Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WDJD (What Did Jesus Do) ?

Happening upon another debate on a religious political party Facebook group hate wall, I noticed somebody posted the following in a debate about GLBT and their party's dicriminatory policies:

"God gave us freedom of choice so if you want to be bisexual, be bisexual; if you want to be a pedophile, that is your choice;"

So who's a hypocrite now?

Monday, March 30, 2009

COPE Lied To Us!

Late last year I was part of a group that lobbied the new party COPE to include GLBT rights in its policies and manifesto. COPE was then making all the right human rights noises and astonishingly even invited GLBT to the table. It seems in hindsight, that it may well have been just another ploy to win as much support as they could, at almost any cost. Almost.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

- Next!

Today the rights, dignity and equality of gay and trans people are under relentless attack from people who use religion - and even the same religion of their victims - against them as a weapon. It is not just the rights we seek to be equal to them that they assault - but us as people as well. Gay-haters make physical attacks on hapless outnumbered victims, those thinking of themselves as "christian soldiers" have even bombed gay establishments around the world. America launched a war against terror for just one incident, horrible as it was - and yet for decades, GLBT have been on the receiving end of a largely ignored, publicly condoned and silent War OF Terror.

Friday, March 27, 2009

There Is No Fence!

A feminist friend pointed out to me the other day that men seem to be the root cause of all of women's - and society's ills:

We have MENstruation, MENopause, MENtal illness, deMENtia,

...and it seems now we can add fundaMENtalism as well.

She may have a point.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Road To Heaven Is Paved With Hell

Taking on the immense hate there is out there for gay and transgender people is a very, very difficult thing to do. You open yourself up to all sorts of attack, both verbally and physically - in the online world and also in the real world.

In the past few years I have built up a small collection of what I call "fan mail" from "admirers" who have threatened - even from half the world away - to hurt me and even to kill me. Some of the lesser creative ones have even threatened legal action without any solid basis whatever for daring to tackle their unadulterated bigotry. Some of them would make pretty good one-liners, except they have no actual punchline. Just to cheer me up, I have also committed to memory the verbal threats and bullying I have been faced with in real life.

The Taste Of Irony

For the past three days I have heard people bantering on about the poor Dalai Lama being denied a visa to enter SA, about what a fantastic human rights icon he is for trying to free Tibet from Chinese rule (to return it to his rule, of course) - but not a word about his dark views on GLBT people.


Barbara Hogan, our new health minister has set the cat among the pigeons by daring to criticize her ANC masters for refusing a visa to the Dalai Lama. Apparently the public at large view this man as a man of peace and some kind of spiritual icon. She even expects the government to apologize to the people of SA for this action.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

High Altitude Atitudes

Diversity seems to scare some people. The thought of being equal to people they look down upon and think of as dirty or "too different" can scare them out of their half-wits. In another sense, this being brought down to the level of the rest of us ordinary sinful mortals makes some people doubt their own religion and forces them to face the fact that perhaps what they believe in is not as sound as they thought - and that the only way to 'save face' is to deny all truth and facts and turn extreme fundamentalist and to look for scapegoats to blame their worldly woes on. This is what seems to be happening in SA and around the world today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Found In Translation

My girlfriend comes from Finland and her entire family still lives there. Luckily she speaks perfect English (with a slight American accent, a result of watching so many TV shows) or we would never have understood each other. I speak two languages fluently - English and Afrikaans, with a growing understanding of German which I find interesting because of my ancestry. Learning a Germanic language after knowing one is relatively easier, seeing as they basically have the same roots. She also speaks a little Swedish and I find the similarities between German, Swedish and Afrikaans uncanny. Not that I haven't tried to learn Finnish, but to be quite honest after a few minutes, I feel like I have been sucking unsuccessfully on a very thick milkshake and my head is about to implode. In short, it really 'Finnishes' me. (She also stopped laughing at jokes like that a long time ago.)

Assumption Is The Father Of All Screw Ups

While browsing a site on the treatment of transgender and intersex patients, I noted the following assertion: "Newborns with intersex deformities must early on be assigned to one sex or the other."


This is surely the biggest error medical caregivers can make.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unity And Strength In Diversity

Spending quality time with the people you love - and who love you - is more than just goofing off or finding ways to spend time not actually doing anything useful. Many activists feel that taking such time is risky and wasteful and could be put to better use promoting the cause of human rights. After all, we are greatly outnumbered - and our enemies have no shortage of volunteers eager to drive another nail into the coffin of our human rights while our backs may be turned.

However, it does serve a very important purpose. Aside from reducing or countering the stress we as activists are met with in the world, it helps to remind us what it is we are fighting for - and why we are fighting in the first place.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Goes Around, Goes Around

I have often wondered why it is that some Christians have this annoying drive to spread the news about their religion by pestering and annoying other people. You don't see troupes of Muslims or Hindus hitting a neighbourhood near you and going door to door "spreading the word". Well, aside from the usual Jehovah's Witnesses passing by on a regular basis, annoying as they are (they know by now to skip my door), recently I have started seeing "regular Christians" taking up this tactic as well. This morning in fact I was awoken by a knocking without the door only to find a father and son couple attempting to enthusiastically hand me a (full colour nogal) leaflet through my security gate announcing a "memorial service for the late Jesus Christ". Not only are these (undoubtedly) well-meaning folk only about two thousand years too late, but these smiling, beaming and suited folk also claim theirs is the "one true faith" and that nobody else - especially Jehovah's Witnesses - has it right. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

WARNING - Sense Of Humor Failure Imminent!

"Comedian Rowan Atkinson has criticised hate speech legislation, saying that the House of Lords must vote against a government attempt to remove a free speech clause in a homophobic hatred offence.

The Blackadder actor, addressing a meeting of Lords on Tuesday, warned of creating a culture of "censoriousness" by removing free speech." - Pink News UK

I used to be, right up until this moment, a fan of Atkinson, be it for Mr Bean, Black Adder or Keeping Mum - but that is IT.

How is discrimination against sexual orientation in the form of HATE speech in any way different from racism? Is sexual orientation and gender identity not also an inborn trait like race? Hate is hate and I think Mr Atkinson has lost sight of that small detail.

Flexible Morality & Other Fairy Tales

SA Government has today launched into a tirade of criticism of Madagascar's latest coup. They have also asked the AU to expell Madagascar from membership on this basis. Curiously enough, they claim they will not support a government which has taken power through undemocratic means yadda, yadda, yadda. Pull the other one, apparently it has bells on.

Interesting hypocrisy. For quite some time they have done or said nothing at all of the kind for our friendly northern neighbours in ZimBOBwe who have for a decade or so been suffering under the yoke of a senile fool who seeks his own glorification and enrichment and has set these goals ahead of the good of his own people and is not even moved by their suffering. He has insanely clung to power through intimidation, violence, corruption and manipulation of election results - and still, STILL - after nearly railroading unity government negotiations for months, he is referred to as PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe. Why is that?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Africa The Last Light Flickers And Wanes

This morning I heard the news on 5fm, and the thing that caught my attention was the announcement that Barrack Obama had announced the USA was going to sign the UN Declaration to decriminalize homosexuality. This, following the previous administration under Bush who refused to sign, along with the Vatican. Not very surprising because we all know those religious fundamentalists think they are better than everybody else and make a big show of hating gay people and anybody who happens to be different. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bumble, B. - Armchair Critic, PHD, Bsc, Esq, Etc

One of my pet peeves is snobs. Another is armchair critics. And worse yet, snobbish armchair critics. Somebody asked rather condescendingly the other day what qualifies me to be human rights activist? I suppose my answer could have been rather blunt, like "Well, I am human - aren't I?" I mean after all, what more do I need to qualify me, other than a sense of outrage at human rights violations - and to know that persecution is wrong - and to be determined to DO something about it?

No, no, not that - he meant whether or not I had a post graduate degree in anything.  Well, this is my answer: 

Monday, March 16, 2009

How The ANC 'COPEs' With Christian Fascism

What interesting developments in politics take place these days!

Yesterday Mr Zuma, president of the ANC and also the man grooming himself to be president of South Africa after next month's election, addressed upon invitation, the Rhema Bible Church - known also for it's blatantly homophobic stance.

In an article in the Burger today, Zuma claimed that the ANC received its "strong moral vision" from the church and that after the 2009 elections, the ANC would continue its partnership with religious groups.

He also invited churches to enter into dialogue with the government over matters such as same gender marriage and legalized abortion. So now it seems the ANC is siding with the fundamentalists and has invited this dialogue to address their views on same gender marriage and legal abortions, presumably to romance them for their vote.

What, I wonder, would be the purpose of dialogue on matters which are already written into law, except of course if there was a clear possiblity that these matters may be written OUT of law?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What's For Dinner?

I was interested to note how some people have opposing takes on fairness and "right and wrong" in this world. I refer specifically to the debacle around "Sax Appeal". It seems that some people like things to go all their way - in essence what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander.

What am I talking about?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pinning The Tail On The Donkey

How interesting that yesterday I recieved a barrage of cryptic inferences to "my homosexual agenda" and my "selfishness" in promoting it and "threatening civilization" ad absurdum. It seems a couple of 'moral minority' supporters of the ACDC - oops, sorry ACDP - tracked me down and tried to knock me flat with their devastatingly powerful love for gay people. Yes, these nice folks made all sorts of interesting assertions - all of which could easily have come straight out of a fundamentalist gay-hater's textbook. For one thing, they use 'Jesus loves you' like some kind of curse. Surely they should see they sully the image of their Christ by ending off a message of hate expressed by them in his name by claiming that he - and himself - love me, when it is plain that they are full of venom.

Hiissssssss ;)

I've Lost My Religion - Have You Seen It Anywhere?

Today I continued a debate on the ACDP wall. One guy claimed that "Government was created by God" and followed it up with a load of unintelligible rhetoric that made me think he was some kind of pulpit-pilot who was at 80 000 feet and still climbing (possibly suffering the effects of asphyxia). Now to begin with, I find statements like that to be utterly astounding. Which god was that exactly? Ok, I understand he and those like him are religious and they think their religion has everything right. This train of thought however, can be derailed by two simple words: "PROVE IT".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can You Help Me, Officer? Somebody Hijacked My Religion!

Some champion of religious intolerance had this to say on a topic on the ACDP Facebook site today and drew my attention:

"Do you even know what the DA stands for? I challenge you to take a look at www.savotersguide.com and see. And please don't accept it at face value, follow up on the footnotes to check if the statements are true. As a Christian, I can't vote for someone who is Pro-Abortion, Pro-Pornography, Pro-Homosexuality, and Anti-God." - Lambertus Petrus Johannes Louw.

Mr Louw was criticizing somebody for saying he would prefer to vote DA than ACDP because of their hateful attitude and policies directed at GLBT. And Mr Louw was clearly stating his position on people's sexuality and ergo his ignorant perception that this somehow indicates GLBT are "anti-god" simply by their birthright. What a fascinating perception - completely off the rails - but fascinating.

Told You So!

You might find the following link interesting - in a 4th March wall post on the official Facebook ACDP group, a representative of the ACDP admits the ACDP and other fundamentalist parties have been meeting to discuss unity of Christian political parties before or after next months election - under the influence of Peter Hammond and Errol Naidoo - the two most dangerous homophobes and religious fundamentalists in SA! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?sid=a06f2bc810e44f1b6094d1afc4436511&gid=26696594649#/topic.php?uid=26696594649&topic=7689 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get Wheel

This morning I got up for work, had a leisurely breakfast and got ready for work. At about 7 I walked to my car, parked in front of my house, where it has been parked overnight in the same spot for every day since I got it. I casually walked round the driver side, unlocked the door, went to the trunk and dropped my daily  baggage inside, went back to the driver side, and climbed in. Just my normal every day routine. There was one difference this time however. I started the car, put it in reverse - and miraculously, nothing happened.

For a moment all sorts of thoughts flooded my mind - was the clutch faulty? Or was it the transmission? A faulty tranny? I put it in forward just to check. Nope, my little Mazda did not suddenly try to mount the pavement. So there I sat, perpelexed, until just a second later, a passer-by stopped by my window to tell me my front left front wheel was missing. Great. I got out to have a look - and true as nuts are nuts, the front left wheel was completely missing, the car resting on the brake disc. And there were no bricks under the car either - it seems the criminal mastermind behind this daring caper didnt deem such a courtesy necessary.

So there I stood, passing through surprise and mild amusement and rapidly seeing mild annoyance rush past me while turning into an early four-alarm rage. After all, what if they come back? Smarting from the insult to my pride and the integrity of my car, I considered buying an aluminium baseball bat and lying in wait for the sod responsible. Or camping out in the tree I park under using my ninemill as a pillow. Trouble is, you never know when or where these enterprising entrepeneurs will strike. And why did they only take one wheel? It occured to me that if they had taken all four, the insurance excess would have hurt far less that way. My car is a 2001 Mazda Sting, metallic blue, with the stock Mazda mags. Contrary to popular belief, they are not cheap to come by - or readily available. Such an item is well above the insurance excess on my policy, and from previous experience Mazda items are not easily available from the local breakers yards either. My insurer informed me it would be cheaper to source my own replacement and also to pereserve my "non-claim" bonus. I was seething.

I called the cops, decided to not hold my breath and duly informed my employer I was taking a days leave to sort out a replacement tyre and rim. Surprisingly, and to their credit, a police van showed up at the scene of this dastardly crime less than 20 minutes after my call to the cop-shop. No fingerprints were taken. A case docket was made out and the sleuths left ten minutes later, informing me I could put my spare wheel on now and get on with my so-called life. Upon their leaving I also mentioned to them that a few other inhabitants of my street had complained of similar losses sustained during the night. So much for Ubuntu.

Sighing and readying myself for a wasted search, dirty hands and a loooong day, I set about fitting the spare wheel. It was then that I discovered that the thief had also absconded with my wheel nuts. Why the wheel nuts?? Was it to hide fingerprints? Or did the genius responsible happen to lose his nuts as well as the rim? Sincerely wishing the perpertrators would suffer such immasuclating misfortune, and having fitted the slightly worn spare on a rather plain looking black steel rim, using one nut from each of the other three wheels - I set off to see my local tyre connection, who has a small selection of used mag wheels in his back room. "You want a whaat?" the man asked me as though I were looking for an Asgård beaming device.  Right, so no luck there then. Following up a lead from the scrap dealer he referred me to, I contacted a certain Johan on his mobile phone who told me he happened to have not only one, but two such rims. I paid his small establishment a visit, paid the man 350 for the hastily cleaned semi-pristine mag wheel, and rushed back to the guy who fits tyres. (No, they weren't mine, I checked). Both he and his sidekick nearly went into shock when I arrived with said merchandise and couldn't believe that I had sourced one at all - let alone within an hour.
"Blachart" - book 1 in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela

Now available!

Find out more about Christina Engela at The Crow Bar.


New tire and fitment of rim including balancing, 363.00. Having done this, and still seething, I decided to make sure this wouldn't happen again. Still shorting four wheel nuts, one on each wheel, I headed for yet another establishment where I bought and fitted a set of imported German lock-nuts, nearly impossible to remove without the proper tool, or some heavy machinery, or perhaps at a stretch, two elephants and some fancy language. That'll f*** 'em. And me too - it cost me a little over 400 ZAR just to secure my wheels - never mind the fact that if they did return they could slash the tires just out of spite. Nice. Following this I decided it was necessary, seeing as my wheeled contrivance stands on the street at night, to finally fit an alarm. While I was at it, I decided, f*** this, and fitted a central locking system as well because of the large number of people I give lifts to at work - and that some of them must've been born in barns or churches because some of them never seem to lock the doors on exiting. Often I find an unlocked door - sometimes even the next morning when leaving for work. Enough was enough. Cost of the above upgrade? 2600 zar. Nice. Paying the man, while making joking enquiries about a number plate changing device while I was at it, I went home to sulk.

Isn't it amazing how the criminal mind works? Perhaps this considerate person or persons thought - "hey, I just need one wheel, she's got four of them" or, "Hey, she's got insurance, she won't feel it" or even, "If she doesn't have insurance, that's just her bad luck." What amazes me is the mindset behind this sort of criminal activity. If I or any other decent law-abiding citizen is in need of an item, we go out and buy it - we spend our hard-earned cash. But not them, it's just cheaper to go out at night and steal somebody else's. (This is presumably the origin of the slang-term "midnight spares".) In the end, what these brilliant affirmative-shoppers have forgotten is that I work for what I have - I paid for it - and in the case of that car - I am still working for it. And yes, I have insurance - but they either forget - or dont care a damn that I still have to pay an excess in order to have the privilege of claiming from said insurance, who are probably congratulating themselves that this is the second claim I have not filed in the last four months for the same reason.

In the meantime I will wait and see if said criminal masterminds return anytime soon, entertaining pleasing images of them tied to a stake so that I may throw wheel nuts at them as hard as I can, aiming of course for all the soft spots in the human anatomy - and laughing. Mwahahaha.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pass The Bucket

How many people have died since the dawn of humankind? Millions? Billions? Hundreds of billions? And of those people who have passed into the great hereafter, have any of them EVER returned to this life to tell us of what awaits the living on the other side? No? I don't know anybody who ever died and came back to say, "you know, Tina - the afterlife is pretty cool - I just sat around and ate peeled grapes all day and bantered with God - but I thought it was so cool I should come back and tell you about it." Like I say, I don't know anybody like that. Do you? 


What we have is books, written by a bunch of nameless, faceless people thousands of years ago who decided to sit down and write about what they thought life was all about - and no, it wasn't the number "42" either. No, it was a lot more entertaining than that. They wrote about gods who supposedly laid down laws (or was it the authors themselves - how will we EVER know?) and demanded blood and animal sacrifice in order to keep in the "good books" of these deities. And today we have people who quote these works of unprovable potential fiction as "gospel truth" - pardon the pun - and even oppress and persecute other people in the name of these said documents.

Let's recap - people have unshakeable faith in some unprovable deity - because of the (literal) blind faith and evangelical work of more people of previous generations - and some promise of an afterlife nobody knows or can verify exists - and in the light of the above, decide they are better than other people and to persecute them for their differences - while having no real proof or justification - or legitimacy whatsoever. In short, they are persecuting people on whims based upon blind faith in what other people wrote down centuries ago - and thus prejudice begets more prejudice. Perhaps it should be added at this point is this: religion - it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Once again let me assure the reader that I am not anti-religion, nor even anti-Christian. Nor am I an atheist, though my blog may give that impression. I am what is caled an agnostic - which means I am open to religious concepts - and this in essence means that I do not know all the answers, whether there is or isn't a God or which God this may be - or what awaits any of us in the afterlife - or indeed if there is any kind of afterlife at all. Which brings me to yet another point - despite all protestings of faith and so-called - "biblical innerrancy", NEITHER DOES ANYBODY ELSE. And yet there are many out there who claim "God says..."; "God hates..." and "Gays make God vomit."

If there is a God and he turns out to be the God of the bigots then GLBT really have nothing to lose, do they? And if this God made gay people as well as heterosexuals, and if his own creation at the end of all things indeed induces some divine nausea, to me all that comes to mind is: "pass Him a bucket." 
"Blachart" - book 1 in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela

Now available!

Find out more about Christina Engela at The Crow Bar.


But, being an agnostic I no longer believe specifically in any God - but if I were to choose any particular one on the list available, it would most certainly not be one who creates people GLBT and then sends his own followers to make life hard and even impossible for them. That is just vicious and cruel and no amount of rhetoric can obscure that fact, nor excuse it - save for rules borrowed from the game "Simon sez."

Hating people and persecuting them on unsound principles makes for shaky foundations. It is why left-handed people are treated as though they were "demon-possessed" in cetain religious institutions, even to this day. It is also what they say excuses and "justifies" making GLBT the scapegoats for all their ills, conveniently tailored to fit. And what evidence do they have to make such judgments?


Just the ramblings of unknown deceased authors whose identities, motives and even their mental state at the time are highly questionable. By this I mean that we cannot actually ask them what they meant, what they were thinking  - or even what they were smoking at the time. And said documents which are widely open to interpretation - and in quite a few places even contradict each other on various subjects cannot be verified in any way manner or form. Add to that the changes made over the years so that in the end, the final product we have today is misunderstood and misinterpreted - and woefully far from resembling the original. This all makes for a very clear-cut case indeed. And yet religious radical bigots still flock to their warped leaders religious calls to devotional hate, swallowing every honey-dipped slur and falsified pseudo-scientific "fact" without question.

"Inerrancy"? Hah! Now if anything would make a truly omnipotent and loving God vomit, that would be it. I suppose the Sun has to come up somehow, doesn't it?

As I said previously, I used to be a Christian - until I saw the shameful and inexcusable hostility others calling themselves "Christians" direct at innocent people out of pure ignorance and for no other reason than vanity and piety and for the sake of hate itself. The simple truth? Fundamentalist fanatics with an acute shortage of brain cells - and Christ-like compassion - have hijacked my religion and turned it into a movement of delusion, deception, thought-control, hatred and persecution. 

I am not anti anybody's beliefs - nor opposed to anybody's rights to believe what they want to -  but I will oppose to the bitter end the determination others demonstrate to make bigots of themselves, their faith, their god - and to oppress and persecute innocent people based solely on the warm fuzzy feeling they get from bashing other people over the head with it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

God™ Created Heterosexist Marriage ©

The ongoing debate about same gender marriage is not simply about same gender marriage – it is about the right to co-exist, and to do so freely and equally. I do not see the point in forcing churches or “men of god” into presiding over wedding ceremonies of people whom they may despise. But I do feel that the church has no place in politically opposing the right of people to marry, whether it be civil or religious – or to try to “copyright” the word “marriage”. 

That being said however in general, pastors do not seem to refuse to marry people simply because they don’t like them, if one partner is of a different faith, or for any other commonly known reasons – they do however seem keen to object over the gender of the couple in question. This to my mind is still discrimination, is it not? Nobody wants to have their marriage "blessed" by somebody who obviously views them in contempt and wishes them ill. And by my own opinion, I would sooner marry in a court of law than in such a biased church – to start my marriage off under a cloud of bigotry with a pressing and deep-seated need to wipe my feet upon leaving. However, there are churches that are quite happy to welcome same gender couples and to preside over their wedding ceremonies – and who welcome them into their communities in the love of the living God. And if they choose to, they should be free to do so. 
"Blachart" - book 1 in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela

Now available!

Find out more about Christina Engela at The Crow Bar.

Prior to the new SA constitution, gay people faced criminal persecution simply for who they were by nature. They were disadvantaged in employment, dismissed from their jobs, evicted from their homes, victimized by security forces and shamed by exploitation in the media simply because of their sexuality. The rise in homophobic political parties taking part in this next election, boasting of their intentions to undo every human rights victory made in the past fifteen years - heralds a potential return to conditions prior to 1994 – or worse. Add to that the statements of some who go so far as to advocate the death penalty “Old Testament style” for people based on their sexuality. And in terms of equality, fairness, justice and doing what is right – whether in the sight of God or man – this is just unacceptable and just plain wrong. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Of Colors And Creeds

What is not to like about equal rights? Equal rights are what give a citizen of a country dignity and the freedom to live life on a par with all other citizens. If you discriminate against the equal rights of GLBTIQ people then how can you claim to support human rights? There is a new discrimination and a new "apartheid" rearing its ugly head in the world today – and it's not based on racism anymore – it is based on sexual orientation – and heterosexism! “Gay is the new Black!” The bigots claim in their articles and blogs ridiculing and condemning gay rights and equality. It may be one of the few instances where they are actually being truthful. It’s not acceptable to sling mud at darker skinned folk anymore – but it is still perfectly acceptable to go to the zoo and throw rocks at the pink flamingoes. How do they somehow not equate racism as being as vile and unacceptable as homophobia?

Supporting equal rights for all does not mean that you have to like all the other groups – but it means you are advanced enough to realize that if you expect other people to respect you and your rights you have to respect theirs in turn. Bigotry is not the way forward. So leave your prejudices at home – or go join one of these narrow minded little partisan "God hates fags" parties like the ACDP instead. 

Equal rights for all citizens should mean just that – EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL. And anything less is not equal. Simple logic. And that to me means no discrimination on the grounds of gender, language, culture, sexual orientation and race. I as a GLBT person fight for the equality of all people, not just GLBT. Why cant others too? Whatever happened to "Strength in Diversity?" Imagine how boring life would be if everybody was White? Or Black? Or gay? Or straight? Or English? Or Xhosa? Or Christian? Or Muslim? 

Yes there were injustices done in SA's past – before our time, by other people. But let's not perpetuate these wrongs by applying them now against each other. Let us say to each other “I have done you no wrong – and you have done me no wrong”. Let's make a new future in this land, here in this time – together, standing in the mutual belief of freedom, liberty and equality and respect. We each want peace and happiness, let that not be at the expense of another's. Let that be our goal. Let that be our creed.

To find out more about Christina Engela and her life, and to find out what books she has written, visit her website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Drawing The Line

Religion! Isn’t this how religion has always worked? Read the book, obey the book, believe the book, hit other people over the head with the book if they don’t believe it too? If they don’t believe it, hate them and even kill them? Life by the book, death by the book. Very intelligent indeed.

I have no problems at all with Christianity or Christians who have faith in a loving God, who mind their own business and don’t interfere in the affairs of others where they really do not affect them.

I draw the line clearly however, at people minding my business, passing arbitrary judgment over me, publicly expressing hate against me and those like me, and joining forces to deprive me and those like me of equal civil rights – and then calling any attempt to organize and stand up to them an “evil agenda”!

Let me put this succinctly: I don’t care what faith bigots claim to represent, but as long as they continue to persecute GLBT and vent their hate against us, I will stand against them every single step of the way.

My issues are with the OTHER Christians who make public their bigotry, intolerance and hatred for us simply because we exist and set out to do harm to us by campaigning to prevent us from attaining equal rights, to revoke the ones we already have – and work to exclude us from all social aspects, to criminalize us and even to incite further hatred and violence against us. Some people tend to answer the fanatical drive to criticize, attack and make other people – who have done them no harm in any way – feel like lesser human beings, and even as monsters who "threaten" society, the so-called "family unit" and their conveniently "fragile" religion which seemingly will fall apart because gay people suddenly get treated as equals. This I cannot excuse, and as a former Christian, it shames and sickens me to bear witness to such things which they claim are the will of a God who has never been quoted directly as attacking GLBTIQ people, even in a book which is more corrupted, edited and manipulated than any other in history – let alone unprovable and which cannot be authenticated in any way, manner or form.

Don't get me wrong – I respect others beliefs and the right of others to believe what they choose to believe – which is why I favor a secular state system over any form of religious government. Religion is and should be a private matter for the individual. Trouble is, Christianity doesn't as a whole like to stay private – its supporters – particularly the fundamentalists – seek to "transform" the world around them into little Christian clones of themselves – and many would favor conquest as the means to satisfy that end. (Take the Spanish (Roman Catholic) conquest of South America, or the Crusades as examples.)

To find out more about Christina Engela and her life, and to find out what books she has written, visit her website.

What? You thought the Crusades were an accident? It was arrogant pride and greed for riches and land that caused that war – and a large slice of hate too – on the Christian side just as on the Muslim side. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time that I will maintain that religion is the most blood soaked flag in the world. More crimes against humanity have been committed against peoples out of religious hate and mindless fanaticism than any mere political disputes the world has ever known. Sixty years ago it was the Jews who were convenient targets and scapegoats, forty years ago it was Black civil rights around the world - but along with all that, it's always been us GLBTIQ as well. The gay and transgender went to the gas chambers too, wearing pink triangles among the Stars of David, or were shot “for sport” by camp guards. The hate of some people runs deep, and as long as religious hate speech by bigoted pulpit-pilots is allowed freely in whatever public spaces, we will be the scapegoats and targets for the mad, the vicious and the vile.

People should be able to live side by side without questioning (or judging) each others beliefs or ways of life – or other intrinsic factors which make every individual unique. How else could there ever be peace?

It should be made clear that religious freedom DOES NOT include the right to persecute others, nor the right to take away their humanity and equal treatment before the law. Anything less is not equal!

To find out more about Christina Engela and her life, and to find out what books she has written, visit her website.