Moralities: Men raping girls is natural!!
What a shocking statement, apparently made by the Right Reverend Father Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan State Minister for Ethics and Integrity which Stephen Fry talks about in his interview on the Late Late Show (below) recorded in May 2013.
It hardly seems possible for someone to hold such an opinion, but for that man to be the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity makes it all the more incredulous. In this situation Lokodo was defending his country’s appalling record on child rape in relation to proposed new legislation against homosexuals and his view that homosexuality is not natural.
The Progressive Secularist Humanist, where this report originates, says, “The irrational homophobia of Lokodo and other Ugandans can be directly traced back to the influence of Christian missionaries infecting generations of Ugandans with the most obnoxious and despicable religious bigotry, hatred and misinformation.”
Ethics, values and integrity are at the heart of the societies we form. They are at the heart of religious beliefs. They are at the heart of political beliefs. They can also vary wildly. Sometimes differences can make for lively discussion. Even so there are normally some fundamentals that cross the boundaries, common themes among all peoples especially relating to not causing unnecessary harm.
Sadly, old religious values, in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, historically devalue women and children and these values can still be seen in some societies today. In that case it makes sense that raping a girl child would be acceptable because it would cause them no harm as they have a low value, but homosexuality, which is seen as incurring the wrath of God in those religions, would be harmful to men, who do have value.
I was saddened by Lokodo’s statement. Saddened that there is still so much work to be done in achieving recognition of the rights and values of women and children around the world. Saddened because this is just one example of many situations where standards of values and ethics still leave whole swathes of society without due care from those around them.