AUSCHWITZ, Poland - Wed 26 Jan. 2005 - Events to mark the liberation 60 years ago of the Auschwitz death camp began with a prayer service in a southern Polish village. A round 100 people, including survivors of the camp, gathered in Harmeze, on Wednesday morning to pray for the victims including at least 1.1 million who died at Auschwitz, most of them Jews.
As world leaders gathered in Poland to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz, the only group not remembered that day were gays. More than 150,000 gay men died there. They were arrested under the Nazi's notorious Paragraph 175 law that broadly defined 'lewd' behavior between men.
Auschwitz was a poduct of religion, the very same spirit in some even churches in Singapore. Hitler had published in Mein Kampf in 1925, writing: "Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." The Protocols are used by the Nazis to whip up public hatred of the Jews in the 1930's. Radio programs by many conservative American clergy, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, frequently attacked Jews. Reverend Fr. Charles E Coughlin was one of the best known. "In the 1930's, radio audiences heard him rail against the threat of Jews to America's economy and defend Hitler's treatment of Jews as justified in the fight against communism."
Today, the blood of Gays who died cruelly cries out to God. and we too cry out to Jesus. In the midst of the regular condemnation from the Christian pulpit of City Harvest Church, New Creation Church, Faith Baptist Community Church, Grace Assembly, etc, we cry out to Jesus for answers as to why so many gays have died in the hands of the 'Christian' Church, and why they are still persecuting us. Is there no justice? we say aloud?. Can they who have caused so much death, and hurt, not bear the consequences?. The Gays who are and have suffered so much must be compensated?.
The World may forget what happened to the Gays at Auschwitz, but has God forgotten? I think not
(Psa 18:6 NASB) In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
(Psa 18:17 NASB) He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
Thank you God for your delieverence not because we deserved it, nor because of the cruelty which we have been dealt with by the Christian Church. Rather, because of your son Jesus, His death and ressurection, that we have found favor in your sight in Jesus Christ. We forgive, before Jesus first forgave us. God is our Salvation. We shall sit and wait for the day of victory that God will fight on our behalf. His mercy endures forever.
As Gay Christians in Singapore, we should remember those that have died and their sacrifice. We are not activist (as proclaimed by Bush), but neither could we let injustice go unchallenged. The Gays at Auschwitz should not have died in vain. We have a responsibility to voice out the fact that God loves Gays and being a Gay is not a sin. We have a duty to carry on their message that "We shall overcome in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour" through whatever adversity that will come.
At Auschwitz, God wept. The Jewish sufferings were not to be so if only they have believed in His Son Jesus, Jerusalem would not have fallen and they would not have dispersed around the world. Jesus wept for Jerusalem because He saw into the future the desruction of Jerusalem and the the persecution of the Jews in the diaspora. God wanted to save but was constrained because the period of persecution was not yet over. He had previously provided a way out. He had called out to the Jews to come back to Palestine after General Allanby entred Jerusalem in 1919 but the good life in Europe meant that many did not return. The oppotunity to return to Palestine was ultimately blocked by the British under Arab pressure.
Auschwitz marks the height of persecution against the Jews. After this, God had all the justification He needed to begin a mighty move, with Israel becoming a nation in 1948, and Jerusalem returning to the Jews in 1967. Seven years later in 1973, The American Psychiatric Association ("APA") voted to remove homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders. The British who blocked the return of many thousands of Jews fleeing from Hitler subsequetly lost its entire empire from Egpt, to India, to Burma, to Malaya.
At Auschwitz there were two main groups of people, Jews and Gays, both outcasts, both suffered not because of what they have done, but because of who they are. There, their sufferings and their cry before God became intertwined. The sufferings of the Gays together with Jews His chosen people, touched God. God's blessings, the blessings of Abraham, the promises of God, through Abraham became theirs as well. Just as the Gays suffered with the Jews, the blessings of God flowed to the Gays. The Jews got back their land, and their city, and the Gays got back their identity as human beings and not as pyshco cases.
Today, we weep for Jerusalem, we weep for the Jews who died at Auschwitz, and for the many Gays who died there. But we rejoice because out of Auschwitz, out of great sufferings, God has heard the cries of both Jews and Gays. Just as God is rebuilding Jerusalem, to gather the outcast of Israel, He will gather the Gays to himself, He will build them up, to heal them and bind their woulds. At Auschwitz, Gays became intertwined with the in suffering and hope of the Jewish people, and in God's blessings. Just as they look forward to the new Jerusalem, God will give Gays a special place in that ethernal city of God. In the last days, both the Jews and the Gays will return to God.
The Lord is Building Jerusalem