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Random Thought of the Day

I came across this early today and I thought I'd share it, because it's awful, and reminds folk that a lot of work for equality still remains around the world:

The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda's 100 "top" homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: "Hang Them." Alongside their photos were the men's names and addresses.

In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors.

A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved.

But gays in Uganda say they have faced a year of harassment and attacks since the bill's introduction.


I think I am, partly, posting this not just because it is awful, but also because over the weekend, there was a lot of news about Mary MacKillop, Australia's new (and possibly first) saint.

Personally, I've found the whole thing to be ridiculous, hypocritical, and vaguely distasteful. I don't particularly care if you believe in saints or not, since I'm not terribly bothered either way. However, the week's worth of bowing, scraping and ohmygoshthankyou to the Catholic Church has been the foundation of my disgust. This is, after all, the same church that has covered up a systematic culture of child abuse within its own ranks, continually failed to recognise women as equals, stood in the way of science and thought, and contributed to the bigotry and phobia that exists around the world.

There is no link between the article in Uganda and Mary MacKillop, except the link inside my head. Perhaps you won't see it. Perhaps you will. It's of no huge consequence to me, but I think that we, as a world, must evaluate the power we have given this organisation in light of the behaviour in thought and body that they have repeatedly shown to us all.

Comments

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ashamel
Oct. 20th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Jesus.

As for MacKillop, it seems she was excommunicated from the church of the day because she stood up against sexual abuse by the clergy (and later exonerated). I have no idea how much that is being addressed in the current festivities, but it's interesting.
frogworth
Oct. 20th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Yes. Ugh.
ataxi
Oct. 20th, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
"the same church that has covered up a systematic culture of child abuse within its own ranks, continually failed to recognise women as equals"

The canonisation of McKillop, who campaigned against child abusers and was a woman, is presumably a positive step of some sort then? Albeit a tiny one.

I have mixed feelings about attacks on "The Catholic Church" - it's clearly a multi-splintered entity both in terms of changing over time, and having many branches, agents and representative authorities.

Its accountability is similar to that of a government - I think the mechanism by which it becomes culpable for the paedophilia of its priests is similar to that whereby the Commonwealth incurs guilt over the insulation installation issues. Complicated in other words.

Not that I don't decry the cover-up of institutionalised paedophilia as much as anyone (I do).
benpeek
Oct. 21st, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
yeah, i get what you're saying, and it would be nice with mackillop's canonisation was a small step forward, but i tend to be just fed up with the whole thing.

i'm a bit surprised by how i feel about that, actually. it's a new thing--i used to be all about the recognisation of the complex nature of it, of differing the people and the institution, but lately, i've just been kinda disgusted by the whole thing on new and exciting levels.
jack_ryder
Oct. 20th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
Here's an interesting take on the Catholic Church's response to the situation in Uganda:

http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/anti-gay-bill-uganda-challenges-catholics-take-stand

(I thought you'd appreciate the first line.)

Yes, I got sick of the media attention on AUSTRALIA'S FIRST SAINT!!! GO SAINTS!!! and the validation of both the Catholic Church and a belief in miracles but the Catholic Church (not just "The Church" as our media would have it) is not as homogeneous as it wants to appear.

Mind you, the Vatican should not be afforded the protected status of a nation-state. Theocracies are a bad idea and the Vatican is a shining example of how things go wrong.
benpeek
Oct. 21st, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
maybe spiderman can save the gays in uganda... i'm pretty sure that was the subtext right there.
jack_ryder
Oct. 20th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
And I found the above link whilst trying to find a recent link concerning Uganda's anti-homosexual ministries being supported by US fundamentalists.

Here's one from the Age (from January)

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-role-of-us-evangelists-in-ugandas-kill-the-gays-bill-20100111-m2lf.html

Edited at 2010-10-20 11:16 pm (UTC)
benpeek
Oct. 21st, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
oh, yeah, i'd actually heard of that before.
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