Some might say the correlation is far-fetched. But the power of ICT has obliterated national boundaries and shrunk our world. Our march of history is now conveyed in contemporary, real-life tempo by agencies of instant communication. When Pope Francis gave his opinion on gay in July 2013, he spoke directly to Justice Anthony Kennedy and his brother justices who formed the majority in the judgement that legalised gay marriage in the US. He also addressed directly such tendencies across the world, some of whom will rule on same-sex (related) suits in the future.
I fantasised the likes of Justice Anthony Kennedy who argue thus: “Eh! We are a liberal democracy. This is a holy man who should be the embodiment of the Holy Book saying, practically, there is nothing wrong with being gay. So who are we ordinary mortals to judge, condemn and deny gays marital rights? Even if we were to be sentenced to eternal hell on the Judgement Day, we already possess a plea in mitigation!”
Here is how the Guardian (UK) reported the dangerous remarks of the pontiff on Monday, June 29, 2013. “Pope Francis says he will not judge priests for being gay.”
“Pope Francis reached out to gay people on Monday, saying he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation… ‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?’ Francis asked. His predecessor, Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory…”
The comments of the pontiff, repeatedly broadcast across the world, are branded on my mind. “Is Pope Francis seeking worldly acceptance at the expense of the truth? If an armed robber is full of good works, who am I to judge him?” I knew instantly there would be repercussions, the scale of which I might have underestimated. I thought of taking him up publicly, as an individual, but I eventually did not.
I recall a similar sentiment by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, had attracted my censure some years ago, where I called on him to take the most honourable path by repudiating his leadership of the Anglican Communion. He had even expressed a more sacrilegious opinion in a letter he allegedly wrote before he became the leader of the Anglican Church: “I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.” This was blasphemy writ large!
According to Pope Francis, “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers.”
No, Hoy Father. Gays are not our brothers. They are like armed robbers. They become our brothers only if they repent and forsake their evil ways. A gay person lives outside nature, outside the law of God. You cannot continue to be gay and please the Lord, the same way an armed robber cannot continue in his or her criminality and at the same time “accept the Lord and full of good will.”
By the way, we do not know the exact passage of the Bible or Scriptures that guided the opinion of the pontiff. The Bible is unambiguous on the place of gay, sodomy, lesbianism, etc. Here is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV): “9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
If the truth must be told – and this is a matter of life and death – Pope Francis did not only mislead the church but is guilty of distortion of the Word of God. You cannot love the world and simultaneously love God. According to 1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV), “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday, June 26, 2015 that same-sex couples could get married in the country. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who read the lead judgement in the consolidated suit, Obergefell v. Hodges, declared: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.”
This ruling is obscene and debases our shared humanity. It is the very second in the row of notorious liberties in the US that places humanity below the level of animals. The first being the right to kill (the so-called freedom to possess firearms), since it is easier to purchase a gun than buy candies in a supermarket. And so our humanity is continually assailed by captives of liberty, as Americans gun themselves down daily for no just cause. Yes, in the name of liberty!
Gays are social deviants who ought to live on the fringes of society. At best, they are like those with mental affliction, who should be absorbed in the social homes and rehabilitation centres till their humanity is restored. Gay is obscene and violates human dignity. Therefore, the infamous 5-4 majority decision of the US Supreme Court ought to be reviewed and set aside. All laws banning gay or same-sex behaviour should be upheld. All lovers of humanity must unite to turn the heat on the US. We must not allow America to turn our world upside down.
And to the likes of Anthony Kennedy, who may wish to rely on an excuse of being misled on the Judgement Day, the Holy Bible – the commandment, the word – is within your reach:
“11 For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NKJV)
Soyombo, public affairs commentator, sent this piece via [email protected]