Can We Legislate Sexual Morality?
In recent times the conversation in regards to homosexuality and the buggery law on the books has intensified.
The Christian community (with the exception of a few brave hearts) along with other groups have reiterated and strengthened their voice against homosexuality.
For the most part, this is the view of the greater portion of Jamaica’s Christian fraternity (which seems to be most of us). While remaining fervent in our anti homosexual position, being clear that the lifestyle is abominable and morally reprehensible, we seem to see ourselves as being the moral deciders of not just the behaviour of our fellow theists but all others, regardless of moral and ethical persuasion or worldview.
I see a great problem in this adopted obligation; our position on the matter is informed by our absolute interpretation of our holy book and our deontological ethical position. In short, our worldview is being echoed and forcefully imposed on the general public as long as we advocate for the legislation of moral issues which reflect the view of a particular religious group.
Now, to be clear, my current concern is not whether the traditional Christian view is true or false, rather, more pertinently; is it our right to legislate or maintain the legislation of such a view in a pluralistic society. Yes, any legislative action must bear the consideration of the diversity of racial, religious, ethnic and cultural groups which exist in a democratic society like ours.
Now I know this is a hard pill to swallow for the “superior truth” mindset of my fellow Christians, but, for all involved, the fullest picture and import of this must be urged. I mean, what of the citizen who will have nothing to do with me and my moral understanding and belief in God, but holds that it is his right to live and engage in his desired pleasure once he is not causing harm to others?
What of the situationist who is governed by the one norm absolutism which is love? Furthermore, if we seek to legislate what happens beyond closed doors of consenting adults, aren’t we then saying that other “deviant sexual or questionable” behaviour (by our standards) should be legislated?
How many Christians would have a court date for violation of the fornication law? More importantly, doesn’t the legislation of sexual morality in this case contradict previous stipulations which protects against actions that deprive people of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Jamaica being a Christian country, while it is a description that I grew up to enjoy, is proving incomplete in 2017. We are far more, our people are great and diverse, who in many cases do not hold to the position of a religion or faith group. To secure our survival and freedom, our leaders and thinkers and Christian groups must consider all our people and their position. Out of many one people.
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