BY J E SOLOMON
THE recent gay marriage involving Ghanaian Stephen Anertey and his homosexual partner, Ryan Lathrum, became the subject for discussion on many social media especially those of Ghanaian communities and alumni groups. To many it was a shocker, considering that his parents are known to be devout Christians. However, to very close pals of Stephen, an old student of Achimota School, the gay marriage wasn’t a surprise.
What seems to shock many Ghanaians was the fact that a woman identified as Stephen’s mother, had the guts to walk her son down the aisle to present him to Ryan for the wedding that took place last Friday, September 1, 2017 at Sonoma Valley in the US. Stephen is said to have been with Ryan for over a decade. Certainly the parents might have had their own personal battles over the relationship.
The Achimota alumnus is said to have dated girls in the past, perhaps just to be seen as being a guy and apparently in attempts to fit into a society that would not welcome his peculiar inclinations for being interested in guys more than girls. He was hardly passionate about heterosexual relationship, a source close to him disclosed.
Without knowing the background of Stephen, it would be unfair to prejudge and condemn him for being gay. Whatever he might be in the eyes of Ghanaians and the world, fact is, he’s out there openly as gay and it’s fine with him. It’s like a dream come true.
Some people are wondering how this could happen to a child from a conservative Christian family. But consider the case of a priest himself, then married and having grown children who suddenly came out to declare that he was gay. He subsequently remarried, this time to a man. The family was at the wedding to support him.
Freaks exist in all of nature. As such, unexpected natural phenomena will present themselves in the midst of what’s natural. There’s more to life than we can imagine.
The mundane life is an illusion. Man’s relentless search for true happiness and contentment in a mundane world will never end. Whether it’s the desire for riches, material acquisitions, the perfect partner, children, etc, etc, there’ll never be an end to man’s quest for true happiness, unless the pursuit is driven by, and ends in self-realization. The pursuit of material things as a means to satisfy strong desires/ambitions has been likened to chasing a mirage. Such worldly treasures have never been soul fulfilling. No sooner is one desire achieved than another one following. Worldly desires are insatiable. Biblical King Solomon finally came to that realization. In the end, he described it all as vanity.
Until one’s indwelling soul is quickened by a realization of the divine reality within, human beings will continue to do ANYTHING that may be presumed to offer fulfillment of a desire or dream. And sooner than later, there’ll be a desire for something else.
In the Western world today people coming out openly to announce being gay is hardly a surprise. For many nationals from the 3rd World, however, such confession is something to shriek about. It’s considered morally reprehensible; it’s unnatural, it’s unchristian, it’s anti-islamic and it’s ungodly in every sense. That’s why it becomes even more shocking when children raised in conservative Christian homes dare to make such a U-turn.
Former US Vice-president Dick Chiney, a very conservative Christian that he is, had to deal with the discomfort of having a lesbian for a daughter.
James McGreevey, then Governor of New Jersey, and a married man at the time, shocked New Jersey and the whole world when he announced that he was a “Gay American.” This was a politician viewed by many at the time to be the presidential face for the Democratic Party. At the time of the announcement, his wife was right there with him.
There’re situations over which we, as mortals have absolutely NO control. We may resort to fervent prayers and intercession in attempts to stop something we don’t like, yet somehow, it will happen to our utter consternation. As painful as the situation might be to family members and friends, they might have to deal with it, willy nilly, especially when the individuals involved are very HAPPY with the lifestyles they’ve chosen. Why grieve over that which brings energy into a person’s life and makes them HAPPY? There’s absolutely no need.
In my own case, I had family members and friends overly worried about the fact that I had gotten into the practice of meditation and Yoga and had become a vegetarian as a result. That was 38 years ago. A cousin of mine, a zealot of a preacher, along with others, made efforts to, as he said, “turn me away from the devil.” He reportedly told relatives he was going to intercede and encouraged them to do the same.
Meanwhile, I was riding high with exuberance and feeling more vibrant than ever just a year after choosing that path. Everything was fine with me. Every challenge, every hurdle that came my way was swept over with ease and grace. Later, I was to stop using painkillers, especially for headaches. Also the perennial asthmatic attacks took a vacation and eventually went on early retirement. Subtle awareness was sharpened, my faith in God was heightened and so was my fearless attitude.
Unfortunately, and sad to say, some relatives and friends were gravely disturbed over my new found way of life. They worried unduly about me being “lost”, while I was also sympathetic for their misguided concerns and obvious ignorance.
In any situation that might appear distressing to us, as long as it’s not directly impacting our personal lives, the best we can do, in our own interests, is to turn our minds off the “problem” and avoid worrying for nothing. After all, no amount of worrying can change any unwelcome situation. Change, if it must come, rests entirely upon the persons involved. It’s better to get anchored in our divine nature as spiritual beings; that is, to seek refuge in God from within our inner selves.