A president’s prayer

Uganda has long been one of the most messed-up countries on earth, ruled by murderous buffoons such as Idi Amin.  But the current president, Yoweri Museveni, is trying to change all of that.  On the 50th anniversary of Uganda’s independence from Great Britain, he publicly prayed this prayer:

Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us. I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness. We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.

We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal. Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict. These sins and many others have characterized our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord, forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.

We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity. We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.

We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfill what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.

I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever. I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

via Michael Avramovich, Should Ugandan President Museveni Lead the Way? – Mere Comments.

Does this suggest theocracy or at least a “state church”?  Or is it a good example of a leader praying for himself and interceding for his people?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    A fine prayer until the last paragraph with the “covenant” language, but I confess to being conflicted in its appropriateness. On the one hand, this prayer would be better suited to a church service offered up by a pastor, as it could lead to a dangerous melding of church and state. On the other hand, the situation of Uganda has been in which the putative leaders of the country have much of which to repent, and acknowledging the complicity, duplicity and evil that has been committed is a right and necessary thing. This goes much further than a perfunctory “Sorry about all the killing, looting and destitution. Time to move on.”

    How much is political bluster, and how much is sincere repentance, remains to be seen. I trust that it is sincere, but I note that Uganda has a sizable Muslim population (~12%), so this was somewhat Jesus neutral. However, talk of repentance and sinfulness is usually absent in Muslim prayer and a hallmark of Christian confession. An overtly Christian-themed prayer with Christ. Crypto-Christian. Curious. Peculiar even.

  • SKPeterson

    A fine prayer until the last paragraph with the “covenant” language, but I confess to being conflicted in its appropriateness. On the one hand, this prayer would be better suited to a church service offered up by a pastor, as it could lead to a dangerous melding of church and state. On the other hand, the situation of Uganda has been in which the putative leaders of the country have much of which to repent, and acknowledging the complicity, duplicity and evil that has been committed is a right and necessary thing. This goes much further than a perfunctory “Sorry about all the killing, looting and destitution. Time to move on.”

    How much is political bluster, and how much is sincere repentance, remains to be seen. I trust that it is sincere, but I note that Uganda has a sizable Muslim population (~12%), so this was somewhat Jesus neutral. However, talk of repentance and sinfulness is usually absent in Muslim prayer and a hallmark of Christian confession. An overtly Christian-themed prayer with Christ. Crypto-Christian. Curious. Peculiar even.

  • James Sarver

    “And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.”

    I wonder where he gets the authority to initiate that covenant.

  • James Sarver

    “And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.”

    I wonder where he gets the authority to initiate that covenant.

  • Pete

    As noted above – it’s a bit presumptuous to be confessing sins to the Christian God on behalf of the people of Uganda, a percentage of whom are Muslim . A bit of a “two kingdoms” fox paws – no matter how true is the sentiment expressed. As president of Uganda, Museveni speaks on behalf of the Ugandan people to his neighboring countries – to God, not so much.

  • Pete

    As noted above – it’s a bit presumptuous to be confessing sins to the Christian God on behalf of the people of Uganda, a percentage of whom are Muslim . A bit of a “two kingdoms” fox paws – no matter how true is the sentiment expressed. As president of Uganda, Museveni speaks on behalf of the Ugandan people to his neighboring countries – to God, not so much.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Time will tell. What I pray is he is not unjust to his non Christian citizens. We do not need another Inquisition or some such in answer to Islam.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Time will tell. What I pray is he is not unjust to his non Christian citizens. We do not need another Inquisition or some such in answer to Islam.

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder where he gets the authority to initiate that covenant. (@ 2)

    For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)

    So, God recognizes the authority of leaders. And if a leader has faith in Jesus, He hears a prayer for that leader’s people. But covenants between God and man are initiated by God, not man.

  • Tom Hering

    I wonder where he gets the authority to initiate that covenant. (@ 2)

    For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)

    So, God recognizes the authority of leaders. And if a leader has faith in Jesus, He hears a prayer for that leader’s people. But covenants between God and man are initiated by God, not man.

  • Abby

    “. . . is it a good example of a leader praying for himself and interceding for his people?” Well, I like it and I vote “yes.” I’ll leave the fine details to others to figure out.

  • Abby

    “. . . is it a good example of a leader praying for himself and interceding for his people?” Well, I like it and I vote “yes.” I’ll leave the fine details to others to figure out.

  • Matt

    One of the more influential books I’ve read in regards to my own thinking is Why Nation’s Fail. It suggests that if a nation has inclusive institutions it will succeed, if it has exclusive institutions it won’t. In other words, all groups need to be given the opportunity to influence decisions. This means things like equality under the law, checks and balances in the government, and a meritocracy so their is no such thing as a ruling class. The sad thing is that even after a revolution throws out a dictator, it’s often the case that one brutal regime will just be followed by another brutal regine because, as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. People in power would have to necessarily give up power of their own free will to form more inclusive institutions. Uganda does apparently have a democracy, which is a start, but that alone can just be a facade for continued corruption.

    The book would predict that Uganda, due to it’s lack of inclusive institutions and the historical forces working against it will remain a poverty stricken, corrupt country for the foreseeable future. It would also suggest that it takes a very special leader to give up much of his own power for the good of his people – it would be an extreme historical anomaly. Knowing nothing about current Ugandan politics, I can’t say if their leader is such a person. But I pray that he is.

  • Matt

    One of the more influential books I’ve read in regards to my own thinking is Why Nation’s Fail. It suggests that if a nation has inclusive institutions it will succeed, if it has exclusive institutions it won’t. In other words, all groups need to be given the opportunity to influence decisions. This means things like equality under the law, checks and balances in the government, and a meritocracy so their is no such thing as a ruling class. The sad thing is that even after a revolution throws out a dictator, it’s often the case that one brutal regime will just be followed by another brutal regine because, as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. People in power would have to necessarily give up power of their own free will to form more inclusive institutions. Uganda does apparently have a democracy, which is a start, but that alone can just be a facade for continued corruption.

    The book would predict that Uganda, due to it’s lack of inclusive institutions and the historical forces working against it will remain a poverty stricken, corrupt country for the foreseeable future. It would also suggest that it takes a very special leader to give up much of his own power for the good of his people – it would be an extreme historical anomaly. Knowing nothing about current Ugandan politics, I can’t say if their leader is such a person. But I pray that he is.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    A good prayer, and apparently a very sincere one. I agree with SKP though that it’s a precarious thing to establish a covenant, particularly when you really can’t claim to speak for all of the people. This is not Israel where the nation was united by YHWH.

    That criticism aside though, he is right in praying for his country.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    A good prayer, and apparently a very sincere one. I agree with SKP though that it’s a precarious thing to establish a covenant, particularly when you really can’t claim to speak for all of the people. This is not Israel where the nation was united by YHWH.

    That criticism aside though, he is right in praying for his country.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Well, it is good for him to be praying for his country. He can follow that up be pulling his troops back from the DRC, and stop pillaging their mineral resources. And arming their rebels.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Well, it is good for him to be praying for his country. He can follow that up be pulling his troops back from the DRC, and stop pillaging their mineral resources. And arming their rebels.

  • Jon

    What James @2 said. I was with him up to that line about covenants and blessings. Otherwise it is a good prayer.

    Maybe not a state church, per se, but, hopefully, how this leader intends to carry out his faith in his vocation.

  • Jon

    What James @2 said. I was with him up to that line about covenants and blessings. Otherwise it is a good prayer.

    Maybe not a state church, per se, but, hopefully, how this leader intends to carry out his faith in his vocation.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Africa is the continent of the future. It matters much more what leaders do there then what they do here.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Africa is the continent of the future. It matters much more what leaders do there then what they do here.

  • http://www.grailquestbooks.com Josh Radke

    Sounds like another country on the path to be a purpose-driven country, like Rwanda…

    “As part of the PEACE Plan, Warren is also a member of President Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Council.” Rest of that story here…

    Sounds like a theocracy to me.

  • http://www.grailquestbooks.com Josh Radke

    Sounds like another country on the path to be a purpose-driven country, like Rwanda…

    “As part of the PEACE Plan, Warren is also a member of President Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Council.” Rest of that story here…

    Sounds like a theocracy to me.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I think it’s a good prayer, except for the covenant part as others have noted.

    Man should not try to covenant with God. It always leads to yet another reason to repent…

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I think it’s a good prayer, except for the covenant part as others have noted.

    Man should not try to covenant with God. It always leads to yet another reason to repent…

  • fjsteve

    To me it read like a political speech wrapped in a prayer. Museveni is nothing if not a slick politician. Perhaps he’s pandering to some influential Christian supporters, I don’t know. But considering he’s been in power for half of the last 50 years for which he is repenting, it rings a little hollow.

  • fjsteve

    To me it read like a political speech wrapped in a prayer. Museveni is nothing if not a slick politician. Perhaps he’s pandering to some influential Christian supporters, I don’t know. But considering he’s been in power for half of the last 50 years for which he is repenting, it rings a little hollow.

  • Bruce

    This is an amazing prayer of repentance and confession of sin. This Christian leader is obviously sincerely humbled before God and desiring to lead Uganda toward righteousness. I would not quibble over his lack of theological precision but rejoice in his spirit of humility and desire to have God’s blessing upon Uganda. What a blessing it would be if we had that kind of president!

  • Bruce

    This is an amazing prayer of repentance and confession of sin. This Christian leader is obviously sincerely humbled before God and desiring to lead Uganda toward righteousness. I would not quibble over his lack of theological precision but rejoice in his spirit of humility and desire to have God’s blessing upon Uganda. What a blessing it would be if we had that kind of president!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fjsteve @ 14,

    You raise a valid point, and one that needs to be kept in mind. The question boils down to whether or not this would be his private prayer when nobody is around as well.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fjsteve @ 14,

    You raise a valid point, and one that needs to be kept in mind. The question boils down to whether or not this would be his private prayer when nobody is around as well.

  • fjsteve

    Bruce, I understand your sentiment but you really, really do not want a president like Yoweri Museveni.

  • fjsteve

    Bruce, I understand your sentiment but you really, really do not want a president like Yoweri Museveni.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I can cut the guy some slack. He is not a theologian. Given his background, this is actually amazingly good. I commend his statement. Maybe it is a sort of Constantine moment.

    His wiki entry doesn’t paint the picture of a saint, however.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoweri_Museveni

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I can cut the guy some slack. He is not a theologian. Given his background, this is actually amazingly good. I commend his statement. Maybe it is a sort of Constantine moment.

    His wiki entry doesn’t paint the picture of a saint, however.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoweri_Museveni

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @12 I certainly wouldn’t cheerlead for a theocracy here, but given their recent history, even a bad system is a huge improvement. A purpose driven country isn’t the worst they could do. Most countries in history that had their act in any way together certainly seemed to believe in some sort of purpose. So, while purpose driven theology is a deviation from orthodox Christian thought, repentance as stated in his prayer is not. The stuff about covenant is weird but to me just comes off as amateurish rather than wacko.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @12 I certainly wouldn’t cheerlead for a theocracy here, but given their recent history, even a bad system is a huge improvement. A purpose driven country isn’t the worst they could do. Most countries in history that had their act in any way together certainly seemed to believe in some sort of purpose. So, while purpose driven theology is a deviation from orthodox Christian thought, repentance as stated in his prayer is not. The stuff about covenant is weird but to me just comes off as amateurish rather than wacko.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It would also suggest that it takes a very special leader to give up much of his own power for the good of his people

    Wouldn’t that also require very special people? Does Uganda have a bunch of competing tribes? or is it all one tribe? If it is not all one tribe, then I doubt that his giving up power would be “good” for his people. Without a strongman to unify them, might they just descend into internecine conflict?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It would also suggest that it takes a very special leader to give up much of his own power for the good of his people

    Wouldn’t that also require very special people? Does Uganda have a bunch of competing tribes? or is it all one tribe? If it is not all one tribe, then I doubt that his giving up power would be “good” for his people. Without a strongman to unify them, might they just descend into internecine conflict?

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Wher do I send this guy a cigar?

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Wher do I send this guy a cigar?

  • fjsteve

    sg, There are many different tribes and even the largest tribe is not a majority of the population. As you suggest, this situation usually leads to a very strong central power. But I do give Museveni credit for bringing at least a bit of democratic empowerment at the local level even if he, himself, is not likely to relinquish power any time soon. Yes, they have elections and, yes, those elections are almost always disputed not just internally but by international watchdog groups. Note, for example, that Museveni severely limited political rallies and party activism almost immediately. Also, a few years ago his most capable rival was mysteriously arrested days before the election. Those aren’t the marks of a man who is giving all that much power to the people. At least not in a way that would be of any threat to him, politically or otherwise.

  • fjsteve

    sg, There are many different tribes and even the largest tribe is not a majority of the population. As you suggest, this situation usually leads to a very strong central power. But I do give Museveni credit for bringing at least a bit of democratic empowerment at the local level even if he, himself, is not likely to relinquish power any time soon. Yes, they have elections and, yes, those elections are almost always disputed not just internally but by international watchdog groups. Note, for example, that Museveni severely limited political rallies and party activism almost immediately. Also, a few years ago his most capable rival was mysteriously arrested days before the election. Those aren’t the marks of a man who is giving all that much power to the people. At least not in a way that would be of any threat to him, politically or otherwise.

  • John

    Whatever happened to “two kingdom” theology, people? What authority does a leader in the civil kingdom, or kingdom of the left hand, have to “repent,” which is a redemptive kingdom concept, or “kingdom of the right hand”? Why are we encouraging and smiling at a confusion of the kingdoms? And when this all comes crashing down, and Museveni turns out to by a politician with clay feet–as he will–the cause of Christ once again suffers because we can’t distinguish between temporal and eternal ideas.

  • John

    Whatever happened to “two kingdom” theology, people? What authority does a leader in the civil kingdom, or kingdom of the left hand, have to “repent,” which is a redemptive kingdom concept, or “kingdom of the right hand”? Why are we encouraging and smiling at a confusion of the kingdoms? And when this all comes crashing down, and Museveni turns out to by a politician with clay feet–as he will–the cause of Christ once again suffers because we can’t distinguish between temporal and eternal ideas.

  • Grace

    World Socialist Web Site

    Ugandan President Museveni proposes land giveaways to international business interests

    By our correspondent
    10 September 2011
    “Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sparked widespread social anger this week by proposing that 7,297 hectares of the Mabira Central Forest Reserve be allocated to SCOUL, (Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited) a subsidiary of the Mehta Group of Companies, which is a private conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. Mehta operates on four continents.”

    ANOTHER EXCERPT:
    “On Tuesday August 23, Museveni addressed his NRM ruling party caucus declaring: “Uganda is suffering from low sugar supply due to lack of land for sugarcane growing.” In other words, Museveni is hijacking public land on behalf of international corporations, ostensibly to alleviate the high price of sugar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most production of any resource inside Uganda is designated for export abroad. This is just the latest giveaway of Uganda’s assets to international financial interests in a sordid series of privatizations Museveni has carried out since coming to power in 1986.

    This wholesale theft of resources on behalf of international capital has had a catastrophic effect on the Ugandan working class and deepened social inequality.

    ANOTHER EXCERPT
    In June and July of this year, 1760 residents of the Nakawa-Naguru housing estate were brutally evicted from their land by a force of police and bulldozers to make way for the development of the land into a “satellite” town under a $300m government contract awarded to Opec Prime Properties, a UK-based construction firm.

    Some residents rebelled and refused to leave, saying they had nowhere to go. As the police and bulldozers moved in and smashed through their homes, they hurriedly threw what property they had outside to avoid destruction.”

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/ugan-s10.shtml

    Read the entire article, especially the last few paragraphs.

  • Grace

    World Socialist Web Site

    Ugandan President Museveni proposes land giveaways to international business interests

    By our correspondent
    10 September 2011
    “Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sparked widespread social anger this week by proposing that 7,297 hectares of the Mabira Central Forest Reserve be allocated to SCOUL, (Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited) a subsidiary of the Mehta Group of Companies, which is a private conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. Mehta operates on four continents.”

    ANOTHER EXCERPT:
    “On Tuesday August 23, Museveni addressed his NRM ruling party caucus declaring: “Uganda is suffering from low sugar supply due to lack of land for sugarcane growing.” In other words, Museveni is hijacking public land on behalf of international corporations, ostensibly to alleviate the high price of sugar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most production of any resource inside Uganda is designated for export abroad. This is just the latest giveaway of Uganda’s assets to international financial interests in a sordid series of privatizations Museveni has carried out since coming to power in 1986.

    This wholesale theft of resources on behalf of international capital has had a catastrophic effect on the Ugandan working class and deepened social inequality.

    ANOTHER EXCERPT
    In June and July of this year, 1760 residents of the Nakawa-Naguru housing estate were brutally evicted from their land by a force of police and bulldozers to make way for the development of the land into a “satellite” town under a $300m government contract awarded to Opec Prime Properties, a UK-based construction firm.

    Some residents rebelled and refused to leave, saying they had nowhere to go. As the police and bulldozers moved in and smashed through their homes, they hurriedly threw what property they had outside to avoid destruction.”

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/sep2011/ugan-s10.shtml

    Read the entire article, especially the last few paragraphs.

  • John

    Grace, God bless you, Grace, makes my point. And this is a head of state we want to get all excited about because he makes remarks about “repentance”? This is what happens when we confuse the kingdoms, and mix eternal matters with temporal things. And guess whose kingdom suffers? “When Christians enter the public square and start using theology for political purposes, Christian doctrine always, always, always suffers.” D.G. Hart

  • John

    Grace, God bless you, Grace, makes my point. And this is a head of state we want to get all excited about because he makes remarks about “repentance”? This is what happens when we confuse the kingdoms, and mix eternal matters with temporal things. And guess whose kingdom suffers? “When Christians enter the public square and start using theology for political purposes, Christian doctrine always, always, always suffers.” D.G. Hart

  • Grace

    Thank you John, God Bless you too.

    YOU POSTED: “When Christians enter the public square and start using theology for political purposes, Christian doctrine always, always, always suffers.”
    D.G. Hart

    Our own country is spinning out of control, many other countries have not only been “out of control” but continue to be used by those in power. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it amazes me that ANYONE being aware, having access to information around the globe, continue to believe those who deceitfully use others, in both our country and and the world, stand in the place of power, be it a president or an organization, or those who rule as CEO.

    It’s despicable when anyone uses the LORD as a means to soften the hearts of others, when their own deeds (current) are never mentioned or rectified.

  • Grace

    Thank you John, God Bless you too.

    YOU POSTED: “When Christians enter the public square and start using theology for political purposes, Christian doctrine always, always, always suffers.”
    D.G. Hart

    Our own country is spinning out of control, many other countries have not only been “out of control” but continue to be used by those in power. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it amazes me that ANYONE being aware, having access to information around the globe, continue to believe those who deceitfully use others, in both our country and and the world, stand in the place of power, be it a president or an organization, or those who rule as CEO.

    It’s despicable when anyone uses the LORD as a means to soften the hearts of others, when their own deeds (current) are never mentioned or rectified.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Maybe not a perfect prayer, but I’d still trade our #1 for him and thrown in several draft choices.

    On the question (in some minds) of whether our President was really born in Africa or not, I recently heard this;

    “I don’t care where the heck he was born…it’s where he’s living now that is the problem.” :D

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Maybe not a perfect prayer, but I’d still trade our #1 for him and thrown in several draft choices.

    On the question (in some minds) of whether our President was really born in Africa or not, I recently heard this;

    “I don’t care where the heck he was born…it’s where he’s living now that is the problem.” :D

  • SKPeterson

    I think most everyone here has greeted this announcement with a good deal of caution. Museveni is a politician, first and foremost. As I stated above, the prayer, if sincere, is fine in and of itself, but better suited to a private or church setting. I’m leery of reading too much into a public pronouncement which may have as much to do with pleasing foreign aid donors, as it does in imploring God’s benevolence. This prayer is a curious artifact – it offers to repent for a nation’s past deeds, but ends with the president renouncing evil and satanic practices. I cannot help but wondering if evil and satanic practices are the lot of his political opponents, or if they are extant in all the interstices of Ugandan social, cultural and political life. Maybe they just need a good Inquisition to find out, or maybe this is a simple call for the nation to pull back from the curse of evil so readily embraced by those in political power throughout Africa. If this was accompanied by an announcement that Museveni was resigning or not running for re-election or something similar I might see this as something more.

  • SKPeterson

    I think most everyone here has greeted this announcement with a good deal of caution. Museveni is a politician, first and foremost. As I stated above, the prayer, if sincere, is fine in and of itself, but better suited to a private or church setting. I’m leery of reading too much into a public pronouncement which may have as much to do with pleasing foreign aid donors, as it does in imploring God’s benevolence. This prayer is a curious artifact – it offers to repent for a nation’s past deeds, but ends with the president renouncing evil and satanic practices. I cannot help but wondering if evil and satanic practices are the lot of his political opponents, or if they are extant in all the interstices of Ugandan social, cultural and political life. Maybe they just need a good Inquisition to find out, or maybe this is a simple call for the nation to pull back from the curse of evil so readily embraced by those in political power throughout Africa. If this was accompanied by an announcement that Museveni was resigning or not running for re-election or something similar I might see this as something more.

  • Matt

    “Wouldn’t that also require very special people? Does Uganda have a bunch of competing tribes? or is it all one tribe? If it is not all one tribe, then I doubt that his giving up power would be “good” for his people. Without a strongman to unify them, might they just descend into internecine conflict?”

    I’m not refering to giving up leadership responsibility, at least not extensively. I mean that African countries with a history of dictatorship like Uganda, often have a shortage of institutions that spread power to the people of Uganda. For instance, I would bet our Congressional system is more of a check on the president than that of the parlimentary system of Uganda. Giving credence to this idea is Wikipedia (I’ll admit, my knowledge of the current administration come from there alone) which said that President Museveni limited for a very long time the ability of political parties to have any influence (“They could not open branches, hold rallies, or field candidates directly”). One can easily imagine that a powerful ruler would implement such a system to stop opposition to his own rule from forming – indeed it is hard to think of another reason for such a ban. A similar issue is term limits. Term limits are a way of ensuring that a single individual cannot dominate the political landscape, at least not for more than a few years. Just doing a quick google search suggests that Museveni, who has been in power for over two decades, is not at all interested in such limits. Apparently their parliment is considering terms limits (which they currently do not have) yet mysteriously these limits would only apply to the president who succeeds Museveni allowing Museveni to continue to run for president.

    The beauty of a system with a lot of checks and balances written into a constitution and a strong, consistently enforced legal code is that you don’t need perfect examples of upright leadership to run the government because the opposing interest groups will make sure to police themselves.

  • Matt

    “Wouldn’t that also require very special people? Does Uganda have a bunch of competing tribes? or is it all one tribe? If it is not all one tribe, then I doubt that his giving up power would be “good” for his people. Without a strongman to unify them, might they just descend into internecine conflict?”

    I’m not refering to giving up leadership responsibility, at least not extensively. I mean that African countries with a history of dictatorship like Uganda, often have a shortage of institutions that spread power to the people of Uganda. For instance, I would bet our Congressional system is more of a check on the president than that of the parlimentary system of Uganda. Giving credence to this idea is Wikipedia (I’ll admit, my knowledge of the current administration come from there alone) which said that President Museveni limited for a very long time the ability of political parties to have any influence (“They could not open branches, hold rallies, or field candidates directly”). One can easily imagine that a powerful ruler would implement such a system to stop opposition to his own rule from forming – indeed it is hard to think of another reason for such a ban. A similar issue is term limits. Term limits are a way of ensuring that a single individual cannot dominate the political landscape, at least not for more than a few years. Just doing a quick google search suggests that Museveni, who has been in power for over two decades, is not at all interested in such limits. Apparently their parliment is considering terms limits (which they currently do not have) yet mysteriously these limits would only apply to the president who succeeds Museveni allowing Museveni to continue to run for president.

    The beauty of a system with a lot of checks and balances written into a constitution and a strong, consistently enforced legal code is that you don’t need perfect examples of upright leadership to run the government because the opposing interest groups will make sure to police themselves.

  • passing throgh

    Wonder what a Mitt Romney prayer would have looked like. Maybe it would’ve included references to gods running planets and t-shirts with magic holes.

    Speaking of Thurston Howell III and Lovey, here’s the latest. Lovey riding her horses and crying is almost too much to bear.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-detached-romney-tends-wounds-in-seclusion-after-failed-white-house-bid/2012/12/01/4305079a-38a9-11e2-8a97-363b0f9a0ab3_story.html

  • passing throgh

    Wonder what a Mitt Romney prayer would have looked like. Maybe it would’ve included references to gods running planets and t-shirts with magic holes.

    Speaking of Thurston Howell III and Lovey, here’s the latest. Lovey riding her horses and crying is almost too much to bear.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-detached-romney-tends-wounds-in-seclusion-after-failed-white-house-bid/2012/12/01/4305079a-38a9-11e2-8a97-363b0f9a0ab3_story.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Maybe not a perfect prayer, but I’d still trade our #1 for him and thrown in several draft choices.”

    Um, no. President Obama was not my choice, but he would be if this guy were the other choice.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Maybe not a perfect prayer, but I’d still trade our #1 for him and thrown in several draft choices.”

    Um, no. President Obama was not my choice, but he would be if this guy were the other choice.

  • Grace

    My husband and I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Os Guinness speak, on several occasions, he is a brilliant man, who is a strong Christian. I hope you enjoy the VIDEO I’ve posted below.

    You may not see the importance of such a question, “Can Freedom Last Forever” – or if this is pertinent to this blog, however, I believe that it does.

    Can Freedom Last Forever? The Founders’ Forgotten Question – Os Guinness

    “Os Guinness is an expert in faith, public policy, and international relations. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of London and a D.Phil. in social sciences from Oriel College at the University of Oxford. Dr. Guinness born in China and lived through the Chinese Civil War and the Chinese famine, both of which were influential in his formative years. He left China for England in 1951, after the climax of the Chinese Revolution in 1949.
    Dr. Guinness has worked as a freelance journalist for the BBC and as a scholar at the Brookings Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Affairs. He has written and edited more than 25 books, including The American Hour (1993), The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life (1998), Invitation to the Classics (1998), Unspeakable: Facing up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror (2005), and The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It (2008). He was a drafter of “The Williamsburg Charter,” a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Dr. Guinness’s special focus is on making academic concerns accessible to lay audiences, especially in the field of public policy.”

    http://www.frc.org/guinness

    Family Research Center

  • Grace

    My husband and I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Os Guinness speak, on several occasions, he is a brilliant man, who is a strong Christian. I hope you enjoy the VIDEO I’ve posted below.

    You may not see the importance of such a question, “Can Freedom Last Forever” – or if this is pertinent to this blog, however, I believe that it does.

    Can Freedom Last Forever? The Founders’ Forgotten Question – Os Guinness

    “Os Guinness is an expert in faith, public policy, and international relations. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of London and a D.Phil. in social sciences from Oriel College at the University of Oxford. Dr. Guinness born in China and lived through the Chinese Civil War and the Chinese famine, both of which were influential in his formative years. He left China for England in 1951, after the climax of the Chinese Revolution in 1949.
    Dr. Guinness has worked as a freelance journalist for the BBC and as a scholar at the Brookings Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Affairs. He has written and edited more than 25 books, including The American Hour (1993), The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life (1998), Invitation to the Classics (1998), Unspeakable: Facing up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror (2005), and The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It (2008). He was a drafter of “The Williamsburg Charter,” a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Dr. Guinness’s special focus is on making academic concerns accessible to lay audiences, especially in the field of public policy.”

    http://www.frc.org/guinness

    Family Research Center

  • Mike Ford

    A number of commenters have observed that Uganda has a Moslem population of fewer than 15 percent. However, it has been my observation that all faiths can have true freedom of worship in a Christian country, or at least one that has a Judeo-Christian foundation. The same can never be said about a Christian living in an Islamic state. In fact, Christians and other non-Moslems will be subject to second class status because of Islamic views on “dhimmitude.”

  • Mike Ford

    A number of commenters have observed that Uganda has a Moslem population of fewer than 15 percent. However, it has been my observation that all faiths can have true freedom of worship in a Christian country, or at least one that has a Judeo-Christian foundation. The same can never be said about a Christian living in an Islamic state. In fact, Christians and other non-Moslems will be subject to second class status because of Islamic views on “dhimmitude.”