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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Columnist: Julius Kwesi Hamenoo

Individual, group, the state and LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+ logo LGBTQ+ logo

Recently, concerns have erupted from various quarters, stoked by the call to legitimize the LGBTQ+ group in a society that is mainly religious.

Traditionalists might have a reason to be apprehensive of such legalization since they were not left with the footprints of such acts to follow.

Before the Whiteman came, this couldn’t have been thought of by the natives. The call to legitimize the concerns of the group is coming from the tall towers of those who have given us our values and cultures as we have them today.

And so there shouldn't be much conflict, since every valuable thing we hold dear
to hearts today was shoved in there not from our traditions and cultures as a people, but from the same people, we have grown to revere so much because of what they have given us.

Even if these practices were slithering under our cultures before, we wouldn’t dare to
have been brazen about legitimizing them.

Why should allowing this be a bitter pill to
swallow now when we had swallowed other values and gotten used to them now? Are
we satisfied with the ones previously given, which haven't been able to fortify us to be
bold enough to face and conquer other foreign values?

The case of the LGBTQ+ should be simple. Is it all not about individuals belonging to groups in a sovereign state, whose responsibility it is to oversee them all? Haven't Individuals and groups been given the freedom and the right to choose living and associating in this world? Each of us is allowed our God-given gift: the freedom of will to choose in the pursuit of our happiness.

There is no variable in existence that is not created by God, either directly or indirectly.

We are all here to share in the creation of God. Just that some few greedy ones have usurped most of God’s creations with their cleverness and deprived the majority from sharing in them.

Anyone will cherish the freedom he or she has with which to choose
from the myriad of variables as created by God.

The phones in our hands, for example, may have been created by a brother, but the animating principle behind that creativity is God. The leverage has already been given to us to tilt toward where we will find
happiness.

Except that there are also consequences that will always follow after our choices have been made. How the consequences will impact our lives we do not readily know. We usually will find ourselves caught in the grip of helplessness while witnessing the drama unfolding after our choices have been made.

In times like these, we are expected to be gladly responsible for our choices. For nobody put us in the prancing pony’s inn.
Seemingly, the death of the sense of responsibility in us has rather fertilized our tendency to be judgmental without understanding things from a broader perspectives.

Each individual has personal interests. These personal interests are motivated by inherent factors that are usually not seen or felt by onlookers, but definitely felt by those under their influence. Whether those influences are motivated by selfish motives or not, some are able to wiggle out of such influences while others succumb to their overwhelming force.

Those who identify with same feelings would be drawn together to share in their common understanding of such feelings. Such can become a group with common interests. And they would naturally have to fight for their right to live and express themselves as they are in the company of others who feel differently.

Controversies have arisen from the clash between the dominant group whose feelings are different from the minority group. If their representations were equal in strength and size, it’s likely that their differences would have cancelled out and made way for peaceful coexistence in our democratic dispensation, which would have been left with a tacit admission of rights and freedom for each group to share mutually.

But come to think of it, democracy requires the sizable force of the opinion of the people to thrive. When the majority say yes to something, that’s what the government ought to do. So the government won’t do what the majority doesn’t want. If the proponents of the movement does not represent the majority view of the people, pressure cannot be brought to bear on the government to do anything else. Just like the politicians go to the people to ask for their thumbs during campaign periods, so they would need the majority of the people to support any legislation that would impact their lives. Ultimately, it’s government of the people for the people by the people. It’s not a right to interfere in the government of the people for themselves by themselves. The people must be allowed their rights to govern themselves through their representatives in parliament.

Here, the state has the utmost responsibility to determine a safe haven for all and sundry. Her interest cannot be seen to be skewing towards an individual or any group.
The state is interested in satisfying all within her sovereignty. She needs to make choices that will promote the preservation and enhancement of life of her citizens. Her most important resource is the human capital. Before the age of robots, human beings were the primary resource for a country. And the quantity and quality of these resource determined the development of the country.

Once upon a time, the human labor was so precious that others needed to turn
themselves into savages just so they would, even though not provoked, invade to
enslave others and use them as their factor of production.
By this reason, the human being has been such a valuable factor that countries needed to protect, preserve, and enhance their lives with health care, education, and religious systems.

Now, from the perspective of the state, any activity that does not help to protect, preserve, and enhance lives of her citizens cannot be countenanced. Hence she needed to enact laws and enshrine them in her constitution that would deter or encourage acts she deems would aid in the protection, preservation, and enhancement of her most precious resource: the people.

The individual has been admonished to refrain from judgment. His religious values tell him so. And since it’s the coming together of individuals that make a group, the collective values of non-judgment will prevail at the group level too. No individual is permitted to judge another. The constitution and religious texts agree on this commandment. Groups are also not allowed to judge each other. Probably, it is why we have a lot of different religious groups, for example, even though they all claim to have the same source.

However, the state is over and above any individual or any group of individuals. If the state comes to learn that a certain act could be working against her interest of needing to protect, preserve, and enhance the lives of her citizens, being the supreme and representing the interest of all, her choice to legislate against it supersedes, and could veto such parochial interests and choices of the individual or the group.

Now, the questions that the state would necessarily be asking are: what is it? Will it protect the citizens? Will it preserve their lives? Is it capable of enhancing their lives?
What will the state gain from it in the end? If she finds out that the answers can’t satisfy her constitutional obligations to the people, their rights, and the national interest, she
could authoritatively prohibit their institution. Or she will amend the answers in a way that will help to meet with the general good of her citizens.

Those who do not want to face their opposites should consider that if everyone followed their lead, life as we know it will end in some few years time. Procreation will seize at some point, the population will begin to dwindle, the human factor of production in a technology deficient country will be negatively affected. And here is where the danger lies. The countries that can’t manufacture robots to work for them, can’t afford to lose their precious human workforce.

Additionally, we are not ready to accept the concept of 'Eve's new rib' too, where
surrogate mothers and incubators will be depended upon to give us our children. Every nation needs human beings to survive and continue to be. The rate at which births occur must be higher than the rate at which deaths occur through old age.

The importance of human beings in a nation is emphasized in the efforts the government persistently put into their sustenance and development. Most projects the government has to implement are determined by the population growth of the nation as well. If we should pursue a path that will inevitably lead to our extinction, who will be motivated to sacrifice for anything?

Children motivate their parents to work hard, because they see their future inextricably connected to the future of their children. But if the nation should deliberately embark on a journey that will lead her citizens to have no children, they might as well spare themselves the affliction along the way and make it quick for themselves right
now.

A sovereign state cannot bend to the pressures of external influences against her
constitutional values. However, African states are a pitiful ones. It’s always the case that the beggar must do the bidding of his benefactor.

The puppet dangles on the string of the puppeteer. If Africa has managed to strategically position herself as a beggar, then she is rightly positioned to lick clean the muddy boots of her benefactors when they stepped in mpotompoto (mud). If Africa truly wants freedom to choose the values she
feels right to enjoy, then she should reposition herself and commit to the collection of her revenues for developmental purposes.

Assuming without admitting that the rest of the economic indicators are alright. And in addition to that merge her economic activities while making deliberate efforts to depend on her internal trade to bolster the lives of her children. But for as long as she would look to seeking help from abroad with cup in hand, she would have to shut up and play ball.

It has become an impossible task for her to unite her littleness into a gigantic super
power with over one billion potential workforce. Whereas it should have been easy if her children had pride and respect for themselves as a people.

All that is required for such potentiality to become an actuality are the deflation of her individual egocentrism, and transforming that into the unity of individual commitment to rescue Africa from the stranglehold of her neocolonialist. Until then, she should allow her enjoyment of pettiness to quieten her.

The churches and the mosques, who are mostly agitated and paranoid, concerning the legitimization of the rights of the gay community, should rather turn into their inner sanctuaries and examine the potency of their purpose and its influence on society today.

As they are so bothered about whether the bill is going to be passed into law by
parliament, are they prepared to pay taxes to support the government in its efforts to
develop the country? What are they doing to help create jobs for the teeming community of youth who could be exposed to social ills because they want money to prove their success?

The cash governments borrow from the international community to build infrastructure for the enjoyment of their citizens are taxes paid by the citizens of those countries, including the LGBTQ+ community.

Yes. Research into their contributions to the economies they work in, by way of even taxes alone. If it is good to take their money, and enjoy some of their inventions, then it should equally be good to take and enjoy their values too.

The Western world have exploited Africa for some of the money they lend to us with
interest. It is a fact too that some of African leaders have often bend backward and
connived with the exploiters to fleece the people. Are we prepared to endure tough
economic sanctions that are likely to follow our disapproval of the gay rights? Citizens
would put pressure on the government to desist from accepting such democratic values.

They would do so because they know they have their thumbs to teach the government a lesson in the next election. And when the government actually listens to the people, and succumbs to their numbers, and begins to cave in under the pressures of certain
economic sanctions, the same people will criticize and accuse the government in power for hard economic times.

Meanwhile, the people do not willingly pay their taxes with the hope that the revenue chest of the nation will grow. And their leaders do not willingly sacrifice their comfort for the wellbeing of their citizens.

Both citizens and leaders found in the pretext to be committed to the development of their country. The most important issue here is to be courageous enough to admit that we have weak
character, inherited from imported values and cultures, we are deficient in reasoning,
and are starving for the real data needed to set us free and embark on our
developmental journey.

These minority groups could be given the freedom to express themselves so far as their actions are not against the constitution of a sovereign state.

They just have to be taught that their rights are not absolute. There are boundaries beyond which they will be charged for infringement on other peoples rights. What the constitution prescribes is supreme. It is up to fathers and mothers, the schools, and the religious communities, to step up their responsibilities.

To assess themselves and figure out whether they have the wherewithal to shape a good character out of their innocent younger generation.

Children should be edified with the kind of information that could empower them to stay away from values that are inimical to their health, preservation, and enhancement.

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