Botswana has become the latest nation to legalize sexual relations between members of the same sex. This puts them at odds with most African nations, but brings them into line with neighboring South Africa, which enshrined anti-discrimination in their new post-apartheid constitution.
African nations have long persecuted homosexuals, believing that sexual preference is simply a choice.
Botswana used to benefit immensely during the apartheid era from white men crossing the border to have relations outside of marriage with African women. Inter-racial sex was banned under apartheid.
Now same-sex relations are on a par with adultery. They are both legal. As is fornication. I Corinthians 6, written by the Apostle Paul, lists all three as sins that will keep a person out of the kingdom of God. If you study the Greek, you will find that all three involve penetration.
“ Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
A female lawyer in Botswana explained on DW.news that the previous law went back to 1533. Botswana only goes back to 1966. But before that, it was a British colony and inherited many British laws.
Before 1533, ecclesiastical courts used to deal with all of these sins. In 1533 England passed the anti-buggery laws.
“It was the country’s first civil sodomy law, such offenses having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts. The Act defined buggery as an unnatural sexual act against the will of God and man. ” (wikipedia)
Adultery and fornication were not mentioned, as King Henry VIII was a serial adulterer. They were also passed at this time because Henry was breaking away from the Church of Rome (1532-34) and the ecclesiastical courts ceased to exist.
Wikipedia has this to say on the break with Rome:
“The break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the “Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England.”
These anti-sodomy laws were later “exported” to British colonies. Over half the countries in the world that still outlaw this particular sin are former British colonies. Britain, through its Commonwealth ties, has been encouraging nations to change but many still strictly enforce the laws.
This is hypocritical, to say the least. Many African nations come down hard on same-sex relationships, while their leaders commit serial adultery. In African culture, the “big man” syndrome encourages men in public office to have plenty of relationships with women. Churches don’t help, often turning a blind eye to adultery and fornication, while condemning homosexuality.
Of course, in an ideal world, fornication, adultery and sodomy would not exist. We will have to wait for the Kingdom of God to see that happen. But persecuting a minority in today’s world is not going to stop anything.
The Enduring Word Commentary has this to say on I Corinthians 6:
“Paul did not write in or of a “homophobic” culture. Homosexuality was rampant in the ancient world; 14 out of the first 15 Roman emperors were bisexual or homosexual. At the very time Paul wrote, Nero was emperor. Nero castrated a boy named Sporus and then married him (with a full ceremony), brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his “wife.” Later, the emperor lived with another man, and Nero was declared to be the other man’s “wife.” In this list of sins, homosexuality (not some “special” version of homosexuality) is described, but it is described right along with other sins. Some who so strongly denounce homosexuals are guilty of other sins on this list. Can fornicators or adulterers or the covetous or drunkards rightly condemn homosexuals? Of course not.
“Christians err when they excuse homosexuality, and deny that it is sin, but they also err just as badly when they single it out as a sin God is uniquely angry with.” (Enduring Word Commentary)
HONG KONG RIOTS
Talking of the legacy of the British Empire, Hong Kong is a territory in upheaval, with hundreds of thousands of people (all Chinese) rebelling against the Extradition Bill, that could have them all sent to mainland China for prosecution.
Hong Kong was British for over 150 years. During that time, the people were acquainted with freedom. The law was separate from the government. China has no such tradition.
Although all the people are Chinese, many obviously still want the British tradition. According to the Basic Law, they were guaranteed that for fifty years after Beijing took control of the former colony they could keep their laws and traditions. Less than halfway into the fifty years, China has clearly changed its mind.
That makes it less likely that Taiwan will ever consent to being taken over by China.
China, we must never forget, is a one party state with all that that implies. China will win this one.
The nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, which exploded in 1986, is now the subject of a five part television series, produced by HBO and Sky. We found it excellent, compelling viewing. (Warning: it contains a scene showing nudity – but not involving sex.)
Again, it shows the absurdity of socialist thinking, that everything (even a disaster) has to be directed by the party. Mikhail Gorbachev wrote that Chernobyl was the biggest single factor in the fall of the Soviet Union.
The official death toll was 31. The actual death toll is closer to 31,000!
It should be compulsory viewing for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and AOC – and all those inclined to vote for them.
PELOSI SORRY FOR THE POOR
From the Financial Times (3rd June) comes the following on Nancy Pelosi:
“It is dangerous to underestimate Nancy Pelosi . . .
“It is interesting, however, that Ms. Pelosi says: “What took me from the kitchen to Congress was knowing that one in five children in America lives in poverty. I just can’t stand that.” (Anne Marie Slaughter, FT)
(COMMENT: In which case, why is she in favor of allowing in so many refugees? They depress wages at the bottom, making it harder for Americans.)
The Conservative Party has ten people vying for the leadership. One of them is Boris Johnson, a maverick who has been likened to Donald Trump, who is a personal friend. Mr. Johnson was born in the US, so could actually also run for president.
Although Boris says he would prefer a deal with the EU, he is promising to leave the EU by October 31st, with or without a deal. In an attempt to thwart this, and stop Britain leaving without a deal, a parliamentary vote this week was narrowly lost, meaning that the country can leave without a deal.
If the vote had gone the other way, Britain would have been in the position of not being able to get a deal and not being able to leave without one. The country would have, effectively, been a prisoner of the EU indefinitely.
It should be clear to everyone that the biggest obstacle to leaving remains parliament. Supposedly the house of the people, it has become the house that denies the voice of the people. At the next election, people should remember this and vote the incumbents out of office.
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon has visited Brussels once again. The leader of Scotland seems determined to keep Scotland in the EU. The only way this is possible is if Scotland breaks away from England.
“Ms. Sturgeon said that because of Brexit “there is now a deeper understanding” in EU capitals “of why Scotland might want to be independent” compared to in 2014, when the Scottish referendum took place. “The vibe here compared to 2014 about this question is like night and day,” she said.” (Brussels Briefing, FT, June 12th).
Scotland would need a great deal of financial help if she left the United Kingdom. Only one country could give her what she needs – Germany. What would England do if Scotland broke away and formed a de facto alliance with Germany?
WAR WITH IRAN?
The latest attack on oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz raises the stakes in the Persian Gulf. Undoubtedly, Iran was responsible.
Although war with the US is not likely, another regional war could start over this. The United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, both Sunni Muslim nations, could be provoked into a conflict with their arch enemy, Iran. If that happens, it’s difficult to see how the United States could remain uninvolved.
Many Bible students are fond of identifying Iran with the King of the South, the ancient prophecy in Daniel 11. It’s difficult to see how Iran can be the king of the South now when it was a part of the King of the North in biblical times!
Don’t look for rationale in this. Iran’s theology embraces an apocalyptic vision of the future, which might encourage them to go to war.
Iran has three times the military power Iraq did. If there is a conflict, it could tie down the US for years.