Bible, bishops, buggers, and a hidden agenda

Franklin
Johnston

Friday, August 11, 2017

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Some people have a pathological preoccupation with buggery, so few knew of other issues raised by Dr Howard Gregory, Anglican lord bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, in his paper to Parliament. The English Buggery Act of 1533 did not define it, and the Act of 1864 was a colonial set-hand. By this, some parsons, sons of slaves, oppressed consenting adults for their moral choice.

The Bible says a lot about love, little on homosexuals, nothing about women who have sex with women, yet some parsons put this sin above the commandments. The Bible is direct: Exodus 21, 13-16, KJV “13 Thou shalt not kill (a crime). 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal (a crime). 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Yet, in their inept virtue-signalling, no anti-buggery pastor advocates that our massive adultery or fornication be criminalised. Why?

Dr Gregory is courageous to step outside his office as bishop to share personal views. Many parsons are undecided, other anti-buggers or sincerely misguided — they were never united. New evangelicals now ask the State to rule on moral issues and force unity as Jesus's “love one another” does not suit them.

Some cogitate and disinvite Rev Garnett Roper and want to filter Howard's views.

How complex is this buggery thing?

Jesus recruited fishermen not PhDs, so don't overthink it. Is it a faith issue or a smokescreen? Adultery wracks their churches; fornication, jealousy, gluttony abound, and on their watch crime spirals. Repent!

The three shibboleths in Jamaica — ganja, prostitution, homosexuality — are evergreen topics for debate. I said ganja should be struck from law books as it was free for centuries and the world is still on its axis. We should use rules; taxes, as for tobacco, alcohol; the same for prostitution and homosexuality. Many may soon sniff glue or chew guinea hen weed to get high. Will we make them illegal? We decriminalised ganja, why not buggery?

Some ask, what happens after? All who wanted ganja before or after got it, and those who are gay now will be gay after. Will there be a rush to gay lifestyles? If so, the church wasted time for decades. Must parsons frog-march sinners to heaven? They should preach the Word and “thy kingdom come”!

Buggery has been here for millennia. It was not a crime until 1600 years after Christ; a stable two per cent (rough estimate). Liquor, prostitutes, gays were around Jesus, all were freely available; none was illegal and Christianity went viral and global. In the decades since they are illegal, faith waned, evil grew. Dear pastors, allow wheat and tares to grow, as the harvest is the Lord's. Get over yourselves!

In his 33 years Jesus said and did nothing about Jews and Romans in buggery. Jesus is presumed male, but not macho. John “he loved” (John 13), Mary Magdalene too; he lauded “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake” (Matthew 19), kissed men, women, so where on the LBGTQIA (includes Queer, Intersex and Asexual) spectrum was he?

Jesus is portrayed as a pale, bearded, white man with androgynous frame and effeminate mien. Was he gay? He had a thing for prostitutes and tax collectors to the chagrin of his disciples, now some pastors persecute gays big time in His name. What would Jesus do?

Dr Gregory lobbed stones into the divine pigpen and the squeals, articles, menaces, were deafening! New evangelicals who push buggery law speak truth to power selectively. Eons ago Leviticus said, “If a man lie with a man as with a woman it is an abomination they shall surely be put to death.” Will pastor ask Cabinet the death penalty for both, as per God's word? Do you trust pastors who say only the part of the sentence that suits them?

Paul, in Ephesians in the second century CE, said: “Slaves, obey your masters with fear and trembling.” Parson, bwoy, guh weh wid dat, dis a yaad! Jamaicans are not hateful, and most do not treat gay citizens (some are family) as chattel. Kissing is insanitary as lovers and others pass on millions of germs, yet Cabinet must not legislate where consenting adults stick finger, tongue or other member in private — mindful of public health. Some men “double-dip” wives for mutual pleasure, so what? Make thumb-sucking illegal?! Parliament must not legislate morality!

So what's the agenda? Opposition to Howard Gregory's paper is not about faith, but failure, money, reinventing a career. New evangelicals rule for decades and their rise, in sync with Jamaica as murder capital, is not accidental. The get-rich gospel took hold, as did crime — an unintended consequence. Old churches — Anglican, Catholic, Moravian, Baptist, Methodist — were marginalised and crime ballooned. This “bugger-hunt” is to stir hatred; hide failure, build a crusader image, and bury bad news. These new churches now control the commanding heights, yet they have no saints or Knights Templar who died on Crusades. No Adventists, Witnesses, Mormons, Christ Scientists, or Assembly of whatever was there. They did not fight for our Emancipation or Independence; some don't celebrate them, nor birthdays, Christmas; don't vote, join police, give blood; take no vow of celibacy or poverty to serve us but are “praasperity parsons”! Jamaica was more crime-free when the ancient churches were dominant. Today, sexual ambivalence and ego fuel homophobia, and a few parsons stir controversy to ingratiate themselves with the public for income or to atone for egregious errors.

In the sweep of history confused churches, putrid pastors who sow hate all fail. But hate is contagious and does not stay in lane, so we and good parsons must sow love. Parliament must lead and not oppress any group of citizens or deny them rights. History beckons, Andrew Holness! Sir, do your duty to Jamaica; let these churches do theirs to God. Stay conscious!

Franklin Johnston, D Phil (Oxon), is a strategist and project manager. Send comments to the Observer or franklinjohnstontoo@gmail.com.

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