Friday 8 April 2016

Thought Picnic: Celebrating freedom without offence

My society
I was walking home last night when in a recess of a building just off the main street I saw two men canoodling in a deep embrace on anticipation of possibly greater pleasure later on.
Whilst it was a somewhat unusual sight because not a few streets away is the gay village where they could have been in a bar or club up to much more than could not be printed here, I was gratified.
Gratified that I live in a civilised society that allows the full expression of self without the fear of sanction or harm. Maybe just half a century ago, this simple act of affection between two consenting adults would have attracted the charges of outraging public decency and gross indecency, we have really moved on.
The offended mind
Now, some people might well be seriously offended by this sight, the problem in my view is theirs rather than of the men. The free world we live in makes allowances for diversity and co-existence in the face of difference and what is out of the ordinary.
It was my guess that the men would go home together to be up to whatever they may wish in bed without harming anyone, society or humanity at large.
It is with that in mind that I tweeted yesterday, “The hallmarks of civilised society: Two men kissing on the street and no fear that anyone will be bloodied by an irate mob.”

Beyond these lands
That tweet was in recognition of another man who happened to express love in a same-sex liaison with another, Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi [Graphic Content] who died on the 18th of February from the injuries he sustained from an irate mob in Ondo State, Nigeria. They took the law into their own hands to rid their savage and primitive community of the homosexual and celebrated their conquest on social media.
Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi is one of many same-sex attraction people, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersexual or gender neutral people who have been set upon by the mob or adherents of bigoted and extremist belief systems, thinking they are cleansing their communities by murder and the blood of other fellow human beings on their heads and their hands.
Sometimes, we fail to appreciate the liberties and freedoms that have come from escaping intolerance, ignorance and bigotry.
In response to my tweet, someone remonstrated and posited a fallacy about whether I would want my son doing that.
My response:

Dishonourable parental conduct
The perceived sense of honour we arrogate to ourselves at the expense of people who in a difficult, diffident and uncompromising world need our support is shocking. We would easily sacrifice our wards to belief systems, to traditions and bizarre customs rather than protect them from harm and stand proudly with them against a hostile world no matter the cost.
Parents disowning their children because the kid is different, others taking their girls to abattoirs of female genital mutilation when there is no medical need for this outrageous practice than to satisfy a primitive custom. Parents believe religious quacks that their children are practitioners of witchcraft and giving up the children to brutalisation and evil wickedness in the name of exorcism rituals. Worse still is the ones who murder their children in what they term honour killing.
There is no honour in murder, to love differently might leave us disappointed, but that is no excuse for murder. How will any honour be restored by shedding the blood of your child to restore your status in your community, such thinking is not only warped, by such actions you cannot be deserving of anything but the toughest sanctions without the option for parole or mitigation.
It is not that the battle for the freedom of expression has been totally won, many battles remain amongst us and beyond us, I celebrate the fact that anyone can choose to love who they want as adults and not fear to express that love openly – that is the hallmark of a civilised society and we must all strive towards that state of living and let live; the amicable coexistence of our human diversity.

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