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Sat Apr 18 09:18:14 SAST 2015

Anti-gay Uganda, not Tutu, deserves condemnation: ILIVE

Andrew Skinner, by e-mail | 19 December, 2012 00:06
HIGH MORAL GROUND: Archbishop Desmond Tutu should be respected as a man of influence and for using that influence to defend the rights of gay men and lesbians
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS

I BELIEVE that Desmond Tutu has done a noble thing in speaking out against the Ugandan anti-homosexual legislation.

He is commenting on laws that he feels will lead to increasing hatred and discrimination towards a group of people who are already unfairly treated by society.

The letter "Tutu wrong: God says homosexuality is a sin" yesterday appears to wilfully disregard this, launching into an attack based almost entirely on the writer's beliefs rather than on the content of Tutu's commentary.

As much as many people might look to God and Christian scripture, when a state intends to execute people for going about their own lives and sex lives in the way they see fit, without causing harm to those around them, then I feel that any condemnation should fall upon the state in question. I do not believe that religion is a bad thing, per se, but in this instance I think that it has been taken too far.

If I were a Christian I would - before reeling out the laws that I believe make homosexuality repulsive - remember that Jesus spent his time among the downtrodden, the people society deemed unclean. Perhaps before one spouts all the reasons for why a man should not lie with another man, one should truly fall back on the maxim "What would Jesus do?" I sincerely doubt it would include interfering in people's sex lives.

Saying that "the truth must be told, and gays and lesbians must be told that it is wrong" is simply unconscionable, particularly in contrast to Tutu's message of peace and acceptance.

Finally, I think any person offering criticism of Tutu should, at the very least, consider that the man wields significant influence, and that with influence of that nature comes a very high level of responsibility. He has chosen to acknowledge that responsibility and to use his influence to further the cause of harmony between members of the human race.

I believe his cause is noble and should be praised as such, rather than met with the insistence that a hateful paradigm be perpetuated.

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