Taking control of the African’s mind
By Okoma-atani S.L. Aipira:
Information technology, notably the internet and World Wide Web (www.com), has enabled us to communicate and share information quickly and easily.
One of the current news trending in the media is that of same sex marriage, with western governments, notably the United States (US), pressing African governments to legalise it.
However, in the case of Malawi, its constitution criminalises same-sex marriage.
As at now, however, there is a moratorium imposed on the criminalisation of those engaged in same sex marriages.
The Malawi electorate enacted laws governing the country based on a clear understanding of our customs, traditions and cultural values as handed down to us from our forefathers.
Laws are enacted to protect the interests of the people and, if African parliaments pass laws, the laws have to be respected.
It is, therefore, surprising that, every now and then, western leaders impose ideologies on Africans.
This is despite that African leaders never sent delegations to America and Europe to protest against unjust and undemocratic laws that were based on racial discrimination and prejudice that limited the rights of African-American and the majority Africans in apartheid South Africa, respectively.
Their democratic rights, which are human rights, were infringed upon. Some of these laws are: Africans could not vote; could not testify in court against whites; could not marry whites and could not leave home without written permission, among other restrictions.
Laws are deterrents
Most countries in Africa and Asia have enacted laws that impose punishment on law breakers (offenders) and stiffer punishment, such as the imposition of the death sentence, on gays and lesbians.
This is because the society sets social standards. One of the reasons in administering punishment to deviants is for ‘behaviour modification’— changing from abnormal or unacceptable to normal and acceptable behaviour in society.
Offenders such as thieves, rapists, drug dealers, among others, are generally in minority in any country.
Respecting the ‘rights of the minority’, when their behaviour is deemed to have a detrimental effect on the social wellbeing of law-abiding people, could put governments in very awkward situations and make their corresponding governance policies difficult to execute.
Gayism and lesbianism are foreign cultures to Africans. T.O. Odetola et al quote Broom and Selznick, who define culture as “a man’s entire social heritage – all the knowledge, beliefs, customs …. acquired as a member of society”.
Culture determines the nature of the interpersonal and group relations involved in every form of social organisation.
In terms of Africa, common values are enshrined in family virtues of a man and a woman for their procreation.
It is unfortunate that the west thinks that Africans have no values, hence the demand for us to remove from our Constitution laws that criminalise same sex marriage.
That said, it is not the first time for the west to support minority groups in Africa because they always do that when something is in their best interest.
For example, these westerners supported minority groups during the apartheid era in South Africa and also minority government of Ian Smith in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, when he unilaterally declared independence (UDI) from Britain. These minority groups were their kith and kin.
The sanctity of marriage
God values inter-gender relationship for procreation and this is demonstrated in the creation of Adam and Eve (a man and a woman) as explained in the books of Genesis 2:17-28; Matthew 18:1-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 7:25.
Who are we to challenge God’s wisdom in creating a man and woman in the Garden of Eden? And an instruction to Noah to admit into the ark male and female creatures of all descriptions confirms God’s purpose.
God blessed Adam and Eve and said: “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth…”
While wild animals are mating, nature directs them towards members of the opposite sex.
The story of gays and lesbians is covered in the Holy Bible with condemnation. In Genesis 19:5-8, there is a good example in the sinfulness of Sodom, when men of Sodom called out to Lot and asked: “Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them to us!”
The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them. Lot pleaded with them: “I beg you my brothers, do not act so wickedly…Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them as you please. Only do nothing to these men…”
Our merciful God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
There are amidst us, Malawians, especially those who speak the loudest, activists of questionable character who advocate legalisation of same sex marriage, throwing to the wind their cultural values and morals.
They think that, by supporting foreign ideologies and cultural principles, they will be on the foreigners’ payroll, thereby alleviating their poverty. These are unprincipled Malawians who behave like kites that change direction when the wind blows in a different direction, especially when they smell United States dollars and euros.
Let us all abide by our cultural norms and values.
Reverend Stewart Lane, in his book titled ‘God Loves Africans to be African’, states that: “God loves Africans not because they are capable of acting like Europeans but because they act like Africans. They are civilised and they know that same sex marriages are not by God’s design”. This is an African stand and it must be respected as such.
Professor Ali Mazrui (1986:110-113) gives us a historical fact when he says the European- American succeeded in many ways the dis- Africanisation of the African-American.
Their central strategy of slavery was to make the captives forget as soon as possible where they came from, and that they had no values. They were deprived of both personality and identity, stripped of tongue and culture from their ancestry.
The same European- American people and allies are coming to Africa using a different strategy of letting us endorse their culture of approving same-sex marriage.
This is a process of dis-Africanising us. And yet no culture is more superior than the other.
*The author is a former member of Parliament