The debate on homosexuality is on a roller-coaster in the Stabroek News, with varying degrees of incoherence and incongruity emanating from right as from left in the pro-gay constellation.
We have had Christopher Carrico repeating the mistake he made in his previous piece about racism. In the same way that he hooks his presentation of racism on the euro-centric assertion that white people, as fons and origo of all phenomena, invented it (but see Bernard Lewis and Michel Foucault etc) he doctors the evidence on homosexuality to persuade himself that homophobia is an entirely western colonial response to queerness.
But this is a distortion of history. It is a warp of the vision that, in limiting itself to Western historiography, blinds the viewer to the extensive references from Islamic or other traditions that were no less clear as to God’s judgement of this vice. His argument resumes itself in the formula – since sodomy and other degeneracies existed in some pre-colonial cultures and in some ancestral time, they must have been and always will be, all right.
The logical fallacy- “an appeal to antiquity, or tradition”- cries out for exposure.
Consider it this way- if we are saying that because murder, or theft or envy, existed in pre-colonial times and may have been tolerated (like piracy by Berber pirates tolerated by entire societies on the Barbary Coast until suppressed by the Western people,) then, in a court of law, our local pirates may ask their lawyers to use this “appeal to antiquity argument” in their defence. The crime existed and was accepted in some places in pre-colonial times they may say. Or, charged with Trafficking in Persons or its toleration, we cite the example of pre-colonial African slave traders, the sometimes dishonest “arkati” labour recruiters in India etc. Given the geographical spread and historical distribution of these TIP crimes, Gail and Caroline should hire Chris as a consultant on their next sortie before the international community.
But promoting the pro-gay agenda in this fashion is evidently nonsensical if only because their contention disintegrates upon collision with the fact that behaviour is judgeable not solely by the strength of precedent, but primarily by intrinsic ideas of right and wrong and of what is natural. The argument against homosexuality therefore, from a logical view point, has to flee the net of claims that this or that behaviour is pre or post colonial.
But why can’t it be characterised as “neo-colonial”?
The answer is that it may legitimately be situated within the changes currently being promoted and experienced by the former colonial powers. Gay rights is not coming from India or Africa, but emerges as part of the wave of decadence that has arisen (with and in the wake of much positive social change) in former racist, conservative and sexist societies caught in their own social transformation and in the habit of projecting their problems in a euro-centric way, onto peoples elsewhere.
The “neo-colonial” argument has merely been offered, in my case, as an aside and in response to this reality that current attempts to legitimise the vice originate and are influenced by behaviour and propaganda and legislation in the West. To deny that this is so would be ludicrous. We know what happens in Europe or the USA or Canada, and at which colleges you can do Queer Studies etc. My argument that the pro-gay agenda being pushed on our green shores as an emanation from these sources is, essentially in response to Alissa Trotz and Antoine Craigwell who had hooked the pro-gay propaganda on an anti-colonial handle and claimed it was one way you could “liberate yourself from mental slavery.”
Also, as free love and sexual libertinage in the “sexual revolution” of the sixties, were justified as a reaction against the straight jacket of conformities imposed by a hegemonic church and social order, homosexuality gets a similar cosmetic of justification and explanation.
And then a mimicry of the pseudo-intellectual justification and explanation from some among us.
Christopher Carrico’s use of “anthropology as authority” is also in this vein. He cites Edward Evans- Pritchard as ethnological proof of African homosexuals. He fails to warn that Evans-Pritchard is basically the only source on the subject and worked in a limited time and geographical region mostly on the Azande, Nuer and a few other minor tribes.
His results are now viewed as exaggerated and perhaps tendentious. Consider then that in the same way that Margaret Mead, a lesbian, is felt to have pummelled her anthropological findings into a shape that supported emerging ideas about feminism and “sexual liberation,” the Western gender guerillas are using what anthropology they could find to justify sodomy etc. Carrico, inevitably becomes comprehensible when this tendency is taken into account
So I make bold to say that the process of colonisation-creolisation is ongoing, inevitable and most often bland and perhaps positive. But we get the gold with the dross. What is certain is that the imposition of value-free sex and guilt-free sodomy has become part of the programme of a lot of international bodies controlled by the West. They want to impose it on us. Imposition of cultural values came with colonialism and will continue to accompany any sort of exchange in which we figure as the receiving supplicating partner. The general resistance to this pressure in most of the non-Western world is the most glaring evidence of the fact that the societies from which most of us came never approved of or promoted homosexuality as a desirable lifestyle.
Now the Swami Aksharananda has leapt also on the chariot and unsheathed his pen in his ongoing war against “revealed religions” of the Abrahamic tradition and their certainties, their verities… their anti-homosexuality….. The Swami is, understandably, mostly into flogging and skewering his usual straw men. For example in his last letter he reiterates against “aggressive, proselytizing, intolerant religious creeds.” We know who he means. We understand.
Muslims are also against some forms of ex-conversion, de-conversion, re-conversion when these are associated with political and personal treachery, social disorder etc (But the Quran insists that “there is no compulsion in religion.”) The Swami has, then, repeatedly let it be known, publicly, that he is against religious conversion and Hindus changing faith. But, then, to the relief of the pro-gay posse, he is not against SASOD, and so he makes it clear that he is for tolerance of homosexuals. In other words, condemn the man trying to convert a Hindu to a new faith, but tolerate the man trying to convert him to sodomy. And while he condemns Edghill, he also ends up having to concede in a small sentence hidden away in his letter, that Hindusim is against homosexuality.
Krishna, the Hindu god, is supposed to have taken the form of a woman and married a man. In a faith that believes in the transmigration of souls, the possibility of being a man in one life and woman or dog in the next, has to be regarded, and the “samskara” or left over impressions from previous life and practice , to be accounted for. Perhaps. Whatever the implications, even this Krishna story has not convinced Hindus that sex change, sodomy, and all the deviations that go with it, could be right. The Swami may have, by his contortions around this issue, driven many a God fearing Hindu into the arms of Muslims or Christian proselytizers.
As for Red Thread, throwing the red herring of “you declared nothing about violence against women” at the Bishop, the less said the better. I am sure that we can find something that Red Thread or you and I never spoke out against. Do you have to speak out against everything to qualify for an opinion against anything else?
The Stabroek News editorial or Monday July 4 was a good example of clutching at floating straws which were then hurled at the Inter Religious Organisation for whom Edghill spoke. Roger Williams has responded and perhaps the less said the better.
Whatever we may conclude from the exchange, it is clear that the lines are drawn and the battle is joined. The homophiles will appeal to tradition, to genetics, to practice in the animal kingdom, to changes in the West, to the whole panoply of falsities and squibs they usually deploy in the desperate struggle for legitimacy. But, like polyandry, theirs is not a “sustainable lifestyle” as far as humanity is concerned.