Mmegi Blogs :: Only love, not cruelty, will save the world
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Friday 14 June 2019, 13:18 pm.
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Only love, not cruelty, will save the world

Whilst champagne and sour grapes flow over the de-criminalisation of sex between people of the same sex, let me take the opportunity to salute my good friend Tshiamo Rantao and team. I do not salute them for the outcome of the case.
By Kgosietsile Ngakaagae Fri 14 Jun 2019, 13:18 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Only love, not cruelty, will save the world








Frankly, I am conflicted on that score on account of my Christian beliefs. I salute them for the singular bravery of undertaking such an infamous and controversial call.

It’s a road fraught with difficulties. I have been where they are and I know how it feels. It can get very lonely at times. Sometimes you feel misunderstood and often, you are compelled to doubt the correctness of your professional judgment in the light of scathing moral judgment.

I am one of those lawyers who get insulted almost everyday, over my work and over my insistence that legal representation must remain available even to those whose voices we do not want to hear. Society has become so ignorant and so scornful, that some cowardly lawyers have since taken a decision to chart the populist route and to steer clear of societal reproach and controversy by only litigating popular cases.

Perhaps that speaks to the extent to which it has been brutalised. But the law was crafted for such a time when our emotions and urges would need to be refrained. Some near and dear to me, have even asked me to steer clear of representing criminal offenders and that I was ruining, “my brand”.

One must dig deep within themselves for the courage to wake up on any morning, and to know that a good fraction of society is not only against the cause they represent, but against them as well. There are times when a lawyer has only the company of his client, his beliefs and his fears. Sometimes a lawyer returns from court feeling drained and on the verge of emotional collapse. It is all an occupational risk we signed up to. Some have even suggested that my children be killed so I learn not to represent those accused of murder. To many, the shoes I wear and the car I drive are all proceeds of blood money.

Some moron even suggested that I be hanged in the place and stead of my clients. In other countries, my good friend would be in hiding right now, with a few millions on offer for his head all for doing his job. Worse still, he could be long dead. His client too. But he was sighted yesterday at Main Deck, my trackers tell me, toasting to the victory.

It is a source of immense pride to live in a country where we can differ so bitterly and yet refrain from desiring each other’s destruction. And of course, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who is prepared to accept infamy

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as a price for holding fast to my beliefs. Welcome, gentlemen and women to the fellowship of the misunderstood. Societal applause is a good thing if merited and does not proceed from ignorance and prejudice. But I tell you; there is nothing like lying on your bed at night and hearing the applause of your own conscience.

Society will continue to struggle with issues of an ever changing moral code. More now, than then. There is no running away from that.

Emboldened by yesterday’s victory, some are already calling for polygamy, prostitution and abortion to be considered human rights. The dam walls of the era of the strict moral code have been broken and a conservative society finds itself confronted with a new reality at conflict with traditional and religious beliefs previously considered inviolable.

Some have even questioned the role of the courts and who they represent in their adjudication of rights. The High Court, has drawn parallels between anal sex and heterosexual sex and called society out for hypocrisy. For the church and some sections of society, it’s a slap on the face. Well, I do not really think it is. But it was long coming if you ask me, and it is finally here. 

I have said before that no one needs to go to prison over gay sex. Supporting de-criminalisation of gay sex is not supporting gay sex. It is simply not supporting the way those that indulge in it are treated by the law.

It is simply not supporting societal reaction to a practice. I cannot see how that can be said to be an endorsement by those who don’t subscribe to it. For me, the question is not about whether gay sex is right or wrong. To some it will be and to others it won’t be.

My personal position is already a matter for the record.  Persecution of people for what they believe in is anti-Christian even if they believe in another God.

Perceivably sinful conduct is not necessarily anti-social social conduct to be invariably visited with criminal sanction. The ends of the criminal law are to restrain or punish the hand lifted to the injury of a neighbour and to deter conduct antithetic to peaceful human coexistence.

The criminal law is not and cannot be about punishing what a section of society considers to be sinful. Consider the picture of a gay person serving seven years in prison for anal bliss. What societal purpose does that serve? What Christian end does that serve? Cruelty will not save the world and will not bring about a better society.

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