There are some things that are readily denounced by African Christians, like the video footage of a black man being brutally beaten by two men in a Russian train years ago or white policemen killing unarmed black men. These issues spark controversies and debates on social media. Much is said about the sanctity of human life, appeals are made to selected Bible verses about love and tolerance and sometimes, commentators pray that God should deliver our world from wickedness.
But how much of condemnations do we hear over what I’m about to recount next? In South Africa, the body of Duduzile Zozo, a 26 year old lady was found in a toilet. She was half naked and a toilet brush was stuffed into her vagina- she had been raped. What was her crime? She was a lesbian. A week to this incident, another 17 year old lady was raped multiple times for being a lesbian and was charged with murder for killing the last man who raped her. (Its fairly common for lesbians in South Africa to be raped by men to make them “straight”).
When many Africans (especially Nigerians) read stories like these, they change their approach. They switch their Bible verses. They alter their prayers. They begin to say “well, they deserved it, they are gays and lesbians. They are devils!” These attitudes have names: prejudice and hypocrisy.
I don’t care how much people try to paint it in rainbow colours, its UNCHRISTIAN and UNETHICAL to kill a fellow human being because of his/her sexual orientation- *unless* his/her lifestyle is endangering the survival of others. You can call me a heretic or whatever, I don’t care. As a Christian, I will not give consent to the murder of people whose lifestyle is not a threat to my existence. Sometimes you just wonder why there so much intolerance and hate in our country? Why do we enjoy eliminating people for not fitting into our boxes? Why do people get murdered so cheaply to please someone else’s prejudice? And why are we Christians, who are supposed to be messengers of life and hope lending a support to these?
Why is it always easy for us to see the hate and intolerance of the heathen against us, but choose to be blind to our own bigotry and intolerance against others? Yes, I’m dealing with something deep here because prejudice is something that has been instilled into many of us even before we could walk or talk. We were taught to hate anyone who is “different.” Blacks against whites; blacks against blacks; tribe against tribe, and what have we gained so far? Nothing!
Some people should be killed for practicing something unAfrican? Really? So when did African culture become the standard of morality for a Believer? Do you know one thing about hate? It grows! Once you hate someone for being different, murdering him or her wouldn’t be so hard a task.
That was why some men think publicly beating up a woman over what they term “indecent dressing?” is the right way to go. This is a primitive mentality. There was a video of two men- allegedly gays- being beaten by a mob. From the language being spoken in the background, the video came from South Western Nigeria. And you could see some people (including policemen) standing by as these men were being beaten, enjoying the show. These two guys were killed eventually. How are these folks any different from those who slash the throat of “infidels” for not embracing Islam or whites who beat black people to death? If we condemn one, we must condemn the other. Would the Lord Jesus approve of murder in such a case? Absolutely not.
There’s this reckless hate that has entrenched itself within many “Christians” such that they even use distorted Bible verses to cement such barbarity. Yet the religious leaders who incite them into such violent acts are actually the “the chief of sinners” themselves. If there is nothing a gay, lesbian or transgender can do except to freely reach out and ask Jesus to save him or her from sin, then murdering them is self-defeating. It means you are sending them into a Christless eternity, cursing the very name which alone could save them. That’s unbiblical, illogical and devilish.
We are not under the Old Testament laws where people get stoned for breaking the sabbath. Some Christians need to switch their ideologies from Deuteronomy to Acts of the Apostles! We are not in Medieval Europe where people get sent to the Inquisition room for not subscribing to our dogmas. There is better way to live. Its wrong to force people to live right or to be as we are. We present the message of love and hope and if people reject it, we still love them nonetheless. It is God who converts people, not our guns and machetes. The message and the spirit of New Testament Christianity is of grace and forgiveness (see Luke 9:51-56).