Letters & Opinion

Same Sex And Death Penalty

Same Sex Marriage

‘Meme Bête, Meme Pwel’?

By  Earl Bousquet
By Earl Bousquet

WANT to know why I don’t think we’re about to see same-sex marriages in any church here? Here’s why…

The main gay rights activists in our part of the world behave as if they’re so much in a hurry to seek and force their version of climate change faster than the society is ready to stand, that they simply blind themselves to simple glowing realities. They behave like they want to put the rest of the society’s sense of understanding of their views on same-sex relations on fast-track. They seem to have adopted an inflexible ‘in your face’ approach to the promotion and defence of their cause that’s more akin to those faraway societies and cultures where related issues have long been discussed and debated, fought over and continue to be fought over, from decades past to the present.

The likes of the USA and the UK (and EU) will and do use every opportunity to force (mainly African) governments to ban ‘anti gay laws’ and replace them with laws that favour and allow same-sex relationships and marriages. The British have made no bones either, about forcing CARICOM governments to scrub-off the region’s law books the very same ‘Death by hanging’ laws they inscribed when they were in full charge of writing and implementing the region’s laws. That mentality still resided in London, so, as far as those in charge there today are concerned, Britain’s got rid of the death penalty, so the former colonies must too!

I’m sure that the USA would like to see the rest of the world adopt its recent stand of legalizing ‘same sex marriage’ across the board, across all states and nations of the universe. But I’m not sure the US Ambassador to the United Nations is about to introduce a resolution to the next UN General Assembly to that effect. Nor do I think President Obama would have tried to whip a region of people of mainly African descent into forcibly adopting, accepting and giving their church blessings to practices they still largely consider immoral and unacceptable.

I’ve always said we need more to be cautiously moderate instead of in-a-hurry to influence change. Tolerance levels must be honestly measured to determine approaches to advocacy of new norms and methods of any kind.

Some advocates are good at manipulating words and statistics to create sound arguments to promote their cases. But no matter how good the argument sounds or may be, people will still not listen or give it any consideration if they feel it’s being shoved down their throats or scrubbed into their faces.

I’ve always said Saint Lucia isn’t ready for, nor is about to see same sex-marriages at the Cathedral (or the Minor Basilica) of the Immaculate Conception. Not when the world is making so much fuss about same sex relations between Catholic priests. How can a Catholic Priest marry two men or women when the present Pope and the Vatican he leads are punishing priests for inappropriate or illegal same-sex activity, whether between them as consenting adults or through abuse of boys in or under their care?

Other Christian religions here have also said clearly (in the past week) that they will not perform same sex marriages in their churches. So then, where will same sex marriages take place here? At the registry? Can the registrar single-handedly change the historical Christian definition of ‘marriage’ here and in this part of the world?

I think those who say we can use the recent US decision to promote gay and lesbian same-sex tourism are missing the tourist boat. Indeed, same-sex cruises have been taking place here for some time. We hardly notice the lesbian tours (After all, in our eyes, there’s nothing wrong with two women walking together and holding hands, right?). But the very first gay cruise that called in Port Castries a few years ago was met with loud indignation by local taxi drivers – until they realized the gay couple paid hefty tips!

Our taxi drivers have found an easy way (and argument) to justify now crawling over each other to solicit gay visitors off cruise ships. (Some tell me they simply “turn-up the rear-view mirror” so as not to see anything happening behind them that could steer the off them road.) But consider the case of Dominica, when one gay cruise that had also been here saw a gay couple arrested and charged for indecent exposure, after seen making love in the privacy of the open balcony of their shipside cabin, in full view of incensed locals. In the Bahamas too, religious leaders have maintained a prolonged opposition to gay cruises calling at the Caribbean’s most famous and active cruise destination.

And then there’s the propensity by the anti-gay elements in some parts (especially but not solely Jamaica) to similarly overly react to the ‘in-your-face’ approach of the activists — in equally or more strident, even violent, ways and means. Some jurisdictions have banned Jamaican singers who profess anti-gay sentiments, but that hasn’t in any way reduced the deeply-held view of the average Jamaican (or Caribbean person) that same sex relations, far less marriages, should become an accepted household norm and way of Caribbean life.

I’m not alone. Rick Wayne – who knew what the modern definition of ‘gay’ was long before any of us ever understood it also meant other than we learned at school – said last week he isn’t ready to attend a gay or same-0sex marriage, or to see two men holding hands and kissing in public.

Rick also wants to know whether those among us who are against ‘same-sex marriage’ are only against the ‘marriages’ and ‘not against the same-sex’. Others point to the existence of ‘gay bars’ in Saint Lucia, where women (I haven’t heard of men) freely kiss at tables and kick-fight over jealousies. Still others ask whether we have forgotten that the people we call gays always existed here for as long as we can remember.

These are the types of discussions Caribbean Society needs to have before we can hear overly anxious advocates even suggesting that because it’s good for America it has to be better for us – or that churches should start training priests to marry gay couples.

Our propensity to readily ‘carbon-copy’ or ‘cut-and-paste’ European and American solutions for our home-grown problems is nothing short of justifying the ridiculous historical claim that former colonial people are unable to find our own solutions to our own problems.

The saying “Monkey see, monkey do!” wasn’t accidentally coined. It mirrors that historical tendency of some in previously enslaved societies to unquestionably copycat everything the Master, King or Queen says or does in the imperial realm, within the empire.

But another equally offensive phrase was also coined by the Bards of Yore, most likely in response to what they considered tiny monkey species even trying to copycat the gorillas in charge of today’s global animalized kingdom.

The likes of Europe will squeeze our national testicles in a mechanical vice grip to get us to remove the death penalty from our law books. But the USA not only insists on continuing to condemn prisoners to death and carry out the death penalty, but also gives each US state the choice to decide which kind of death penalty to carry out – whether hanging, firing squad, lethal injection or electric chair.

The same Europe will join the USA to force African and other small developing states to change their laws to suit them, but will not once challenge the USA to stop killing prisoners and sentencing them to death.

This is what the USA, with Europe’s backing, is saying to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, when it comes to issues like the Death Penalty: “Do as is I say, not as I do!”

But in cases like ‘same sex marriage’, the State Department would advise the White House and Uncle Sam (white or black): “Not to wave the Big Stick or lash-out with rod in hand,” but rather to “Simply say: ‘Just do as I do, and forget what I say!’”

As we say, Meme Bete, Meme Pwel!

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