Friday 17 August 2007

Dearly Bigoted: Anglican Church requires pre-marital HIV test

Presiding officer speaks:

Dearly Bigoted, we are gathered together here in the sign of prejudice – and in the face of this mob – to disjoin asunder this man and this woman from HIV matrimony, which is commended to be dishonourable among all Anglican clergy; and therefore – is not by any – to be entered into advisedly though lightly – but irreverently, indiscreetly, unadvisedly and without solemnity.

Into this HIV estate these two persons present now come to be set asunder. If any person can show just cause why they may be joined together – let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

Bigot speaks with loud voice:

“They have HIV, it is an abomination”, quoting Chapter and verse and approaching the pulpit with the ferocity of a lioness, the whole mob joins in to lynch the hapless couple; cuts, blood and guts everywhere – we all now have HIV.

This is the bizarre development that has come out of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, couples would have to take an HIV test before their marriage is blessed in the church.

However, if the couple does know their status and still decide to continue with marriage “the church will not object but offer them care and support”. Care and support possibly by discreetly informing others to steer clear of the couple and their eventual offspring and technical ostracise them with the Body of Christ till they leave their parish.

This quest to stigmatise HIV/AIDS is becoming the vogue in Nigeria amongst religious organisations and it does not augur well for society. In afct, I am surprised they have not asked for a pregnancy test too just in case the bride is not a pure virgin. This is absurd in the extreme.

Busy-body church

I cannot see what the business of the church is in trying to determine if a couple loves each other and they have not shared all secrets that might have with each other.

Next it would be all sorts of genetic tests to determine compatibility in what is becoming a slippery slope into religious eugenics in the name of better informed new entrants to the institution of marriage.

The uproar from this must not abate or relent until the folly of this rotten bigoted and busy-body exercise is expunged from the canticles, the hymns and the minds of the people.

What next? You may now exchange HIV certificates and you may not kiss the bride?

This is really absurd; it is really, really absurd - time for God to summon the bishops to an eternal consultation.

This situation MUST NOT STAND!

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