It was stunning to read in the papers last year that the United States of America and their European counterparts threatened to cut foreign aid to Nigeria if the government did not come in line with their views on same-sex marriages and other issues concerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities.
Call it an insult. Call it blackmail. Call it whatever you like. It was shocking and the Nigerian people responded in like manner. Since the outrageous infringement on her right to calibrate the moral compass of her own society, the Nigerian people have had a lot to say about their views on same-sex marriage in particular. So much so that the House of Reps recently passed the anti-gay bill in Nigeria on the 13th of November 2012.
It wasn’t the ban that caught my attention but rather the reasoning behind it. Most of the interviewed legislators cited their faith as the primary reason for voting in favor of a ban. Others were still incensed about the audacity of the more powerful and developed nations like America that essentially attempted to bully Nigeria into exchanging her moral compass for a piece of bread or foreign aid to be more precise.
Strictly speaking, Nigeria is far from being the most morally sound nation in the world. Corruption and greed have pervaded the soul of the nation to unprecedented levels. However, when it came to this particular issue, the people rose up with one voice to refuse this aspect of western culture. The people simply said no to same-sex marriages.
All around the globe but particularly in western cultures, there is an increasing fight for the right to do wrong. Every group only wants the right to do as they please. Like the bible says in the Book of Judges, everyone did what was right in their own eyes. I think we live in such times once more. The scriptures have been reduced to an outdated history book that has no relevance to modern pop culture. God Himself is being reduced to a little god who can be adjusted to suit whatever pleases the individual in question.
Personally speaking, it smacks of arrogance and insensitivity when nations try to impose their own way of life on other less developed nations even when it is repugnant to the people’s way of life. Nigeria should be allowed to decide what is right and wrong in their own society, particularly when the government chooses to use the biblical worldview in making those decisions.
The truth is that instead of relying on the foreign aid of richer nations, African nations should invest more in developing the right leaders who will fear God and rule with His wisdom. In that way, her abundant natural resources will go from being a curse to the blessing that God originally intended for them to be.
I am glad that Nigeria took the bold step of ignoring the threats made by some of these richer nations and instead determined for herself based on the scriptures, what their stance on same-sex marriage should be.
No amount of foreign aid can fix Nigeria’s problems. What we are in dire need of is the blessing of God. Swapping our morality which would attract God’s blessing for a piece of bread just doesn’t make any sense in the grand scheme of things. This is also true in our personal lives. May God help us make the right decisions when faced with such pressures.
The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it]. – Proverbs 10:22
Foreign aid often comes with the sorrow of man-made conditions and strings and it certainly hasn’t made any nation truly rich. The toil of playing to the tune of the richer nations continually increases as the dependence on their foreign aid increases. What we need is far deeper than the superficiality of foreign aid. What we need is linked with the moral fabric of our society and we dare not chuck it away for any reason. What we need is God.