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Donors should respect our culture 

The recent outburst by some foreign diplomats on the issues of gays has put many Malawians into a dungeon of anger. I am one of Malawians who feels that foreign diplomats should respect that Malawi is a sovereign nation with its own ways of doing things.

Malawi will never act out of stupidity to please some people who think they reason ‘better’ than all Malawians. We have many problems in Malawi that we need to sort out and issues of some people engaging in homosexual activities shouldn’t stop us from breathing. Diplomats should know that we have one head of state, one government that controls the nation and all citizens respect the government.

Much as I know that we learn and respect other people’s views, it’s absolutely absurd to note that diplomats want to be ‘some gods’ to our nation. We did our part to deal with colonialists and what we need are partners who need to respect our cultures and values.

During the United Nations General Assembly, this year, President Robert Mugabe whipped a well-organised speech, directly attacking western countries against gay issues.

“Respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states, and is enshrined in the United Nations charter. Nowhere does the charter abrogate the right to some to sit in judgment over others, in carrying out this universal obligation. In that regard, we reject the politicisation of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimize those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time.

We equally reject attempts to prescribe “new rights” that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays! Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification, and double-standards will not,” Mugabe fumed.

Most countries in Africa have potentially indicated that gay sex is illegal.

Gambia is one of the countries in Africa that has been in hot debate against homosexual acts. Documented evidence of a criminal homosexual conspiracy to poison Gambian culture remains elusive. But politicians remain vigilant: the government brought in fresh anti-gay legislation. Later ministers in Chad approved a bill mandating prison sentences of 15 to 20 years for gay sex. Across Africa, and elsewhere in the world, politicians have found gay people a useful scapegoat to distract from corruption or other domestic problems, to shore up conservative constituencies, or to steal a march on political rivals.

The best-known example is Uganda. In 2009 David Bahati, an MP, introduced a bill which would have imposed the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality”, a term that covers gay sex with people under 18 and people with disabilities or HIV. There was a furious response from international human-rights groups and some governments.

The bill lost its harshest provisions, including the death penalty. After some apparent hesitation, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s long-standing president, signed the bill into law. He accused Uganda’s critics of acting like latter-day colonialists seeking to impose their values on Africa.

Similar rhetoric had been heard when Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria then, signed a bill outlawing displays of same-sex affection, banning groups devoted to gay people’s rights and introducing 14-year prison sentences for anyone entering into a gay marriage or other contractual union. As in Uganda and Gambia, Nigeria already had a law on the books prohibiting gay sex. To the extent that Nigerian gay activists had a legislative agenda, it did not include gay marriage.

The UN human-rights chief said of the Nigerian bill that she had rarely seen a law that “in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights.”

Politics also drove Mr Museveni’s decision to sign Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. Mr Museveni is a wily operator who has occupied the presidency since 1986; he had not previously found it necessary to tighten Uganda’s anti-gay provisions. But facing a re-election bid in 2016, he chose to ride the homophobic wave his allies in parliament had created for their own purposes.

Mr Jonathan, then, was asking for re-election and had encountered a crisis of confidence over his handling of the Islamists of Boko Haram and his poor domestic record; attacking gay people was a distraction, and one that Nigeria’s Muslims and Christians, often daggers drawn, would both support.

An enemy within can be handy for all sorts of leaders, and often more or less any old enemy will do. Some leaders’ anti-gay language has a conspiratorial tone that feels borrowed from the anti-Semitic diatribes of another time: gay people are portrayed as in thrall to alien values and particularly dangerous to children. Recent developments in the West also create exotic targets against which divisive leaders can define themselves without taking on any particularly powerful enemy at home.

Marriage is a reflection of the biological necessity of a one-to-one heterosexual union for procreation, true enough, and it provides a legal framework that strengthens that union for the benefit of all. But that’s not all marriage is, by any means, which is why the law generally allows prisoners to marry even when they’re likely never to be released, has no bar against elderly couples getting married, imposes no fertility requirements on prospective marriage partners and considers long-term childless marriages equal to others.

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always.

Traditional marriage is usually so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. It naturally tends to create families.

On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families.

Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.

As long as we choose to depend on the west on our developmental programmes, they shall manipulate our thinking and corrode our values. Am not surprised that the west is getting an overwhelming support from some quarters in Africa- it’s simple we are praising people who are ‘feeding us’; you don’t bite a finger that feeds you.

It is high time Africans did things the right way without being intimidated.

This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

We are not opportunists that we will be grabbing any noise coming from the west or East. We need to be respected. We are concerned with hunger that has strike most parts of the country, floods that are hitting our nation and the economic problems that has hit our nation hard; we can’t stop all that to divert our ears on some people’s ill-will. Please stop intervening on our culture and respect us as a sovereign nation.

It has to be noted that no culture is superior to the other, therefore, there is need to promote cultural relativism.

– Donasius Pathera

 

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