Monday, July 13, 2009
According to Dr. Thio Li-ann of the National University of Singapore, "A moral wrong cannot be a human right." Touted as a human rights advocate, Li-ann is responsible for promoting anti-homosexual actions by the government of Singapore. She has voiced some horrendous things about homosexuals. It is then with certain consternation that she has been invited to lecture about "Human Rights in Asia" at New York University. Her anti-gay views somehow do not seem significant enough to bar her lecturing American students about human rights.
Dr. Li-ann's statement that "a moral wrong cannot be a human right" probably accurately reflects the reasoning of the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Council in their refusals to recognize the rights of homosexuals. Ironically, just 150 years ago, and no doubt even now, Christianist leaders used the Bible and their moral codes inspired by Scripture to prevent the education of blacks, slaves or free, and to prevent any recognition of human and civil rights. Yes, once upon a time black folk were not permitted an education, not permitted to marry and form families, and were not permitted any semblance of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Following the Great War Between the States, Jim Crow laws, Christianist teachings, and every conceivable action kept black folk from attending schools with white children, living in white neighborhoods, drinking from white water fountains, eating in or with whites in restaurants, and on and on and on...... The great defenders of such actions continued to use their high moral views to justify blantant civil and institutional racism.
So, what has changed today? Now, many black leaders use their Bibles and the teachings of their churches to demonize homosexuals and to justify the withholding of human or civil rights. They, along with the white folk that hate them still, fight to prevent any recognition that discrimination against homosexuals is an issue of basic human and civil rights. They want no mention of gays in laws that ban discrimination or seek to punish hate crimes. To them, in the recently uttered words of a southern politician, homosexuals are lucky that they are allowed to exist.
It should be clear to most people by now that religion has played a major role in the hate and violence that threatens the safety and security of us all now, as in past centuries. Whether it is the Taliban, the KKK, the Mormons, or the Southern Baptist Church, the interpretation of Holy Scripture, the Bible or Koran, and the teachings of the various faith groups and their leaders are in direct opposition to the ideals of the experiment called American Democracy. The Founding Fathers knew the dangers of allowing anyone's religion to rule our young Republic. Unfortunately, politicians, then and now, refuse to learn the lessons of history. Religion is the opiate of the masses, according to Karl Marx, and unfortunately religion has been used by governments and by those that govern to suppress their people. Today, religion is being used to deny civil and human rights to homosexuals.
Nothing ever seems to change........