Dear Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 24th President of Liberia and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner for supporting the rights of women,
I am writing to you in response to the interview you gave this week alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Bliar…sorry, Blair, in which you made clear your stance on the rights of gay people in your country.
Before I respond to your comments, I must just congratulate you on the Nobel Peace Prize you were awarded last year. It was remiss of me not to do so at the time, but I’ve been rather busy these last few months writing to other bigoted African leaders, so please forgive me for my tardiness. It must have been such a proud moment for you when you found out that all of your hard work in support of women’s rights was going to be rewarded with this most prestigious of prizes. For too long in Africa, and around the world, women have been marginalised, treated as second-class citizens and prevented from engaging fully in the political life of their countries, and it’s such a joy to see someone like you standing up for them and showing that, despite what some misguided, misogynistic men say, women are equal with men and should be afforded the same rights and respect as them.
It’s great to see also that, despite what the Bible says about women who “play the whore” being burnt alive (Leviticus 21:9); St. Paul’s words about how women were created for men (1 Corinthians 11:8-9); St. Paul’s words about how “women [should] learn in all silence” and never presume to teach a man anything (1 Timothy 2:11-14); and St. Paul’s words about how women should never speak in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-35), you have spent your life indirectly proving that the Bible is wrong and that women should not have to live their lives subjugated to men. Bravo to you. Despite being a devout Christian, you have seen fit to ignore the many parts of the Bible that are anti-women and it’s earnt you a shiny Nobel Prize, which I bet looks great hanging in the presidential toilet.
Turning now to your comments this week about the anti-gay laws in your country, I would like to applaud you for being so strident in making your views known.
It’s about time African leaders started focusing on the dangerous and pressing issue of gay people instead of spending all of their time focusing so selflessly on their own countries’ issues of child poverty, civil unrest, economic collapse, political corruption and the AIDS epidemic.
There just haven’t been enough of you recently on the airwaves and in the newspapers hectoring the gays and telling them they’re all going to hell, so well done you.
As for your support for the current Liberian law regarding homosexuals, which makes ‘voluntary sodomy’ punishable by up to one year in prison, it’s great to see you sticking up for the basic human right of bigots and homophobes to believe what they want and to impose those beliefs on whomsoever they want. Where does your selfless desire to support human rights end?! No wonder the western world keeps showering you with prizes and awards (Nobel Peace Prize 2011, US Presidential Medal of Freedom 2007, Newsweek Magazine’s Top Ten World Leaders list 2010, amongst many others). Obviously the western world has seen you for who you really are: a dedicated and loving supporter of the universal rights of mankind. It’s hard to imagine anyone who could be more deserving of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Institute Freedom of Speech Award than you, a woman who has battled so hard to ensure that all of her citizens (except the dastardly gays, of course) can live their lives in freedom.
In your comments this week, you stated very clearly that in Liberia you like “[y]ourselves just the way [you] are” and that you have certain “traditional values” that should be upheld, meaning that you do not wish to see the anti-gay laws of your country changed in any way. How refreshing to see someone sticking up for the traditional Biblical order of things (i.e. St. Paul’s words that men who sleep with men and women who sleep with women should receive “the due penalty for their perversion” – Romans 1:27). It must be such a comfort to you to know that the Bible lays out so clearly how human life should be led. It must make your job so much easier knowing that you can’t go wrong, as long as you stick to the advice and rules contained within this ancient book (except for all the many anti-women parts, which, as we stated earlier, can just be ignored).
So, I’ve reached the end of my letter. Again I commend you on your Nobel Prize win. By winning it, you have joined an elite and select group of people who have fought for civil rights and peace the world over. You should be proud that, as a result of your actions, all of the people of Liberia are now equal (except for the dastardly gays, of course). Now that you’ve achieved everything you possibly could in the area of basic human rights, you should sit back, relax and decide which parts of the Bible you’re going to uphold, and which you will ignore, next.
P.S. Next time you see Tony Blair you might want to give him lessons in standing up for what he believes in, as you yourself so often do, regardless of how idiotic and bigoted that may make you look. As Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland he and his government advanced gay rights more than any government in history but, when sat next to you expressing your support for anti-gay laws, he remained silent and declared that the issue was not one for him.