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Following The Issue

You Want Foreign Aid?

Allow Homosexuals to Live Freely and Openly

Many say the world is changing – and changing very fast – although it is difficult to say whether it is changing for the better or for the worse.

For instance, parents can no longer train their children as they wish or as they used to. There is something called the “child rights.” Parents have to make sure that they do not abrogate any of the restrictions that protect the rights of the child. It was different years ago. Whether this change is better or worse depends on who is asked.

Also, clear biblical teachings that spell out the duties and responsibilities of the parent and those of the child are being watered down or diluted, for the best, and outlawed, for the worst. Proverbs 22:6, for instance, cautions parents not to spare the rod – not to refuse to whip the child, if necessary – however, this has been banned by many societies. A parent whipping his /her child is now considered a taboo. In fact, children are told and advised to take their parents to court if they hit them for any wrong doings. Whether this is better or worse depends on who is asked.

Ephesians 5:23 says that the man is the head of the home. Most feminists say the home has no head and that the man and the woman are co-heads. Whether this is better or worse for the world and its people depends on who is asked.

The bible says in I Corinthians Chapter 14 that the woman should keep silent in the church, that they are not allowed to speak, and that if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. The Apostle Paul echoes the same teaching in I Timothy 2:8-15. However, modern way of life says that men and women should have the same rights in everything in life, including exercising authority in the church, saying it was a woman who first visited the empty tomb of the risen Lord and carried the news to the rest of the disciples. Whether this development is better or worse for the world and its people depends on who is asked.

The Apostle Paul says that the woman is a weaker vessel and must therefore be treated delicately. However, feminists fighting for the rights of women contend that it is man who is a weaker vessel, with some of them refusing for men to open doors for them or to sit near the door of a car to protect them. Whether this is better or worse depends on who is asked.

Parents are sitting relaxed in their living room and watching their favorite television program. Their eight-year-old boy child comes in, picks up the remote and switches to a stupid cartoon program and balances himself on the sofa, behaving as if he were the owner of the house and as if his money had paid for the TV and the sofa his butt is resting on. Child rights advocates say it is also the right of the child to watch his favorite program. Whether this is better or worse depends on who is asked.

Some child rights advocates say parents should discuss both important and unimportant family matters with the children before decision can be made. Why? They say it is also the right of the children to know what is happening in the home, how it is happening, when it is happening, and so forth. Yes, child rights advocacy in full swing.

Many freedom lovers say positive changes are taking place. People like to enjoy their freedom, whatever that is or means, and the process to freely live as one wants has been going on for years. For example, man wanted to be freed of God’s one-sided restrictions. He ignored God and ate the forbidden fruit. Small nations wanted to be free and be recognized, too. Hence, they fought for their freedom. Then women felt that they were being marginalized. They began to fight for their right – the rights to vote, to participate in politics, business, education and to have voice in the family. Minority groups started theirs, too. The civil rights movement in the States is something that a lot of people will never forget. Whether all these developments are better or worse for the world and its people depends on who is asked.

It seems gay rights – the right for two people of the same sex to live together or have a relationship as if they were a man and a woman – is the trend. The campaign to make gays enjoy this right has been going on for some time now, but the election of Barack Obama has intensified the campaign. President Obama is considered the most gay-friendly President of the United States. In fact, some Republicans and conservatives call him the most liberal president. The President met with leaders of the American gay community at the White House in June of 2009.

To stamp its desire to give full rights to gay people, the Obama administration has indicated that it will attach gay rights to US aid given to countries and organizations around the world. Yes, gay rights in full swing!

Yes, many say the world has changed, or is changing, but whether it has changed or is changing for the better or for the worse depends on who is asked. It is said that many people look up to the church for guidance, but others feel that it is the church that should look up to them for guidance because, according to them, some church leaders are saying that gay people should have and enjoy the right to live a normal life. In other words, they should have or enjoy the right to get married, adopt children and so forth. In fact, an openly gay Episcopal bishop in the United States, Bishop Gene Robinson, was publicly ordained. The same church ordained a woman gay bishop called Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool in Baltimore.

Now that the Obama government is saying that one of the conditions for developing countries or organizations to receive aid is by protecting and promoting the rights of gays and lesbians, it is safe to say that homosexuality will soon be considered a normal activity. It is about getting aid.

Speaking at a United Nations conference in Geneva a few days ago, the US Secretary of States, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, said the United States will use foreign aid and diplomacy to fight discrimination against homosexuals, saying: “Gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality.” She also said that gay “rights are also human rights.” Not only that, the United States Government, through Secretary Clinton, said that US missions around the world should consider gay and lesbian rights when making decisions about aid and asylum.

It may no longer be about cultural norms and mores, norms and mores that a society’s people say sustain that society; it is now about receiving foreign money that will help a country develop or help a charity organization implement its goals.  The need for foreign aid could displace everything else. In fact, the mention of foreign aid could soon cause the mushrooming of organizations believed to be fighting the rights of gays and lesbians.

The argument about a country being a Christian or Muslim country, or just some other religious country, may not be the aspect that takes precedence, but the fact that that country is protecting and promoting gay and lesbian rights, which, according to the US, are human rights. But who would knowingly want to violate a person’s or a group of persons’ human rights?

Does your organization have members seeking asylum to the United States, support gay and lesbian rights. Does your charity organization need funds to sustain its programs and projects? Then support gay and lesbian rights. Gay and lesbian rights are human rights. Many African countries, which are poor countries, depend of foreign aid. But, at the same time, they criminalize homosexuality. About two years ago, Uganda passed an anti-homosexual law in which it said that execution is the penalty for the practice. Other African countries are discussing banning the practice. But they may now have a second thought since getting aid is also based on it.

It is certain that Christian and other religious nations will fight back, quoting Leviticus 18:22, which says that “You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination” and Leviticus 20:13, which says that “If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death.” Some will even quote Romans 1:26-27, which says that “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature.  And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” But how far will their fight go? It is about receiving foreign aid and receiving asylum.

Many say the world is changing – and changing very fast. Gay and lesbian rights are now human rights. Whether this is better or worse for the world and its people depends on who is asked. But others reflect on life and say that nothing new is happening. The world has always been the same. There is nothing that is happening that has not happened before. But, again, who is right depends on who is asked.

What we need to remember at this point is that gay and lesbian rights are human rights and protecting and promoting these rights will also determine how much aid a country or an organization receive from the West. Whether this, too, is better or worse for the world and its people depend on who is asked.

Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.

Paul Yeenie Harry can be contacted at 0880619323 or pyharry@yahoo.com.

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