Jamaican churches tackling homosexuality is like using prostitutes to tackle adultery. Just because you’re good at the thing you’re tackling , doesn’t mean that you can actually tackle that thing you are good at.
The last few years have been really bad for the Jamaican church’s image. From aiding wanted fugitives to gang raping eighth graders, Jamaicans generally think that the church is an antiquated, hypocritical joke of a national institution. Well, at least those that post in the Observer’s comment section. Which brings us to today’s topic.
Meet Peter Garth. Lesbian Therapist. Not that he’s a lesbian, but, you get what I mean. The Hope Gospel Assembly pastor claims to have counseled numerous girls who have been “attacked” by lesbians, and has apparently been so effective that he has been threatened with lawsuits by parents. Of course, no evidence of this is offered, just his complaints that parents and bureaucrats are stopping him from curing lesbians.
What is surprising, is that that the good Reverend is surprised at same sex activity at a same sex high school. It seems that he has never heard about situational sexuality, or prisons, or English boarding schools. Hell, in the Corporate area, everyone is familiar with a certain all-boys school that seemed to never have a shortage of homosexual stories. You know, the one where the coaches check to make sure that the boys wear their purple underwear on Thursdays….
The gentleman gave his speech at the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society press conference. The intention of the press conference was to show that they had “Compassion without Compromise” as illustrated by a list of 10 “affirmations”. Unfortunately, about seventy percent were made irrelevant by Affirmation Number Nine.
9) We do not consider sexual orientation to be a basic human right.
The idea that you can love the homosexual, but hate homosexuality should be seen as obvious nonsense. No one in their right mind would say that they love Christians but hate Christianity. But that is the implication of the above statement. To tell a group of people that their defining characteristic should not be considered a basic human right is tantamount to saying that they have no right to exist. This is no doubt, meant to be confrontational.
The next red flag is this particular quote, which the gentleman believes is a statement of the “Homosexual Manifesto”, a statement of the “Gay Agenda”, recorded in the Congressional record.
Garth said the Church has to be passionate in its fight against homosexuality when it examines the proclamation of the homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987, and which reads in part:
“We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.
“Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us…. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.
“All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically, and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.
“If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.”
A simple web search will reveal that the above is a part of a satirical essay that was entered into the Congressional record. In other words, the Reverend reported a hoax as if it were a fact. At this point, one must wonder if he is a fool or a charlatan.
The conflation of “homosexual” and “child molester” is an old tactic used by Jamaican pastors and Jamaican dancehall artistes. But the latest campaign against “predatory lesbianism” has a certain tone that is not usually found in other stories.
Yes, the stories use the usual tactic of salacious descriptions made by anonymous interviewees at an anonymous institution. And yes, there is also the fact there is no way to independently confirm the claims made in those stories. But that is not all. See, when respected media outlets make such reports in a country with high levels of un/underemployment among poor young men, it can serve to create a hostile climate against gays and especially lesbians. Don’t forget that we have had long since songs with lyrics like
When yuh hear a Sodomite get raped…
But a fi wi fault…
Two women gonna hock up inna bed
That’s two Sodomites dat fi dead.”
(Sodomites — A derogatory term for lesbians)
“When you hear of a lesbian getting raped
It’s not our fault
Two women in bed
That’s two Sodomites who should be dead.”
There will, of course, be the conspiracy theorists who point to international organizations that are in cahoots with the Ominous Coalition for Gay Rulership of the Earth. They will point to the Amnesty International reports and dancehall artistes, ahem, bowing to international pressure. But that’s just them confusing criticism for persecution, and relying on conspiracy theories to explain away the obvious.
In fact, I have a conspiracy theory of my own:
The Fundamentalist churches that now dominate the Jamaican Christian landscape manipulate the public and their congregations into hating homosexuals. They use frames such as the homosexuality-as-virus and the lesbian-recruitment frame to incite the people to fear and hate homosexuals, which makes them ignore the issues that actually affect them day-to-day. Their end is theocracy, or at least some version of it that puts them in a position of power over the majority of Jamaicans.
Thy have already shown their lust for power, in the control of two major universities, by a denomination that requires that one be a member of that denomination to work at those schools. Not to mention their increase role in politics and law firms. Never mind their opposition to the teaching of science in schools. All of this is to the end of rendering Jamaicans into complete submission to a Christo-fascist regime, which nothing more than a totalitarian state in the manner of Iran.
But of course, that’s just a silly conspiracy theory – right?
Think about it, don’t we all have some form of interaction with homosexuals at least once a week? You go to Kingston Public or University Hospital for treatment and you are surrounded by battymen – it’s like a damn fishtank. Worse still is Airport, which seems to be a recruiting point for effeminate men. And let’s not forget the various call centres in operation in both our cities – those places are a Jamaican San Francisco. And yet we have no rape, or recruitment being carried out at those places. In fact, the work carried at those places is necessary, if not vital to our nation’s functioning.
We all know that there is an image of a man-hating, ultra-masculine, wife-stealing, home-wrecking turbit-gyal of a lesbian in a lot of Jamaicans’ heads But the Fundamentalist churches has no right to those perpetuate negative stereotypes about our fellow citizens. The best way to arrive at a reasonable conclusion is serious engagement , where people can speak to each other as equal human beings with dignity. The thing is, I don’t think that the Fundamentalist church is up to the task.