Christians jail gay couple

In overwhelmingly Christian Malawi two men have been sent to prison for 14 years for being gay.

The harsh sentence was immediately deplored by human rights groups around the world, but Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa, in reading his judgment, seemed adamant in his ruling. He said he was especially offended that the two lovers celebrated their relationship in public with an engagement party.

“I do not believe Malawi is ready at this point in time to see its sons getting married to other sons, or cohabitating, or conducting engagement ceremonies,” the magistrate said. “Malawi is not ready to smile at her daughters marrying each other. Let posterity judge this judgment.”

Posterity will judge this judgement precisely the same as the majority of today’s generation judges 19th century America. There is no reasonable justification for what Malawian Christians are doing to Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza – hence the use of religion to bring about yet another horrendous event in history.

The nation’s clergy have been united in condemning the gay couple. “God calls homosexuality an abomination, which is greater than a simple sin,” the Rev. Felix Zalimba, pastor of the All for Jesus Church in Blantyre, said Thursday. He said church and state were aligned in agreement: “These two must repent and ask God’s forgiveness. Otherwise, they will surely go to hell.”

Aww, that’s so sweet. I guess Malawian Christians are just looking for out the spiritual well-being of the couple.

Malawi is a welfare state that suffers from massive poverty. That poverty, as demonstrated here, goes far beyond monetary woes. And while the educational system has improved dramatically over the years, it still lags severely; it’s about what one would expect from a so-called third world nation. This presents a dilemma. Donor nations might be tempted to withdraw funds in protest of such fervent bigotry, but that would act to also cause harm to all the people who just need clean water and enough food.

I say do it.

Remove all monetary funds from the nation. Still donate food and practical goods, but force it to come up with its own cash. No nation of any common sense ought to be donating money that’s going to partially go towards funding prison operations in Malawi.

Better yet, let’s not just give direct resources; let’s also direct funding. Promote secular ideals and education. Make the nation more than 80-some percent literate; the power of the Catholic Church was long centered on the low literacy rates around the world – someone who cannot read is powerless to fight the lies of priests. The Malawian Christian tragedy is no different.

What’s really ugly about all this is just how obvious it is that religion is the fuel to this fire. This is an extension of the sort of religious fire that burns in the U.S. against gays. In Maine it took roughly a decade to make it illegal to fire someone for being gay. (‘You want to work that cash register? No, faggot!’) In most other states, it remains legal to fire based upon sexual orientation. People who hate gays want to strip them of their basic rights – and more importantly, their basic humanity. The only impediment in the U.S. to the criminalization of homosexuality is the civil libertarian strengths of the Constitution. (Not to be confused with economic libertarian strengths: no such thing exists.) Without those influencing the very cultural of America, who knows just how far the religious would take their bigotry? Perhaps a high rate of literacy would help hold back criminalization to this extreme, but it’s difficult to say. After all, a number of states have had laws which made sodomy a crime.

Another significant issue in the bigotry of Malawian Christians is the lack of separation of church and state. Without any barrier, any rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, religious dogma holds an undue sway on government. Those who are silly enough to think freedom of religion somehow doesn’t also inherently mean freedom from religion ought to reflect on the jailing of Chimbalanga and Monjeza. Their fate has in large part been dealt to them by religion and its entanglement with government.

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35 Responses

  1. “Those who are silly enough to think freedom of religion somehow doesn’t also inherently mean freedom from religion ought to reflect on the jailing of Chimbalanga and Monjeza.”

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this. If people do not have a right to be free from others speech or demonstrations. Why should this be extended to religion? Every time I go to DC it seems the streets are clogged with some demonstration or another. I’d love to be from from them at some points (not withstanding the value of the right to demonstrate, it is a precious right)

    I completely understand that the government should not endorse one religion over another or even endorse a lack of belief in any religion. they should just stay out of peoples personal views on the subject entirely. I hope what your saying is people have the right to be free from being imposed upon by others religious views.

    The cross in the Mojave desert comes to mind. The government did not pay for it and isn’t responsible for its up keep. There are no government endorsed religious activities of any kind that take place there. so what is wrong with it being left there? If a Jewish veterans organization wished to put up a star of david and care for it why should they not be able to do so? Or a group of atheist veterans wants to put something of their choosing up, why should they not be allowed to do so?

    The government should not give preference to a group promoting atheism over religions either. I don’t see that people have a right to not be offended, so long as they are not being taxed to pay for it, or being imprisoned because of it. (imposed upon, like I said)

  2. Another thought, the UN human rights council probably applauded the verdict. The list of deplorable countries on that council would make up a post of indecent length.

  3. I love how Nate gets everything completely wrong and backwards. Nate you have no understanding of rights and liberty.

    “I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this.”

    It is very simple for most. If you deny freedom for some now, others’ freedoms can be taken later – see Nazi Germany. The reason they deny homosexuality is purely due to religious nonsense. If you do not understand this you are obtuse.

    “If people do not have a right to be free from others speech or demonstrations.”

    This statement is not finished, it means nothing.

    “I’d love to be from (sic – meant free) from them at some points (not withstanding the value of the right to demonstrate, it is a precious right)”

    This is convoluted, meaningless and self contradictory.

    “The cross in the Mojave desert comes to mind. The government did not pay for it and isn’t responsible for its up keep. There are no government endorsed religious activities of any kind that take place there. so what is wrong with it being left there? ”

    Because it doesn’t belong there. There is no reason for it. It is government property and the constitution says the government can not condone it. You can continue to say “why, why, why?” but it has been explained.

    “If a Jewish veterans organization wished to put up a star of david and care for it why should they not be able to do so?”

    Same answer – it doesn’t belong there.

    “The government should not give preference to a group promoting atheism over religions either. I don’t see that people have a right to not be offended, so long as they are not being taxed to pay for it, or being imprisoned because of it. (imposed upon, like I said)”

    Same answer – it doesn’t belong there.

  4. They just can’t get it through their thick skulls; why are Christians so adamant about flouting their religion on public property? Do you enjoy rubbing your silly superstitious icons in my face? I own that courthouse wall just as much as any Christian, and so does that Wiccan girl over there. Why should we be forced to accept your 10 Commandments splayed out on every public building you can possibly put them on? Isn’t putting them up on your own property enough?

    The same wonderment applies to prayers before public meetings. What the fuck is the big deal about these meetings that people are willing to waste thousands of dollars on lawsuits just so they can try and impose their plaints to Jesus on everyone else? Are you afraid that God will hex all of the town if he doesn’t hear some prayin’ going on there in City Hall?

  5. Could you please point out in the constitution where it is written that the government may not permit people to place objects of religious significance on government property? And/or where does it say they must scrub public lands of such objects?

    Really? You take issue with the 10 commandment being displayed in court houses?

    What about “lady justice”? Sometimes known as the roman goddess of justice, Justitia.

    Are you offended by lady justice? What about Hammurabi’s code? Its depicted in many court buildings across the country, your not Babylonian either. Historical legal figures absolutely deserve to be depicted in government buildings.

    I don’t think anyone is “afraid God will hex all of the town”. many people wish to pray at public gatherings. I’ve never seen anyone forced to do so. I HAVE seen many people just wait 30 seconds like an adult though. Try that sometime.

  6. Again, the theist refuses to answer the question.

    Why…do…you…have…to…have…those…icons…placed…in…public…locations?

  7. “Could you please point out in the constitution…”

    The establishment clause.

    “You take issue with the 10 commandment being displayed in court houses?”

    Absolutely. Do you want the Momon’s Joseph Smith’s spewings there too? How about The first 5 Surah’s from the Koran? You are spewing your usual nonsense, Nate.

    “What about “lady justice”?

    It is not a part of any current religion. No one prays to it.

    Hammurabi is a legal code. Even YOU are smart enough to distinguish those in your comment.

    “many people wish to pray at public gatherings.”

    Fine, so let them. On their own time.

    “I’ve never seen anyone forced to do so. I HAVE seen many people just wait 30 seconds like an adult though.”

    That second sentence contradicts the first one. Having to wait through someone’s fantasy by official proclamation is being forced.

    No, I will NOT try that sometime. It is my constitutional right to not have to. Too bad you still don’t understand that, which makes YOU the child.

  8. trog69:

    Nate is famous for almost never answering a question. He spews a lot of nonsense and then people here rip apart most of what he says and then he either moves on to the next batch of spew or zeros in on something inane or irrelevant (Hammurabi, legal codes). He represents the slimy tactics of many theists and right wing nuts.

  9. “God calls homosexuality an abomination, which is greater than a simple sin,”

    No, God doesn’t say that, the Bible does. Christians can’t tell the difference. Oh and btw clergy, child rape is also an abomination, but how many priests ended up in jail?

  10. “Oh and btw clergy, child rape is also an abomination, but how many priests ended up in jail?”

    Not enough. And probably, never enough.

    By the way, NewEnglandBob, great posts – I agree 100%.

  11. NEBob, I can’t type much slower than that, so perhaps Nate can get someone to read it to him. Or maybe charades.

  12. “The establishment clause.”

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    Of the two things prohibited, public displays and public lands aren’t mentioned. It would be a stretch to even attempt to make a connection like that. Allow the erection of a cross as a monument to war dead is not the same as establishing a religion, prohibiting them from doing so could be limiting their free exercise though.

    “It is not a part of any current religion. No one prays to it.”

    So religions that no one follows are okay to flaunt, its only people current beliefs you are offended by. Makes perfect sense.

    “Hammurabi is a legal code. Even YOU are smart enough to distinguish those in your comment.”

    At least in the supreme court building, the three ancient examples of law are not displayed in position of honor as if the court authority rest in any of them. They are displayed one one wall, all together. Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, and Augustus, all of them. hardly an establishment and perfectly within context.

    On the other side you find the “lawgivers” of the middle ages: Justinian, Muhammad, Charlemagne, John of England, Louis IX of France, Hugo Grotius, Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon.

    “That second sentence contradicts the first one. Having to wait through someone’s fantasy by official proclamation is being forced.”

    I don’t think so and neither do the courts apparently.

    “Why…do…you…have…to…have…those…icons…placed…in…public…locations?”

    In context, Moses fits perfectly with the rest of the figures and they have no particular order or precedence. Where would you like a war memorial placed? In your world would we also be digging up Arlington National Cemetery and replacing the crosses, Stars and other such religious articles on public land?

    I want them in public for the same reason protests and demonstrations are done in public, so people can see them. That’s the only reason to put signs or symbols up after all. Like demonstrations, even if they might offend you, you can ignore them and just walk past.

    I’ve spent more time in traffic waiting on demonstrations I thought were nonsense than I have in public prayers. That is having something forced on you.

    “Why…do…atheists…seemingly…take…religion…more…seriously…than…religious…persons?

    I’d like to have a question answered before you superficially pick apart and dismiss what I’ve said.

  13. “Why…do…atheists…seemingly…take…religion…more…seriously…than…
    religious…persons?

    ***** it chopped it off*****

  14. Use HTML coding for quotes. Inside this symbol < and its mirror symbol write blockquote. Use /blockquote to close it.

  15. Roger. I’ll do so in the future.

  16. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    Which part of no law do you not understand, Nate?
    It must be the “no” word.

    “So religions that no one follows are okay to flaunt, its only people current beliefs you are offended by. Makes perfect sense.”

    Pure nonsense and stupidity there from you Nate.

    The rest of your diatribe is also nonsense.

    Tell me where you live, Nate so I can put a swastika up at the nearest public place to your house. And an Islamic crescent and a Buddha. Oh yes I participate in a religion called “fickle finger of fate”, so I will also put up a monument of a hand with the middle finger extended in a salute to you, Nate. Do you see how fucking stupid your arguments are, Nate? You spew complete and utter fucking bullshit. If we follow your nonsense then there will be chaos.

  17. You certainly can do all those things if you wish, even if they offend me as my beliefs apparently offend you. Allowing people or organizations to place monuments as they please in no way creates an establishment of any religion.

    I live in Augusta Maine. Others peoples symbols don’t create this unreasonable anger or frustration in me as they do in you.

    You did say Lady liberty was fine since no one practices the Roman religion anymore so I don’t see what your trying to accomplish with calling what I said stupid and nonsensical. If only I shared your obvious rationality… Maybe I should swear more in my posts.

  18. You did say Lady liberty was fine since no one practices the Roman religion anymore so I don’t see what your trying to accomplish with calling what I said stupid and nonsensical.

    You were the one who brought up that it seems OK to arbitrarily put up a monument in the desert on US government land. The stupidity of it is that if if it is OK, then everyone can put up anything on any government property. That is highly stupid and highly nonsensical. You also conflate two issues. The cross, being also unconstitutional by being a religious symbol.

  19. Your comment is neither here, nor there. You specifically said:

    Its not part of any current religion, no one prays to it.

    I only restated what you had already said. You than went on to chastise me for it.

  20. I only restated what you had already said. You than went on to chastise me for it.

    That was “lady justice”. You brought up public displays on public land. That is what I chastised your for. Go read it above for yourself.

    I just noticed this:

    In your world would we also be digging up Arlington National Cemetery and replacing the crosses, Stars and other such religious articles on public land?

    Another incredibly stupid statement. Again you make up nonsense and attribute it to me. Of course a cemetery is an appropriate place. Don’t make up shit and attribute it to me.

  21. A cemetery is appropriate, but not a war memorial?

  22. Lady justice is a religious figure, I don’t see how you don’t consider it a religious display on public land.

  23. The desert property was not a war memorial. Someone placed a cross on government property. We go round and round on this and you still don’t understand anything. I will be over in the morning to erect a war memorial on your roof.

  24. Ahahahaha! Waaaaa, you’re ok with Roman goddesses but you won’t let me put baby Jesus on the front door to the Pentagon! Waaaaaaa!

  25. Round and round. Nate never listens and learns nothing. LOLOLOLOL

  26. Hey, I wanna war memorial on my roof, too! I want Gary Cooper in a foxhole, and real bayonets on the rifles, not that crappy plastic, either.

  27. So now the cross isn’t a war memorial. Someone just erected it? I was under the impression the VFW put it up 60 years before this piece of land became part of the public lands.

  28. Your welcome to come over anytime. Bring pizza.

  29. I was under the impression the VFW put it up 60 years before this piece of land became part of the public lands.

    Yes, I was wrong. the VFW pit it up in 1934. The Mojave preserve was created in 1994 and before that the land was owned by the bureau of land management since ???.

  30. Tell me where you live, Nate so I can put a swastika up at the nearest public place to your house.

    For the record, some people did paint swastikas in the next town over not too long ago. (As Nate said, he lives in Augusta (though we don’t personally know each other. Perhaps I dropped a paper of mine on his doorstep by coincidence?)) People had a big cumbiya about the whole thing, largely ignoring the fact that whoever did it probably had no idea what it really meant anyway (not to mention that the point of the drawing was probably to get attention. Mission accomplished).

  31. I’m still waiting for Nate or other Christians to explain to me why they are so adamant that icons of their religious faith be put up on public property. Is there a bible passage that directs them to erect 10 commandments on every courthouse wall?

    I think they’d get the picture a little faster if they’d only comprehend that religion is no longer given a free pass. Your devotion to God does not make you better than anyone else, and more people all the time are finally catching on to this.

    I am sorry to say that a majority of Christians I’ve encountered have been, at the least, willfully ignorant, and at worst, blatant liars for Jesus. It’s disgusting, no matter the reason. The means do not justify whatever end it is you think you’re striving for. America would not be a better, more “moral” country if we actually were founded on the Christian religion. It would be something unrecognizable to us today, unless we were from S. Arabia or Iran.

    I’m not referring to Nate on this, as so far, you’ve seemed to argue honestly, but you have a whole lotta peers who make other Christians look bad. Those that see nothing wrong with putting up Christian icons on public property are just not willing to be fair, and perhaps entertain some “soft” version of theocratic government as beneficial to the US. Since I never get a valid response to my query on why, I have to fill in the blanks as best I can.

  32. I went to Farmington for a few semesters before transferring to USM to finish up. Your name seems familiar, perhaps from UMF?

    No papers from you have appeared on by doorstep by coincidence or any other means, but I welcome any literature that finds its way there.

  33. It is interesting to watch Christianss come down hard against homosexuality.
    The Bible has more to say about divorce and a woman’s subservience to men than it does about lesbianism or homosexuality.
    Yet Churches never condemn divorce (which is widespread among even conservative Christians and condemned by Christ in all 4 gospesl) nor expect women to be subservient to men (which is proscribed in the Bible many many times).

    Targeting homosexuals seems to take the pressure off from having to take a self critical view of their own Christian failings and shortcomings.

    when the Christian church starts coming down as hard on divorced Christians as it does on gays, then I’ll believe this is about their beliefs and not the scapegoating of some easy target.

    A good start would be to condemn divorce, strip divorced Christians of their position in the Church, Bar divorced people from attending church until they have repented and reconciled.

    Similarly they could put strict limits on a womans role in the church, make sure they keep their mouth shut and their heads covered and order their women to submit to their husbands just as muslim women are expected to do. This is what the bible expects.

  34. No, Dario, You are the 34th comment.

  35. Dario, now deleted, is a spambot.

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