How Hating Gay People Will Destroy Christianity In Ghana

emmett-till
kinto 2 Image of Emmett Till’s brutalized corpse. The colored image is that of Kinto after he was attacked by a mob of men.

On August 8, 1955 white men brutalized and killed Emmet Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Anxieties about interracial sex in America often caused white men to beat, torture and kill Black people.  The systematic brutalization of Black people in America was very much a part of the white supremacist Christian tradition. From state laws that banned interracial marriage  (the District Court in Loving v. Virginia upheld anti-interracial marital laws because the judge theorized that God separated the races to prevent interracial marriages) to Christian college policies that prohibited interracial sex as late as in 2000, white Christians in America often maintained that interracial sex was an abomination to God. And this sentiment created a culture where mobs of white racist men could freely brutalize, torture, and kill Black people because they were confident that their actions were sanctioned by God. Similar to hateful homophobic people in Ghana.

Widespread Violence Against Gay and Lesbian People In Ghana

On February 10, 2015 disturbing images and a video showed a man who was attacked by a mob of men because they believed him to be gay*. The man is popularly known as Kinto. In a calculated effort to attack Kinto, an elaborate ploy was set up to lure Kinto into the neighborhood of his attackers. This is not the first time that people, perceived not to be heterosexual, have been physically attacked by mobs of men in Ghana. Boys in a  Secondary School in the Volta Region sought help from faculty and police as a mob of other students sought to attack them, while women believed to be Lesbians were stripped naked and chased with sticks and whips.  Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Ghanaians have been blackmailed and exploited for money, forcibly evicted from their homes, faced discrimination in the work place, and even driven to suicide by familial shame. Even journalistic reports on the attacks of Gays and Lesbians criminalize them by placing “suspected” before their identity, and speculating on their orientation. Despite the maltreatment of those who are not exclusively heterosexual in Ghana, many Ghanaians’ hyper-religious attitudes often leave little room for empathy or action.

Homophobia and The Anti-Christ

Any division that has the capacity to truly destroy a movement, idea, or philosophy comes from within. The biggest threat to Christianity is not Atheism.The biggest threat to this religious belief is a distortion of Christ’s word and actions such that people are unknowingly defying Christ’s commands in their attempt to practice and live up to it. Essentially,it requires the practicing of malevolence  under the guise of Christ. It is using God to justify what could easily be the Devil’s work.Using Christianity for lynching, for raping, for enslaving Black people. Also for the colonization and decimation of L’Afrique. Using Christianity as a justification, in principle,  to do the opposite of what Jesus asks of us to do. It is what makes it “anti-Christ”. It is not to say that one is the devil, rather that despite presenting oneself as Christian,  one acts in a manner so deeply conflicting of Christ that it undermines and mocks Christianity.

As the above two tweets illustrate, people are comfortable expressing degrading and unsympathetic ideas about those they believe to be non-heterosexual. Under the guise of God, the above two tweeters still could not find compassion for a person that suffered a fractured skull from an unprovoked attack. Instead there was an unhealthy fixation on the supposed sexuality of Kinto, coupled with a perpetual desire to condemn. Ignoring that anti-homosexual laws and attitudes were inherited through British imperialism, insisting on maltreating non-heterosexual persons is anti-Christian, and it will haunt the already sordid, brutal, legacy of Christianity.

Jesus’ Legacy

Brutal legacy aside, hatred of those who are not straight in Ghana defies Jesus’ instructions. Jesus specifically required that we love each other, (John 13:34), that we continue to love each other (Hebrews 13:1), that we treat the most vulnerable like we would treat Him (Matthew 25: 41- 44), that we refrain from attacking others unless we are perfect ourselves (John 8:7), and finally Jesus Himself was silent on the issue of same-sex relations.

The Anti-Christ is not some personified, human-like, demon. The Anti-Christ will manifest as manipulating Christians so they do the Devil’s work in Jesus’ name. And degrading human beings  by referring to them as “barbaric animals”, because you believe them to be Gay, after they have been violently attacked, is Anti-Christ work. Furthermore, the assertion in Skuboye’s tweet is just flat out wrong. All animals that reproduce sexually have a varying sexual performance and partnering, much of which includes same-sex companionship and sex.

archJesus’ instructions are clear. I complete my post with a plea to Christians concerned about the unethical ways that their faith is used to justify brutality. The plea is to join in transforming traditional understandings of Christianity in Ghana that tolerate the dehumanization of those perceived  not to be heterosexual. I plea for Christians to take upon the rebellious attitude of Jesus, and to defend those deemed unworthy by society. Or risk being another blemish in the increasingly violent, legacy of Christianity. #Justice4Kinto

* I am unsure about the complex and diverse ways that Ghanaians with romantic, emotional, and/or sexual attraction to persons of the same sex/gender identify. At the Humanist Conference of West Africa, some people revealed their identity to be marked by the phrase “indigenous African homosexual”.

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16 thoughts on “How Hating Gay People Will Destroy Christianity In Ghana

  1. Fantastic read, however I fail to reconcile the topic of the write up to the contents. There are no ‘openly gay’ Christians in Ghana, and no openly anti gay faction within the Church in Ghana..

    Indeed, if there is ANYTHING that the Church is united on, it would be on the subject of homosexuality..

    Getting a mind shift on this subject in Ghana would require extensive research based arguments on HOW homosexuality is akin to, say, Downs Syndrome, Autism or some other genetic disorder, and how those guys can’t help being what they are.

    But, believe me, Christianity or the Church in Ghana is nowhere near disintegrating BECAUSE of homosexuality..

    What the Church in Ghana is batting with now is with:

    1. Charlatans who profess to spread the Word, yet engage in all manner of ‘sinful’ activities with the congregation

    2. Church Leaders/Owners who display massive wealth and ostentatious lifestyles, to name just two.

    The subject of homosexuality does not even qualify as a controversial one when Ghanaian churches list their top 100 Christian Based Issues

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good propositions, however this is not discussing the institution of the church. it looks to the ideas of Christianity within Ghana. There is not homogeneity within Christian understanding in Ghana, however there is a lack of widespread action when sexual minorities are attacked. Which undermines the legacy and goal of Christianity

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That may also be difficult to attain, because homosexuality in Ghana is a crime.
        That’s the first step.

        And the lack of widespread action against homosexuals IS in itself homogenous within Gh Christian context, unless of course you can point to one (or more) Christian sects here that tolerate the practice.?

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  2. Oh wow!! I am a christian and i cant believe what i just read. i agree with you on half of the things. i hate violence against gay ppl. because that connotes violence against everybody who sins. i sin sometimes n if i am supposed to be beaten by a mob everytime i sin, id hv died at age 5.
    Really this part got me shocked for minutes “… and it will haunt the already sordid,
    brutal, legacy of Christianity.”. Wow!! Really?? this is a bit exaggerated. n i dont get why ur entire post is abt christians as if christian is the only faith that is against homosexuality (The act).
    u did well in asking us to act like Jesus would..awesome.point. remember wen the people wanted to stone the adulterous woman? Jesus told the woman ‘.. neither do I condemn you, GO N SIN NO MORE’. here u r condemning violence against gay ppl like Jesus would. Yet i dont see u condemning the act itself as a sin. In the bible homo is seen as a sin. Just like any other sexually immoral act. we shldnt compromise on that at all!!!!! i repeat, we shldnt compromise on that at all!!!
    i hv dealt with addiction.in my own life . so i know how it feels. it is the Love of God dat got me thru it. to anybody out there who is gay. Jesus loves you. it is the act he hates not u. nevertheless while we were yet sinners Jesus died for us. so draw near him. He alone can help u.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello ! I was simply appealing to Christians because it is the majority group in Ghana. Please check out the link, Christianity does have a brutal legacy. From colonization to imperialim, from slavery to lynching, from covering up abuse systematically (Catholic Church) , and the treatment of women historically. Now that is not to say that I think Christianity is evil, rather that Christianity has been used to do evil. And I’m asking Christians to stand up against the use of Christianity for evil

      When it comes to same sex love, I contest that it is against the Bible. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many other Christians also contest that the Bible believes it to be wrong. On the following basis, first the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one about rape and not loving same sex issues. (because Lot begs them to come out and the angels are refusing, showing that the mob wanted to rape them). Second the social context at the time affects what is said. For example, the Bible discusses slavery and never condemns it, but Christians often argue that the social context of the time affects that Biblical interpretation. Same for same-sex love, the social context was that people were having anonymous sex in bath houses, and exploiting younger boys, some CHristians argue that Paul was not condemning consensual same-sex love but rather exploitation.

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  3. But then again, you talk about Christianity in Ghana, but then use Desmond Tutu to buttress your point?

    Isn’t there any prominent Ghanaian ‘Man of God’ you could have used?

    I find this topic particularly interesting because of the Ghanaian relevance.. But if your examples are South African, this brilliant piece very quickly loses flavour..

    I maintain that the ENTIRE Ghanaian Christian community is an anti gay one, and until a prominent member of the Gh clergy is mentioned here as a reference point, I remain lost as to what this article strives to achieve

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why must one defer to the authoritative position of a Ghanaian clergy? Using Desmond Tutu is to show that Christians can and do contest the claim that being gay is morally wrong.

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      1. Ok, so you use a South African Bishop (Whose utterances and stance on Homosexuality were wholly condemned by the Ghanaian clergy) to make a point that homophobia in Ghana would ruin Christianity?

        I’m not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, so could you please explain it to me what the relevance then is?

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  4. Honestly, I don’t think secular humanists should be the one’s preaching to Christians on how to interpret their religion. While they debate what the Bible says or does not say, I will call for respect for people to live their lives how they want.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think Kofi Gbedemah has done a lot of justice to this by making constructive comments. Deducing from where Kinto was beaten, all of us can attest to the fact that it was our Muslim brothers who took the action. Personally I do not support instant justice or beating of homosexuals. The quote by Desmond Tutu is not in my view a qualified one. Yes God will not judge on being black because black is a human race, He might not judge on being a woman because He created a woman. Then to homosexuality, in the Bible, God destroyed a whole city because of this so if Jesus was silent on it like you claim, does that mean it is acceptable or it should be acceptable in the Christian perspective? One main outcome of sex and why God made sex was for recreation. In what way does homosexuality bring forth other human beings. If homosexuality was the right way, many of us including you might not have been given birth to. If homosexuality was God’s original plan, he would have created two each of a man and a woman from the onset and give them the opportunity to decide who they get married to. Don’t forget people like Desmond Tutu cannot condemn homosexuality on public platforms because of what he thinks the super powers will say about him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK I’ll just touch on this, Tutu is no coward and does not bow down to super powers. He condemned apartheid when it was popular, condemned Israel despite having all of the powers on Israel’s side so that is a false characterization.

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  6. Exactly, Jerome, unless it is against the law..

    As I keep on stressing, the subject of homosexuality in Ghana and Nigeria is not only a moral and religious one, but also a criminal one..

    And when approached from that angle, until it is removed from the statute books as a criminal act, it remains everybodys business just like incest, rape and paedophilia..

    Liked by 1 person

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