disdain things you cannot have: ignoring them is the
The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him. The less interest you
show, the more superior you seem.
Remember: You choose to let things bother you. You can just as easily choose to
consider the matter trivial and unworthy of your interest. That is the powerful move.
Robert Greene- 48 Laws of Power
A few weeks ago the government of Nigeria passed a bill into law outlawing the practice of homosexuality. Under this new law, anybody caught engaging in homosexual practices would liable to a prison term of fourteen years, and anybody found “aiding” and “abetting” homosexual practices was also liable to a prison term. The law as usual generated a huge media storm, especially on social media where a lot of arguments were bandied about and slurs and insults were shared on both sides of the divide.
This piece however is not really interested in talking about why being straight is better than being gay or vice versa. that question is as old as man himself, even the bible recognizes the existence of homosexuality (even though the “just kill them all” solution it advocates is rather strange and rather scary for a book which its central message is God’s love for the world and everybody being created in his image. but that is for another day).if you want sound, and eloquent arguments on homosexuality, you can look here and here
What today’s thought is afraid about is that with this new law, the president has done the opposite of what he intended to do in the first place. It is my fear that Mr. President may have just grabbed a monster everyone is stylishly pretending doesn’t exist, and shoved it right in our faces. Many of us who had grown up with the knowledge that homosexuality is a “vice” perpetrated by some distant “perverts” are going to face a jarring new reality, that they in fact are our friends and families and they live with us and around us
First of all with this law being subject to manipulation, we shouldn’t be surprised if in 2015 prominent politicians inexplicably turn out to be gay. In the highly likely scenario where a very rich public figure is framed up for homosexuality, such a person will likely go for a highly publicized case to court to prove their innocence. That means more TV and Radio and newspaper time for a topic which the average Nigerian as a matter of culture and religion has been drilled to ignore. Imagine what it would look like for someone who has been conditioned to develop a blind spot to homosexuality suddenly seeing it brutally screaming out at him from the pages of newspapers or from his television screens. Ignorance they say is bliss, but now we don’t even have the luxury of ignorance anymore. Thanks a lot Mr. President.
Let us say that the above situation is hypothetical, what about the situation where anybody found aiding and abetting homosexual practices is liable for a prison term. This means if I “flee all appearances of evil” as my bible tells me to do, I can still be roped in and chucked in jail under this law. I may be straight, but with this new law homosexuality still has the power to ruin my life anyway. On the other hand if I behave like the good citizen that I am supposed to be, I may be called in as a witness in the prosecution case, which inevitably means I will be forced to answer questions on and remember details of a practice I find disgusting. In essence, (unless Mr. President can convince me of another way to catch homosexuals apart from when they are in the act) I will become a voyeur, and not an ordinary voyeur mind you, but a gay porn voyeur. Neither option is any less traumatizing.
Furthermore, as I mentioned in my non conformity piece some months ago, every idea in the mainstream today started from a single source, and was publicized by a bunch of hipsters (an exhaustive reading of Act of the Apostles will reveal there was a time when being a Christian attracted more severe punishment than being gay today). Jesus Christ a messenger of God and teacher was arrested and crucified for treason, this brutal death became the core of the message his followers began to preach. When Rome cracked down on Christians, killing them, and outlawing them, the people saw not a government trying to save their people from subversion, but a bully using power to oppress an unarmed and non violent, underdog. The sight of Christians accepting their fates calmly and stoically, challenged onlookers, who wondered what was in the message they preached that they were willing to die for. In short the more brutal the government became, the more people were willing to listen to these people. The rest they say is history. Nothing seems to have changed in two thousand years and it is my fear that Mr. President might be on his way to replicating that kind of scenario here. The truth is that, regardless of who is right or wrong, the human mind is instinctively conditioned to pitch his tent with the perceived weakling. So if you see many people suddenly adding “Gay” to their twitter handles, it is not that they have suddenly turned gay, they just resent bullies. If homosexuality is a disease, is bullying the cure? I don’t think so. It gets worse; people who had hitherto hid themselves are now milking the fame and basking in the adoration of foreign media. The water Mr. President is trying to use to quench the fiery breath of the dragon is now the fuel that is giving it even more power.
If there is anything we can learn from Mr. President’s ill advised and ill informed passage of this law, it is that he failed to observe Robert Greene’s 36th law of power. The reason why all the holy books failed to talk extensively about homosexuality much is because they understood this law. They knew that the more they talk about being gay, the more uncomfortable questions they have to answer. The more ignorant of a subject you are, the less you are likely to ask questions and seek answers on it. In his bid to protect the “sacred institution of marriage” and “family values,” Mr. president has opened a can of worms that we would have wanted closed, he has left us to be bitten by dogs we should have left to sleep, he is picking at a wound that we would have preferred hidden. To paraphrase Shakespeare: “Jonathan has murdered our blissful and ignorant sleep, now neither he nor we (both straight and gay) shall sleep no more.” Thank you very much for that Mr. President, now you see what they say about the road paved with good intentions?
Where do we go from here on the issue of anti homosexuality law, it is difficult to say. one thing, however, is certain, this new law will affect everybody, “straight” or gay alike, our “innocence” has been shattered, through the new law the “institution of marriage” will be “protected” so will family values, but more people will needlessly die, bloodthirsty mobs will exact jungle justice, our towns and cities will run red with blood, each lynching will make front page news and everyone who believes in the dignity of human life will be shaken to the marrow, a problem we did not have a few years ago is about to change the way we view the people around us. All because a group of leaders sat down, and in a rush of emotion (or just to prove a point against perceived Western bullies) passed an asinine, unenforceable and ill informed law. Thank you Mr. President, Thank you very much,