Facing Facts

jesus_is_not

Inspiring the World –

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

~ John Wesley

Mr Wesley also said that ‘we should be rigorous in judging

ourselves and gracious in judging others.’

 Fact: The LGBT population in US according to one study is 9 million people.

Fact: As a group, Evangelicals remain by far those most opposed to gay marriage in the US.

Fact: Government laws still that have roots in 19th century; prejudices are fueling 21st century hate, and writing discrimination into law moves society backwards. This is an open invitation to hate and intolerance.

Fact: There are still countries that enforce the death penalty for homosexuality as well as hanging, decapitation, stoning, imprisonment, flogging, improper burial; there is no political freedom or human rights.

I just now saw the recently released video that’s slamming what critics are calling the “homofascist monolith.” They are calling for a new “San Francisco earthquake” to shatter it. Well that certainly isn’t Christian. [The San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire, in 1906, destroyed over 80% of the city and killed over 3,000 people]  We have seen images of ISIS throwing gay men off of roofs, and cliffs; and a California man recently proposed a law to kill gays with ‘bullets to the head.’

These put all anti-gay laws to shame but let’s look at other great shames as well:  In Alabama the KKK is publically siding with the State Attorney General in his vehement opposition to same gender marriage.

As we see there are senseless acts of violence around the world:  LGBT  people are targeted, assaulted and far too often murdered: LGBT Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage … and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide because of pressures caused by bullies.

Two years ago a friend of mine; a gay man of the cloth was kidnapped by a gang of men and held for three days in an apartment – these men sodomized him repeatedly with a broom handle and a beer bottle to teach him a lesson.

A Lesbian in Africa was gang raped by several young men [to cure her of her being a lesbian] then before they left one of them shoved a toilet bowl brush in her vagina.

This is evil.

“Creating safe and inclusive congregations for people who are LGBT embodies Jesus’ message that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). Such communities create transformational and, in many cases, life-saving experiences. As we work to better understand the needs of people who are LGBT, the best course of action is often to simply listen with an open mind and heart.

An authentic desire to support the needs of people who are LGBT will help all of us to discern the path ahead; we can build a ministry rooted in unconditional love — if we want to.

“It will take strong leadership from many people to make our communities safer and more inclusive place for ALL people including LGBT – It would be more productive not to dwell on theological arguments that are based in scriptural condemnation of things like same-sex practices; instead our dialogue should focus on the core Christian values; values such as love, compassion, grace, mercy, justice, unity and/or forgiveness.

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Arson – Torture – Murder

Arson, torture and Murder

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article One: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Cameroon Africa: GLBT activist Ohena Lembembe was tortured and killed and the headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroon the HIV services organization was torched. Friends discovered his body after being unable to reach him by phone and went to his home. His friends found his front door padlocked on the outside but peering through a window they saw him lying on his bed. They alerted the police who broke in and the police discovered that his neck and feet appeared to have been broken, and his face, hands, and feet had been burned with an iron.

Ohena was a prominent GLBT Human Rights activist. On behalf of CAMFAIDS he collaborated with Human Rights Watch and other Cameroonian organizations: Alternatives-Cameroun and the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals (ADEFHO). Other activities include a 2013 report on prosecutions for consensual same-sex conduct. Ohena contributed to the blog “Erasing 76 Crimes” and authored several chapters in a book on LGBTI rights around the world, From Wrongs to Gay Rights. His organization also documented arrests, violence, and blackmail against GLBT in Cameroon.

There are many dangers activists face, not only in Cameroon and Uganda but in all Africa.  Ohena’s death in Cameroon must be remembered as well as Duduzile Zozo’s of Uganda.  It is my personal believe that both were victims of terrorism. Both were mutilated_ both murdered. The deaths horrid and painful, the mutilation barbaric and both speak of violent cruelty.  

Advocating for Human Rights for Equal Rights in AFRICA is dangerous: Yes, GLBT face severe discrimination and violence and it takes tremendous courage to be an activist. It takes a strong person like Ohena to continue paving the way for a society based on equality and nondiscrimination.

This year alone there have been several attacks on the offices of human rights defenders, including those working for equal rights for GLBT, consider: Earlier this year unidentified assailants burned the Douala headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroon which provided HIV services to GLBT. Consider that the offices of a human rights lawyer was broken into and the perpetrators took legal files and a computer. Human Rights lawyers repeatedly receive death threats by email and mobile devices. The threats also include threats to kill their children, and though the threats have been reported – the authorities have not apprehended a single suspect. 

Terrorism has a psychological impact on any community.  The purpose is to terrorize and the end goal is to inflict fear. Terrorize one person and you terrorize everyone: This is the goal: the goal is to change your behavior or we will continue – this is the message to the GLBT communities in Africa. 

The deaths of Duduzlie and Ohena were not by chance, they were not harassed or persecuted by their murderers_ no, to me their deaths show the work of a terrorist: No matter if a single person or a group is behind this; this is terrorism and people around the world should be standing up and speaking out and criticizing the people in authority for their failure to curtail the anti-gay attacks or bring a person to justice or for the murders committed against GLBT.

Everyone around the world should question these authorities as well as the policymakers

Declaration of Universal Human Rights Article Five: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” So why should society demand a thorough investigation to be performed by the police?

Why then, the sound of silence by the AMERICAN churches on the wave of homophobic violence in Africa? Article 6 states Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.  And Article 7 states All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Everyone around the world should question these authorities as well as the policymakers

Be a friend, be an ally. Stand up and speak out.

Silence gives permission for violations to continue. 

Rachel Wolff.