Oral Roberts’ Grandson, Randy Roberts Potts on Coming Out

Randy Roberts Potts, gay grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, talks to Don Lemon about sexuality. Randy touches on our theme for this month, ‘Faith, Religion and Spirituality’ and he touches on ‘Family’, our theme from last month. An inspiration!

Reflections on the implications of Religious Faith for African Gays and Lesbians (Part 2)

We have for decades denied the existence of homosexuality in the African community. It has been shrouded with secrecy and linked with occultism. It was considered an abomination beyond redemption, a taboo incomprehensive and a disability by the nature of God, therefore God’s answer and punishment is venereal diseases.

The expectation of African parents for all children is the same – an investment in their future to produce offspring, improve their economic and societal status. A male child is expected to lead, uphold the family name and bear the future generation. Females are properties to be sold for a dowry price. I must say that things are changing, but so far for LGBTI children, they expect us to settle into a heterosexual relationship, or at least be silent on the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity

Exorcism and religious homophobia was the answer to the curing of homosexuality. In March 2009, EXODUS International USA made a trip to Uganda in collaboration with Family Life Network and offered the cure. I believe that these destructive patterns will leave LGBTI people, our friends, allies and relatives more confused and damaged by these atrocious claims and deliberate attempt to dehumanise us. More

Reflections on the implications of Religious Faith for African Gays and Lesbians (Part 1)

The journey to reconcile sexuality and spirituality has never been an easy voyage, nor will the world around us facilitate such an easy path. The construct of understanding sexuality is mired with the audacity and ferocity of the dominance of religion; this often makes it less easy for those who already struggle with their sexual orientation – and in many cases sampled with my own experiences, the challenges of finding the right balance or footing.

As a person of faith who is gay, the acknowledgement of my Christian faith and the fight to remain within this community continues to be a challenge. I have to accept many times the crown of being a pioneer and leading people to an inclusive and loving God has not come easily, but at a terrible price that often not only questions my faith as a Christian, but those who claim to be Christians too.

Many people like myself often give up, and there is no doubt that statistics around the globe show a high rise in mental cases and illnesses of those who are unable to find a resting place on the issues that dogged and ache. The terrible ways in which many gay people have been treated by Christians, question the teaching of Jesus, that says “love thy neighbour as thy self”, unless of course if the neighbour is a homosexual, then it would be justifiable to hate and or kill them. More

A work in progress: Finding my Faith, Religion and Spirituality

I have never been what most people consider religious. I have always, or for a long time considered myself spiritual. And of late, I have been not so much questioning it, but rather looking at how I can stand with ease and grace and still honor that which I call Spiritual or Faith.

I live in a country that is highly religious, and recently even on local television the number of religious programmes and channels have either increased; or it occurs to me like they have. And while I am ‘searching’ there is a certain annoyance of no other options on telly or around for quick reference or observation. Kenya is a religious country there is no doubt about that. AND there is the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of religion at play. Anyone at any time can claim religion, spirituality, or faith as a basis for their standing and current circumstance. More

Wrestling with Shadows, whilst Searching for God (Part 1)

2002 was such a significant year for me. An intimate relationship had come to an end and I found myself confronted with old wounds from the past. I was in the process of  letting-go of a series of close, yet unsatisfying, friendships. I had also had a fall whilst on holiday that Spring, which had led to major surgery on my left eye. As part of my inquiry into the physical and emotional wounds I was bearing, I found myself visiting Nigeria after an absence of almost 14 years. At the time, I felt that in order to move forward, I needed to retrace my steps. Prior to the visit, I had reached the conclusion that something was still broken in my life; despite trying to cover ‘it’ up in so many different ways – via career, relationships, friends, travel and ‘stuff’. In my inquiry, I decided that there was one place that had not yet been fully searched – the Spiritual Path. Therefore, on my return from Nigeria in Autumn 2002, I joined the Interfaith Seminary and a new chapter of my life began.

One of the exercises I had to do as part of the entry into the Seminary was to write a ‘Reflections on my personal religious experience, my spiritual journey and what led me to join the Interfaith Seminary’. I have not looked at the reflections I wrote, since 2002. Reading it the other day, brought to mind the shadows I have wrestled (and in some cases, continue to wrestle), whilst longing and searching for the Divine. I share with you here, the unedited reflections. I have resisted the temptation to edit the piece, with a view to gloss over some aspects of my journey. For I am gradually learning that there is something so powerful and transformational in simply telling it, as it was then. And that its okay to feel whatever emotions come up – the highs, the lows and everything in between; those emotions are simply shadows and when I shine the light on them – by sharing my story consciously and authentically – those shadows simply disappear in the light.

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Irreligious Homophobia

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