What you need to know:
- I believe that Kaziimba’s position is close to where Canterbury stood only 50 years ago.
Prof Timothy Wangusa’s sketch of the historical context in which the Anglican Church and Martin Luther’s Reformation arose was a masterpiece in narrative compression (Sunday Monitor, February 19).
In England, King Henry VIII wanted to change wives. In Germany, Martin Luther, a monk, wanted to marry a nun. Both challenged papal authority.
In the mythical Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve became conscious of their nakedness (with its sexual connotations) after disobeying God.
And the German poet, Goethe, wrote that ‘The eternal feminine draws us upward.’
Yes, men and women. Every society has norms around the relationship between the sexes, indicating what is permitted and what is forbidden.
But the sanctified action and the taboo can sometimes be traced to specific events. Naturally, individuals or groups with power were more likely to shape these events, introducing new ideas that affirmed established frames of faith and worship or defined new directions, which could be schismatic, or the beginning of new traditions.
Strangers to the history of Anglicanism can infer from Wangusa’s article how Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba and his colleagues leading the Church of Uganda are entitled to give a position on homosexuality that clashes (terminally?) with Canterbury, whether or not the majority of their Ugandan followers want a breakup.
Neither Canterbury’s liberal stance on homosexuality nor Uganda’s uncompromising homophobia is right or wrong in any absolute sense. They are just different, expressed in different socio-political cultural settings. Indeed, I believe that Kaziimba’s position is close to where Canterbury stood only 50 years ago.
People get worked up for nothing about God’s official position in the Bible.
As God’s dog, I know that just as Henry III, Martin Luther, Stephen Kaziimba, Yoweri Museveni or any other person have stated their positions, the (sometimes inconsistent) biblical positions were crafted by different figures of the time.
God is a very successful invention, assigned with a kind of perfection that transcends all His shortcomings. He is far more amazing than Teflon.
In His role as ‘The Creator,’ many unforgivable slips are consistently forgiven. The torment and agony endured by people like the South African athlete, Caster Semenya, would be evidence of God’s carelessness, even mischief.
But one of our cultural enterprises is to sanitise rather than censure Him.
Huge chemical imbalances, clearly abnormal and even grotesque external physical sexual features have been observed in many individual members of the human race. Their presence suggests that behavioural development does not start with level God-given biology, the basis on which the violation of divine rules would more justly bring divine wrath.
But as God’s dog, I know that God is in a state of rest. He is not responsible for the eccentric biology of those whose behaviour disgusts many others.
And it is easy to understand their disgust, especially with the male homosexual, who deals in an anatomical area strongly associated with filth and very bad smells.
Common deduction: Only a man with a filthy mind can be drawn ‘upward’ by a fellow man.
By extension, the lesbian must be similarly dirty-minded.
It is natural to cast this disgust in a religious matrix of taboos and sanctions.
But to grasp the nature of a quiescent God is to understand that to Him it is a matter of total indifference. And it is a matter of indifference whether African bishops now protest against an Anglican Church that protested against the Roman church over sex and marriage; or even whether all our Christian edifices are brought down and we invent other redeemers and other gods.
Alan Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.