Alan Chambers speaks out on Uganda

I am working on another post now and so my comments about this one are limited for now. However, I think it noteworthy and very positive that Alan Chambers, President at Exodus International today posted an apology to gays in Uganda.

Writing on his blog, Alan begins:

A recent hullabaloo over a conference in Uganda has had me thinking and praying about some things for more than a month. The conference centered on a conservative, presumably Christian, response to gay issues in that country. In Uganda, homosexual behavior is punishable by imprisonment and there is talk of stiffening the penalties. Several American gay activists and even some conservative Christians have raised a ruckus about the event and rightfully so. Uganda’s policies are truly reprehensible. Publicly exposing or arresting gay-identified men and women for homosexual behavior or forcing them to undergo therapy is a true violation of free will and a compassionless transgression.

and then he ends with this apology:

Confession is good for the soul, they say. There’s a reason for that. So, to my fellow Christians in Uganda, California and elsewhere around the world, my suggestion as you engage in social dialogue over this issue is this: pray, confess your own sins and remember where you were before God found you. And to the gay community: it is my great hope that we as a Christian church will give you no more reasons to justifiably doubt God’s love for you. I am sorry for the times when I have contributed to that.blockquote>

Chambers comments come at a very precarious time for Uganda’s gay community. Box Turtle Bulletin reported yesterday that a gossip paper in Uganda did an expose where names of supposed gays are exposed. The expose comes amidst regular calls for toughening laws against homosexuality and freedom to speak in favor of homosexuality. I am hopeful that the Ugandan press will also report the statement from Alan.

For more on the conference Alan refers to above, go to this post…

  • Christopherâ„¢

    Two things are clear from Alan Chambers’ “apology”:

    1. The man has no moral center. He will say whatever is necessary to justify himself to whatever audience he is addressing.

    2. The Exodus board should fire Chambers immediately for incompetence.

    Chambers’ actions here cannot be simply wiped away with a single blog posting that comes after weeks of silence, and on the verge of possible violence against others sparked directly by the actions of a board member of Exodus, among others.

    The notion that Chambers could dismiss his responsibility here with a simple, “Oops, my bad” shows the depth of his amorality. Chambers’ moral failing here–the unwillingness to act or even speak out against this conference at any point in the process–is so massive and so grave, that he should be tendering his resignation and leaving the public sphere immediately. That’s how serious this is.

    Human beings in Uganda will be persecuted and possibly attacked and murdered as a direct result of Chambers’ fecklessness.

    Am i to believe that he had to pray about his response *for a month* to decide exactly what to do? If I see a woman getting raped in an alleyway at knifepoint, am I just to pray what to do? If I see a child being beaten and bruised by a parent who lives in the apartment upstairs, do I just pray about it and hope that everything works out okay? If I see hear that white supremacists are planning on planting a burning crosse on my neighbor’s lawn, do I have to pray about what my response should be? Or in all three cases, should I make an immediate effort at protecting each of the individuals in question, doing everything in my legal power to make sure they are protected and safe from harm?

    The answer is obvious to all but Alan Chambers. And that is why his “apology,” which is nothing more than numerous historical non-sequiturs strung together to justify his moral fecklessness, is so alarming… not to mention stomach-churning. The time is LONG past that of any kind of apology being acceptable, which this is not. *Action* was warranted weeks ago. Chambers was told publicly and repeatedly, even by the author of this blog, that Exodus’ role in what was happening in Uganda was unacceptable, dangerous and ungodly.

    Once again, I repeat… this is a MASSIVE moral failure on Chamber’s part, and the fact that he expects to go back to business as usual is entirely unacceptable and deeply offensive.

    Shame on you, Alan Chambers. Shame.

  • Mary

    As much as I don’t like his late response, I can understand the need to gather information before responding. It is too bad that I feel Chambers is protecting something other first and not being vehement in denouncing a board members actions and words (even if that board member is not acting on behalf of EXODUS) I do take to heart what he wrote though I do wish his “wisdom” and foresight had been better earlier.

  • Lynn David

    Warren you should close your last blockquote tag, somehow you missed a “</” at the front.

    I didn’t want to comment on Mr Chambers comments until I had read them all on his blog. But I had trouble getting past that first sentence and the rest of that first paragraph has me worried at the start. Phrasing such as:

    A recent hullabaloo over a conference in Uganda has had me thinking and praying about some things. The conference centered on a conservative, presumably Christian, response to gay issues in that country. In Uganda, homosexual behavior is punishable by imprisonment and there is talk of stiffening the penalties. Several American gay activists and even some conservative Christians have raised a ruckus about the event and rightfully so.

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it isn’t the “hullabaloo” that should have gotten Chambers thinking, it should have been the idea of the conference itself. And what is this about a “presumably Christian response?” Chambers’/Exodus’ man Schmierer was there in Uganda supporting whatever response should come from the conference alongside his buddies, Lively and Brundidge. This idea that Chambers might call the conference unChristian just because it may not have the desired effect his Christian heart should hope for is ludicrous.

    .

    Well I had to go a ways to find something that next applied to the conference in Uganda. Unfortunately, Chambers didn’t recognize it for the mote in his own eye:

    I know Proverbs 6:16-19 by heart …the most famous verse listing abominations:

    .

    “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

    Exodus, through Schmierer was quick to rush into his unrecognized evil with the false witness, Lively, and thus became guilty of stiring up dissension among the people of Uganda. But does Chambers recognize these lapses in conscious behavior by the Exodus board member? No, he’s just happy he can pass it all away at the cross. And then goes into a thing on Prop H8.

    .

    No, I’m sorry, this is too little, way too late (examination should have occurred before the conference and Dr Throckmorton through this blog even gave them a chance at doing that) and perhaps too self-righteously given. But even so, I am not the one or even among that group who should truly make that determination, they live in Uganda.

  • Jayhuck

    Weeks, months later? That is so sad Alan! I think the lack of a moral center is right on. Gathering info is the worst excuse I’ve heard to date for his lack of a swift response.

  • Alan Chambers

    Yes my name is Alan Chambers but I am from Australia. I am gay , I have been in a gay relationship for over 20 years, he is shaming my name.

  • Michael Bussee

    Apart from being in Australia, it’s seem you have some things in common. :)


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