins listed, then put your stone down and walk away.
I have a great idea. Why don’t we focus on the adulterers for a while since adultery has a direct impact on families? Or we could focus on thievery since crime is a constant nuisance to us all.
In short, homosexuality is no worse a sin (according to the Bible, not to me) than adultery or stealing, so why the war against this segment of the population? Since Christians just let the adulterers live their lives without such direct interference, homosexuals should be allowed to choose their own lifestyle as well.
Don’t worry though, I’m sure as soon as the homosexuals want to know the Christian’s opinion on how they should live their lives, they will ask. (Not!)