I have been meaning to do this a long time ago, to talk about gay rights, our double standards in Africa and how I believe Christians should approach these issues. Often, people think that being a Christian means being homophobic and if you are a Christian but aren’t homophobic you are not a good Christian.
There are these labels we give to ourselves. Labels like conservative and liberal Christians. I understand all of it but it worries me when people think that being conservative means being homophobic. Sometimes, I feel I am a conservative, I always feel so but other times I feel like I am none of the two especially when it comes to people’s rights.
I don’t believe that anyone has right over other people’s rights and I have been very vocal on the issues of women right and that of children. While I believe that no one has the absolute freedom to do anything anyhow, I believe that human rights as broadly defined and understood is sacred!
Let’s talk a little about homosexuality.
If there should be anyone qualified to be homophobic, I think I have every right to. I was abused by homosexuals many times, my first experience of them was terrible! I once contemplated suicide, then I contemplated murder. Yet, the people I met were only a fraction of gay people. I’ll not judge all homosexuals using my experience of a few.
The question of whether homosexuals are normal or mentally retarded is not what I want to answer. If we believe science when they diagnose our health issues and make recommendations, then we should also believe them on whatever findings they have made on homosexuals.
I do not regard homosexuality as normal the same way I do not regard polygamy or fornication as normal. I am biased as a result of my faith. When it comes to matters at odds with my faith, I always choose to stand where my faith stands without hating on others. This is where most people have a problem.
I don’t support homosexuality the same way I don’t support polygamy or fornication, I can’t endorse it but I also won’t support limiting people’s rights just because of their sexuality. I have no such nature to do that and my convictions as a believer in Christ Jesus will also not permit me to do that. This brings me to question our double standard.
Comparing Biden and Trump
The US election and transition of power has brought up several discussions. Some of these discussions are misinformed and some of them go further to expose our double standards and how we defend our hypocrisy using God’s name as a covering.
Joe Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg has got many mouths talking and the funniest of them are those trying to use it to prove how anti-Christian President Joe Biden is. There are parts of Donald Trump that I admire, I don’t hide it and there are parts of Joe Biden I admire. I am not necessarily a great fan of both. However, both of them were used to expose our double standards.
Why is Joe Biden’s nomination of a gay making round the news and why are people using it as a yardstick to measure how terrible his leadership will be or how anti-Christian he is? The simple answer is “double standard”.
Donald Trump was the first president to give a member of the LGBT+ community a high-level position in government. Biden’s appointment is trending because we don’t like him. Richard Grenell was appointed by Donald Trump as acting director of national intelligence, he is openly gay and a Trump supporter.
Grenell calls Trump “the strongest ally that gay Americans have ever had in the White House.”
In 2019, Donald Trump said, “My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invites all nations to join us in this effort!”
As far back as 2005, Donald Trump took to his blog to celebrate the marriage of Elton John and David Furnish. If Donald Trump is the first president to appoint a gay into his cabinet, why is Joe Biden’s nomination considered abomination but not Trump’s appointment?
Should any member of the LGBT+ be appointed in the first place?
I don’t want to sound ambiguous and make it difficult for people to understand my stand. If I was the president of my country, I would appoint people into office based on their qualifications, not based on colour, race or even sexual preferences. If you can do the job, then jump into the ship and start working!
America belongs to Americans, gay people vote in elections, they work and pay their tax! Some of the products we used had gay people working on it and some of the businesses we look up to also had gay people as staff. The problem is that we don’t know how to differentiate people’s lifestyle and their career. I don’t have to agree with you to use your products and I don’t have to agree with your lifestyle to agree with your good policies.
Does that mean I am endorsing homosexuality? Isn’t that a fight against the gospel?
No! I am not endorsing homosexuality, I am simply exposing our double standard and proving that more often, our fight against certain things has nothing to do with our love for God and obedience to his words. Fighting or supporting gay rights is not the gospel and is not what Christian ministry is about.
If we believe that the gospel changes men and we believe homosexuality is terrible, why not preach the gospel to people, pray for them and leave these changes up to the gospel? Why not let the gospel do the conviction?
I think that when we begin to hate on people and even use our privileged positions to deny them their basic human rights because of their sexuality in the name of pleasing God, we are portraying our lack of faith in the gospel and displeasing God instead.
This happens on both sides! Some members of the LGBT+ community wants to force their lifestyle on others, they want Pastors who don’t believe in their lifestyles to be mandated to officiate their weddings. That too means denying a Pastor his basic right. Because I am specifically addressing our double standards on the issue of homosexuality, I’ll stick to it.
Perhaps, homosexuality is considered abomination because it’s unnatural?
When people say homosexuality is a greater sin because it’s unnatural, I try to understand what is natural about other sins. They said God made them male and female, I try to understand if it’s male and females that God made them. We frown at homosexuality but we smile at polygamy and say “that’s what works for them…”
I have gotten a lot of backlash from some folks as a result of pointing out this double standard. Someone said I need to Holy Spirit to open my eyes on why I can condone polygamy but not condone homosexuality. My response was simple, “the Holy Spirit is not satan”.
Are we defending the gospel when we encourage homophobic actions?
A lot of folks in the part of the world where I come from believes that it’s part of being Christian to attack homosexuals and deny them their rights. They believe it’s part of preaching the gospel but this idea is very distant from the personality of Jesus! Because this is an opinion article, I’ll avoid quoting the Bible so that it doesn’t seem that I am using the Bible to force my opinion down people’s throat
I sincerely believe that fighting or not fighting gay rights is not the gospel and cannot be the gospel. The gospel is very well defined and the only thing Jesus asked us to do is to make disciples of all nations and not to fight against those who are immoral. It is the good news about Jesus and the salvation that he brings that we must focus on as believers. As ministers of the gospel, we can preach the gospel and allow the gospel to do its work of transformation.
Standing against gay right doesn’t make us more Christian
Some people believe that when a President stands against gay rights, he is protecting the Christian faith. How we came to this conclusion is strange. A terrible and wicked leader who isn’t a believer in Christ Jesus can still be against gay rights, a very great leader who believes in Jesus and uses every opportunity to preach Jesus can support gay rights. It can also happen vice versa.
To get the best out of it, it must be balanced. We must respect people’s choices. The same way members of the LGBT+ community expects people to respect their choices is the same way they are expected to respect the choices of others as long as these choices do not hurt anybody.
The president of a country is the president of everyone including people whose sexual preferences are different from that of the President. While freedom doesn’t mean freedom to do anything anyhow, the basic rights of people must be protected and defended. That’s what Jesus would do!
The issue of homophobia in Nigeria and other parts of Africa is more of a cultural thing than it is about religion. In the west, polygamy is looked down upon but homosexuality is not seen as terrible by many. In Africa, polygamy is mostly accepted even in Churches but homosexuality is looked down upon.
It’s not about religion or faith for most people even though they try to use religion to mask it all up. I know wicked leaders who are against gay rights. Being against gay rights didn’t automatically make them good leaders or better Christians. That’s the point I want to make.
It’s okay to stand by our cultural leanings, it’s very understandable how these things wire our perception and no one expects some parts of Africa and many conservatives to throw arms wide open for homosexuality overnight but the issue of our double standard is what every well-meaning Christians should stand up and condemn.
Until we boldly address our double standards in Africa and conservative communities and sincerely ask ourselves questions, only then can we declare our stand boldly and only then can our arguments make sense.
The Big Question
Gay people are human beings, the same way their lifestyle is regarded sinful, fornication, adultery, racism, extremism, violence and the likes are also sinful! Why don’t we deny those who fall into any of these categories their rights except homosexuals?
Why should we rig the system against gay people? Why should we deny them basic rights or discriminate against them but throw open arms to polygamists? Why do we have to drag God’s name into all of it when our opinion about homosexuals is merely influenced by our cultural bias and not truly God’s word?
Unfortunately, the only thing some people, even in the Church, have against homosexuals is because they “sin differently”. If after reading this you think I am endorsing homosexuality, you are part of the problem.
I call you blessed.