Feature Article of Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

'Moderator' Martey Should Cool It

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I personally feel that the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (GA – PCG) should concentrate more on the central role and mission of the Church, that of socioeconomic, cultural and spiritual development of its congregations and the country at large, particularly in the grim and eerie face of a looming constitutional crisis that may well alter the geopolitical boundaries of Ghana as we have known it for at least a century now, since Mr. George Ekem Furgesson assisted in the British demarcation of contemporary Ghana in 1901.

The Moderator’s rather unfortunate decision to obsessively latch onto the raging campaign against the practice of homosexuality in Ghanaian society is one that is highly unlikely to endear the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, in particular, and the virulently homophobic Ghanaian Christian Church, in general, to the legions of free- and independent-thinking and respectable and educated Ghanaians who profoundly appreciate something about the age-revered charitable principles on which global Christianity and Christian tenets are predicated (See “Oye Lithur is a Coward, Lacks Integrity and Must be Rejected – Presby Moderator” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 1/31/13).

The fact of the matter is that the GA-PCG has not always elected men of great integrity to head this august assembly of well-meaning, diligent and responsible citizens. There was that inglorious moment, for instance, when a very popular moderator of the church was rumored to have expired in the arms of his paramour shortly after preaching a sermon based on the principles of godly living. Then there was also the case of that moderator who fathered several children out of wedlock while heading a world-renowned pastoral training center and a former teacher-training college even long before he was named moderator.

Needless to say, the notion that homosexuality as a lifestyle can be actively and pontifically promoted the way that heterosexuality is routinely promoted in our churches and sanctuaries is unreservedly absurd. It cannot be promoted because there is a scientifically proven tendency among some humans to congressionally and/or conjugally affiliate with other humans of identical sexuality. Besides, were it a voluntary choice of “sexual perversion,” as some of the most vocal religious leaders would have their congregations believe, the age-old brutal persecution of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals would have caused a dramatic decline in the global population of the same.

In other words, whether one chooses to label it as a moral and/or biological disorder, homosexuality is as “natural” as heterosexuality and has been in existence since the birth of humanity and/or the dawn of creation. And while, indeed, the practice is Biblically abhorred, phenomenal scientific advancement in the modern era, clearly points to something far more complex than the rather simplistic dialectical or Manichaean tack adopted by religious radicals like Rt.-Rev. Emmanuel Martey, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG. Besides, eve as Prof. Martey is personally aware of, the peremptory arbiter of human behavior and/or misbehavior is Divine Providence, rather than the proverbial flesh and blood.

At best, what Moderator Martey can do is to counsel his presumably wholly heterosexual Christian wing of Ghanaian society on how to lead exemplary lives so as to remarkably provoke the envy and emulation of same-sex-oriented Ghanaians, assuming for the sake of the ongoing national discourse on “appropriate sexuality” that, indeed, homosexuality is more culturally determined than it is genetically determined.

You see, I have personally sat through a sermon or two in which Prof. Martey ironically, albeit profusely, quoted immortalized homosexual Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato with remarkable eloquence in mordant condemnation of modern-day homosexuals and deeply felt peeved and disappointed over the fact that my precious time was being callously wasted in running pointless discursive rings around absolutely nothing short of one frustrated man’s personal crusade against a culturally-fangled problem which may, ultimately, not be a problem at all, but a veritably illusive matter of sheer perception and perspective.

Truthfully speaking, I would rather have theologians like the Presbyterian moderator constructively demystify for his great Christian Ghanaian congregation, and global Christians at large, precisely how it came about that we have been able to live by the male-centered Trinitarian Principle entailing “The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit” and its clearly homosexual/homoerotic concomitant without screaming against such doctrinal discombobulation of the natural order of human biology.

At any rate, as I indicated in a previous article, I would have been more elated if Nana Oye Lithur had made bold enough to indicate her “personal” stance on the crucial question of the legal validity of homosexual existence, irrespective of her own publicly known sexual orientation or preference. In other words, for me, personally, a public acknowledgment of the right of homosexuals to “legally” practice their homosexuality would have sharply and canonically differentiated Nana Oye Lithur, the human and civil rights activist, from the protean pack, as it were.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York Jan. 3, 2013 ###