Op-Ed

One Black Boy: Religion and Sexuality (The Final Instalment)

This is the first installment in the series by One Black Boy. 

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It is true that one of the teachings of most religious groups is based on love, tolerance and acceptance; Jesus taught his disciples to love one another. He taught them that the greatest commandment is love; love for God and love for humanity. It is also safe to say that the teachings of other religious groups centre around love and acceptance; and also tolerance for one and another.

A look at our world today would suggest the opposite.

While religious groups are quick to condemn people who are considered and identified as homosexuals based on some views from their holy book, they ignore the fact that these people deserve acceptance because they are human beings. History has played a major role in the ideas of human sexuality and desires. Early Christians expressed a form of “anti-intimacy” and sexual abstinence that was widely adopted and generally found as a zone of comfort to those who suspect themselves to be sexually perverted. Priestly celibacy, eunuchism, monkey and clergy positions were also adopted and encouraged as a way to curb and reduce the idea that persons can ever be sexually perverted. Sexual abstinence was accepted and cultivated as a general and effective means of salvation which accompanied exclusion from the outside world. Human sexuality outside the basic form of male and female intercourse was considered the worst of all sins and the most powerful temptation.

Although generally believed that hostility towards sexuality is a special view of Christianity, there seems to be no other religion that presents a different view of acceptance and tolerance towards the LGBTQ community save Satanism. There are 72 countries in the world that criminalise sexual activity by LGBTQ persons and 80% of these countries are regarded as religious nations. It is obvious that the basis of church laws against the LGBTQ community is based upon religious beliefs. A religion which hides under the idea of love for God and humanity has constantly failed humanity.

There are people who identify and are identified as members of the LGBTQ community who still hold on to their beliefs. They believe in a God and want to also identify perfectly with their various religious groups but the perceived hostility have driven them to various forms of fear and this keeps them in hiding; from their God, their families, their neighbours and even themselves. They end up denying themselves off every form of happiness and pleasure.

This is what religion should be in the twenty-first century. One that loves unconditionally, doesn’t judge people for their choices, says no to vile laws and policies, rises up to protect the weak including minorities and above all, one that tolerates the diversity of humanity.

 

One Black Boy is a young African writer and Blogger based in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this Op-Ed by the Writer are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rustin Times.

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