Friday January 24 2014

Moral values are naturally incumbent on every person

By Jean-Marie Nsambu

Since Parliament’s passing of the anti-Homosexuality Bill, there have been frightful sentiments from a few elites, who have derogated proponents of the proposed law with all sorts of “holier than thou” labels. Some of Uganda’s development partners have threatened to sideline the country, something that has freaked out a number of concerned government officials.

President Museveni is even quoted to have blamed the House for flouting procedure at passing the Bill. Whereas his supposed claim may just be a technicality, it nonetheless boggles the mind as to whether we as a country still associate with the national motto: “For God and My Country!” For as I herein aver, while emphasising the dignity of every human being – homosexual or not; if Uganda respects God as we aspire to, then moral values are incumbent on each one of us.

For the reason that we claim association with God, we are inclined to do what is good. It is true that some people, in their sincere want for knowledge and truth, will choose to do something erroneously believing it to be good for them. But, to believe something as good does not make it so per se. It has to be good necessarily. Notice that this is in sync with the undeniable principle of non-contradiction that “something cannot both be and not be, at the same time!”
In our case, something such as an action is either good or bad, against the standard of absolute goodness, which flows from God, who is utter goodness in and of Himself. A person’s moral life, therefore, has to do with goodness, for morality is an unalienable vocation of the human being.

Should we, then, be afraid to state this even in the face of atheists or our development partners? Not one bit! Actually, we should be even confident to assert that our lives – concupiscent though they are – must reflect the glory of God, who creates each person in His divine image and likeness, making us participants in goodness by virtue of our very existence.

It is from this that we are able to acknowledge the intrinsic order in everything around us, not less our own lives. Each and everything created, including the laws of physics, biology and other sciences now known to us, have a particular order tied in to, not only the purpose of that created thing, but also its intended end.

For us humans, this intelligible order – or natural law if you will – allows our intelligence and will to participate in the eternal divine law pertaining to that Ultimate Being, God, whom the nation Uganda has hitherto acknowledged as supreme. We come to know this law through reason. Suffice to state that anything contrary to reason would be falsity.
Human reason follows truth. Truth leads us to freedom; not from, but toward God, the embodiment of all truth. It is with this freedom par excellence, as opposed to the relativistic freedom of indifference, that we are able to embrace our instinctive inclinations, including that for survival; for the propagation of our human race; for living in community; as well as for following the good; and for seeking what is true (knowledge and above all wisdom).

Homosexuality, for this matter, is contrary to propagating life. It is not good, and certainly is not a true element of the natural order of man. It does not have a purposeful end, as would contribute to the community in which man is by his human vocation called to be. Rather, homosexuality is one of such practices focused (selfishly) on self, just because someone can do it, and not because it is good and ought to be done.

But, even in light of this, it’s not my suggestion that homosexual devotees be not demonised; nor should we surely believe that mere legislation would re-programme their sexual orientation. On the contrary, they should be tolerated as any other person; helped to reach the truth by those close to them; and rehabilitated in accordance with stipulations of the already existing penal law, should they coerce others into the practice, or unduly so influence minors.

Mr Nsambu is a Catholic journalist and attorney with keen interest in social analyses