Ugandan coalition speaks out against Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009

This morning (afternoon there) a coalition of organizations in Uganda released this statement of opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

Anti-Homosexuality or Anti-Human Rights Bill?

Statement from the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law

Hon. Bahati’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill which was tabled in Parliament on October 14, 2009, and is currently before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament covers much more than the title alone proclaims. A much better title for this bill would have been the ‘Anti Civil Society Bill, the ‘Anti Public Health Bill,’ or the ‘Anti-Constitution Bill.’ Perhaps more simply it should be called the Anti Human Rights Bill. As a matter of fact, this bill represents one of the most serious attacks to date on the 1995 Constitution and on the key human rights protections enshrined in the Constitution including:

• Article 20: Fundamental rights and freedoms are inherent and not granted by the State

• Article 21: Right to Equality and Freedom from discrimination

• Article 22: The Right to Life (the death penalty provisions)

• Article 27: The Right to Privacy

• Article 29: Right to freedom of conscience, expression, movement, religion, assembly and association (this includes freedom of speech, Academic freedom and media freedom)

• Article 30: Right to Education

• Article 32: Affirmative Action in favour of marginalised groups and

• Article 36 on the Rights of Minorities

Let us think for a moment of who—quite apart from the homosexuals it claims as its target—this bill puts at risk:

- any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years;

- any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years in prison;

- any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual risks seven years of imprisonment;

- any Local Council I – V Chairperson or Executive member who does not denounce somebody accused of same-sex attraction or activity risks imprisonment or a heavy fine;

- any medical doctor who seeks to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through working with what are known as most at risk populations, risks her or his career;

- all civil society leaders, whether in a Community Based Organisation, NGO, or academic institution; if their organisations seek to have a comprehensive position on sexual and reproductive health, they risk seeing their organisations closed down;

- any human rights activist who seeks to promote an understanding of the indivisibility and inalienability of human rights would be judged to be promoting homosexuals and homosexuality, and be punished accordingly;

- any religious leader who seeks to provide guidance and counselling to people who are unsure of their sexuality, would be regarded as promoting homosexuality and punished accordingly;

- any Member of Parliament or other public figure who is sent a pornographic article, picture or video will become vulnerable to blackmail and witch-hunts;

- any media house that publishes ‘pornographic’ materials risks losing its certificate of registration and the editor will be liable to seven years in jail;

- any internet café operator who fails to prevent a customer from accessing a pornographic website, or a dating site, could be accused of ‘participating in the production, procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating and publishing of pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality’; their business licence could be revoked and they themselves could land in prison.

- any Person alleged to be a homosexual is at risk of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and, in some circumstances, the DEATH PENALTY.

In short, this bill targets everybody, and involves everybody: it cannot be implemented without making every citizen spy on his or her neighbours. The last time this was done was in the Amin era, where everyone very quickly became an ‘enemy of the state’. It amounts to a direct invasion of our homes, and will promote blackmail, false accusations and outright intimidation of certain members of the population. Do Ugandans really want to mimic the practices of the Khartoum regime? Have we already forgotten the sex police of Apartheid South Africa, who smashed their way into people’s bedrooms in an attempt to prevent inter-racial sex?

As Civil Society organisations we condemn all predatory sexual acts (hetero or homosexual) that violate the rights of vulnerable sections of our society such as minors and people with disabilities. However, the Bill lumps “aggravated homosexuality” together with sexual acts between consenting adults in order to whip up sentiments of fear and hatred aimed at isolating sexual minorities. By so doing, the state fails in its duty to protect all its citizens without discrimination.

The bill also asserts Extra Territorial jurisdiction. In other words, all of the offences covered by the bill can be applied to a Ugandan citizen or permanent resident who allegedly commits them outside the country. Thus homosexuality and/or its ‘promotion’ are added to the very short list of offences which fall in the ‘political offences’ category. It joins treason, misprision of treason, and terrorism as offences subject to extra-territorial jurisdiction. Clearly, this is out of all proportion in relation to the gravity of the act.

On top of these day-to-day considerations about everybody’s safety and security, let us consider what this bill will do for civil society organisations in Uganda which seek to have a critical voice and to engage in issues of global concern. One of the objectives of the bill is to prohibit the licensing of organizations which allegedly ‘promote homosexuality.’ Thus, for example, any organisation which talked about anal sex as part of a campaign of HIV prevention can be affected. Had this bill been in place earlier this year, no Ugandan could have participated in the World AIDS meeting held in Mexico to discuss HIV prevention.

And what about our standing in the eyes of the world? The Bill calls for Uganda to nullify any international treaties, protocols, declarations and conventions which are believed to be ‘contradictory to the spirit and provisions’ of the bill. In reality, this would involve Uganda withdrawing from:

• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

• The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its protocols;

• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

• The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

• The Convention on the Rights of the Child, and

• The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

We note that Uganda is current Chair of the UN Security Council which operates with the UN Charter and UDHR as guiding principles. It is also current Chair of the Commonwealth and a signatory to the African Union’s Constitutive Act which has as its premise the promotion and respect of human rights. In 2009 and 2010 it is hosting AU Summits. What will happen to Uganda’s hard-won role on the global stage if it nullifies its international and regional humanrights commitments? Uganda cannot wish away core human rights principles of dignity, equality and non-discrimination, and all Ugandans will pay a heavy price if this bill is enacted.

We will have bargained away our hard-earned rights and freedoms as well as our right to challenge the State and hold it accountable for the protection of these rights. In sum, the Bahati Bill is profoundly unconstitutional. It is a major stumbling block to the development of a vibrant human rights movement in Uganda, and a serious threat to Uganda’s developing democratic status. If passed, this law would not only prove difficult to implement, it would also consume resources and attention which would be better directed at more pressing issues of human rights abuse, corruption, electoral reform, domestic relations and freedom of the press.

Regardless of our personal moral beliefs and values, we the undersigned organisations are standing up in defence of Democracy, our Constitution and its enshrined principles of human dignity, equality, freedom and justice for all.

Kampala, 23 October 2009

• African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)

• Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)

• Advocates for Public International Law in Uganda (APILU)

• Center for Land Economy and Rights of Women (CLEAR-Uganda)

• Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)

• Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA)

• East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project

• Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-U)

• Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE)

• Human Rights Awareness & Promotion Forum

• Human Rights & Peace Centre (HURIPEC), Faculty of Law, Makerere University

• Integrity Uganda

• International Refugee Rights Initiative

• Mentoring and Empowerment Programme for Young Women (MEMPROW)

• MIFUMI Project

• National Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU)

• National Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA)

• Refugee Law Project (RLP), Faculty of Law, Makerere University

• National Guidance & Empowerment Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NGEN+)

• Spectrum Uganda

• Uganda Feminist Forum

• Women’s Organisation & Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA)

For further information please contact the coalition at kalendenator@gmail.com

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  • Michael Bussee

    Perhaps the American Christians can work with the Ugandan organizations, above, to undo their error.

  • Michael Bussee

    Regardless of our personal moral beliefs and values, we the undersigned organisations are standing up in defence of Democracy, our Constitution and its enshrined principles of human dignity, equality, freedom and justice for all.

    That’s what the “American Christians” need to to. Follow the example of these brave Ugandans — who are risking everything — and “step up and speak out now”.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I think quite a few have? Perhaps you can start by giving some credit to some people who blog here – like Warren and Debbie. And to those who petition or at least stand up and are being counted.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary, I am grateful for those on these blog who have spoken out and are taking action. I am also grateful that Exodus sopke out officially.

    I was speaking of the “American Christians” who went to Uganda who have not yet stepped up and spoken out. I agree with Warren that they need to do so now.

  • Michael Bussee

    Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively need to be as brave as these Ugandans who are risking everything for the “principles of human dignity, equality, freedom and justice”.

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

    I have heard back directly from Pastor Martin Ssempa. Frankly, I believe it is specifically because of my prayers. I will not share our private correspondence, but only will say I am grateful that a channel of communication has opened between us. And I am continuing to pray.

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

    I am very glad that Pastor Ssempa went on record a couple weeks ago with this commentary. I imagine some of you already have read it.

  • Eddy

    I’m struck by the absence of any religious groups among the organizations in this Uganda coalition. We are callling for American Christians to speak out but there seems to be no evidence that Ugandan Christians (or other religions) are with us on this. Are they simply being silent or do they hold to a different view?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Debbie – I wonder; how can we reconcile his rhetoric in the commentary with his support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?

    I have asked Rev. Ssempa for comment three times. I was promised earlier in the week for a response but have heard nothing. Since then, reports from Uganda say that Rev. Ssempa isbehind the bill.

    I would like to hear from him.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Eddy – To me my position does not hinge on what anyone else thinks about it.

    What I am told is that Uganda Christians are scared to come out against the bill because they fear this kind of treatment:

    Ssempa and Male accused another very popular pastor of homosexual behavior with boys. Who knows what the truth is? However, I spoke to two Ugandan mission groups who say that the fear of being accused is real.

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

    Warren, I gave Ssempa the link to this blog post so he could see just what those organizations are protesting, in case he was somehow unaware of it. Keep commenting on his Facebook group, FWIW. I can only imagine he is a man who biblically “tests the spirits by the Spirit,” as he should. If he hears from enough authentic, praying Christians, perhaps he will act accordingly.

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    I don’t believe I inferred anything about your position. My brain is wrapped around trying to grasp the very deep moral and cultural differences between Uganda and the US…so I’m drawing attentions to things that stand out in hopes that it will spur those who are more savvy at searching to bring a better understanding of the Ugandan mindset to the table.

    Re moral and cultural differences between us and other countries:

    This headline re Sudan was in the LA Times:

    2 women in Sudan sentenced for wearing pants

  • Lynn David

    Well… if real this comment on BTB likely expresses the deep moral and cultural ideals of Uganda; see:

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/10/15/15609/comment-page-1#comment-52297

  • Michael Bussee

    What I am told is that Uganda Christians are scared to come out against the bill because they fear…

    I agree. There certainly seems to be good evidence fort that. Also, maybe the Ugandan Christians do not feel supported by American Christians — since American Christians went to Uganda and were used — have been slow to make it right — have not joined ranks with those organizations that are fighting the Bill, etc.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ask everyone you know to help defeat this legislation. Ask them to step up and speak out now.

    Invite your fellow church members, your pastor, neighbors, all Exodus affiliates, Narth, etc. to join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren, on the weak response of Ugandan and American Christians.

    I wish Christian groups were among the signers, however, it is American backed Christian groups that seem to be leading the support for this bill. My prayer is that the Christian groups would heed the counsel of believers here to approach this issue in a different way. Here is the statement. One can join with Americans to speak out on this situation here.

    http://www.christianpost.com/blogs/opinion/2009/10/uganda-coalition-speaks-out-on-anti-homosexuality-bill-2009-23/

  • Michael Bussee

    Why is speaking out so important? Why should those who went to Uganda speak out? Why was it important that Exodus do so — and that other conservative Christians do so now? Why is it important that Ugandan Christians speak out? Or that everyday Ugandans and Americans of all faiths and orientations speak out?

    It’s a Mission Statement. It doesn’t solve the problem — but it guides action to solve the problem. It says, “This is what we believe. Here is where we stand. This is what our faith or values compel us to do.”

    They will know that we are Christians by our love. And that’s saying AND doing what we know is right — whatever the risk.

  • Lynn David

    Can’t wait to see the comments on that Throckmorton article on the Christian Post.

  • Lynn David

    When you have Christian Churches, and specifically the Roman Catholic Church, speaking like the following, I don’t see how even Christians can have any affect on this bill in Uganda. See:

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/13611117/In-Bill-185-the-Stakes-are-Very-High

    ….or….

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/10/letter-from-guam.html#more

    The culture of homosexuality is a culture of self-absorption because it does not value self-sacrifice. It is a glaring example of what John Paul II has called the culture of death. Islamic fundamentalists clearly understand the damage that homosexual behavior inflicts on a culture. That is why they repress such behavior by death. Their culture is anything but one of self-absorption. It may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers (women as well as men) is a culture that at least knows how to value self-sacrifice. Terrorism as a way to oppose the degeneration of the culture is to be rejected completely since such violence is itself another form of degeneracy. One, however, does not have to agree with the gruesome ways that the fundamentalists use to curb the forces that undermine their culture to admit that the Islamic fundamentalist charge that Western Civilization in general and the U.S.A. in particular is the “Great Satan” is not without an element of truth. It makes no sense for the U.S. Government to send our boys too fight Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, while at the same time it embraces the social policies embodied in Bill 185 (as President Obama has done). Such policies only furnish further arguments for the fundamentalists in their efforts to gain more recruits for the war against the “Great Satan.”

    Westboro Baptist much?

  • Tudor

    Your concern for some African country internal affairs is really touching..

    @Michael Bussee

    Do you Americans also execute people in your country in the “name of the Lord?”

    You have a lot of compassion for “poor Ugandans’” butt dignity, but fail to see your own backyard just as “lovingly”..

  • Lynn David
  • Lynn David

    So very ineloquent said, Tudor, as well as not knowledgable of the history of the situation.

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

    Lynn David, American churches represent a cross-section of docrinal views, including some varying theological interpretations and focal points of Scripture. Here, you are pointing to the Catholic Church, although the statements made could have come from many conservative Protestant leaders.

    Some valid points are made in that position statement regarding Bill 185 (seeking gay marriage or civil unions) in Guam. Even parts of the gay community have acknowledged a (male, especially) homosexual penchant for pleasure-seeking. And Matt Foreman, as he was stepping down as head of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, acknowledged in his speech that as many as 70 percent of HIV cases come from the gay community (CDC data confirms it). Do you think Uganda is unaware of the statistics that also confirm the even higher degree of HIV infections within African or African-American populations? And social scientists have made valid arguments and present data to show that same-sex parented children do face obstacles over and above those of children in traditional families headed by a mom and a dad. The jury may be out still on some points there, but that debate is far from over. So the Catholics are not just blowing smoke.

    The Guam statement was simplistic, of course, in attesting that there can be no “self-donation” in gay relationships. Of course there can be genuine self-sacrificial love there. But I do not think the gay community has succeed in demonstrating that is not the exception rather than the rule.

    And the little Westboro Baptist toss-out you made? A non sequitur. That church is a blatant aberration that stands alone and in no way represents American Christendom. It doesn’t even qualify to be called a church.

    Since Uganda is a largely Christian nation, it does not truly compare with Islamic fundamentalism either. The Christians there who are opposed to homosexuality accept that God destroyed Sodom for the sin of homosexuality, among others. They no doubt also have looked to the decline of the Roman Empire. I think they actually believe their country stands in danger of imploding from immorality and factional tribal wars. Would it be naive to believe such a thing could not happen?

    So, while Uganda may be seen from our viewpoint as placing homosexuals on the same nonhuman rung of the cultural ladder blacks have occupied in the minds of many, we can’t forget that they also have some valid concerns. It’s not the innate inferiority of gays they are preaching, but a particularly insidious brand of moral depravity in their view that threatens their cultural identity.

  • Saul

    I think I’ve commented on this issue here in the past, and what I have always feared the most is that the morality wars fought here in the West get exported to Africa as is, without lessons learned.

    Here in the West, the fight was and is political. Churches were slow and reactive on divorce, abortion, homosexuality, mostly because of internal spiritual weakness. By this, I mean the general sinful nature of us humans who make up the Church. Thus, the Church neither practiced nor preached its own doctrine properly. Because of its own weakness, it was either sidelined or too often played a negative role.

    In Africa, I was hoping and continue to hope that the fight will be spiritual. Specifically, when it comes to homosexuality for example, our (as Christians) primary goal should be to spread correct Christian doctrine (along with the loving pastoral care) on homosexuality within the churches.

    If only we could get the Ugandan clergy (of all denominations) to understand and internalize this doctrine (as, for example, written in the Catholic catechism), and then they could spread this loving message through their congregations. This, I think should be where we put all our efforts.

    Getting into this public, political fight, however, can only have negative consequences. Politics only poisons the spiritual realm, especially when the spiritual realm is weak.

    So my humble advice to folks like Warren is to forget about this bill and do like Debbie – talk to these people on a strictly spiritual level. Get yourself invited to speak to church groups in Uganda instead of folks like (I forget their names – the ones with decidedly un-Christian approaches) . Don’t antagonize or moralize. Don’t be a Pharisee! Don’t attack them publicly and then expect them to talk to you and trust you! Tell them, look, this is what we have done wrong in the West. We are losing or have lost the ‘culture war’, or worst yet, the war for souls, because rather than preaching and doing our true doctrine with love, we became hateful, we attacked people, we were hypocritical, taught incorrect theology, etc. Don’t become like us.

    What about the political issue – the civil rights of gays in Uganda? In my opinion, gays in Uganda, of whatever religious persuasion, would be much better off if the discussion properly takes place in the social and religious realm rather than the (antagonistic) political.

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

    Excellent points, Saul. Thank you.

  • concerned

    Right on Saul,

    I do not feel the antagonism that you talk about has been coming solely from the churches. There have been strong egotistical attitutes coming from both sides of these debates. The Catholic Church has a balanced teaching that is very seldom listened to and generally has been distorted by its opponents.

    You are right that the politics is what is really getting in the way of finding real answers.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Saul – I wish the Christian leaders in Uganda such as you described would talk to us. I approached all of these people before went public. They would not talk to me.

    The Christian leaders in Uganda have been political for a long time. That was part of the reason for my criticism of the three Americans who went to Uganda in the spring. They were playing into what was a politically motivated religious show. They took the culture war mentality from the US and played right into the agenda of Stephen Langa. I am pretty sure Scott Lively knew what he was doing; he started going there in 2002 for the same purpose. Schmierer may not have known the consequences. However, I continue to be frustrated with him and with Exodus that they do not see that the conference itself was misguided. On the other hand, I am delighted that they have publicly denounced the bill. Brundidge and Cohen are just clueless.

    My point is that the method you endorse is fine where this can happen. However, Christians now in Uganda are silenced by fear. Who could preach sound doctrine on this matter and not be viewed as a sympathizer with gays? This is what I am hearing from my contacts in Uganda who are scared to speak out. Missionaries cannot speak out because they fear being deported.

    You border on offensive when you say “don’t be a pharisee” in relation to opposition of this bill publicly. It might be more or less offensive, if I understood what you mean. It is not clear to me.

    Without addressing the real issues there, I cannot see your advice as very practical or helpful. I do not want Ugandan Christians to think their western brethren are fine with this bill.

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

    It is a conundrum, Warren. But until a few Christian leaders boldly stand up and denounce the political hypocrisy and perhaps even risk jail, or actually go there for the sake of the authentic gospel — what an outmoded concept — evil will continue silencing the whole truth. Who knows but that certain Christians may face imprisonment here in the U.S. not all that far down the road? Maybe I’ll be there one day. Only here, the tables would be turned. I could envision being jailed for refusing to kowtow to the gay-rights gospel of extremism. “The Word of God is not imprisoned,” the apostle Paul maintained, even when he was. Amen.

    In ancient Rome, it was the Christians who rescued the discarded girl babies. Similarly, Christians cared for those sick and dying from the Great Plague. Jesus healed lepers. The problem here is there is far from a consensus in any part of the world that homosexuals are outcasts without some responsibility for their own plight. It is not a sin to be born, or to be diseased. How many people view AIDS as a sin-borne plague, however, that has snatched up innocent victims in its wake? How do you turn that around without addressing the sin part?

    Go look at the way folks are savaging the Catholic Church at Box Turtle Bulletin right now. Sad.

  • Saul

    Warren,

    Of course, I mean no offence, but such is the medium we’re using, and I’m glad you’re reading what I write charitably. By Pharisee, I meant that that is how many Ugandans perceive Westerners going there and telling them what morally right, without first getting to know them, showing empathy, etc.

    We have to ask ourselves why the public sphere in Uganda has been taken over by the rabid anti-gay crowd and the rabid pro-gray crowd. Why was Scott Lively there in 2002 but not someone like you (I’m not personalizing this, but you know what I mean)? What I’m saying is that we’ve missed the boat, to some extent, but the way to rectify it is to get back to first principles and fight the long and hard spiritual fight.

    You approached some Ugandan church leaders, but they would not talk to you. (BTW, kudos for your efforts.) But it takes time to build trust and relationships. Many paths must be tried. Different overtures have to be made. Responding to their rebuff by going public is of course not the answer. That simply entrenches positions. Again, it turns the whole thing into a political issue.

    For me, again, what is of primary importance is not whether Ugandan Christians think their Western brethren are for or against this bill, or anything to do with the bill at all. The bill is tertiary. What is important is that they understand and are empowered to preach and spread sound doctrine. That’s the first thing. Everything will then flow from that.

    How do you avoid being viewed as a ‘sympathizer’ with gays? First meet the people on their ground. Empathize. I can tell you personally that in the small groups I have discussed this in Africa, including with very traditional priests, I have not had adverse reactions, because they have come to know and trust me, and because, after all, the message is the correct Christian message! They can understand it!

    Of course, there are many with a political stake in this polarization. The way to diminish their power is not by contributing to the polarization, but by getting others on your side.

    Sorry if I sound preachy, but it’s a strongly held opinion!

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Saul – Thanks for clarifying some things.

    However, as far as the current situation goes, I cannot agree that this bill is tertiary. In some academic or theoretical sense, it may be, but in the real world, it is not peripheral. It is right now. Tell gays, parents or children of gays, missionaries who work with gays, etc, that it is tertiary. I doubt they would agree.

    I hope whoever you are who can meet with people who trust you. Maybe some of them are Ugandan. Go for it.

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

    How do you avoid being viewed as a ’sympathizer’ with gays? First meet the people on their ground. Empathize. I can tell you personally that in the small groups I have discussed this in Africa, including with very traditional priests, I have not had adverse reactions, because they have come to know and trust me, and because, after all, the message is the correct Christian message! They can understand it!

    This I certainly agree with, Saul. It is basically the approach I have taken with Martin Ssempa (after a bit of a rocky start), and I think he appreciated it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Last night, I committed a very serious crime — worthy of lilfe imprisonment. I went dancing with my boyfriend at a gay bar. Now, you have to turn me in.

  • Eddy

    What is the message that we’re trying to send to Uganda? I know that we disagree with the proposed bill but what’s our counter suggestion? Do we reject ALL of what’s proposed? Are there any points of compromise? (severity or length of penalty, who or what is penalized, who has to report ‘an offender’, under what circumstances is reporting mandatory,…) Do we reject all?

    We seem to be gathering a conglomeration of voices; are we ‘all on the same page’?

    What is the message that we’re trying to send?

  • Michael Bussee

    It’s an abomination. A life-dominating sin. A disorder. Gays have an agenda. A threat to society. They want to take away religious freedoms. Hey, I know. Let’s go tell it to Uganda.

    Where have we heard this before? Who fought de-criminalization of gayness here in the USA? Who is still fighting against equal rights for gays?

  • Michael Bussee

    Gayness is not a sickness. It’s not a sin. It’s not a disorder. It is not a crime. Do we reject all? Yes.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Message we all can agree about: Withdraw/defeat the bill.

    My personal view is that homosexuality among consenting adults should be decriminalized. That is a position that is unlikely given the current situation there. Ugandan believers need to properly understand their theology to come to that point.

    I think discussions over what the policy should be miss the immediate need:

    Withdraw this bill.

  • Michael Bussee

    Do you Americans also execute people in your country in the “name of the Lord?”

    Tudor. Yes. All sorts of things are done “in the name of the Lord” — and not just here in the USA.

    But we don’t send you to prison for life for being gay — or send you to prison if you don’t turn us in. Here,

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    We don’t always act like it, but that’s our stand.

  • Michael Bussee

    This must be very ironic, odd for you in some ways…Asking Uganda to stop this Bill. How’s it feel to be a “gay activist”? :)

  • Michael Bussee

    We seem to be gathering a conglomeration of voices; are we all on the same page?

    I think we are. Are you, Eddy? The clear message from ALL of us needs to be:

    Withdraw this bill. — Warrren Throckmorton – 10/24/09

  • Michael Bussee

    Immediate. Now.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy — Are there any points of compromise? (severity or length of penalty, who or what is penalized, who has to report ‘an offender’, under what circumstances is reporting mandatory,…

    Mike — Last night, I committed a very serious crime — worthy of lilfe imprisonment. I went dancing with my boyfriend at a gay bar. Now, you have to turn me in.

    Sure. Let’s compromise. How about 25 years for dancing with him and only two years if you don’t report it? Gimme a bleeping break.

  • Lynn David

    Debbie Thurman…. Some valid points are made in that position statement regarding Bill 185 …. Do you think Uganda is unaware of the statistics that also confirm the even higher degree of HIV infections within African or African-American populations?

    No, that wasn’t the point of my post. And while I will also affirm such behaviors exist in the gay community, I do not agree that they are pervasive nor inherant to being gay as the Catholic Diocese of Agana does say. What you and the statement describe is a Catch-22; one that the Catholic Church and other religions created which automatically downplay’s homosexual relationships and have so for a couple of millenia. A culture and its religious underpinnings cannot pre-define a minority group as immoral and based only in sex, pleasure, &/or self-aggrandizement and then expect those members of that minority to necessarily develop social behaviors beyond that without any aide of the larger culture. Afterall, what happened to “it takes a village?”

    And the little Westboro Baptist toss-out you made? A non sequitur. That church is a blatant aberration that stands alone and in no way represents American Christendom. It doesn’t even qualify to be called a church.

    Eh, no…. the whole document fits with the bent of the Westboro rhetoric with which I was comparing it.

    Since Uganda is a largely Christian nation, it does not truly compare with Islamic fundamentalism either. The Christians there who are opposed to homosexuality accept that God destroyed Sodom for the sin of homosexuality, among others. They no doubt also have looked to the decline of the Roman Empire. I think they actually believe their country stands in danger of imploding from immorality and factional tribal wars. Would it be naive to believe such a thing could not happen?

    Well, we could get into a theological discussion, but I find that pointless talk. But I will say that I know Christians and among them even Catholics who do not think Sodom and Gomorrah had anything to do with homosexuality. Moreover, Rome was under Christian influence and the Justinian Code which outlawed homosexuality when it deteriorated do to many different reasons unrelated to homosexuality. So if that is what Uganda is looking at they don’t know history.

    But you miss the point of the effect of such rhetoric in the Agana document. It is a Christian voice from without which would do nothing but bolster the position of those who support the Ugandan bill by bolstering their own prejudices. You say you want to do otherwise, yet you would not recognize such statements as deleterious?

    .

    Well, I cannot understand that mindset.

  • Eddy

    I disagree strongly that now is not the time to discuss policy. I agree that the bill needs to be withdrawn and take some small comfort in the fact that it has been shelved until January but what are we thinking? That we, as Americans, can shout loudly and in great numbers “Your bill sucks” but offer no constructive criticism whatsoever? That’s so American it would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Ah yes, they should simply accept the obvious ‘that all men are created equal…’. Oh, right, I forgot…that’s one of our founding principles not theirs. They have numerous tribes that don’t recognize that other tribes are created equal. Yeah, they’ll catch the spirit of ‘all men are created equal’ right away. (I won’t even get into the fact that the Ugandan culture seems to clearly reject the notion that anyone is created homosexual.)

    So,”WITHDRAW THIS BILL! DON’T REPLACE IT WITH ANYTHING! IT SUCKS TO THE CORE!” I asked about any compromise and, so far, the message is a resounding ‘NO! DECRIMINALIZE NOW!’ Yet, somehow, I feel that pedophilia, exploitive sex or sex by overpowerment and sex by a person who carries the AIDS virus ought to be addressed in some legal way. The death penalty? Certainly not…but let’s not talk about any compromised penalties or wording. (One example of wording might be saying ‘unprotected sex by a person who carries the AIDS virus’ or addressing the issue of a person with AIDS failing to disclose their HIV status to a partner.) Or perhaps we suggest that instead of proposing a bill specific to homosexuality that they rewrite or amend already existing laws that apply to heterosexual sex so that they incorporate homoesexual sex clearly as well. This would address the ‘aggravated’ offenses and also provide the opportunity to talk the penalty down from ‘death’.

    But, no, let’s criticize without offering anything constructive. We are America! We listen to people who shout in large numbers. We think you Ugandans suck…your bill sucks. We demand that you withdraw it. Beyond that, we’ve got nothing to say…no advice, nothing of value from our own experience…Oh, and have a nice day!

    I had an ulterior motive in posing my questions last night. There is a move to pull a conglomeration of voices together. While the focus remains singly ‘Withdraw this bill’, everything seems hunky-dory. We all agree! All is bliss! So, what happens if they do withdraw the bill and then turn to us for policy-making advice? Does the unified voice suddenly disintegrate? Are parts of the voice suppressed or shouted down? LOL. Last night, I only asked questions…and I only asked if there was any area of compromise. Consider the tone and the number of Michael’s responses to the simple fact that I raised questions. I shudder to think what would happen if someone offered an opinion. (I’m fairly confident that Michael is NOT in favor of the decriminalization of pedophilia yet it’s a point of compromise that got lost in the reaction to the ‘notion of compromise’).

    This won’t be the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last time that Warren and I disagree. Although it’s a far more difficult road, I see far more potential for effectiveness in the individual efforts of Debbie and Saul than I do in the conglomeration of voices.

  • Michael Bussee

    You are not being supressed or shouted down, Eddy. Quit being dramatic. You are outnumbered, that’s all. I am sure that has happened before.

    Withdraw THIS Bill. If some other Bill could be written to more rationally and justly adress issues like HIV, pedophilia, aggravated offenses, etc. I would hope Ugandans could some up with it.

    But this bill SUCKS TO THE CORE.

    WIthdraw this Bill.

  • Michael Bussee

    Let’s give constructive criticism and suggest alternative legisation for those who favor the extermination of the Jews. Who are we to impose our ideas on Nazi Germany? It’s their culture. It’s their table. We have not been invited. (But we did send some American Christian representatives to educate them about the Jew Agenda…)

  • Eddy

    Thanks, Michael. I feel you’ve made my point better than I could by elaborating any further.

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

    But you miss the point of the effect of such rhetoric in the Agana document. It is a Christian voice from without which would do nothing but bolster the position of those who support the Ugandan bill by bolstering their own prejudices. You say you want to do otherwise, yet you would not recognize such statements as deleterious?

    .

    Well, I cannot understand that mindset.

    That you cannot understand it is clear, Lynn David. That none of us here is going to change the Catholic Church’s underpinnings or the Ugandan culture is also a given, whether we understand it or like it or not.

    We are setting up a rhetorical war of words and ideologies. Eddy’s points ought not to be dismissed. This is all rather interesting when seen over against what Andrew Marin has been recently discussing on his blog. It has to do with the whole protest mentality and what’s effective, what isn’t.

    So, we are going to raise our outraged American voices against … what? Ugandan culture, which includes the polygamy we dare not speak about? The Catholic Church and the Pope? Pentecostal Ugandans who support abstinence and faithfulness (but maybe deny that “grazing” really does take place in Uganda)? Christians in Uganda who do, in fact, read their Bibles? Uganda’s Parliament? All of the above?

    Who is qualified to lead this called-for legislative assault on Uganda? Is this a State Department issue? Is this akin to nation-building, which the same liberals who now call for Martin Ssempa’s and Stephen Langa’s heads decried in Iraq?

    Of course we ought to be speaking up, remembering, as Warren said (on either his or Ssempa’s Facebook group page), “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I still believe that seeking a bridge between our churches and Uganda’s is a good thing. I am working on it in every way I can. Demanding things of their Parliament? That’s way over our heads.

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

    How’s it feel to be a “gay activist”?

    Don’t know, Michael, because I’m not one. You are. I am, first and foremost, an ambassador of Christ. That can take me to some interesting places.

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

    Something else we all need to be aware of is that Uganda has a particular motivation to seek “homegrown” solutions to their problems of sexual immorality and HIV/AIDs proliferation.

    The country still claims a unique place in history because of having been the African country with the highest rates of HIV that became the only one to significantly reduce its rates of infection in the ’90s. The general consensus (and this also came out of a 2007 conference in Uganda that was backed by the Templeton Foundation) is that Uganda sought its own multi-faceted solutions (ABC) to the AIDS crisis before the U.S. got involved with its condom-pushing strategies.

    If you just look at history, you can easily see why Martin Ssempa is so incensed today about condoms and sexual immorality. He sees the U.S. pushing condoms, which has led to a false sense of security and has succeeded only in helping drive up HIV rates again. Why should he or Uganda listen to us Westerners, especially Americans, when our own CDC confirms that the gay male population is leading the pack here in HIV infections? Many Ugandans claim we Westerners brought the whole stigma thing to them. He also presumably knows that in Uganda it is general promiscuity (grazing), and not just homosexual sex, that is impacting their HIV problem in a big way. There’s also the polygamy thing.

    Are Christians there being hypocritical, then, in focusing mostly on the gay problem and letting their formerly successful Zero Grazing campaigns fade away? Perhaps we could make that case. I need to know more about what all Ssempa’s abstinence campaign entails.

    Immorality is immorality, homosexual or heterosexual. The churches and faith-based organizations in Uganda can play a huge role — they have already — in dealing with all sexual immorality. AIDS has been a pervasive problem for them. Here, we don’t have masses of AIDS orphans and limited help.

    One thing I still need to look into. Maybe someone here already knows. Are gay-rights groups here in the U.S. doing any significant AIDS outreach in Africa? I hope so.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy – You can make all the suggestions you would like. I indicated what I favor.

    Ssempa co-wrote a plan for dealing with AIDS in Uganda with Harvard prof Edward Green. This kind of bill was not in the plan.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks to Randy Thomas of Exodus for speaking out. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

  • Michael Bussee

    Me: How’s it feel to be a “gay activist”?

    Debbie: Don’t know, Michael, because I’m not one. You are. I am, first and foremost, an ambassador of Christ. That can take me to some interesting places.

    Ah Debbie, you are and just don’t know it. You are taking action for gays. I asked the question because many conservative Christians (I don’t mean you) shudder at the thought of agreeing with gays on any issue, even one like this.

    Now, gays, ex-gays, straights, Christians and non-Christians are speaking up for the rights of gay people and the rights of those who know and love them. That must feel odd for those who routinely oppose gay rights on Biblical grounds.

    And, by the way, like you my faith and identity is in Christ first and foremost — and that compels me to activism. Faith without works is dead.

  • Michael Bussee

    From his pulpit, pastor Martin Neimoller spoke out against the Nazi

    regime. For his efforts he was seized by the Gestapo in 1937. He spent seven years in concentration camps. Yet speaking for all of those who could have done more and could have done it sooner, he said,

    In Germany they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up

    because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    http://www.westminsterdayton.org/pdf_sermons/ser52409.pdf

    The truth is that the vast majority of Christian Germany coalesced to the power of Hitler. The brave ones spoke out in protest.

  • Michael Bussee

    It has to do with the whole protest mentality and what’s effective, what isn’t.

    But Debbie, we Christians have a long and proud history of protest, don’t we? Against slavery? Against totalitarianism? We Christians speak up. Jesus did. Martyrs did. Many of his followers did, at great personal cost.

    In 1942 when Europe was suffering under the weight of one of the most terrrible wars in its history, Bishop Pierre-Marie Théas, Bishop of Montauban in the South of France, wrote these words in a pastoral letter to be read throughout his diocese: “I give voice to the outraged protest of Christian conscience, and I proclaim…that all men, whatever their race or religion, have the right to be respected by individuals and by states…”

    http://www.paxchristipnw.org/History.htm

    Maybe it’s cuz I’m a Protestant. It’s what we do. We protest. Nail stuff to doors, etc. By the way, Happy reformation Sunday! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformation_Day

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

    Ssempa co-wrote a plan for dealing with AIDS in Uganda with Harvard prof Edward Green. This kind of bill was not in the plan.

    Green was in on the 2007 conference I referenced.

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

    But Debbie, we Christians have a long and proud history of protest, don’t we?

    Michael, I didn’t say it was wrong to protest.

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    I’m okay with our disagreeing on this one and trust that you are to. I’ve always been persuaded that I learn more when I’m in disagreement with a friend than when we see eye to eye. I hope it’s the same for you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Schmierer may not have known the consequences. However, I continue to be frustrated with him and with Exodus that they do not see that the conference itself was misguided. On the other hand, I am delighted that they have publicly denounced the bill. Brundidge and Cohen are just clueless.

    Thanks for expressing my feelings, Warren. To all others who post here, please join us as we work to defeat this Bill. I have sent invites to Pator Martin Ssempa and Pastor Rick Warren. No responses yet. Special thanks to Randy Thomas of Exodus for boldly speaking up. Does anyone know how we might encourage Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively to do the same?

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

  • Lynn David

    Debbie….

    .

    As an outsider, I see you looking at Ssempa, seeing a Christian, and therefore he must be an honorable man. However, I don’t necessarily see that.

    .

    He could be nothing but a charismatic but hired hack for WAIT Training with a church that doesn’t seem to be taking off in Uganda (according to one writer in Uganda). And there is a website (www.martinssempa.com) that doesn’t have a personal touch on it – a blog ‘under construction.’ The site is so slick that it’s difficult to see how WAIT Training’s name and phone number could adhere to each page. And that one larger Facebook group for Ssempa doesn’t ever seem to have been ever visited by the man . One wonders if his facebook page has anything of his own person on it or if it is a WAIT Training maintains it also.

    .

    Did Green write the Ugandan HIV/AIDS plan with Ssempa or was Ssempa’s name appended by WAIT Training or others seeking to shine Ssempa’s star? Green’s first draft report concerning Uganda and Zambia (http://www.ccih.org/resources/ABCplus/research/abc/case-studies-of-ABC.pdf) doesn’t have Ssempa’s name on it. He did quote a pamphlet provided by Ssempa (did he write it?); Green wrote:

    The following are excerpts from a pamphlet, apparently from Uganda’s early period of AIDS prevention, provided in an electronic form by Rev. Martin Ssempa:

    .

    LOVE CAREFULLY: YOUR NEXT SEXUAL PARTNER COULD BE THAT VERY SPECIAL PERSON – THE ONE THAT GIVES YOU AIDS.

    .

    PROTECT YOURSELF, THOSE YOU LOVE, AND YOUR COUNTRY.

    LOVE CAREFULLY! LEARN THE REAL FACTS ABOUT AIDS “SLIM DISEASE”

    .

    HOW DO YOU PREVENT AIDS?

    .

    • One sex partner: the best way to reduce your risk of catching AIDS is to have only one sexual partner. The more partners you have, the greater your risk of catching aids.

    .

    If you choose to have sex with more than one person, you should use a Condom. This does not give complete protection but does reduce the risk of catching AIDS.

    .

    • Avoid medical services where unsterile needles and instruments are used.

    Then there is that recent affair when Oundo, disgruntled with SMUG which wouldn’t dole out their meager funds in his direction, went off to Ssempa with tales of homosexual abuse of minors and the bigger fish, naming Fr. Musaala. Musaala’s Charismatic Renewal movement evidently has a largerr youth following compared to Ssempa’s Makerere University Community Church; one Ssempa may have covetted.

    .

    See…. there is a larger problem – is Ssempa an honorable man? Then there are things like this…..

    Police have cleared Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral of sodomy allegations. Instead, the Police have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions urging him to brings charges against four pastors who reportedly assisted some people to allege that Pastor Kayanja had sodomised them.

    .

    According to the report entitled Sodomy cases against Pastor Kayanja, a copy of which Sunday Monitor has obtained, there is no evidence to pin Pastor Kayanja.

    The police investigators concluded thus: “In each of the complaints of sodomy against Pastor Robert Kayanja, the investigations did not reveal any evidence of such offence(s) committed. Further, following medical examination of the complainants, the Police surgeon did not find any evidence of sodomy.”

    .

    The report furthers states that pastors Martin Sempa, Moses Solomon Male, Michael Kyazze, Felix Semujju and Bo Kayiira reportedly influenced Pastor Kayanja’s accusers.

    ….

    The police say all the complainants retracted their earlier statements against Pastor Kayanja saying that they had been incited by the four pastors to wrongly accuse Kayanja.

    .

    “In a statement dated 15th and 20th May 2009 Mukisa retracted the allegation indicating he had not been sodomised by Pastor Kayanja but was influenced by Pastors Male, Kayira, Kyazze, Sempa and Semujju as to make the allegations,” reads the report.

    I do not believe Ssempa to be an honorable man, Christian or not.

  • Lynn David

    For more on the case of Pastor Robert Kayanja of the Rubaga Miracle Centre and the four or five pastors including Ssempa, see:

    http://www.independent.co.ug/index.php/column/insight/67-insight/1173-pastors-loud-on-gays-silent-on-corruption

  • Kaaront

    Michael, those organization are not risking anything, in fact like Jesus said, they have been paid in full. They are not defending a single part of the Ugandan Constitution, as Homosexuality is not a human right, in fact it is an abuse of the fundamental human right to life, as homosexuals do not reproduce hence in disobedience also of God’s first command to man, go and reproduce and fill the world. Homosexuality is an abomination to God, it breaks the law of God, the law of Man and the Law of Nature, I do not understand what you Americans are talking about. Homosexuality is coming with the spirit of the anti-Christ and it is a very decisive thing in these last days, you are either for homosexuality and whatever you call human rights as if they are granted by man and not God or you are for God who grants the true human rights. In Uganda we shall choose to stand for what is right and in connection to our motto that states “For God and my country” and we shall not stand for America, thoughts of me or human rights, but for God and our Country. We are not ready to see our country get destroyed like others because of disobeying God. You who say are Christians what is the punishment of sin and more specific the punishment for homosexuality…God is not happy with that tolerant spirit, Rev 2:18…

  • Michael Bussee

    It occurs to me that what we need right now are a LOT of conservative, Bible-believing, American Christians — to voice opposition to this Bill. Speak with a redemptive voice to your brothers and sisters in Uganda. Ask for mercy.

    It won’t work coming from us gays. We are the ones they want to imprison for life. Anything we say will be brushed aside. Yes, they want to imprison you, too. But only for three years and only if you don’t turn us in. So, we need your help. Please ask your pastors and church members to step up and speak out. Now.

  • Kaaront

    The Bill should not be withdrawn, consenting or not consenting, homosexuality is evil, wickedness, of the anti-Christ and whoever sides with is equal to siding with the anti-Christ. Allowing homosexuality to spread as it has done in America where Christians are quite, as if they do not read their bibles is a terrible thing. If you work with Homosexuals to help them out, why should it be decriminalized, are you trying to say that drugs, robbery, or whatever other evils in society should be decriminalized because there are sure people working to help these people to the light…Guys stop being hypocritical, the problem we have right now is for us to decide who side we are on, you remember what the bible says about being lukewarm, is that the destiny you all want to get to? Come on people, I know i am risking myself right here, but well for Jesus, it is not a risk, Lets stand for the truth not the emotions, or forces of darkness or the money that everybody has received and the what the Media has received to portray homosexuality as a less evil than robbery or rape or defilement, which all carry death sentence in Uganda…There is no dignity or honoring God is supporting or sympathizing with sin that threatens to wipe out the world. I know you may choose to delete these comments for whatever reason and you will be ashamed to do that…PLEASE STAND FOR THE TRUTH AND YOU WILL BE SET FREE

  • Lynn David

    It won’t work coming from us gays. We are the ones they want to imprison for life. Anything we say will be brushed aside.

    You’re just realizing this? I pointed it out several days ago. But I would imagine that they also don’t care to hear from any American Christian talking tolerance either. Besides not necessarily being Biblical, it isn’t Ugandan, their culture. That is why I wrote that desk of the EU and also our State Department. Subtle pressure between governments seems to be the only thing that might work.

    .

    Talking to Ssempa seems to be useless also, even for Christians. He has committed himself to a path which is less about his pentacostal religion and more due to Ugandan cultural mores. Changing it would make him look weak no matter how he might cloak it in Christian tolerance.

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

    Lynn David, as an admitted “outsider” — i.e., not a Christian — you lack the discerning eye necessary to comprehend in the spiritual vernacular some of what you are reading. I am not saying that to be insulting, but to state an important point.

    You felt it somehow necessary to boil down all I was saying to deduce that it meant I believed Ssempa to be an”honorable man.” I can’t say how honorable someone I have never met is. He has said and done things that most of us would have to say are not honorable by the standards we know and understand. He is one man who could easily be made a scapegoat for an entire country. Obviously, by the comments you see here from Kaaront, his attitude is reflective of other Christians in Uganda — perhaps a whole lot of them.

    For me to say — and I am saying it — that I can understand where Kaaront is coming from is to put my head on the chopping block here. So be it. I do understand. Do I agree with it all? No, because I was raised in an entirely different culture. But Kaaront’s somber warnings about the Church becoming lukewarm and homosexual behaviors constituting a crime against nature are concerns of a good many Christians right here in our own country. I am all too aware of how the Church is debauching itself as the bride of Christ.

    Here in the U.S., we have long ago fallen victim to the PR messages of gay rights activists. Tolerance has taken on the qualities of a religion all its own. When we have discussions on these blogs that bring in gays, ex-gays and straight folks, we still see all the prejudices in full force. It happens between Christians and nonbelievers, and between Christian gays and ex-gays (look at Eddy, Michael and me). We have never agreed on the Scriptures. But we have found a common interest in love and redemption. And I can stand here and say had not someone cared about me and loved me non-judgmentally, I would have been an outcast, condemned to God-knows-what fate.

    Can our Ugandan brothers ans sisters understand that? I honestly don’t know. It would be really helpful if someone like Kaaront would discuss this with us so we can all better understand each other. Clearly, Don Schmierer must have felt he could get our message across or he would not have participated in that conference. Now, it may look like the deck was already stacked against him, and maybe it was.

    So, where do we go from here? Much as we don’t like Uganda’s approach, are we entitled to ram our American values and viewpoints down its throat? Would Kaaront stay here for a bit and talk with us in order to see where we can find common ground?

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Kaaront: Why did Jesus not follow your advice and allow the crowd to stone the woman taken in adultery?

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

    Why did Jesus not follow your advice and allow the crowd to stone the woman taken in adultery?

    Yes, why not, indeed? I would truly like to hear how Pastor Ssempa would respond to that question, too. Adultery and sexual immorality of all kinds have made AIDS a major problem in Africa. It is understandable that Uganda would focus on seeking to stem its tide of immorality. But is the country singling out homosexuals for especially harsh treatment? Would Jesus, himself, have been jailed in Uganda, for daring to offer compassion to an adulterous sinner? Is Uganda preaching “Sin no more” or “Where are your accusers?” or still seeking to throw the stones?

  • Eddy

    Good day, Kaaront.

    I echo Debbie’s earlier statement that we are glad that you’ve stopped by to comment and hope that you’ll visit for awhile. It’s a selfish wish…we want to understand the culture of your country better.

    I share the question that Warren and Debbie asked. I don’t think that the ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ bill would have drawn so much attention from us if the penalties weren’t so extreme. I’m personally puzzled how the laws seem more based on the Old Testament than the New Testament.

    (I think that the extreme penalties were what drew our attention; the criminalization of speech, thought and assembly are also quite disturbing concepts in our culture.)

    I hope that you will answer Warren’s direct question re the woman caught in adultery and also Debbie’s concerns about whether homosexuality is being singled out for special (and more severe) treatment.

    Thanks again for taking the time to converse with us.

  • Michael Bussee

    Kaaront: Why single out homosexuality? If we jailed all sinners, we would all be behiind bars. Is this Bill what Jesus would do? Would Jesus condemn the woman caught in adultery to life imprisonment? Woule Jesus send you to jail if you did not turn her in?

  • Kaaront

    I am here to converse more.

    Thank you all for your response. It appears to me that your biggest problem is death penalty on homosexuality, is that true? Well each country has punishment for wrongs, so death penalty has been for this in the penal code of Uganda, which is used hand in hand with the constitution, especially in courts of law. Why death penalty, because homosexuality is an abomination in our country and in our culture. You understand that just as a thief will be stoned in Uganda by a mob if caught stealing so will a homosexual experience the same. The law of the nation does not therefore wish to differ from our natural cultural law.

    To answer the question on why Jesus did not condemn the woman to death, is something that Jesus was showing us, that when somebody comes out to confess and repent of their sin, they need to be forgiven and not accounted for what they were doing in the immediate past. So like Debbie who came out and repented not necessarily because people reached out to her but because God in his loving kindness accepted her and reached out to her, so any homosexual who comes out and repents is forgiven. I personally know of many such people in Uganda who have come out both male and female, and i have personally ministered to them and been an encouragement. One is in fact having a wife and a child. So lets find common ground, and let us start from the fact that homosexuality is evil, wickedness, an abomination not only in Uganda but also to God, and detestable. Do you all agree or at least the Christians here?

    Somebody who is talking about the old testament must remember that 2Timothy 3:16 says that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” so please do not separate new and old testament, actually reading one and living out the other leads to spiritual malnourishment.

    Michael asks me why single out homosexuality for punishment, i will ask you a question i asked before why single out homosexuality for no punishment. Remember that no sin will go unpunished and it will actually be punished from the to third and fourth generation, and God has never changed his mind.

    Debbie did a good job to explain the American perspective. I am sorry that the gay PR has done so much to determine your worldview of things like this and they continue today because they are scared of one thing, that if Uganda passes this into law, it will spread across Africa and at least Asia.

    People, I pray for the American Church and the American Christians that God may sustain you and stir you up to know him and hurt for what hurts him. Just imagine, the devil invents homosexuality because from the beginning he just enjoying being contrary to God’s creation, God creates Adam and Eve and the Devil wants to turn it into Adam and Steve, God wants us to reproduce and devil comes to kill steal and destroy. I am getting this revelation right now, homosexuality is the devil’s plan to destroy humanity. All of you would not exist if your parents were gay-sodomites. Just think about that for a second…

    So what is the obsession about this whole human destroying vice? Yes we need to love and reach out to these people with both messages of repent or perish and with love for them to come to the truth, but do not condone or sympathize with sin, God does not glory in that at all, neither did Jesus in his thirty three years on earth. The church in the world today is like the Corinthian Church, read Corinthians to understand that better. Well i got to go but I would like us to continue discussing and for me my standard is the bible…

  • Mary

    Kaaront,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I can see this from your way of thinking.

    In our culture, just as Jesus taught us not to throw the first stone, so we try to teach that way. Many of us agree with you. Homosexuality is wrong and against what God wants. We disagree with how we treat homosexuals. We do not kill them, we treat them with kindness because we all have sinned and we all deserve kindness.

    If we stoned all that sinned – no one would be left. The new testatment is a new and everlasting covenant. That Jesus sacrificed and died for all of us. All of us.

    I am against any law that sentences people to do – even in my own country of America. I am against laws that sentence people to death in Ugando, too.

  • Mary

    Correction – I am against any law that sentences people to death – even in my own country of America.

  • Eddy

    Karoont–

    thank you for coming back. I’m sure others will have questions and comments also so I will just ask the one….

    Regarding the woman caught in adultery, we have no sense from the bible that she repented before Jesus challenged her accusers. They caught her; they threw her at his feet; they quoted the law from the Old Testament…and then they asked Jesus what they should do? There is no record of her repenting before he spared her of the death penalty.

    Many pastors believe that she did repent in response to the mercy she was shown; some believe that she is Mary of Magdalene. But that goes past the point. Wasn’t she spared before she repented?

  • Ann

    Kaaront,

    How can the Ugandian people know about and experience the redemption you refer to if your government kills them first? Remember Saul in ACTS – what would have happened if the government killed him instead of allowing God, in His perfect timing to fulfill His plan – Sal became Paul – remember?

  • Ann

    Kaaront,

    I just want to add that, like Mary and Debbie, I do understand your perspective – I would just hope and pray that we would all respond as Jesus did to all those He interacted with. He came to save – not kill.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Kaamont wrote:

    To answer the question on why Jesus did not condemn the woman to death, is something that Jesus was showing us, that when somebody comes out to confess and repent of their sin, they need to be forgiven and not accounted for what they were doing in the immediate past.

    John 8:2-11 is the story. The woman did not come out to confess, Kaamont. She was brought out by the Pharisees, having been caught in the act of adultery. When the Pharisees reminded Jesus of the Mosaic law, Jesus replied that the one without sin could cast the first stone. No one threw a stone. Jesus did not condemn her but exhorted her to sin no more. However, we know nothing of her later behavior.

    You say your standard is the Bible. However, you have not quoted it or referred to it properly. If your standard is the Bible then why was Jesus wrong for preventing the woman from being stoned to death?

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

    Kaaront, thank you for taking the time to respond again. Sorry that people have trouble spelling your screen name here. :)

    I am glad to hear you say that you have known and even ministered to “repenting” homosexuals in Uganda. To repent means to turn around, having confessed our sin, and seek to walk with Christ. It does not mean we will not still face temptation. What if those repenting homosexuals stumble and fall into sin again? Will they be met with Christ-like understanding and love? Or will they be condemned?

    True, all sinners bear responsibility for staying in the light of the Word as they walk the road to being “new creatures” in Christ. But they also need other stronger believers coming alongside, discipling and encouraging them. I’m sure you would agree that we all sin in word or deed in some way, despite our efforts not to. As Paul reminds us in Romans 7, The flesh and the spirit battle within us.

    I am very curious as to what ministries or church efforts are in place in Uganda for those who struggle with homosexuality but really want to leave that lifestyle. Supposedly some folks have come out there as ex-gays and have spoken in some of the churches. Are they condemning other gays there or are they helping, as I and others seek to here, to pave the way to redemption for them?

    I wonder how Jesus would have responded to the adulterous woman had he encountered her sinning again. I also wonder what his response to her partner may have been. I think many believe her encounter with Christ was so powerful that she must have repented and followed him. Maybe, maybe not.

    It is most unfortunate that the Christian (Christ-like) response to homosexuality has been misinterpreted by many folks to mean we must be gay-affirming. Not so. We just believe in valuing all God-created life, and we realize we all are tainted by the same original sin. Any of us that do affirm homosexuality as not sinful have a very long way to go in seeking to explain that before God.

  • Michael Bussee

    Dear Kaaront; You asked:

    It appears to me that your biggest problem is death penalty on homosexuality, is that true?

    No. The biggest problem I have with this law is that ir requires you to turn any any gay person you know — or go to prison for three years.

    We ALL know someone who is gay. Should we all go to prison? Would you apply this same type of law to all other sins?

  • Lynn David

    Debbie Thurman….. Lynn David, as an admitted “outsider” — i.e., not a Christian — you lack the discerning eye necessary to comprehend in the spiritual vernacular some of what you are reading. I am not saying that to be insulting, but to state an important point.

    Sorry, but that is either just utterly ridiculous or foolish self-righteous pride speaking. Even if the premise were true I was a believer for 46 years, so I know the code you are speaking. I know your interpretation of the code; but I reject it and place an interpretation upon it which more conforms with what I see as reality. In other words…. well, the APA says I shouldn’t go there.

    .

    BTW, this is the statement of the EU/EC….

    Be assured that the European Commission is monitoring with great attention the human rights situation in Uganda, including the “Anti-homosexuality bill”, and will keep pressure on the Uganda authorities in relation to it.

    .

    Best regards…. Maria-Paola Piazzardi

    Sounds utterly pro-forma to me!

    Michael Bussee….

    It appears to me that your biggest problem is death penalty on homosexuality, is that true?

    No. The biggest problem I have with this law is that ir requires you to turn any any gay person you know — or go to prison for three years.

    .

    We ALL know someone who is gay. Should we all go to prison? Would you apply this same type of law to all other sins?

    Well, that and the idea of squelching free speech.

  • Michael Bussee

    We have never agreed on the Scriptures. But we have found a common interest in love and redemption.

    Thanks, Debbie. I believe that is true.

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

    Even if the premise were true I was a believer for 46 years, so I know the code you are speaking.

    Sorry, Lynn David. I did forget this history. I truly do not know what your status is today. A rejecter of what you perceive Christianity to be or a rejecter of God? Or something else? In other words, what role does the Holy Spirit play in a life such as yours? Any at all? Is your discernment purely intellectual or does it have a spiritual dimension? Is that a fair question to ask?

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

    Found this interesting blog entry going back to July 11 concerning a symposium on freedom of the press in Uganda at Makerere University.

    Here’s a snippet:

    The journalism symposium hosted on Tuesday by Makerere University’s Mass Communication department threw up a number of interesting issues. Perhaps the most contentious debate was between The Independent’s Managing Editor Andrew Mwenda and Pastor Martin Ssempa over freedom of the press. Ssempa called for a “firewall” to be implemented by the government to protect Ugandan citizens from salacious and smutty material. In contrast Mwenda argued that the market should be left to decide which newspapers prosper and which go out of business.

    I wonder what these proposed “firewalls” between the government and the press in Uganda would look like? Of course, here in the US of A, we have our own media suppression efforts afoot, albeit of a different nature. Obama is battling Fox News and liberals want to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine. The FTC does have and enforce some smut regulations. But Uganda is concerened about being overrun by porn. I think the whole world lost that battle some time ago.

  • Ann

    I am not a member of the HRC but perhaps someone like Wayne Besen can contact Jesse Jackson, Al sharpton, or Oprah Winfrey to promote public awareness of this. They are all advocates of human rights and some have been directly involved with African nations. Perhaps Bill Clinton would be another person who could intervene like he did for the journalists being held in North Korea.

  • Michael Bussee

    These are very good ideas, Ann.

  • Michael Bussee

    “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.” — Martin Luther King

  • Michael Bussee

    Someone on Facebook asked which Christian groups in the USA support this bill. Does anyone know? Does anyone know which ones oppose it? It seems that the church is stangely silent…

  • Lynn David

    Debbie Thurman…. Sorry, Lynn David. I did forget this history. I truly do not know what your status is today. A rejecter of what you perceive Christianity to be or a rejecter of God? Or something else? In other words, what role does the Holy Spirit play in a life such as yours? Any at all? Is your discernment purely intellectual or does it have a spiritual dimension? Is that a fair question to ask?

    So…. what? Second class because I am gay and an untouchable because I am an atheist?

    .

    Here’s a bit of reality for you. Spirituality is a natural phenomena in man and as such is misnamed by those who first misinterpreted it. It is only that misinterpretation of spirituality as being something supernatural &/or ‘holy’ which sets ‘believers’ apart from any other human who would have no belief in a god.

  • David Blakeslee

    I should have posted this a long time ago in this thread:

    Rationalization, minimization, and justification are not scientific arguments; they are psychological defenses to ward off anxiety. Sometimes they are so effective that we feel quite calm when a grave injustice, which we should agonize about, has occurred. Instead of tossing and turning at night, struggling with headaches and pacing the floor, we sleep quite soundly. Sometimes they are so effective that the weak and the vulnerable are left without an outraged and strong protector; instead they get a philosopher, who through his mental games ends up functionally being a passive collaborator with a predator.

  • Michael Bussee

    Over 400 Facebook members in two weeks since Dr. Throckmorton established the group! Wonderful cross-section of folks from all over the world — of all orientations and faiths — adding their voices.

    Please pray for Uganda. Please ask your friends, pastors and fellow church members to do the same. Step up and speak up now. And may God bless us as we do.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

  • Eddy

    Over 400 Facebook members in two weeks since Dr. Throckmorton established the group! Wonderful cross-section of folks from all over the world — of all orientations and faiths — adding their voices.

    Or, if we wanted to ‘spin’ it. “Facebook, a ‘universal’ website with a huge membership even attempted to address the Ugandan situation. Less than 500 of its members joined.”

    Honestly, I personally think that 400 plus is excellent. It is way higher than what I expected. But it did strike me that if someone simply wanted to be dismissive

    (something that happens here quite regularly) they could rephrase the same facts the way I did and come out smelling pretty good.

    Michael–

    I have no trouble believing that ‘all orientations‘ are represented in the 400 plus; I question, however, the statement that all faiths are represented. First, I can’t believe that Warren would prescreen all particpants as to their denominational affiliation.(If he didn’t, how on earth could you ascertain that EVERY faith was represented.) Secondly, I seriously believe that there might be some religious persuasions that have not checked in. For those reasons, I ask you to support your claim that people of ‘all faiths’ have joined in the effort.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    The group is indeed incredibly diverse with many from Sweden and the Scandanavian countries. Gay affirming and non-affirming people, many Christians and people of no faith.

  • Michael Bussee

    I seriously believe that there might be some religious persuasions that have not checked in. For those reasons, I ask you to support your claim that people of ‘all faiths’ have joined in the effort.

    OK, you got me again. I should have said “many” faiths. Warren expressed it better than I did.

  • Michael Bussee

    Or, if we wanted to ’spin’ it. “Facebook, a ‘universal’ website with a huge membership even attempted to address the Ugandan situation. Less than 500 of its members joined… if someone simply wanted to be dismissive (something that happens here quite regularly) they could rephrase the same facts the way I did and come out smelling pretty good.

    Yeah, I suppose someone could, but why would they want to? Can’t imagine that any of the folks who regularly post here would…

    If I’m counting correctly,100 of that 400 joined today — and the site has only been up a week. As Warren said, a very diverse group.

  • Michael Bussee

    Correction. 100 in 12 hours. I know it’s not much, but it’s something.

  • Michael Bussee

    And it’s not 2 weeks. Just one. Am I correct, Warren?

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

    It is only that misinterpretation of spirituality as being something supernatural &/or ‘holy’ which sets ‘believers’ apart from any other human who would have no belief in a god.

    The God (“I AM THAT I AM”) is holy. Thanks for clarifying your belief, or lack thereof, LD. To whom here are you “second class” or “untouchable”? Not to God, not to me.

  • Ann

    To whom here are you “second class” or “untouchable”? Not to God, not to me.

    Not to me either.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Yep, just one week. Up to over 450 now. Lots of contacts being made; can’t say why publicly but I am pretty sure the activity is making a difference.

  • Michael Bussee

    That’s 200 new members in 24 hours. Not bad, I think.

  • Michael Bussee

    Over 600 now. I believe the group has about doubled in two days. There is much of interest to read here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf Please join and ask others to. Thanks.

  • kaaront

    For the facebook group, stop boasting about numbers, the comments come from Americans and Europeans, if you could get 600 Ugandans in Uganda speaking against the bill, probably you will be making sense.

    Hey, Debbie and Ann, would you just stop making an argument about God, lest you become blasphemous and ruin your own souls.

    What copy of the anti-homosexuality bill are you guys reading? One edited by the gay community or one straight from parliament of Uganda.

    And Please also before you think for us and push for this bill to be withdrawn, do you know that over 97% of people in Uganda are opposed to homosexuality and are in favor of the bill. We are tired of having this evil in our country and just like every evil, it has it’s punishments, so the consequences of sin is death, I do not know what you guys mean by sympathizing with sin, does God sympathize with sin? Well you will say he has mercy on the sinner. Yes he does have mercy for the sinner, but do you know that even with this bill there is opportunity for people to turn out and be safe? And no body will stop them.

    Why don’t you make a big deal about the many other issues in Uganda that have death penalty on them? like murder or others…

  • Michael Bussee

    I do not know what you guys mean by sympathizing with sin, does God sympathize with sin?

    He sympathizes with SINNERS — and that includes YOU.

    Would you want your sin to be treated in this way? Would you want your neighbors, family and friends to be arrested if they did not turn YOU in?

    If you had a enemy who really wanted to hurt you, they could accuse you of being a homosexual. How would you defend yourself against that? How would you prove that you are not?

    If you had a friend or family member who was struggling with homosexuality and committed homosexual sin, would you really turn them in? Is this what Jesus would do?

    Would Jesus have told the Pharisees, “Go ahead. Kill this woman caught in adultery and go to jail if you don’t turn in others like her”? Never. Never. At least not the Jesus I know and love.

  • Michael Bussee

    …if you could get 600 Ugandans in Uganda speaking against the bill, probably you will be making sense.

    Many in Uganda ARE speaking out against the Bill.

    Many others may be too frightened to speak out. Under this law, they could go to jail for it.

  • Lynn David

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/09/15/14708

    Is this not the text of at least one of the latest drafts of the bill?

  • Lynn David

    I’ve searched through the Ugandan parliament and found no such bill:

    http://www.parliament.go.ug/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=118

    But then that site only seems to track existing bills which have been passed…. either that or your parliament/president doesn’t seem to do much.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    kaaront

    1. I am going off the bill supplied to me by Martin Ssempa. Would you consider him a gay activist?

    2. You never addressed your misreading of the passage in John where Jesus prevented the adulterous woman who was brought to Jesus against her will by the Jewish religious leaders. You did not answer my question: Why was Jesus wrong to prevent a stoning of this woman? There is no indication that she repented, she was brought to Jesus by the authorities against her will.

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

    He sympathizes with SINNERS — and that includes YOU.

    No, Michael, He doesn’t. Christ bore our sins and we identify with him in his death and resurrection. Big difference. No sympathy in the godhead.

    Kaaront, I don’t know what kind of blasphemy you think me approaching. Serious charge. To know God is my chief aim. Not to please men in any country on earth.

  • Michael Bussee

    No sympathy in the godhead.

    Debbie, I beg to differ. Scripture says that Jesus does indeed sympathize with us:

    For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. NAS©

    “Sympathize” comes from the Greek word, “sympaschein”. It is a composite word, from syn [=with] and paschein [=suffering] — to have the capacity to be touched or moved by another’s suffering.

    Being fully God and fully man, it seems to me that Jesus demonstrated that capacity in everything He did.

  • Michael Bussee

    That’s Hebrews 4:15

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

    Debbie, I beg to differ. Scripture says that Jesus does indeed sympathize with us

    Michael, I know you and most others may feel this is hair-splitting, but what most have translated to mean sympathy is more correctly, I believe, empathy. The two words are presumed to be synonyms, but they are not completely.

    Jesus, having been both God and man was, indeed, tempted here on earth, but never sinned. It was only through his bearing all our sins on the cross supernaturally that he could be the one who was and is (as the KJV translates it) “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He can have compassion and mercy on us, realizing our human (flesh) weakness, while also empowering us with the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us divine insight (i.e., allows us to have “the mind of Christ”).

    In a counseling session, is your client better served by your empathy or your sympathy? You are not there to commiserate with him/her or feel their feelings, but to do your best to understand their feelings. Two people commiserating with each other are like the blind leading the blind. If one of them is in authority, that is the person who needs to do the leading or encouraging.

    To offer someone sympathy is to give them permission to wallow in self-pity. To encourage them with empathy is to come alongside for the purpose of helping them. (The Holy Spirit is the parakletos (“one who comes alongside,” by the way).

    The distinction matters most to nerds like me who cringe at the way we mangle the King’s English, beyond the theological points. FWIW, here’s what Oswald Chambers had to say on the subject:

    The modern view of the death of Jesus is that He died for our sins out of sympathy. The New Testament view is that He bore our sin not by sympathy, but by identification. He was made to be sin. Our sins are removed because of the death of Jesus, and the explanation of His death is His obedience to His Father, not His sympathy with us.

  • Michael Bussee

    I get where you are coming from, but I do think it’s a bit of hair-splitting. By sympathy, I only meant that, being both fully God and fully man, He feels what we feel, is compassionate towards sinners and has mercy on us. To say, “there is no sympathy in the Godhead” is something I do not believe. I think it’s in HIs very nature.

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

    We’ll just make it a non-issue, Michael. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    Cool. :)

  • Frank

    Debbie and Saul,

    You couldn’t possibly be more wrong. Dr. Throckmorton’s example of confronting this Ugandan KristallNacht in the making will do more to convince gays that there is virtue in Evangelical Christianity than all your pietistic blather ever will.

  • Michael Bussee

    Just in case anyone is counting, today the group that Warren started 10 days ago to express opposition to this Bill just topped 1,000 members. Join the group. Step up and speak out now: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

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

    Debbie and Saul,

    You couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

    Oh, I’m sure either of us could be. But you are entitled to your opinion. No sweat.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think the Jab was against Debbie and Saul was unnecessary, but I agree, Frank, that “Dr. Throckmorton’s example of confronting this Ugandan KristallNacht in the making” will do much to “convince gays that there is virtue in Evangelical Christianity”. On matters like these — matters of human rights — you have to risk appearing “pro-gay” to really show the love of God. Thanks, Dr.T.

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

    It is good. Thanks to everyone who has spoken out.

    A time comes when silence is betrayal. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Michael Bussee

    Would be even “gooder” if Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively joined. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    Have any of them responded at all? I mean as to their position on this bill?

  • Frank

    Debbie,

    As a cradle Catholic, I can assure you that the Catholic hierarchy is, indeed, blowing smoke. Gay men are no more likely to be selfish than straight ones. They are over represented in professions that provide service to others (e.g. teaching, nursing, etc.) To extrapolate hedonistic behavior from some to all is dishonest. Moreover, those seeking domestic partnership are seeking legal responsibility for another person. That is inherently unselfish.

    I didn’t go that route because I have been celibate since 1984 because i will not be responsible for getting or transmitting HIV. I still find that I have a parenting instinct that won’t be denied so I assumed responsibility for a young couple whose fathers are absent and whose mothers are dead. Although gays are denied the right to marry in my state, I paid for the couple’s wedding, taking out a second mortgage on my home. I let the bride’s father, who is a rich gay-hating SOB claim that he paid for the wedding even though he contributed less than 5% of what I did. I considered it a great honor to be able to do this for them.

    I have known other gays who have done much more. I knew a queeny little black oncology nurse, Bernard, who worked at the finest cancer hospital in the world (MD Andersion in Houston). He worked mostly with young men who had testicular cancer. The patients were dealing with masculinity issues that come with having a testicle amputated. Bernard’s effiminacy probably made the patients feel that at least they weren’t as bad off as he was.

    However, when a life threatening emergency arose, Bernard’s voice depeened at least two octaves and he took on the air of a combat medic and did everything possible to save his patients. Bernard’s life was his work. The families who brought in their sons to be cured made a few jibes about him, but he was the one every family wanted taking care of their son.

    I do wish Bernard had someone to look after him. He died of cancer a few years ago. Perhaps, he was too absorbed in helping others to see to is own well being. Doubtless, he had something to prove, a deficit of humanity given him by people like you, Debbie, that he had to spend the all of his short life paying back.

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

    Frank, I am baffled as to what I have said or done that has so deeply offended you. You’ve left me in the dark here.

  • Frank

    Debbie, you judge gays for the effect of promiscuity (a high HIV infection rate) but attack the efforts of some gays toake monogamy normative to them. you go on to praise the words of a Catholic Archbishop who says that recognizing gay partnerships makes the U S. morally inferiotlr to Islamic extremists who not only commit suicide bombiings, which the Anp cites as selfless, but also, rape, ritually miser, and torture gay by supergluing their abuses shut, force feeding them laxatives, and sexually mutilating them as tey die.

    Yet you are surprised I am upset? is there something I am missing here? are you, perhaps, autistic?

  • Frank

    Sorry about the last post, which was made from a cell phone. Here’s the correction

    Debbie, you judge gays for the effect of promiscuity (a high HIV infection rate) but attack the efforts of some gays to mmake monogamy normative to them. you go on to praise the words of a Catholic Archbishop who says that recognizing gay partnerships makes the U S. morally inferior to Islamic extremists who not only commit suicide bombings, which the Abp cites as selfless, but also, rape, ritually miser, and torture gay by super-gluing their anuses shut, force feeding them laxatives, and sexually mutilating them as they die.

    Yet you are surprised I am upset? is there something I am missing here? Are you, perhaps, autistic?

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

    Frank, it’s quite a stretch for you to infer I am praising a statement or position from my saying simply that “some valid points are made” in said statement. You seem to forget I also said this:

    The Guam statement was simplistic, of course, in attesting that there can be no “self-donation” in gay relationships. Of course there can be genuine self-sacrificial love there. But I do not think the gay community has succeed in demonstrating that is not the exception rather than the rule.

    Remember, we are discussing basic human rights and dignity in Uganda here, not the sociological merits, or lack thereof, of gay marriage or Islamic atrocities toward gays. That you would dare think I could ever approve, tacitly or otherwise, of such abuse is beyond the pale and utterly inconsistent with everything I have said in this and the many other threads on the matter here.

    Your last statement above speaks for itself in condemning your attitude.

  • Frank

    Debbie,

    There are decent Evangelical Christians, but Evangelical Christendom has yet to demonstrate that they are the rule rather than the exception. In fact the largest Evangelical Christian group in the U.S. is the Southern Baptist Convention which was founded to support a “Christian” right to brutal chattel slavery.

    Decent people see that brutality, in and of itself, is immoral and profoundly selfish. Traditional Christians, Catholic, Evangelical, Reformed, etc, see torture and extorted assent as a means of soul winning.

    Your attitude both as a Christian and a woman is a disgrace. Most gay men make their decision to come out in order to save some poor woman from an unhappy life. Even though my generation of gay men had no conception of ever having a right to marry, they refused to ruin that privilege for some woman. Those men agreed to be ostracized because they knew that a lifetime of lies to someone who loved them would be selfish and cruel.

    You, otoh, and this particular nest of Evangelical vipers, insist that every pathetic Stepford Christian female needs a vibrator with a wallet. And you have the effrontery to call anyone else selfish.

    You seem to think that Christians and heterosexuals have a monopoly on virtue. How disgustingly arrogant!

    And Dr. Throckmorton, you may be right in condemning what’s going on in Uganda, but you and every other “therapist” who put “faith” before science set the stage for it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Of course there can be genuine self-sacrificial love there. But I do not think the gay community has succeed in demonstrating that is not the exception rather than the rule.

    Debbie, I don’t think this is fair. Why single out gays for such a charge? Consider the divorce rate, religious intolerance, racism, selfishness, greed, conflict, poverty, injustice, violence, war…

    You could say that the human community has not really demonstrated it — and you would be right.

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

    Debbie, I don’t think this is fair. Why single out gays for such a charge? Consider the divorce rate, religious intolerance, racism, selfishness, greed, conflict, poverty, injustice, violence, war…

    You could say that the human community has not really demonstrated it — and you would be right.

    Duh. I am well aware, as are we all, that marriages across the board are flailing. Few folks speak out against marital and/or church hypocrisy more than I. But the title of this blog allows for focusing in on gay issues, in particular. In that context, my comment was fair, I believe.

  • kaaront

    A group in support of the bill on facebook has started http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=172162037889

  • Eddy

    Hi Kaaront,

    First, I apologize for misspelling your name earlier…sorry! I went with two o’s rather than two a’s.

    Second, I don’t recall seeing a response from you to questions that both Warren and I posed…about the woman caught in adultery. From the Bible record, she did not come to Jesus with a heart of repentance. She was brought to him after having been caught in adultery and thrown at His feet. And Jesus rejected the death penalty that they wanted to inflict. Do you have any response to this?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Kaaront: I echo Eddy’s question. Jesus was the only one in the crowd who had no sin and thus could have cast a stone. He did not. Others did not because they were prevented by their awareness of their own sin.

    Why are you willing to consider Jesus’ example to be incorrect?

  • kaaront

    The bill in Uganda stands to deal with these issues. This bill is also an issue of separation, showing who is for God and who is not. The issue of homosexuality has no middle ground, you are either for it or against it. The bill is a government issue as it is mandated to do so. The bill stands for;

    1. The bill is about equal protection of the boys as currently accorded to girls against rapists and defilers and generally abuse. The law on defilement, especially aggravated defilement is punishable by death. So this bill is seeking to put a balance when a boy is defiled, that is a boy below 18, handicapped, or whose defiler is HIV Positive. Are we giving sodomy special status, It is unfair and unjust as well as unchristian. Most people speaking against this bill are unaware of the laws in the country and are speaking from ignorance.

    2. The bill is also intended to protect Uganda from homosexual conventions. It is a law that is consistent with our cultures and beliefs. Let America make their laws and let us make our own laws. Laws like the UN proposed law on homosexuality is trying to homosexualise us. It is to protect us against these decisions.

    3. Protecting us from homosexual Propaganda and Bribery from European laws and conventions.

    4. Protecting the territorial Integrity of people in Uganda. We are concerned about people who make laws from wherever and want to impose them on us. Our Christian, Muslim, Cultural and Legal beliefs guide us that homosexuality is not only a perversion but also a natural abomination.

    5. The Bill is also to address Headmasters and those in Authority who are entrusted with children, and yet under their care, these children are victimized and raped by their bullies, yet Headmasters are afraid to speak because of fear for their schools and for them to keep a reputation. Thousands of hundreds are systematically raped and violated while those in authority keep quite. In other countries, people in Authority must report crimes of child abuse, and the law holds them liable if they fail to report these kinds of incidents.

    As a Christian and to answer the question you have been asking me on Jesus, Jesus was right not to stone, as he continues to teach and show about grace and forgiveness, Jesus is God and knows the state of people’s hearts so he choose to forgive, and so i would do the same as a christian, i would show mercy on homosexuals, however if the law catches up with them, which the government is working on, just like any crime, all i can do is to minister christ to them and not go to courts of law and defend their acts of evil, just like you guys are trying to do here, Homosexuality is a sin. I preach salvation to all. In law it is a crime, same as others, and in public health its spreading diseases, the most efficient way to spread HIV/AIDS- which is taking a lot of tax payers money in treatment and affecting family and friends. Rom 13:1-5 the bible says that there is a sword bearer to punish lawbreakers. So we preach grace, but the state promotes the law. The State is mandated to punish lawbreakers.

    The issue of two consenting adults committing the same, it affects communities and lives of everyone, so we are concerned, their private affair becomes public when destroyed rectums have to be repaired in hospitals and when they get HIV/AIDS and affect the whole community. How about two consenting adults practicing female genital mutilation, are you ok with that. What does the law say; the law is against this same thing.

  • kaaront

    Frank,

    It is shocking that you advocate for that, strange that you gay people, that is if you are, advocate for arson, Sorry but let us be able to make our own laws,

    In Africa I am because we are, and we are because I am. So whatever everyone does even in the secrecy of their bedroom affects the whole community…

  • Mary

    Karoont,

    Of course as an independent nation your country has every right to enact and enforce its own laws.

    I’m not advocating that your nation be accpeting of homosexual, rapist and such. I am hoping that those of your country will re-consider the impact it will have on those sinners who want to repent but can find no help for themselves when life imprisonment or death are the penalties for such.

    I am an ex gay and my heart breaks for those who want to find help and will be hidden from help because of such penalties. Hearts and lives do change but I have not known of a true transformation that was coerced or imposed by law. It only hides the sinner and does not help the sinner.

  • Eddy

    Frank-

    I’ve been a part of many a heated conversation between adversaries here but it’s my opinion that you are have seriously crossed some ethical lines here. Your last statement was outrageously offensive and definitely counter-productive to open dialogue. It is my hope that you are restricted from blogging here.

  • Frank

    ban me.

  • Mary

    Frank,

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself for your statement. You are an embarrasment and not representative of my voice for human dignity. Your suggestions are not the teachings of Christ and in NO WAY are you correct in your assertions. You are a gross and disgusting example of an American and Christian and gay.

  • Mike Airhart, TWO

    Back to topic (or thereabouts):

    Randy Thomas still has not spoken up. He whispered an intentionally vague statement in one Exodus blog post.

    Since loudly applauding Don Schmierer’s role in the March conference, Exodus has released no press release condemning the legislation and its supporters. Exodus’ only action has been to advise blog readers to pray for someone else — certainly not Exodus — to take action.

  • Michael Bussee

    Since loudly applauding Don Schmierer’s role in the March conference, Exodus has released no press release condemning the legislation and its supporters.

    True. Has any established, conservative Christian group in the USA? I have been combing the internet to try to find one.

  • Lynn David

    Thomas not only applauded Don Schmierer’s role in the March conference, he allowed Schmierer to make a statement that held little if any connection with reality.


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