Gay rights advocacy and approbation is a new crusade that is hitting the top of the political mountain. It's a never-ending debate that cuts across religious, political, social and philosophical inclinations. For others, it is a matter of human rights, others think otherwise. Therefore, it cannot be divorced from a national schism. Measuring the barometer, those against seems to be outweighing those in favor, and this is where Pastor Ben Cooper comes in to put a scar on the debate. For him, adhering to such practice is total abomination, considering where Liberia comes from. Acting News Editor Mark Newa talks to him and reports.
Advocacy for the introduction and legalization of gay rights and activities in Liberia is classified as total abomination as such practice is completely unbiblical and outlandish to African tradition.
An acclaimed crusader of Christian and biblical values in the society, Rev. Ben Cooper, founder and Senior Pastor of the Leviticus Ministries rebuffed such calls and practice as detestable as it threatens to undermine the existence of human as well as the fabric of the Liberian society.
Liberia is on the edge on the issue of gay marriage and gay rights, considering the trend it is taking in other nations of the world, especially in the West where it is deeply grounded.
Many have been calling for the legalization of gay marriage or gay rights, but such calls continue to fall on deaf ears as the National Legislature, to some extent, is unanimous on the issue.
However, Rev. Cooper warned against the introduction of such bill in the Legislature, threatening to use the weight of the law to deal with those concerned.
"My stand on the gay bill is highly negative; I do not support it because it is not biblical; it is unwelcoming in the African context, needless to talk about Liberia that is a nation established even on Christian principles. The bill is unbiblical, even the Bible speaks against the issue and its activities," he said.
As a minister of the gospel, an ambassador and a representative of God, it is immoral for the people of Liberia to welcome such practices, he indicated, and added "though people are proffering that homosexuals have the rights to practice whatsoever they feel is good for them, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality."
"I feel that the practice is detrimental to our livelihood as a whole in this country."
Rev. Cooper also warned members of the legislature that anyone who is engaged in such campaign to desist because he will not hesitate in engineering a mass demonstration.
"I have heard about lots of the ordination of gay bishops in the West and as I am talking in the context that Liberians should never and ever give credence to such act; that is my point of view. If you want to practice same as it is done in the in the West it is left with you," he indicated, and added that Liberia will never stoop to such undertaking.
According to Rev. Cooper, there would be a tsunami type of demonstration that will be spearheaded by Christian churches, as a fierce protest against gay rights.
According to the pastor, church leaders will not allow the bill to be passed in the first place but call on the national legislature to be mindful and avoid giving credence what he referred to as devilish bill.
"I promise you that if the legislature should even venture to take the bill to the Plenary for discussion as means of trying to support gay bill for its passage in the House there will be a very unfriendly atmosphere emanating from the religious circle and I am going to be one of the ring leaders to speak against that", Pastor Cooper added.
He maintained that the unfriendly atmosphere means that the church is not willing to accommodate any lawmaker in Liberia support such as it does not want to incorporate any thought towards the promotion of gay rights as a bill in the national legislature.
"We are going to be unfriendly; we are going to be emphatic, speaking out our minds and will continue to campaign against such an immoral act as I am going to one of the ring leaders to stand out against such bill", he said.
The clergyman added that though he trust members of the legislature but when it comes to the issue of the gay bill he will continue to be unfriendly as long as people continue to support gay rights in the country.
"I am very, very unfriendly when it comes to that and I think I will be unfriendly with them when it comes to the issue of supporting gay rights in the country," the pastor emphasized.
Some powerful nations are threatening to cut aid from African nations that do not put gay issues on the front-burner of the democratization of their respective countries.
United States President Barack Obama, one of the world leaders that has given approval to gay rights, described a human rights and constitutional issue.
Most American states have gone ahead with the passage of legislations that favor gay rights and activities.
Here in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Christian for that matter, is diffidently addressing herself to the debate.
When asked some times last year, she fell short of giving an overall approbation or rejection, saying "Liberia has its values which it subscribes to."
But Rev. Cooper said should Liberia be bullied or coerced to consider legalizing gay activities as precondition to receiving Western aid, the people will vehemently oppose such legislation.
"Weather aid or not, we are not going to sell our birth rights because somebody is going to be coming in the country to give us aid in order to allow our children to suffer consequences", he maintained.
"Liberians will beat the streets and will continue to mobilize the people to be able to speak against the very gay rights so that it does not even reach the stage as has been proffered by western donors."
"When it comes to this issue, I am a direct representative of God. I speak against it because the Bible takes this particular sin to be detestable as two cities were destroyed in the Bible as evident in Genesis 19 when God destroyed the two cities because he hated the very sin of homosexuality."
As a representative of God, Pastor Cooper pledged to continue to be a strong advocate against such act, adding "since Liberians proffered that the nation was built on Christian principles and as such it is important to follow the precepts and beliefs for which the state was formulated."
He agrees that homosexuality has been in society for a protracted period of time, but rejects any attempt to institutionalize it as doing so would portend a negative reflection on Liberia and equally undermine efforts toward transforming the society after years of war.
"As a matter of fact, there are people in this country who are practicing this under cover and we are not going against that but where you want to come and have it enshrined into the fabric of our law, there is where we take our stand.
For him and many other Liberians have spoken out on the issue, it's mere abomination that cannot be countenanced here in the Liberian society, but proponents are still pushing the button and even playing their cards underground.