Homosexual relationships/acts are now punishable by death
Recently, the Southeast Asian country of Brunei passed a law stating that any homosexual activity and/or adultery can be punishable by being stoned to death. This law was passed by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, who has a huge impact on the land.
According to the New York Times, Bolkiah is the prime minister, the finance minister and the foreign minister. He became the prince of Brunei at age 15 in 1961 and was the 29th crowned sultan. By the time Bolkiah took over, he was already a wealthy man. The country has one of the highest per-capita incomes, at $48,650. For decades, Bolkiah was considered one of the wealthiest men alive.
Homosexual activities were already banned in Brunei about six years ago. At the time, the punishment was amputation or stoning. However, because many around the world became completely outraged at this, they postponed the stoning punishment, until it resurfaced and was passed last Wednesday.
Many people are upset about this decision. Celebrities including Ellen Degeneres and Brittany Furlan encouraged their followers to boycott hotels owned by the Sultan. These hotels include the Hotel of Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, The Dorchester in London, 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in the United Kingdom, Le Meurice in Paris, Plaza Athénée in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Italy.
Courtney Fredricks, a sophomore studying criminal justice, psychology and president of APU’s LGBTQ+ group, said this news sent a chill down her spine. She talked about how Christians can contribute by spreading love.
“I think it begins with Christians. We are supposed to be leaders of love, grace, truth and justice in the world,” Fredericks said. “If we are truly living out the actions of Jesus Christ in acceptance and inclusion, others will follow, and we can continue to build a better world.”
Teri Merrick, a philosophy professor at APU, said loving others can help reduce violence, but it is hard for some to love or accept others.
“It does seem to me that cultivating compassion for the other can go a long way in reducing violence towards those who seem different from us or those who have been historically marginalized,” Merrick said. “However, psychological and cognitive science studies on compassion suggest that we are less likely to feel compassion for those outsides of our in-group.”
Jordan Lacsina, a sophomore allied health major, shared ]her thoughts about how people can love each other.
“We can love each other by truly listening to each other’s stories and coming in with an open mind and heart,” Lascina said. “We can portray Gods love to them by seeing them in the way God sees them, as a fellow brother or sister in Christ.”