The LBGT persecution in Uganda is shocking–and horrifyingly misguided.
The backlash against MP David Bahati, who proposed this legislation, will hopefully lead to more than his current acquiescence: he says he will “amend some clauses.”
As it stands, the legislation would extend the maximum punishment for ‘homosexual acts’ from 14 years to life in prison and proposes the death penalty for ‘homosexual acts’ when a participant is underage, disabled, HIV-positive, or a “serial offender.”
The role of American evangelists in this situation is shameful:
Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.
The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
This movement and legislation has been widely and rightly criticized by religious leaders—except the Anglican church in Uganda, who will only criticize the legislation’s death penalty recommendation.
Some Western nations have threatened to revoke aid, widening the scope to make this not only a religious/philosophical issue, a civil rights human rights issue, but also a foreign policy one. Hopefully, the strength of all these protests will exert some enlightening influence on the Ugandan government.
This same kind of biblical ignorance is all too present around the topic of homosexuality. Often people who love and trust God’s Word have never given careful and prayerful attention to what the Bible does or doesn’t say about homosexuality.
For example, many Christians don’t know that:
- Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.
- The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality.
- Only six or seven of the Bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way — and none of these verses refer to homosexual orientation as it’s understood today.
Click on the above link to Soulforce.org for an excellent exegesis of the 7 verses in question.
Also check out the Charter for Compassion, an effort spearheaded by biblical historian Karen Armstrong:
“We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate”