Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jamaican Homophobia: The Abominable Crime.

The Abominable Crime is a documentary about the lives of Gay people in Jamaica and the dangers they are facing. It shows what happens when a devoutly conservative christian society that genuinely feels gay people are a danger, create the atmosphere of fear and revulsion that results in the death, injury and destruction of Gay people and their families.
The fate of Gay people in Jamaica was one of the things that made me realize that any person or faith who views homosexuality as an Abomination is an active participant in the disenfranchisement, injury and death of Gay people. Caribbean Homophobia proved to me that you can’t love or respect Gay persons while deeming their sexuality and relationships to be destructive.
When I was younger I believed in the idea of love the sinner and hate the sin, and the protest by many Church folk in the US that they weren’t encouraging the hatred of Gay people made sense to me. But as I looked at the land of my forbears and countries that are similar, like Jamaica, I realized that the only reason gay people are safe from the level of brutality  and abuse exhibited in this film is because Conservative Christians in this country lack the kind of widespread cultural and political dominance that they enjoy in others. But where they have the power and cultural clout, the lives of gay people are made unerringly miserable.
The denomination I grew up in is the largest single denomination in Jamaica. The former  Prime Minister featured at the beginning of this film is from my old denomination, the  current Governor General is as well. And in a society where not just Conservative Christianity generally but MY denomination specifically enjoys so much weight and power, this kind of situation exists. This situation persists throughout the entire Caribbean and wherever else Conservative Christian ethics and worldviews have power or hold any sway. And it used to be this way in the US until fairly recently. 
Jamaican homophobia helped to disabuse me of any illusions I held that I could view Gay people as abominable, detestable and worthy of death because of their relationships, and not cause them any harm. And even though it meant having to leave a Church I cared deeply about, I am grateful to these stories for opening up my eyes.

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