Ugandan travelogue from Caleb Brundidge and the International Healing Foundation

Back in the Spring, I reported on an ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda and hosted by Family Life Network (see links at the end of this post). Three Americans spoke by invitation of the FLN – Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively.

ugandabrundidge

(L to R, unknown woman, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, Stephen Langa).

At the time, Schmierer and Lively received much critical attention for their presentations but the role of the International Healing Foundation and Caleb Brundidge went largely under the radar. No one from IHF, including Brundidge commented on the Ugandan trip at the time. However, Brundidge has broken his silence in the most recent IHF newsletter available on Richard Cohen’s website. Given the recent introduction of a bill in Uganda which would impose the death penalty on some offenses involving homosexuality and dramatically suppress free speech and assembly, it is appropriate to examine how IHF portrayed the conference and effects to the organization’s constituents.

brundidge

Note that Cohen bills the trip to Uganda as a mission trip and seems proud of being represented there by Brundidge. As noted here and in footage provided by ExGayWatch, Cohen’s materials have been used by the group which convened after the ex-gay conference. 

According to a report from an unidentified person in the ex-gay conference, Brundidge supported the continued criminalization of homosexuality.When he was asked by someone in the crowd: “Do you feel it is okay to decriminalise homosexuality?” he did not speak against it, instead indicating

That for the law to be effective, one must be caught in the Act. Laws should be done through a value of standards from which legislators draw a given law.

I am not sure what the last sentence means. While this may not be what Brundidge said, he has not replied to requests to describe what he said in Uganda.

However, in the IHF newsletter, he referred to the repressive situation in Uganda.

My trip was extremely busy and event filled. Here is a brief synopsis of what took place: My first engagement was to give a brief two to five minute testimony to the Ugandan Parliament.

Believe it or not, in present-day Uganda, homosexual behavior is either punishable by life in prison or death! Also pornography is illegal. The members of parliament are being pressured by Western and European sources to make pornography and homosexuality legal. Yes, homosexual behavior is incompatible with God’s Word, however, we tried to make them understand that there are definite causes for someone’s same-sex attraction (SSA), and therefore, change and transformation are possible. Our efforts were to help them understand a more compassionate response to anyone who experiences SSA.

While he says now that he advocated for compassion, I cannot find a clear statement that he opposed criminalization. Elsewhere in the article, Brundidge said:

One thing that God showed me while there is that many people are suffering in silence because of their SSA. As I mentioned, homosexual behavior is illegal and punishable by life in prison or even death. They have fear to go. On the other hand, the word is out on the street to the young people: If you want to make good money, pretend to be “gay.”

Reading the entire account, I don’t get the impression that Brundidge or Cohen would support death for homosexuals. However, there is little indication that they comprehend the dire situation there. Brundidge ends his account with a surreal appeal for more money.

I would like to thank those who supported my mission to Uganda. Please know that the work of IHF is being carried into all corners of the world. We so appreciate your contributions to keep hope alive!

On the contrary, the situation now is more dangerous and less conducive to hope than when Brundidge went to Uganda. Instead of appeals for money, I hope that IHF will issue an appeal to their Ugandan hosts to defeat the proposed bill.

Additional links:

Uganda’s strange ex-gay conference

More on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Ugandan ex-gay conference goes political: Presenter suggests law to force gays into therapy

Reparative therapy takes center stage at Ugandan homosexuality conference

Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK: EU group condemns Ugandan ex-gay conference

Open forum: Report from the Ugandan conference on homosexuality

Christian Post article on the Ugandan ex-gay conference

Scott Lively on criminalization and forced therapy of homosexuality

Christianity, homosexuality and the law

Uganda anti-gay group holds first meeting

Follow the money: Pro-family Charitable Trust

NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from their website

Aftermath of the Ugandan conference on homosexuality

Uganda: The other shoe drops

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  • Michael Bussee

    Diito all my comments from the previous thread on this topic. No need to repeat them here. Still wating………………….(Sounds of crickets chirping…………)

  • Michael Bussee

    As with Exodus, there is NOTHING on the IHF website about this. If Christianity were being criminalized in this way, the outcry from both Exodus and IHF would be swift, loud and clear. Where is Christ?

  • Lynn David

    Get with it, Michael. We’ve even got Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) saying (through his spokesman, Kevin Smith) that religion isn’t a choice but homosexuality is. Can’t win, nothing to apologize for, the gnosis of the Bible is always right.

  • Lynn David

    That dang little Throckmorton box again!

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    There are some important differences between IHF and Exodus on this one. First, let me say that I believe Exodus should issue a statement yesterday condemning the proposed bill.

    Now the differences. Exodus did not send Don Schmeirer, he went on his own. IHF sent Brundidge as a mission. Exodus has issued a statement opposing criminalization. IHF has done nothing, except published this surreal article which is used essentially to thank donors and ask for more money.

    Any emails, call etc. that are made to Exodus should be made double to IHF.

    Phone: (301) 805-6111 / Fax (301) 805-5155

    Email: IHFinfo@ChangeIsPossible.com; ihf90@aol.com.

  • David Blakeslee

    Let me get this right…

    Exodus never endorsed the trip.

    Exodus did not help write the legislation.

    Exodus has publicly reprimanded the legislation publicly.

    Exodus has no political power.

    Now…

    Jennings is often engaged in “value neutral” comments about sexual behavior

    Jennings (GLSEN) has actively engaged in writing the sexual education curriculum of public schools.

    On at least one occassion, his curriculum was rejected by a judge due to its venture religion, actively criticizing religion.

    Jennings has never publicly apologized for his distorted view of religion, or his odd unrealistic expectations about how adolescents should manage sexual behavior (use a condom).

    Jennings is seeking power to influence the public, and legal debate, on SSA.

    One error takes place in Uganda of all places, during a several day conference.

    The other error takes place here, over and over for years.

    Michael, I think your outrage is better focused on the Ugandan legislators.

    Ours, is better focused on Jennings…statistic manipulating, school hijacking agenda.

  • Michael Bussee

    Michael, I think your outrage is better focused on the Ugandan legislators.

    I am outraged with them. Why isn’t Exodus?

    Ours, is better focused on Jennings…statistic manipulating, school hijacking agenda.

    That’s a sad commentary on your values, David. We are talking about life imprisionment for gays and three years if you don’t turn them in.

  • Mary

    Michael – I kind of agree with David. You are taking every bad thing that happens to gays and turning it on EXODUS. No doubt you have been hurt by the organization. But it seems you have misplaced some anger. There are others who mistreat gays – like the Ugandian Gov’t. Maybe they should be your target and some of the contacts Debbie provided us.

  • David Blakeslee

    Michael,

    I don’t feel sad about my commentary…and I won’t be distracted from Jennings’ use of bad science in the name of promoting anti-bulling (euphemism, since his work has almost entirely been in the GLBT community).

    Uganda is a longstanding outrage…recently facilitated directly by Lively’s lies and FLN support.

    Exodus did not endorse the visit.

    A board member attended to talk about working with ex-gays.

    When Exodus understood the implications of such a visit they separated themselves from Lively (like Cameron and others).

    They have now released a public statement condemning the Ugandan laws.

    BTB and others seek to weld the Ugandan legislative mess to Exodus, when the obvious villain is elsewhere…why?

    Still waiting on Jennings….

  • Michael Bussee

    Exodus did not endorse the visit.

    I simply don’t believe this. They knew in advance and praised his going. He may have paid his own way and may not have gone on “official Exodus business” but he went with their blessing.

    Michael – I kind of agree with David. You are taking every bad thing that happens to gays and turning it on EXODUS. No doubt you have been hurt by the organization. But it seems you have misplaced some anger

    Mary, I have not been hurt by Exodus. Exodus has done nothing to hurt me. I hurt people by helping to create Exodus in the first place. It’s regret, not anger.

    Exodus played a role — perhaps an indirect one — but they are connected to it. Gays didn’t “weld” Exodus to it. Exodus voluntarily attached itself to it– and then seemed reluctant to speak out. I have have made an annoying number of posts, but I wasn’t the only one on the blog encouraging Exodus to denounce this clearly and officially.

    Now, they have spoken and I am grateful, not angry. The statement from Exodus may help make the situation better by encouraging other Christian organizations to take a stand.

    Does anyone now how major denominations here in the USA are responding? LDS? Lutheran? Baptist? I will look into the Presbyterian response.

  • Michael Bussee

    Here’s how Warren explained it:

    “…American Christians may have inadvertantly contributed to the situation which led to a proposed law called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 being introduced in the Ugandan parliament.”

    The other American who spoke in Kampala, Don Schmierer, is a board member with Exodus International, the leading Christian ministry which helps same-sex attracted people affirm traditional Christian doctrine regarding homosexual behavior. However, just yesterday, Exodus International denounced the legislation as “horrible legislation” and “hateful public policy.” Critics of Exodus complain that the organization should have denounced the original trip to Uganda.

    Warren seems to understand.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Does anyone now how major denominations here in the USA are responding? LDS? Lutheran? Baptist? I will look into the Presbyterian response.

    Do they even know?

  • Michael Bussee

    I don’t know. I will call the Presbyterian Church USA today to check.

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