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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Gay > Rubrieke | Columns > Christina Engela: Fundamentally Speaking

Christina Engela: Fundamentally Speaking

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Leave no one behind
Christina Engela - 2010-06-30
"We often refer to our diverse community of sexual minorities as "GLBT", including main groupings such as Gay, Lesbian (also gay), Bisexual and Transgender. Sometimes, when we feel generous, we add on the “I” for “Intersex”. Perhaps when we run into groups that confuse us, or defy classification into the other main groups, we tack on the "Q" for “Queer” or “Questioning” – although I have to wonder who it is that is doing the questioning....

Sorry, I'm Hatred-Intolerant
Christina Engela - 2010-06-22
Why do some men feel that being gay is somehow an affront to their masculinity? What are they so afraid of? Their own sexuality and of falling out of the closet? That, or are they afraid gay men have bigger dicks? I know some women who have bigger balls. Oh wait, I am one. Let a girl just choose a girl over a man, and they feel they are "less of a man" for it and get all defensive, as if it has anything at all to do with them. That's right - they seem to think that a woman's taste in men (or...

Puppet electorate
Christina Engela - 2010-06-14
Something is still really wrong with our democracy in South Africa. The poorest of the poor are still intimidated into voting for particular parties – being told that their homes will be burned to the ground if they do not vote a particular way. They believe this, not realising that their ballots are secret, and so the vote generally does go a certain way. Intimidation is as much a part of a real democracy as is an ignorant voter – not at all. Our country is very young in terms of understanding...

Double think
Christina Engela - 2010-06-08
I recently learned of the South African government’s pandering to religious fundamentalist groups, and began warning of this threat to civil rights and freedoms as protected by the Constitution. Just this week I saw a news article announcing further confirmation of this collusion between the deputy minister of home affairs in particular and the religious right wing, in the form of the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA). It reminds me of the old National Party government and the old apartheid...

Hook, line and stinker
Christina Engela - 2010-06-03
In a new press release in which the Family Research Council (of Focus on the Family and James Dobson infamy) dragged an eight-year-old "study" out of mothballs and served it up with today's sauce, they once again misrepresent scientific data to undermine human rights and promote their own fascist agenda: WASHINGTON, DC – Family Research Council released a new analytic report today showing that women who did not grow up with their biological mother and father are much more likely to...

Hate The Sin, Hate The Sinner
Christina Engela - 2010-05-25
Where I come from, being called a bigot used to be an insult, and being called bigoted was an accusation people used to take very seriously. Considering that I grew up in South Africa during the last years of the apartheid regime, and was schooled under its influence, this is a revealing scenario. In those days, liberals used to refer to people as bigots because they were supporting and defending racist policies, and were very enthusiastic about it. Very often, the same people used to "categorically...

Rainbow unity
Christina Engela - 2010-05-18
Last week I noticed again that people refer to the rainbow flag as "the gay flag". I have often heard it referred to as such, but for the first time I really thought about it. Is it really? We have quite a diverse community, consisting of gay men, gay women (or lesbians), bisexual people, transgender people (including transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, she-males) and intersex people. There are also other subgroups, such as pansexuals, panromantics, the gender-queer and asexuals....

Is there something we can do?
Christina Engela - 2010-05-11
There are groups in South Africa which are claiming to be able to "cure" gay people, as though human sexual orientation and gender identity is some form of disease or "lifestyle choice". Their attack on human rights and freedom of expression comes entirely from the perspective of religious conservatism and fundamentalism and has no basis in fact, reality, science or medicine whatsoever. They claim we are "broken", burdened with "unwanted SSA" (Same Sex Attraction), that we are somehow in...

Family Policy Institute - deciding for you what you can and can't have access to
Christina Engela - 2010-04-22
Like me, you might not like porn - I really have other interests, and I wouldn't waste my bandwidth on it, but I certainly don't place myself in the position where I think I should tell people what they should be allowed to do or watch in private and on their own time - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, of course. Now, aside from murder, rape, paedophilia and grand theft, I can't think of any reason why adult porn could be harmful to anyone. In fact, even smoking is more harmful. However,...

Christina Engela - 2010-04-12
Bloedskande in Afrikaans, literally translated, means "blood scandal" – and yes, what is being done to the dignity, equality and humanity of gay and transgender people wherever discrimination is being enforced by blood services is nothing less than scandalous. I read the linked article "Transgender blood donors in New Zealand" on the topic of discrimination against gay and transsexual or transgender blood donors in New Zealand. The idiotic reasoning employed by the NZ blood...

Will the real Christians please stand up?
Christina Engela - 2010-03-24
I'm sorry if you are a Christian and if you are open-minded and if you take offence at this article, because you may feel this is directed at you. It is. That is, it is directed to you to show you what fundamentalism is and what it does and what it looks like - and why it has to be stopped. Rest assured, I am aware that there are other kinds of Christians - the kind that concern themselves with their own wellbeing - and the wellbeing of their own spirituality. The kind that lives by the...

The parent trap
Christina Engela - 2010-02-19
Parents ... tricky subject We love them, we get angry with them sometimes when they move in on our space, but mostly we love them. We love them for being mom and dad, we love them for telling us stories when we’re little, for piggybacking us around the house, for buying us little surprises, for tucking us in at night and for chasing away the monsters under the bed. We’re angry with them sometimes for stopping us from doing things we want to do, for sending us to our rooms, for...

For Richard
Christina Engela - 2010-02-10
I received a letter on SêNet the other day, a comment on one of my articles, filled with disdain for truth and fact. The writer is clearly under the impression that he is on some sort of modern crusade to save the world against the deadly "homosexual agenda". LOL, as they say in chat spaces and forums. Who, I wonder, is going to save the world from them? I wouldn’t want to enter into any sort of tit-for-tat engagement with Christina Engela. Personally I have always thought...

To prove gravity, drop the hammer
Christina Engela - 2010-01-27
"Do you have any scientific evidence that [Qwelane] is a homophobe?" ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu asked Mail & Guardian this week. Has this man even bothered to look for a definition of homophobia? The definition hasn't changed, has it? Has he even read any of JQ's articles? Here it is, from Wikipedia – if you are unsure of what a homophobe is, please read it and familiarise yourself with it. Homophobia is a term for a range of negative attitudes and...

What is the price of freedom?
Christina Engela - 2010-01-11
It seems almost undeniable that every modern religion has to have an enemy or a scapegoat. Without something to fear, clerics would have nothing to warn against, nothing to unite people under them with. No bogeyman or big bad wolf to keep the flock encircling the camp fire in the dark night of the soul, so to speak. Without some threat, real or imaginary, they would have nothing to point fingers at and say that is why we are God's chosen people and they are not. An old saying which puts...

Fearless leaders
Christina Engela - 2009-12-15
So there I was, thinking that just when you think nothing can actually get worse in South Africa … Eugène Terre'Blanche relaunches the AWB in Pretoria and makes headlines. I mean, with the effects of the recession, blatant extortion by Eskom, SAA planes falling from the sky, passenger trains colliding, the collapse of the public health system, spiralling violent crime, and the continued implosion of government services due to incompetence and corruption … they actually...

Physical attraction
Christina Engela - 2009-12-08
The stars above, once bright, Now black holes, devouring light. My future now limited in so many ways, All my tomorrows are yesterdays. In honour of the "16 Days of activism" against abuse and violence against women and children in South Africa, I thought I would address something in that vein. Forgive me if I address it from the point of view of the gay or transgender woman this time, because I see so little being said or done in the mainstream media for women like us...

A matter of faith
Christina Engela - 2009-12-01
Some religions respect and even defend human rights, but many devalue them and view them as a “threat” to their own existence. What we are seeing emerging in Africa today is a chilling wake-up call – that there is religion and fanaticism, that there are Christians and also “Christians”, those who call themselves the “faithful” – and those who mark themselves as fundamentalists. To my thinking, faith doesn't define a person, people define the...

The Fundamentalist Agenda: Part 4
Christina Engela - 2009-11-17
“The Persecution State” Uganda has made itself the perfect example of what happens when religion seizes control of government and holds its people hostage to unrealistic intrusion into their private lives and tramples their human rights underfoot, aided by the willing collusion of those whom such things suit. For a decade or longer, rightwing conservative religious groups from South Africa and the USA have been playing God here, plying their little experiment - and today we can...

The Fundamentalist Agenda: Part 3
Christina Engela - 2009-11-11
“Feet Of Clay, Hearts Of Stone” In this third part of the series I want to take a deeper look at the ideology that drives the religious right, and more specifically the Christian fundamentalist right wing. I will try to define it as well as to put it in focus. Fundamentalists. What makes them tick? More to the point, what is it that makes them tick and ticks the rest of us off? In digging deeper we will have to look at several ideologies central to the ethos...

The Fundamentalist Agenda: Part 2
Christina Engela - 2009-11-05
The ACDP - Plethora of lies In part 1 of this series on the fundamentalist groups in South Africa I examined the hypocrisy, paradox and diatribe in the content of the ACDP’s own official website. In the second part I will be examining the press releases and commentary by the ACDP and its representatives since 1994. As these are harder and harder to come by the further back one digs, they tend to become thinner and thinner on the ground – however, when I find one, I am usually...

The Fundamentalist Agenda: Part 1
Christina Engela - 2009-10-27
The ACDP – Web of DeceitI thought I would take a brief look at the fundamentalist Christian right wing in South Africa in a short series of articles titled “Fundamentally Speaking”. As I am sure many of us know, the largest South African political party that fits this description is the ACDP, so I thought it fitting that I begin with them. We have all heard of the ACDP - it has opposed the human rights and civil equality of gay people - and, in effect, the entire pink community...

Alice in Blunderland
Christina Engela - 2009-10-22
A short while ago the DA announced plans to participate in the Johannesburg Pride on 3 October by setting up a recruiting stall to sign up gay people attending as party members, and also to hand out pamphlets and display banners. This follows the DA's positive reception of and open support for Cape Pride in the early part of 2009. There were also unconfirmed reports, following the DA initiative in September, that COPE might do the same. Further afield, in the UK the Tories (Conservative...

The Saga of Saul Severe
Christina Engela - 2009-10-09
I read with much amusement not one, but two articles by the same writer in this morning's edition of the Algoa Sun which "just happened to mention", in a repetitive fashion, the "dark", "sinister" and "Satanic" origins of Halloween. If the writer was trying to create an apprehensive atmosphere to suit the mood of Halloween, this has failed - because instead of thinking of kids traipsing around happily in costume come All Hallow's Eve, I am...

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