Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Letter of the Day | Bishop Gregory is being disingenuous

Published:Thursday | July 27, 2017 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Is the Jamaican public expected to take at face value Bishop Gregory's assertion that he can speak in a personal capacity on such an issue of deep national interest as the repeal of the buggery law, without his position as head of the Anglican Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands being influential to the debate? The goodly bishop, in his submission to the paliamentary committee reviewing the Sexual Offences Act, is clearly being disingenuous. By entering the discussion from his personal viewpoint, he may avoid alienating some of his congregants, while still having the authority of the office of Anglican Bishop behind his pronouncements.

Furthermore, is Bishop Gregory suggesting that Christians and/or the Church have no contribution to make to the forming of public policy? This was certainly not the position of German Christian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was misquoted and taken out of context by Bishop Gregory. The quote, misused by Bishop Gregory from the Barmen Declaration of 1934, was Bonhoeffer's response to the heretical and complacent German church of his day in which he urged the church not to align itself to the murderous and evil totalitarian Nazi government. On the contrary, Bonhoeffer, a member of "the true confessing church" (as it became known then) was very active in the politics of his day. He was eventually martyred because of his attempt to bring down the Nazi regime. To juxtapose Bonhoeffer's heroic public stance of the "true confessing church" with a defence to make anal penetration legal is nothing short of bizarre.

Bishop Gregory is quoted as saying that there is no cause and effect between the repeal of the buggery law and the introduction of same-sex 'marriage' into a society. It is well documented, and easily verifiable, that there is not one country, where same-sex marriage is legal, which also has a buggery law. Why is the removal of the buggery law a logical step to same-sex 'marriage'? Marriage (male and female) is not completed until the man and woman have sexual intercourse (defined in Jamaican law as the act of the penis entering the vagina). If sexual intercourse does not occur in a marriage, it can be annulled or declared null and void. If anal penetration becomes legal, then the act of buggery becomes a normal sexual act. What then would be the logical restriction to men 'marrying' men, as buggery would be, by definition under law, legal and normal?

Moving from the removal of the buggery law to same-sex marriage may not have been the intent previously, but in 2017 in the globalised world in which we now live, removing sodomy (buggery) laws logically and generally leads to same-sex 'marriage'. Those of us who support keeping the law are often categorised as 'behind the times', 'homophobic', and 'peeping into people's bedrooms', accusations which are incredibly simplistic; the conversation is way beyond this. Those who support the removal of the buggery law will ultimately be supporting not only the establishment of same-sex marriage in Jamaica, but the reordering of society, which is the ultimate goal of the LGBTQ global political agenda. Is this the society the majority of Jamaicans want? All Jamaicans should be involved in this critical decision, and not just a vocal and influential elite, who wish to impose their will on the Jamaican people.

Twayne Steward

Kingston, Jamaica