“Die Via Dolorosa” – ‘n Paasherinneringsdiens

Sondagaand, 14 Maart 2010

N.G. Kerk Kompleks, JEFFREYSBAAI

18.30

Kareedouw Kantory

Johan Strydom (orrelis)

Anneliese Crouwkamp (klarinet & fluit)

Ons hoop om julle daar te verwelkom!

Vrede heers tussen kerk en gays

Nuus24 berig:

Amsterdam – Protesoptogte teen ‘n Katolieke kerk in Amsterdam is afgelas na die Kerk ingestem het om gays toegang tot die nagmaaltafel te gee.

Die Sint-Jan kerk in suidwes Amsterdam het besluit hulle sal dit in die hande van gelowiges laat om te besluit of hulle gereed is om nagmaal te aanvaar of nie.

Protesteerders het Sondag se diens onderbreek.

Die moeilikheid het begin toe ‘n gay man in die gemeenskap gekies is vir ‘n prominente rol tydens die karnaval vieringe, maar die Kerk hom Nagmaal geweier het.

– Sapa

Jou mening? vuurkairos@live.com

Gay Africans ‘under siege’

News24 reports:

Fran Blandy

Cape Town – Matuba Mahlatjie is gay, African and married, an unheard of status beyond the borders of liberal South Africa, where governments are clamping down on homosexuality across the continent.

Gay pride parades, same-sex marriages and the famously gay-friendly pink city of Cape Town puts South Africa way ahead of countries such as nearby Malawi, where a gay couple was last week thrown in jail for trying to marry.

But scratch the surface and sexual intolerance and hate crimes still plague the continent’s powerhouse.

"We still have hate crimes perpetrated against gay and lesbian people in our communities. The legalisation of same-sex unions did not make our life any easier," said Mahlatjie who feels gays are still "under siege" in the country.

Laying down the law

Across Africa governments are laying down the law against homosexuality and 38 out of 53 countries have criminalised consensual gay sex, in what Human Rights Watch says is a method of "political manipulation".

Uganda has come under fire for the tabling of a bill against the "sinful lifestyle" that would toughen penalties for gays and also punish anyone who "promotes" homosexuality.

In Malawi, where discussing sex is taboo, the attempt by the gay couple to get married was labelled a matter of "gross indecency". A judge is expected to decide next week whether they will face trial.

In Nigeria, northern Muslim states have the death penalty for homosexuality, while anti-gay incidents have flared in Senegal, where bodies of gay men have been exhumed and tossed out of Muslim cemeteries.

Mugabe manipulation issue

Scott Long, Human Rights Watch director for gay issues, says anti-gay sentiment in Africa soared about 15 years ago when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe started "manipulating the issue for political gain".

Mugabe, who has called gays "worse than dogs and pigs", latched onto the issue to "distract attention from economic and political crises and shore up political support", Long said.

"It was very successful in bringing together different groups," said Long, adding this trend had spread across the continent to countries such as Nigeria, where it also proved a rare unifier among the Muslim north and Christian south.

Mahlatjie says that even in liberal South Africa, legal protection has not made way for social acceptance.

Lesbians raped

"It is difficult everywhere. We have white South Africans disowned by families because they are gay. We have black lesbian women raped and battered by people in their neighbourhood in a bid to ‘cure’ them."

South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution ensures equal rights for gays, but the government was forced by the courts into recognising same-sex marriage with a 2006 law, after months of protests by both the gay community and thousands of opponents.

Unlike many gay Africans, Mahlatjie says he was never forced to take a girlfriend to conform to societal expectations, but "my wedding band shocked a lot of people".

While South Africa now has a prominent gay judge on its Constitutional Court, President Jacob Zuma was forced to apologise in 2006 for saying that same-sex marriages were "a disgrace to the nation and to God".

South Africa was "not necessarily more advanced than the rest of Africa," said Dawie Nel, director of the gay-rights group OUT. He said it’s "still a very homophobic society".

– AFP

‘Jesus was gay’ according to Elton John

News24 reports:

‘Jesus was gay’

Elton John has been targeted by outraged bloggers and ‘tweeters’ over comments he made to Parade.com as part of an article which will appear in the website’s sister weekend magazine.

In the article, the Brit says, "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.

"On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel."

Serious backlash
His remarks have led to a wave of attacks from online critics.

One writes, "John is now the authority on Christ? Jesus Christ was as gay as Saddam Hussein is alive."

And blogger rhardin tells Fox News’ 411 blog, "I will never listen to this man’s music again. How dare he speak of my Lord in such a disgraceful way. He should not speak on things he knows nothing about. I hope and pray that all Christians will take a stand on this one. Elton John’s lifestyle speaks for itself."

Meanwhile, bobj72 tells TheDailyBeast.com, "While I have had some appreciation for Elton John’s music… he could not be further from the truth on this matter regarding Jesus. It is clearly stated in Leviticus 18:22, 23; that Christ sees homosexuality as an abomination."

What is your take on this? Mail us at vuurkairos

Raak ‘n oomblik stil: Die Ecclesia de Lange-storie

Die media het die afgelope week berig gelewer oor Eerwaarde Ecclesia de Lange, wat die Brackenfell- en Windsor Park-gemeentes in Kaapstad bedien, wat uit haar kerk geskors is omdat sy met haar lewensmaat, Amanda, getroud is. Ecclesia en Amanda is in Desember getroud. In Januarie is sy deur die Metodistekerk skuldig bevind daaraan dat sy die kerkreëls deur dié huwelik verbreek het.

De Lange het ’n appèl teen die vonnis geloods. Haar appèl is in die afgelope week van die hand gewys en die kommissie het beslis dat sy ontslaan moet word.

Lees die volledige storie hier en hier.

Kom ons raak in die volgende week vir ’n paar oomblikke stil en vra vir verdraagsaamheid in die kerk om ook na die brandpunt van gay-huwelikke te kyk.

’n Ondersteuningsgroep is vir Ecclesia de Lange op Facebook geskep, en kan onder “Ecclesia de Lange Support Group” gevind word.

Foto: Facebook

Oor die liefde…

VuurKairos val 2010 met die liefdesdeur in die huis: vandag is Valentynsdag.

Valentynsdag word jaarliks op 14 Februarie gevier en herdenk liefde tussen metgeselle. Hierdie dag is vernoem na meer as een van die Christelike martelare, en die tradisie is gevestig deur Pous Gelasius in 496 n.C. Dit is tradisioneel ’n dag waarop verliefdes hul liefde aan mekaar bewys deur geskenke en kaartjies.

In die afgelope week stuur ’n vriendin aan my ’n kriptiese boodskap: “Silence is the friend (lover?) who never betrays”. Na ontvangs daarvan, stuur ek hierdie boodskap aan ’n paar vriende, waarop een omtrent dadelik antwoord: “Dit is waar, maar die stilte gee ook nie raad en advies nie, dit troos nie, en dit luister nie. As eensaamheid haar arms om jou vou, dan kan stilte ook jou vyand wees.” En toe besef ek opnuut: ons het nodig om lief te hê en lief te wees.

As ek aan die liefde dink, kan ek nie anders as om dié bekende deel in 1 Korintiërs 13 aan te haal nie:

1. Nou wys ek julle wat nog die allerbeste is: Al praat ek die tale van mense en engele, maar ek het geen liefde nie, het ek ‘n stuk klinkende metaal, ‘n galmende simbaal geword.

2. Al het ek die gawe van profesie en ken ek al die geheimenisse en besit ek al die kennis, en al het ek al die geloof om berge te versit, maar ek het geen liefde nie, dan is ek niks.

3. Al deel ek al wat ek het aan ander uit, en al gee ek my liggaam prys om my daarop te kan beroem, maar ek het geen liefde nie, baat dit my niks.

4. Die liefde is geduldig, die liefde is vriendelik; dit is nie afgunstig nie, is nie grootpraterig nie, is nie verwaand nie.

5. Dit handel nie onwelvoeglik nie, soek nie sy eie belang nie, is nie liggeraak nie, hou nie boek van die kwaad nie.

6. Dit verbly hom nie oor onreg nie, maar verheug hom oor die waarheid.

7. Dit bedek alles, glo alles, hoop alles, verdra alles.

8. Die liefde vergaan nooit nie, maar die gawe van profesie sal verdwyn, die gawe om ongewone tale en klanke te gebruik, sal ophou, en dié van kennis sal uitgedien raak

9. Want ons ken maar gedeeltelik, en ons profeteer maar gedeeltelik,

10. maar wanneer die volledige kom, sal wat gedeeltelik is, uitgedien wees.

11. Toe ek ‘n kind was, het ek gepraat soos ‘n kind, gedink soos ‘n kind, geredeneer soos ‘n kind. Maar noudat ek ‘n man is, is ek klaar met die dinge van ‘n kind.

12. Nou kyk ons nog in ‘n dowwe spieël en sien ‘n raaiselagtige beeld, maar eendag sal ons alles sien soos dit werklik is. Nou ken ek net gedeeltelik, maar eendag sal ek ten volle ken soos God my ten volle ken.

13. En nou: geloof, hoop en liefde bly, hierdie drie. En die grootste hiervan is die liefde!

Mag jy in hierdie week die sagte arms van Hom jou voel toevou, en Hom hoor fluister: “Ek het jou lief.”

Hemelse Vader, help ons om ook met toewyding U lief te hê, en om U te soek met ons hele hart, want U alleen is die bron van ware liefde en lewe. Gee ons die dapperheid en liefde om getroue getuies van U waarheid te wees.

GAY MARRIAGE BAN GOES ON TRIAL

News24 reports:

Gay marriage ban goes on trial

2010-01-11 09:38

Oakland – California’s ban on gay marriage goes to trial on Monday in a federal case that plaintiffs hope to take all the way to the US Supreme Court and overturn bans throughout the nation.

Victory for gay rights groups in the Supreme Court, which might not choose to take the case if it is appealed that far, would make marriage a fundamental constitutional right without exception and overturn laws and state amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman in 40 states.

A loss in the top court, two ranks above the action that starts on Monday, would derail efforts to win in state courts that have been a hallmark of the gay rights movement thus far.

The case begins in a San Francisco court presided over by District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who clearly enjoyed preliminary sessions, joking with lawyers between barrages of pointed questions.

The United States is divided on gay marriage. It is legal in only five states, although most of those, and the District of Columbia, approved it last year.

The approval of California’s Prop 8 in November 2008 was a sweet victory for social conservatives in a state with a liberal, trend-setting reputation and showed off the resounding success conservatives have had at the ballot box on the issue.

California’s top court had legalised gay marriage in the summer of 2008, months before Prop 8 passed.

Gay rights lawyers in the case describe their battle as a continuation of the fight against racist laws that had stopped whites and blacks from marrying. Marriage is a fundamental constitutional right and, in addition, gays and lesbians deserve special protection from discrimination, they say.

The lawyers defending the ban say long traditions limit marriage to heterosexual couples and that a state, without malice, can be cautious about changing the institution. Heterosexual couples can have children, which society needs to continue, they add.

While a court battle to the Supreme Court would stretch over years, the trial beginning on Monday may take only two weeks.

Gay parents

"Issues about parents and children and the role of child rearing will be central to this case," said Joan Hollinger, a lecturer in family law at the University of California, Berkeley.

The lack of societal acceptance of same-sex marriages was a problem for children of those relationships – an argument for allowing gay marriage, she said.

Ted Olson and David Boies, two high-powered lawyers who faced off over the legality of George W Bush’s election win as US president against Al Gore in 2000, have joined forces in an odd-couple team fighting for gay marriage.

Andrew Koppelman, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University, said an appeal is certain no matter who wins in court in San Francisco.

If the appeals court were to side with the ban, the Supreme Court would probably leave it, but a victory by the gay rights advocates in the appeals court would force the Supreme Court to act, since it could not ignore such a momentous change.

"There is no way to keep this out of the Supreme Court if they win," said Koppelman, who has written books arguing in favour of same-sex marriage but sees this push as ill-timed due to the composition of the nine-member top court.

"Who are going to be your five votes on the Supreme Court? I have trouble getting to one."