Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle is, perhaps, the most enlightened of the leading Ghanaian Christian religious leaders who have been battling the issue of homosexual, or same-sex, marriages. I have watched the man diplomatically shift the focus of his sect’s general detestation of gay marriages to the culture or practice itself, that is, rather than the humans indulged in the practice.
Which is not to say that Bishop Palmer-Buckle has any divine authority or right to judge any of God’s creations one way or another. He fully recognizes this fact, thus his blunt acknowledgment recently that both gays and heterosexual humans are co-equal creations of Divine Providence (See “Homosexuality Is Not A Human Right – Palmer-Buckle” Ghana News Agency / Ghanaweb.com 8/2/15).
At a religious convention hosted on the campus of the Central University College, in Accra, the outspoken Catholic prelate opined that homosexual marriages were not real marriages in the Biblical sense of the term, because they did not lead to reproduction of the human species. For this reason, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle maintained that gay marriages are decidedly “anti-human.” It would be equally interesting and significant to hear what the former Bishop of Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital, has to say about the clerical Roman-Catholic practice of “celibacy,” dating back to medieval times, whereby priests and nuns take oaths not to marry or engage in carnal sex of any kind. This is important because the global Catholic Church has come under torrents of attacks in the past two decades, or so, largely having to do with the sexual abuse of boys and young adults by gay priests.
In many instances, the Vatican has opted to settle these allegations and charges in billions of dollars of congregational revenue support. A few convicted clerics have ended up in prison, though these have been in the most extreme of cases. Indeed, it was partly his widely perceived inability to discipline many of the priests charged with pedophilia that prompted the first German-born Pope, Benedict XVI, to resign the papacy. We know that celibacy as we know it, has deep economic roots in medieval times, largely aimed at protecting church property from indiscreet priests who impregnated female members of their congregations, whose offspring and their mothers frequently petitioned their parishes for child/parental support. The imposition of celibacy was the surest way of protecting church property and finances from these predator priests.
And in his New Testament’s epistolary presentations, the Apostle Paul solemnly counseled his followers and disciples to opt for marriage as their first choice of an ideal human-adult existence, and did not hesitate to emphasize that his mode of celibacy was more out of professional or missionary necessity than anything else. But even more importantly, Paul warned against disciples and Christians who used their purportedly celibate existence as a facade to commit indecent acts of adultery and fornication.
In our time, it is patently clear that a substantial number of “celibate” Roman-Catholic priests are engaged in various forms of sexual activities in contravention of their oaths. The Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle would do equally well to address the issue of the prevalence of both homosexuality and lesbianism among the clergy of his Church, even as vocal priests such as he continue to pontifically crusade against gay marriages and domestic partnerships. He could even take up the issue of masturbation, coital masturbation, that is, which has been rumored to run riot and rampant among the Catholic clergy.
I have said this before and hereby repeat the same: that a significant percentage of marraiges at all marriageable ages do not produce any offspring. Are we, therefore, to deem such unproductive unions as theologically sacrilegious? Likewise, if Bishop Palmer-Buckle sincerely believes that God created homosexuals in much the same manner that S/He created heterosexuals, then why are some church leaders like himself finding it so difficult to accept the fact that God may not be averse to homosexual existence, at all, in spite of what we are told by Hebraic mythology in the Book of Genesis?
At any rate, do any of these homophobic religious leaders ever consider the fact that God is far bigger in His/Her perception of the ethical rules of human conduct than us humans? For all anyone cares, homosexality may well be a necessary act of Nature aimed at healthily controlling population pressure, or simply reflective of the cultural variation that exists among all species of Nature?