If there is an area of incompatibility between the culture of the Germans and that of Nigerians, it is undeniably in the area of the culture of same sex marriage.
The reason for the foregoing opinion cannot be farfetched as the German parliament on Friday, June 30, 2017, voted to legalise gay marriage in a historic decision just days after Angela Merkel dropped her age-old hostility.
Prior to the legalisation, MPs voted by 393 votes to 226 to extend equal marriage rights to all. The decision means that same-sex couples will be able to marry for the first time in Germany, and will have full rights to adopt children.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing, permit me to express the view that the way of life of a typical German is diametrically opposed to that of a typical Nigerian. Viewed from the context of our high regard for decent cultural practices, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Germany, with the legislation joined the list of 21 countries in the world that have legalised same sex marriage. Some of the countries include, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa and Norway. Others are Sweden, Argentina, Iceland, Portugal and Denmark.
There is no denying the fact that from whichever dimension anyone would like to look at the ignominious practice of same sex marriage from the eyes of a Nigerian that it would unarguably be seen as an oddity, anathema and taboo in the Nigerian cullture. This perception of ours is not in the least misconceived. Our perception is as a result of our God fearing attitude to life.
The same sex marriage which members of the parliament in Germany has on Friday given a legal and constitutional backing is no doubt, totally incompatible with African nay, Nigerian culture. What they see as virtue is what we see as taboo. Regrettably, the provocative manner of dressing which our impeccable young ones are apparently exhibiting on our streets is a flagrant emulation in the way of dressing of the youths in the Western world.
The way of dressing of most of our today’s youths is an outright defiance of the cultural standards and expectations of our elders and parents. Sincerely, nudity has never been African nay Nigerian cultural value. In Nigeria, nudity is highly and strongly detested by our elders and parents.
Frankly, the prevailing social vices that have literally eaten deep into the fabric of our youths was made possible by the infiltration of Western culture into our land. Today, some perceived wayward youths dress like the opposite sex, while many of them have literally thrown moral sanctity to the dogs, all in the name of civilisation.
You may have been wondering on why I chose this as topic for publication in the media. The reason for the choice cannot be farfetched as Nigerians are wont to travel to European countries, and it is possible that they can imbibed the culture and import it back home when and pass it over to our gullible youths that are based in the country. It is germane to state at this juncture that the infiltration of Western culture into our country is doing us more harm than good. No doubt, Western culture apparently began to manifest in our country due to unprecedented advances that are made in the field of transportation and communication. Today, technology has condensed the entire world into a global village. At the click of a mouse in Nigeria, one can start interacting with those in far away countries of Europe and America.
Still in the same nexus, most of the weird and bohemian lifestyles exhibited in the Western world, that would make our forefathers shudder in their graves, are gradually becoming the fad in our cities, towns and even in the villages.
At this juncture, it would be pertinent to say that Nigerians do not practice sodomy. Nigerians believe that what is not good is not good. We do not pretend in doing things that are bad all in the name of civilisation. We are not culturally disposed to the practice of same-sex marriage.
In our traditional and modern societies, prospective marriage partners are traditionally screened by elderly relations, in most cases, carrying out their findings on the backgrounds of the families they came from before giving approval to marriages. With this, it is very obvious that the issue of matrimony is highly regarded in Nigerian societies.
In our cultural clime, marriage is a family and communal affair. We do not just go ahead and start marrying, not to talk of getting married to a spouse of the same sex. Even as I am writing this piece, I am almost throwing up at the thought of the idea of same-sex marriage. It is nauseating and unheard of.
The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible says in the book of Leviticus, chapter 20, verse 13, that “if a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
Also, the book of Genesis, chapter 2, verse 22, in King James Version (KJV), says ”And the rib, which the Lord God has taken away from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man.
The key phrase to this topic in the foregoing scripture is and brought her unto the man.” This was buttressed in verse 24 that says “Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.
Still in the connection, in the Bible in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 27, it was written: God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them. According to this scripture, God created a male and a female. In verse 28, He blessed them and made them husband and wife in His word that says “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
From the Bible, it is very obvious that marriage is a man and woman affair and not the same-sex stuff. It is ironic that the Western world that brought Christianity to us are fast backsliding all in the name of fundamental human rights. Who will bell the cat?.
Also, in Genesis, chapter 24, verses 12 to 15, Abraham prayed for God to bless Isaac with a wife. God immediately answered his prayer by revealing and sending Rebecca to him. God did not send a man to the servant for Isaac to marry. The old testament of the Bible is replete with similar instances.
Put in a more understandable way, same-sex marriage is capable of offending the sensibilities of close and distant relations of the same-sex couples, apart from turning them into objects of ridicule, innuendoes and outright castigation in their immediate communities.
In the ancestral community of this writer, same-sex couples may automatically be ostracised or banished from the community. Also, it is potent enough to tear extended families apart as same-sex marriage is highly characterised with crises.
Suffice it to say that the cultural and Biblical references cited in this piece are conspicuously evident to prove that same-sex marriage is a taboo in its totality, it is detestable when viewed from our diverse culture and an abomination in Christendom.
Isaac Asabor, a Journalist, writes from Lagos.