We’re Building a School in Central Tanganyika

Fr. Jake posted an account of Harry’s dinner with ++Jefferts-Schori. and the PB asked him to build a school in Central Tanganyika.

Okay. We can do that.

And then some people are like, “Um, no, I can’t do that for various talky-talky reasons that boil down to I’m not thrilled with the leadership of TEC and/or Central Tanganyika.”

…uh, what?

Last time I checked, the leadership of TEC and Central Tanganyika were no longer in schoool.

And then, THEN come the caveats. “I’ll only give to this school/go visit this school that’s still only theoretical if x, y, and z happens right now to make me a happy camper.”

Oh, my God. Give me strength for what I’m about to say….
{Takes a deep breath}

THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

If you’re going to look at this project and say, “Well, what am I going to get out of it?” then you’re looking at it wrong. Stop that. This is not for us mostly middle-class, mostly well-educated, living with running water in our homes folks.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Yeah, so the bishops say stupid stuff. Bishops are designed by God to say stupid stuff. Yeah, so the church down there might advocate killing me if’n I set foot in the country ’cause I’m not hetero. So does large portions of the United States Midwest and a certain couple of blocks downtown. Yeah, so there’s a historical thingamabober wherein schools have been used to promote prejudice against people like me, not just ’cause I’m a member of the GLBT acronym, but also ’cause I’m not lily-white. But this is not about me. And it’s not about you, neither.

This is about kids.

This is about giving kids a chance to get an education that otherwise wouldn’t be given to them. This is about giving kids a chance to get access to healthcare and social services that a school naturally brings with it. This is about giving kids a chance to hear voices that aren’t just their grandparents and preachers.

This school is going to live on long after we’re dead. This is not, no way, no how about us. This is a gift.

It’s almost Christmastide. You think the Wise Men got cranky when the baby king they brought expensive presents to only gave ’em back ox poop on their shoes? Or did they rejoice in the giving?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “We’re Building a School in Central Tanganyika

  1. Joan K

    This is about kids getting an education that will include hatred for homosexuals and that homosexuality is incompatable with scripture. I’m sorry, but as a lesbian I cannot support such an endeavor. You are a better person than I but I can’t do this. The African bishops hate us. They wish us dead. What else could they teach the children except what they believe?

    How can we support children being taught such horrible things? How can I give money to someone who will teach children to hate me and wish me dead?

    How do you know what’s going to be taught at that school? It hasn’t been built yet! Wait, are you psychic? Do you know the Powerball numbers for next week? Because I need some money, see, I’m helping to build a school in Central Tanganyika….

    Ah, so, you can’t give your money to agencies who ‘hate’ you? Then you never go to the grocery store? You don’t go to the movies or put gas in your car? All these industries have given money to anti-gay organizations in the US. Hell, in that case, you shouldn’t pay your taxes! You don’t wanna KNOW what’s being taught in America’s schools.

    For the love of the Sweet Baby Jesus, you don’t like the way you’re prejudged by “African Bishops”, and yet you yourself are painting every African bishop with the same brush. I think Abp. Desmond Tutu would kinda be cranky with you for that.

    This. Is. Not. About. You. No matter how much you rail, it’s not going to be about you. And this school’s going to be built. What will you be doing instead that is worthwhile and will live on beyond your years on this Earth?

    —Mary Sue

  2. Preach it, Mary Sue! Thank you for saying what needs to be said.

    This is about kids in Africa who need an education. It is not about the victimhood that so many of us GLBTQs cling to.

    Jesus said: “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these …” His word is good enough for me.

  3. Suzer

    I can see both points being made, and I think both are valid. I think I lean a little more in the direction of build the school, teach the kids to read and write. They will be more likely to think for themselves (and perhaps even read and learn about inclusivity, etc.) if they get an education. They will be able to help their communities and defeat poverty if they get an education. If they hate me because of who I love, I guess I’ll take that chance.

    For folks who do feel uncomfortable giving money for this effort, there are many other worthwhile choices. The Human Rights Campaign might be a good choice, or perhaps a hospital in the area of the school. Hospitals in Africa (heck, even some in Atlanta!) are desperate for supplies and well trained doctors and nurses.

    Finally, I don’t think Jesus would refuse to help anyone based on ideology. Well, now that I think of it, he almost did — and was taught a lesson from it. And perhaps that’s what we need to pay attention to?

  4. Wow!

    The mind boggles.