In this monthly series, we hand over the blog platform to IAM’s staff to share their own journeys, stories and insights in their own words. Though our journeys are all unique and individual, many of us share common challenges and dilemmas as we simply attempt to lead our lives as […]
Safe spaces are one of the main requirements for IAM to be able to carry out its transformative work embodied in the Wheel of Change. In this post, Ingrid Schoonraad, IAM’s Regional Programme Manager, reflects on the importance of safe spaces, what they look like in practice, and the things […]
Since its inception in 1995, IAM has learned through trial and error that there is a way to create change around a contentious and controversial issue like homosexuality within faith communities in Africa. To capture that work, IAM developed a theory of change that is inclusive and affirming, and that […]
In this monthly series, we hand over the blog platform to IAM’s staff to share their own journeys, stories and insights in their own words. Though our journeys are all unique and individual, many of us share common challenges and dilemmas as we simply attempt to lead our lives as people of faith while loving whom we love.
Popular imagination tells us that if there is anything to be learned from the history of psychoanalysis and psychology, it’s that sex and our minds are intertwined in a complex web of tensions. South Africa’s national psychology then, serves as a case study in hyperbole. South Africa has some of the highest rape statistics in the world, with someone being raped every four minutes, and a woman being murdered by her intimate partner every 8 hours. Combine this with the single highest rate of HIV infection in the world, and it’s easy to see a problem. The issue is also not a new one. In fact, according to Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, it is deeply rooted in South Africa’s past.
(Geskryf deur Gert Janse van Rensburg) Geagte Leser Dis met moedeloosheid en ook ‘n diepe teleurstelling dat ek weer die afgelope paar weke die media dophou en oor en oor lees oor die sogenaamde “sensitiewe” vraagstuk oor gay mense in die kerk en binne die Christelike geloof. Party brawe persone staan op vir gay mense en word dan uitgekryt as valse leraars wat die Woord verdraai en wat ‘n sogenaamde sonde wil goedpraat. “Dit kan nie!” is die reaksies van baie. Die kerk en in die besonder die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHK) is traag en sleep voete om hierdie “sensitiewe” kwessie aan te pak en eens en vir altyd ‘n finale besluit daaroor te neem. In die proses is hulle besig om al hoe meer irrelevant te word in die samelewing en duisende mense diep te verwond – nie net gay persone nie maar ook hul families en vriende. Ek is gebore, gedoop, gekatkiseer en is ook opgelei as predikant binne die NHK.
Written by Arnold Msibi Motsau -
I write this letter in an attempt give a few of my reflections on how my body has experienced your body. This letter is a matter of body’s receiving pleasure and being denied pleasure. I write unashamedly as a Christian and situate this letter from within my experiences as a Christian body. You will find that I address you in your ecclesial sense as well as well as how I and others may understand you in a corporeal, nonphysical sense. Although these two characteristics ascribed to you may be considered distinct, they are undoubtedly intertwined. I have not been around as long as you have, I do however know that Paul the apostle is most quoted in conversations around you; I hereby also attempt to employ him as one of the many voices who have had something to say about you throughout the ages. I would like to start off by claiming that you have regulated bodies and how they are to find sexual pleasure, all this I assume has been an attempt to ‘unify’ your body, to give it unitary sexual regulations through man made dogma. These doctrines decide which bodily experiences are allowed to exist and considered valid and which bodily experiences are not.
“Yesterday was an extraordinary overwhelming experience for me. It was my first time in the Supreme Court of Appeal and I must admit it was not what I expected. I knew it was going to be challenging but the apparent hostility from the judges took me by surprise. Within the first 5 min of Anna-Marie de Vos (SC) presenting our argument, I sensed that this was not going to be as I’ve expected. One judge would ask a question and without giving my counsel an opportunity to respond or even finish her response, another would interject with comments and questions (which they apparently seemed already to know the answer to).” This was the comment of Rev Ecclesia de Lange after the trial in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Tuesday. I was deeply shocked over the proceedings and behaviour of the honourable judges as I perceived them to be harassing the counsel, Anna-Marie de Vos (SC), for the appellant, with rude interruptions, noticeable irritation, not listening to arguments and obvious bias favouring the status quo arguments of the respondent for the Church, (MCSA).
One of Gandhi’s profound statements were: “If it was not for Christians, Christianity would of swept the world”.
Homosexuality has become a major issue of our time (globally) with different responses over the spectrum. However, it appears that where the war is raging the most is within the ranks of the Christian Church. Some pleading for inclusivity, while others promoting the death penalty, stoning, genocide of gay people etc. The Bible sketches the same scenario that happened more than 2000 years ago with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Jesus persecuted by His own followers and eventually dying at the hands of His own. In free translation the Bible also states that nothing under the sun is new as in the case of homosexuality, Christian versus Christian.
“Luckily I am not a Christian,” a young student said to Janet Robertson after she shared about her Christian journey in his class at a Taiwanese university. This statement shook her to her core. How could anyone think he was “lucky” not to know Christ? The young student went on to tell her that he did not know a lot about Christianity, but lately had heard the Christian church in Taiwan speaking out against gay people using some very unpleasant words. Therefore, he felt “lucky” he was not a Christian. This got her thinking about what it truly means to “Take the name of the Lord in vain.” Is it just simply swearing? Or could it be something much deeper.