Christians, Not Muslims, Drove This Person Behind a “Veil”

MosesUgandaGettyImages

The hooded man in the photograph above is from Uganda. He is seeking asylum in the United States, but he dares not show his face in public. Why? Because he is homosexual, and theocratic fundamentalists in Uganda have succeeded in instituting draconian laws against his sexual orientation (ranging, depending on the severity of the “offense,” from life imprisonment to the death penalty). A bit more on the context behind the photograph of this man is here.

What I think is a lesson to take from this photograph is this: religions, like other phenomena, are historically contingent. Depending on circumstances they may morph into liberal or authoritarian forms, and no religion is free of history, or more or less inclined to liberalism or authoritarianism than any other. In religion’s historical contingency is the seed of hope—and threat: hope that the world’s religions will evolve in directions that make for greater liberalism and peace in the world, and the threat that if we do not resist fundamentalism and vigorously push back against its claims, irrationalities, dogmatisms, and authoritarian impulses, then 21st century humanity’s liberty, intellectual integrity, and future is in jeopardy.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s