Rick and Kay Warren issue statement regarding Martin Ssempa’s activities in Uganda

Shortly after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in Uganda, I requested information and a statement from Pastor Rick and his wife Kay Warren about the bill. Rick Warren’s work in Uganda is significant as is noted here and here. I also asked their views regarding the advocacy for the bill by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa.

 Regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Ssempa recently told me

I am in total support of the bill and would be most grateful if it did pass.

This statement below clearly explains that the Warrens cut ties with Ssempa in 2007. Ssempa’s advocacy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is the culmination of increasingly aggressive measures antagonistic to homosexuality. In addition to the bill’s assault on human dignity via the death penalty and prison terms, the bill’ reporting requirements would make the work of any missionary, pastoral counselor, physician, or health care provider working with sexuality incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

Here is their statement:

STATEMENT FROM PASTOR RICK & KAY WARREN REGARDING ACTIVITIES OF MARTIN SSEMPA IN UGANDA 

Martin Ssempa does not represent me, my wife Kay, Saddleback Church, nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy. In 2007, we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa  when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

I applaud Rick and Kay Warren for making this clear statement and hope that Ugandan Christians will consider the wisdom in it. I urge other Christian groups and leaders around the world to follow suit.

Join the Facebook group, Speak Out Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 for more information.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks for posting this Warren. It is encouraging news.

  • Lynn David

    Political Research Associates Calls on Rick Warren to Denounce Proposed Antigay Law in Uganda

    In March 2008, U.S. evangelical leader Rick Warren told Ugandans that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. …

    .

    Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who just completed a report for Political Research Associates on the influence of U.S. evangelicals on African gay politics calls on Rick Warren to denounce the antigay legislation proposed in Uganda and challenge his friends like Archbishop Henry Orombi and Pastor Martin Sempa who are leading the charge.

    .

    “Rick Warren shows one face in the United States where he says he loves gays, and another face in Africa, which is on the verge of pogroms against this community,” said Reverend Kaoma. “We need to hear his voice loud and clear on this issue that gays and lesbians are entitled to full human rights.”

  • Michael Bussee

    I am thankful for this statements from the Warren’s but I join those who wish that the Warren’s had specifically and strongly opposed the bill itself — and not just distanced themselves from Ssempa.

  • Richard

    In essence, Rick Warren has turned his back not only to Ssempa, but also to all those in Uganda who will be harmed and even murdered because of this legislation. Until he clearly denounces this act itself, he will have the blood of those who suffer on his hands.

  • Mary

    Richard,

    That’s sort of a harsh judgment on your part. FYI, everyone of us has blood on our hands.

  • Richard

    I will not apologize for my statement. “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Yes, but some do that with acute intentionality. Few of us have gone to Africa to instill American fundamentalist values into a culture that is not able to assimilate them in an humane manner. Rick Warren is like Pilate washing his hands of the whole affair, but like Macbeth the stain will never be removed. Until Rick Warren and the triumvirate that most directly instigated this pogrom by their vitriol this past spring take aggressive action to reverse this event, I will remain adamant in my denunciation of them all.

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

    I think you accord far too much influence to Rick Warren and the American “triumvirate” in Uganda, Richard. Uganda has a history and a will of its own. Check out where its own president and First Lady have stood for some time now.

  • Michael Bussee

    They didn’t start the fire, they may have added heat.

  • Michael Bussee

    Status report on the Facebook group. Over 1,420 people have spoken out. We add about 200 new voices every day. Consider adding yours.

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

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

    They didn’t start the fire, they may have added heat.

    And let us keep throwing water on it.

  • Michael Bussee

    That’s the spirit.

  • Michael Bussee

    I wonder if some conservative Christians — individuals, groups an leaders — are reluctant to get very specific in their condemnation of matters like these because they might be percieved as “too pro-gay”?

  • Mary

    Well there are two issues here.

    1) The issue of homosexuality as an immoral act

    2) How that act is being treated in a foreign country.

    Some people – it seems – have mixed up the idea that if we say homosexuals deserve to be treated with dignity that we are saying it is not immoral. Personally, I’m not agsinst the law that “outlaws” homosexuality in Uganda as much as I am against the prescriptive punishment as a deterant to this law. I am against captial punishment in any nation, tribe or group. And killing someone for being or acting on their homosexuality solves nothing, addresses nothing in the human condition, and helps no one.

  • Mike Airhart, TWO

    It is a sad fact, well-established by Human Rights Watch, that U.S. evangelicals have misused PEPFAR funds since early in this decade to support partnerships in Africa which then performed the dirty work of prosecuting and persecuting homosexual Africans while halting previous progress in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

    This campaign, with its misuse of U.S. taxpayers’ PEPFAR funds to violate human rights and worsen public health, are blatantly colonialist.

    I am grateful that Warren Throckmorton has initiated this effort among conservative Christians, and I impressed that he has rounded up so many people — liberal and conservative, Christian or otherwise.

    But it seems to me that this response by Rick Warren is precisely the sort of vague double-talk that has been used by others to deny responsibility and avoid taking a clear and emphatic stand in defense of human rights.

    No law against homosexuality per se is justifiable under any non-religious grounds. Whether the punishment is 3 years, life imprisonment, or death, the result is the same: The suppression of free speech, family privacy, medical privacy, and religious freedom by those Americans who have imposed their values upon Africans with the help of billions of dollars, and who have encouraged Africa’s post-colonial despots to use homosexuality as a bogeyman to distract attention from Africa’s worsening problems.

    Rick Warren’s statement reduces the support that Museveni and Ssempa enjoy, but only slightly. Without a call for public evangelical resistance to Museveni and Ssempa, and a sizable reduction in U.S. aid to Uganda, Rick’s statement is — unfortunately — rather toothless.

  • Richard

    “Rick Warren’s statement reduces the support that Museveni and Ssempa enjoy, but only slightly. Without a call for public evangelical resistance to Museveni and Ssempa, and a sizable reduction in U.S. aid to Uganda, Rick’s statement is — unfortunately — rather toothless.” …. and spineless!!

  • Michael Bussee

    Conservative Christians have to stay firm on gayness as sin. They have to be careful not to look weak on sin by speaking out for gays, or against the mistreatment of gays.

    There are serious political and financial implications when conservatives take up what many might see as a “liberal or “gay” cause. You have walk the party line.

    It must be very difficult to be a Conservative Christian. So many constraints — even when great injustce is being done to someone else.

    Can you imagine what it would take for Focus On The Family to speak out against this bill?

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

    It must be very difficult to be a Conservative Christian.

    I don’t think it should be easy to be any kind of Christian. Do you? The world is a hateful place. It hates Christ above all else.

  • Richard

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    It is not Christ the world hates. The world is a ‘hateful place’ because of our tribal rivalries based on our false gods. If we abandon the worship of Jesus and learned to follow the teaching of Jesus, perhaps the path would be less stony. The teachings of the Buddha have guided spiritual seekers since the 6th century BC; yet Buddha was never made into a god.

  • Mary

    Richard,

    Buddha never mentioned that he and the father were the same. Seems to be a crux in the abrahamic religions – some wait for the messiah, some believe the messiah has come, some believe that jesus was a prophet and nothing more.

  • Mary

    Richard,

    Besides this issue is about basic humanity to another. It is being covered in religion but I doubt it really has anything to do with religion.

  • Richard

    “[S]ome believe that jesus was a prophet and nothing more.”

    That is somewhat like saying that A. Lincoln was only a politician. What Jesus actually said of himself and what words have been put in his mouth have been under dispute for a long time. The Gospel of John was late, at a time when the followers of The Way needed to believe that the destruction of the Temple was not the destruction of their Hope. I have in the past few weeks begun an intensive study on the history and Christology of the fourth gospel and am led to the conviction that much of what we say in the Church is very misleading. Perhaps the whole problem IS ‘religion’ and our neurotic practices of manipulating and placating a ‘god’ of our own making that needs to be rethought.

  • Mary

    Richard,

    Then your intensive study should tell you that this argument has been going on a long time and will continue to go on. Leave it at that and stay focused on the humanity of gay people.

    As well, your intensive study should tell you that no religion (that I know of) commits homoesexuals to prison or death.

  • Richard

    “As well, your intensive study should tell you that no religion (that I know of) commits homoesexuals to prison or death.” Well, only if you exclude the Inquistion, most of western European history and Sharia Law. If you exclude the Abrahamic religions, perhaps you are right. However there are still many in Orthodox Judaism and Fundamentalist Christianity that hold the statue of Lev. 18:22 as valid. And as for Islalm, there are reports coming from those countries weekly on the execution of men who are even suspected of homosexual activity.

  • Michael Bussee

    It is not Christ the world hates.

    I tend to agree. I understand what Debbie is saying — that the world turns from the light of grace because it loves the darkness. But many of Jesus’s followers don’t help the situation much. Sadly, the world does not see them as ambassadors of HIs love.

  • Richard

    Mary – Just to underscore the animus that Western ‘civilization’ has held against same-sex relations, most specifically between men. I offer two pieces of relatively modern history from what was once held as the most civilized nation in the world – England.

    1) Oscar Wilde was arrested in April of 1895 for “gross indecency” under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. In British legislation of the time, this term implied homosexual acts not amounting to buggery, which was an offense under a separate statute. He was convicted on 25 May 1895 and served hard labour at Reading Prison until his release 19 May 1897.

    2) Alan Turing, the mathematical genius who is considered by many to be the ‘Father of Modern Computing’, and who almost single-handedly broke the code of the Germany Intelligence forces during World War II, was also a homosexual. Turing’s homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952—homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time—and he accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. The grotesque changes to his body that resulted from this program of treatment drove him to commit suicide.

    The acts that are being put in place may not effect persons of similar celebrity, but that makes them no less despicable and no less inhumane. If this is being done in the name of their ‘Christian faith’, then I want nothing to do with their ‘christ’.

  • Richard

    “……..the most civilized and Christian nation…….”

  • Frank

    Debbie,

    Get off that cross! We need the wood!

  • Mary

    Richard,

    Lots of things are done in the name of God – it does not mean that it was the correct interpretation of the word.

  • Mary

    The world hates hypocrites. And we are all hypocrites to some extent. Why can’t we extend eachother a little grace.

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

    If this is being done in the name of their ‘Christian faith’, then I want nothing to do with their ‘christ’.

    Be assured, Richard, “their” Christ is not “the” Christ or my Christ. You are guilty of painting Christendom with the same foul brush you accuse us of painting Gaydom with. Every group has its fringes. History has marched a long way since Wilde and Turing. That England in no way resembles today’s. Uganda is behaving like some lost island civilization.

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  • Michael Bussee

    “A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people’s vices and faults.” ~ Henry H. Williams

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  • David Blakeslee

    Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst

    It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies

    C.S. Lewis

    That said…Allegations (by Mike Airhart at TWO) have been made on this posting about misuse of US funds should be substantiated…got anything Mike?

  • Michael Bussee

    Randy Thomas, on Exodus’ blog, calls for Ssempa to renounce this bill:

    Ssempa is also one of the organizers of the conference last spring in which Exodus Board Member, Don Schmierer, took part… So, in the whole of the generalized statement, Don doesn’t mention Mr. Ssempa but he makes it clear that public policy (including this specific type of legislation) was not a part of his involvement in the conference. From what I understand from my communications with Don, he wasn’t aware of Mr. Ssempa’s horrible public policy opinions. And from what I do know of Don, he would confront Mr. Ssempa if he did.

    Don should have been aware of it. He was forewarned and he surely knew of Scott Lively’s views. They ALL need to issue a strong, specific renunciation of this bill. An apology seems in order, too.

    Don may not have been aware then, but he is NOW. And he can still confront Ssempa and this monstrous Bill. What’s the hold up for Don to do so?

  • Michael Bussee

    And why hasn’t Alan Chambers come out? Why is he hiding? Shameful. Truly shameful. The entire Exodus board, including Don, should issue an apology, a joint statement they they all sign by name – and a press release specifically condemning this bill — not just blog entries.

    They might not have been aware then. They surely are now. Time’s a-wasting here. They need to do it now. Not fair to call on Ssempa to denounce it if they won’t set a very clear and very public example.

  • Michael Bussee

    From David Roberts, commenting on the Facebook group:

    Langa was the direct organizer of the conference Don attended. We also told Alan days before he spoke, so there certainly was ample opportunity for Don to bow out. And honestly, what is Don doing traveling halfway across the world to speak without knowing the agenda of those who invited him?

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

  • Ann

    We can throw stones,

    complain about them,

    stumble on them,

    climb over them,

    or build with them.

    William Arthur Ward

  • Michael Bussee

    Here’s Randy Thomas’s headline on the Exodus Blog:

    Martin Ssempa Should Renounce Support for Proposed Ugandan Criminalization of Homosexuality.

    How about this one?

    Exodus president, Alan Chambers, Should Renounce Proposed Ugandan Criminalization of Homosexuality

    .Or this one?

    All Exodus Board Members Should Renounce Proposed Ugandan Criminalization of Homosexuality.

  • Eddy

    LOL. I sent a follow-up email to Randy and Alan a few days ago and advised them that although Michael was currently pleased with the ‘official statement’, that it would only be a matter of days before he began demanding more. Silly me, I thought it would just be a formal statement and/or apology from Don that was demanded.

    It will be fun to send them this “I told you so” update.

    BTW, I realize it may not be much, but I noted that Alan joined Warren’s facebook group a day or so ago.

  • Michael Bussee

    Yes, I am pleased with it — it is a good step. No, considering the gravity of this situation I don’t think it’s enough.

    Go right ahead. Yuck it up Eddy. LOL all you want. Have fun. This is serious. And you are just plain sad.

  • Michael Bussee

    Wow. Got me again Eddy. Boy are you a sharp one. So clever, you and your witty “LOL”..

    Contrary to what you may think, I get no pleasure in making Exodus look bad. But you seem to get pleasure in some pretty depressing ways.

    I any event, I am too busy to bicker with you. Better things to do. But, by all means, enjoy yourself.

    BTW: I already sent them this “update”. And it wasn’t “I told you so”. It was “Please do more.”

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I have addressed the gravity of the situation with them but I’ve also warned them of your tendency to spin, to exaggerate and to demand. That is where my point of humor was directed; please don’t delude yourself or others into thinking that I’m laughing off this Ugandan crisis.

  • Michael Bussee

    Glad to hear you are taking it seriously. Had me confused there for a moment with all the talk of “fun” and LOL.

    Randy today called on Ssempa (by name) to clearly denounce this legislation. I asked him why Exodus Board members, particularly Don, should not do the same. Still waiting for his reply.

    Back to work. Like I said, have fun Eddy. Fun is good.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I was only cutting through your ‘spin’ for the benefit of those who get caught up in emotionally charged verbal rhetoric. Your point re ‘abomination’ and ‘putting to death’ was on target; trying to equate ‘broken’, ‘damaged’ and ‘sinful’ was not.

    There IS an agenda and your constant yammering at those words is an evidence of it. Seems it would be pretty easy for words like ‘abomination’ and ‘putting to death’ to be classified as hate speech; by placing words like ‘broken’, ‘damaged’ and ‘sinful’ in the same context, you elevate them to that level as well. Perhaps it’s not an intentional agenda; perhaps you’ve just caught the vibe and don’t know it.

  • Michael Bussee

    I may do it on other things, but on this issue, I do not think i have exagerated, spun or demanded. Pushing, yes. And isn’t it sad that Exodus seems to need pushing?

    Even Warren has expressed frustration with them over this. Many people have, not just me.

    Perhaps now, with Exodus issuing more public statements, with Randy and Alan joining the Facebook group — and even linking the group to the Exodus blog, there will be less need for that.

  • Michael Bussee

    It will be fun to send them this “I told you so” update.

    I am sure there is no need for that — or to “warn them of [my] tendency to spin, to exaggerate and to demand.”

    By now, I am sure they know how terrifically annoying and persistent I can be on something that really matters.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am saying that what we say about gayness here echoes everywhere. If we announce it to be any or all of those things, someone is going to listen.

    Sometimes, people filled with fear or hate will listen. Sometimes, people with inhumane political agendas will listen.

    Intentionally or not, those words and phrases can fuel the fire. The Americans who went to Uganda were used in this way. That’s why they need to speak out and make the true message of Christ clearly heard.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    With all your focus on Exodus – don’t you think they have heard you by now? Why do you think they are not responding? Could it be that they are prayfully considering a response? Could it be that the board agrees with the bill?

    Your constant focus on that organization is resisting to see all the others with strength who are offering to speak out against it.

    You really are hung up on them. They may just not do a damn thing. And who cares? It will only show their true colors.

  • Michael Bussee

    They may just not do a damn thing. And who cares? It will only show their true colors.

    Point well taken. What Exodus says and does from this point on will indeed show their true colors. If they are “prayfully considering a response”, I wil pray it comes sonner than later.

    With all your focus on Exodus – don’t you think they have heard you by now?

    .

    God, I hope so. The “why” part is because I feel a certain responsibility since I had something to do with the organization’s formation and mission and am very concerned about the direction it is going.

    Why do you think they are not responding?

    Frankly, I think they are embarrassed by their mistake and afraid they will look “too gay” if they do more.

    Could it be that the board agrees with the bill?

    NO. I am pretty sure they don’t. I think it’s embarrassment and fear.

  • Mary

    Well, until Exodus makes a statement you nor I will kow for sure why they remained silent.

    You left Exodus a long time ago. The leadership, goals and roles it plays in the church of gays and ex gays has changed. It does not belong to you anymore than it belongs to me.

    It’s over.

  • Michael Bussee

    No. I don’t think it’s over. I still have a voice and a heart for the original mission of Exodus (and I believe it is still their mission) — to reach out with Christ’s love to a group of people who believed God couldn’t love them.

    There must be gays in Uganda who believe the same thing — right now. Their relgious and political leaders seem to want them dead or in prison. That’s why they need to hear from Christians in the USA. Consider it a care package.

    As for Exodus’ official response, it is wonderful that Exodus’s President and Vice President have both joined the Facebook group. My sincere thanks to both of them for doing so.

    Thanks, Alan and Randy, and God bless you. :)

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    The “why” part is because I feel a certain responsibility since I had something to do with the organization’s formation and mission and am very concerned about the direction it is going.

    That was more than 30 years ago. Even if it were your grown child, you’d have developed a less smothering touch by now. Please consider that it’s long past time for you to let go of ANY responsibility whatsoever. Many, many years have passed.

    Do past founders, presidents, CEO’s routinely contact organizations they’ve moved on from? Some may be solicited for advice, for mentoring, to serve as consultants…but I do believe it’s rare for them to offer unsolicited advice and direction.

    Re that responsibility you feel as a ‘founder’. Please be reminded that there was ‘a wave’ going on. People were finding each other; a network was forming with or without that ‘about to hatch’ entity called EXODUS. I was doing street evangelism to gay areas in Dallas before I ever heard of the efforts in California. I was already acquainted with the likes of Perry Desmond and Greg Reid without the help of EXODUS. Without you, the birth of EXODUS may have been delayed 6 months to a year but, I am convinced that it would have been born…and that it wouldn’t have been that much different without your presence. IMHO, you really need to release that feeling of responsibility once and for all. It doesn’t serve you–or EXODUS–well at all.

  • Michael Bussee

    Opinion noted.

  • Michael Bussee

    No more bickering with you. It doesn’t serve anyone well.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You may hold on to that if you like. May be you could consider the hundreds of people who have since been involved with Exodus, the DECADES you have been absent from it, and that your role is being over estimated?

    Had you stayed with Exodus then it would be different. But your influence with an organization that you publicly denounce is limited. And your influence with those who are integrated with Exodus today is close to none.

    Like others have mentioned. You may have been there at the beginning but there were many others there too and it is apparent that some group would have formed eventually because there is a need for such. That it has remained is not a statement about you but the efforts and desires of hundreds and thousands of others who benefit from the group. Else it would have disbanded and faded away a long time ago.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: I do not over-estimate my role. I know I am only ONE voice.

    And I am sure than many have benfitted from Exodus. I did.

  • Michael Bussee

    I suppose I need to be reminded, from time to time, how insignificant and powerless I am. Pride and stubborness can be sin. :)

    They can cause me to lose faith and focus.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    No more bickering with you. It doesn’t serve anyone well.

    Thanks. I’ll appreciate that. I’ll continue to be my fact-checking, exaggeration monitoring, generalization spotting self but it will be nice to simply express my opinion on what’s been said without the bickering response.

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

    Thanks to Exodus, another woman (two, actually) came into my group tonight. Hallelujah! Keep on doing your thing, Exodus.

    Michael, do you not know that when a person rants incessantly, after a while he is just tuned out? How are your prayers going? If anything needs to be tuned up for us all, I imagine it would be those. Have you prayed for Exodus or Alan or Randy lately?

  • Ann

    Thanks to Exodus, another woman (two, actually) came into my group tonight. Hallelujah! Keep on doing your thing, Exodus.

    Awesome!

  • Ann

    Where is Jesse Jackson, Al Shapton, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, etc. ? I think they would be far more powerful than Exodus.

  • Michael Bussee

    Have you prayed for Exodus or Alan or Randy lately?

    Every day. And I gave thanks that they are speaking out.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    I like your suggestions of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Desmond Tutu; my gut says that Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey would be immediately dismissed. Clinton’s status as former president of the US wouldn’t carry any real weight there as they seem to have little regard for our national values; I suspect his marital infidelity might discredit him as a voice also. And, Oprah…well, she’s Oprah…she’s a pretty vivid picture of the American mindset (which they disdain)… not sure she’d have any connecting power.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy, you seem very adept in pointing out in me the very traits you seem to be unable to see in yourself. Takes two to bicker — and it is a waste of BOTH our time.

    Beter things to do than squabble with you. Every time I do it, I kick myself.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think they would be far more powerful than Exodus.

    It’s not the Exodus has power, but it does have the responsibility — and they are using it more and more. Good for them.

  • Ann

    IMHO, we all have the responsibility to speak out about any kind of inustice – I am just wondering where all the people are who supposedly support gay rights and why Exodus is held to a higher standard than they are?

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann: I don’t want to continue to harp on Exodus tonight — since I think they are stepping up. I want to express thanks tonight — especialy to Alan and Randy for joining the group.

    I can always get back to the criticism tomorrow if it seems warranted. But I think Exodus is heading in the right direction today.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am just wondering where all the people are who supposedly support gay rights.

    Many of them are on the Facebook group — along with many conservative Christians. Gay activists and Christian conservatives in a common cause.

    Like Warren said, “RARE, but COOL!”

  • Ann

    perhaps Ellen can make a statement on her show as well or Rosie on her blog.

  • Ann

    Brad Pitt, Elton John, Charlize Theron – very loud gay rights supporters/activicts – have they spoken up? Brad Pitt stayed in Africa and two of his daughters were born there – Charlize Theron was born and raised in Africa – Madonna adopted two children from Africa – all of these people are high profile, gay activists who speak loudly about gay rights – where are they now?

  • Michael Bussee

    Yes. Let’s email and call all of of those liberal, “pro-gay” celebs. They should speak up too.

    But what we really need are Conservative Christian voices. Ugandan religious and political leaders might be more willing to listen to them. Where is Focus on the Family? Pat Robertson?

  • Michael Bussee

    Perhaps Ellen can make a statement on her show as well or Rosie on her blog.

    Sure. Two out-front lesbians. How do you think Ugandan leaders would take to that?

  • Ann

    Michael,

    The aforementioned individuals I suggested can bring awareness and have ties to Africa – I’m just curious as to the substance to which they speak – where is the back-up when it matters? If they can speak at the HRC, on radio, television, award events, etc. – why aren’t they speaking up now in America and bringing awareness to such atrocities in Uganda? I believe they could make a difference but they have been silent compared to how Conservative Christians have responded – ie, Debbie, Warren, Rick Warren, etc.

  • Ann

    If they can speak at the HRC, on radio, television, award events, etc. – why aren’t they speaking up now in America and bringing awareness to such atrocities in Uganda? I believe they could make a difference but they have been silent compared to how Conservative Christians have responded – ie, Debbie, Warren, Rick Warren, etc.

    Forgot to mention Exodus – a conservative Christian organizaiton who has repsonded and made their views clear about this.

  • Ann

    Where is Focus on the Family? Pat Robertson?

    Where is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – two of the most outspoken ministers against human injustice – they never miss an opportunity – where is Jerimiah Wright? Perhaps those with ties to the HRC -where Barak Obama made all his promises – can contact these prominent human rights advocates with ties to ministry, Christianity and Africa and have them intervene. Barak Obama would be perfect – he professes Christianity, has ties to Africa, is a gay rights advocate, and leads the free world.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK. I get the point. We are making quite a list. I will email all these people tomorrow if I can — and ask them to speak out. Will you join me in doing the same?

    I really do not know why they have not. Just as with major “conservative” types, their silence is troubling.

    Forgot to mention Exodus – a conservative Christian organizaiton who has repsonded and made their views clear about this

    Yes and no. Not completely clear and not as much as they could and should do. No press release. No statement on their website. Nothing from Don whose blunder added to this mess.

    Maybe tomorrow?

  • Michael Bussee

    Just sent a request to Ellen Degenes. How about you send one to Focus On The Family. Deal?

  • Ann

    Michael,

    I think someone like Wayne Besen could have an audience with all these people. He is very forthcoming about being in the public eye, has no problem voicing his opinion, has a high public profile that he seems to bask in, and is very confident when calling people out for what he perceives their injustices to the gay community are. He does not respond to my solicitions to engage in communication so perhaps you or someone else he respects would be better candidates to reach him. Wasn’t he also affiliated with the HRC? Human Rights Campaign? Just checked their web site and unless I am missing something there is no mention of the Ugandan activities – seems that Exodus is being asked to do something that a human rights organization, prominent in gay rights, has yet to do.

  • Michael Bussee

    I will do one of each — first a liberal celeb or politician and then a conservative one. Just sent a request to FOTF. Let’s see who answers.

  • Ann

    Just sent a request to Ellen Degenes. How about you send one to Focus On The Family. Deal?

    Great – thanks!

  • Ann

    I will do one of each — first a liberal celeb or politician and then a conservative one. Just sent a request to FOTF. Let’s see who answers.

    Michael,

    Whoever will make a difference in bringing public awareness and approach this in a pro-active way and change hearts and save lives is all that matters. The people I mentioned seem to be the most effusive about human rights and gay rights in particular, most profess Christianity, and many have ties to Africa – one even leads the free world and managed to get elected president because of his charisma – perhaps he can use some of that in Uganda and let them know this an unacceptable method of governing its’ people.

  • Lynn David

    Well, if you’re making lists… I wanted to see what motivated those Americans who joined the Facebook supporters of the bill. Most all would seem to identify as Christian, some going to Christian schools (including Grove City). A few are Facebook friends with Ssempa. Other few were involved in ministries/missions to Uganda or other places. One – who has a website for his ministry, http://www.hhiminc.org – stated that, “I wish America had the guts to speak out against this tragic sin…..

    .

    Who do you think Ugandans would rather listen to? I’m betting them. Or are we only talking about the 10% or less who are Pentacostal?

  • Michael Bussee

    I am sure Obama will speak out. I have already emailed him. I expect that many people have. I don’t think the US government will stand by and not speak out. Getting folks who are in favor of gay rights to step up and speak out is EASY.

    But, I am afraid that those who are “most effusive” about gay rights will be dismissed as pro-gay, light-on-sin “activists”. As they often are here when they speak out about injustice to gays.

    We need major, well-known, conservative Christian leaders to speak to their Conservative Christian brethren there. Perhaps they will listen to people who agree with them that homosexuality is an abomination — but that this is not the way to deal with it.

  • Michael Bussee

    The USA and France are speaking out. http://www.advocate.com/article.aspx?id=101479

  • David Blakeslee

    We need major, well-known, conservative Christian leaders to speak to their Conservative Christian brethren there. Perhaps they will listen to people who agree with them that homosexuality is an abomination — but that this is not the way to deal with it.

    I think there is plenty of action on “our side.” There has been consistently for four years at this site…we have rallied conservative Christians to rethink their simplistic understanding of SSA; we have encouraged Exodus to rethink the term Ex-gay. We have devoted ourselves to a reasoned view of the research.

    At some point one wonders if there will be reciprocation (although it is not necessary).

    More and more it seems like a one way conversation and that we are just being manipulated by outrage and ever escalating demands…demands that are never levied toward TWO, GLSEN, XGW or BTB.

  • Eddy

    Re David’s observation:

    Can anybody say ‘AMEN’?!

    AMEN!!!!

  • Michael Bussee

    I am talking about the need for Conservative Christians (BIG NAMES) to come forward on THIS issue. I appreciate what conservative Christians have done on this blog.

  • Michael Bussee

    …demands that are never levied toward TWO, GLSEN, XGW or BTB

    .Why? Because, you never have to push them to stand up for basic human rights. They are not worried about looking “pro-gay” if they do.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Michael – I believe the comparable response would be those groups standing up for religious rights or against religious persecution around the world.

    I intend to return to the issue of Kevin Jennings and religious liberty. However, I believe the Ugandan situation is more urgent…

  • Eddy

    Being aware that ‘conservative Christians’ and their viewpoints are regularly mocked, disparaged and criticized by the gay community (oh yes, always with good reason and justifiably)…those prominent ‘conservative Christians’ may be reluctant to lend their voices to a cause that is unwilling to discuss any compromise.

    More and more it seems like a one way conversation and that we are just being manipulated by outrage and ever escalating demands…

  • Michael Bussee

    No compromise on criminilizing homosexuality. No compromise on this Bill.

  • Michael Bussee

    The “cause” here is basic human rights. It would be truly sad if conservative Christians are reluctant lend their voices to THAT cause — for whatever reason.

  • Ann

    I think there is plenty of action on “our side.” There has been consistently for four years at this site…we have rallied conservative Christians to rethink their simplistic understanding of SSA; we have encouraged Exodus to rethink the term Ex-gay. We have devoted ourselves to a reasoned view of the research.

    At some point one wonders if there will be reciprocation (although it is not necessary).

    More and more it seems like a one way conversation and that we are just being manipulated by outrage and ever escalating demands…demands that are never levied toward TWO, GLSEN, XGW or BTB.

    As usual, very, very well said – thank you David.

    Re David’s observation:

    Can anybody say ‘AMEN’?!

    AMEN!!!!

    AMEN!!!!!

  • Michael Bussee

    Many Christians are speaking out for this cause — and this is a wonderful thing. Here is a recent example from Facebook:

    Glad to speak out! As a Christian, I am ashamed of the behaviour of fundamentalists who use their religious position to promote legislation that, by any definition, is cruel and discriminatory. That doesn’t resemble the God I know and love.

    We need major Conservative Christian leaders and Conservative Christian organizations to express similar feelings on this. I am hopeful that they will do what Exodus has done recently.

  • Michael Bussee

    I believe that if a country was demanding that ex-gays or post-gays go to prison for life and that those who know them and don’t report them should also be behind bars, that all of the pro-gay organizations mentioned above would speak out clearly and quickly. don’t you?

  • Eddy

    The ’cause’ here goes beyond basic human rights. Portions of this bill address issues that are even criminalized here in the US. The penalties differ sharply but the sexual exploitation of minors (whether physically or via pornographic imagery) are not ‘basic human rights’. That’s just one example of where discussion of compromise would be valid and justified.

    Here in the US we have protected freedom of speech and yet we also have laws saying what things are criminal. It’s another area of compromise that could be discussed.

    But, instead, we have ‘a one way conversation’ and ‘are just being manipulated by outrage and ever escalating demands’. And, talk of ‘compromise’ isn’t even considered but is instead countered by over-simplifications like “the cause here is basic human rights”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Excellent commentrary here, on why everyone should be worried about this bill: http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/opinions/Why_anti-gay_Bill_should_worry_us_93987.shtml

  • Ann

    The “cause” here is basic human rights. It would be truly sad if conservative Christians are reluctant lend their voices to THAT cause — for whatever reason.

    Michael,

    When it comes to human rights, especially life and death situaitons, labels really don’t matter – everyone must unite. While this is going on in Uganda, young women are having their gentitals mutilated in parts of Africa, women are being raped and killed daily in other parts of Africa, harsh punishment is inflicted if an arm slips out from under a burka – the injustices go on and on and on and on. I am always intrigued by what injustice merits the attention of the world or a single indifidual – so much seems to be for self interest rather than doing what is right, I do not respond positively, nor do most, to coercion. I am not interested in the tactics that the gay advocates use to intimidate and bully. That is why I suggest they reach out to the people who are high in government and ministry who, at least publicly, have shown support and endorsement. Just look at how Exodus and others who have opposing perspectives have been treated by the gay community – have you forgotton the letters by Wayne, Timothy, Reagan, etc., – I haven’t.

  • Eddy

    I believe that if a country was demanding that ex-gays or post-gays go to prison for life and that those who know them and don’t report them should also be behind bars, that all of the pro-gay organizations mentioned above would speak out clearly and quickly. don’t you?

    The groups mentioned above are:

    TWO, GLSEN, XGW or BTB.

    Call me a cynic but ‘No’. I believe there might be discussion…some concern…but I don’t envision speaking out clearly or quickly.

    Let’s go a step further into the imagined reasoning for their imprisonment. It would likely be that they are deluded into rejecting their inborn sexuality. What clear and quick defense of these ‘delusionals’ would be offered? Would XGW recant statements it’s made in the past suggesting that these people are misguided, self-deluded, church-deluded? If they didn’t recant on the ‘delusional’ statements, what would they suggest as an ‘appropriate’ response to these delusionals? Or would ‘being delusional’ be termed a basic human right?

  • Michael Bussee

    I suppose someone could start a Facebbok group called:

    “Speak Out For Compromise On Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.”

  • Michael Bussee

    Call me a cynic but ‘No’. I believe there might be discussion…some concern…but I don’t envision speaking out clearly or quickly.

    You are a cynic. And mistaken.

  • Ann

    Christian conservatives speak out against injustice because they know it is the right thing to do, not because gay advocacy groups and individuals, who have taken every opportunity to vilify Christian beliefs and convictions, tells them they have to. Honestly, after every allegation gay activists have leveled at Christianity, they are now asking, or demanding support? Wow! I am grateful that Christianity transcends others’ transgressions toward them and moves ahead with doing what is right in spite of how they have been treated. How many other religions can say that?

  • Eddy

    How’s that anti-bickering stance you took earlier today working out?

    I suppose someone could start a Facebbok group called:

    “Speak Out For Compromise On Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.”

    I cite real examples of where we might be able to discuss compromise and you come back with that sarcastic remark.

    You are a cynic. And mistaken.

    I said I was likely a cynic. Please don’t ask questions that you aren’t willing to entertain answers to. And, I at least hinted at the difficulties XGW would have speaking clearly and quickly. You pronounce (judge) me as ‘mistaken’ with nothing…just your opinion re a hypothetical situation.

    Sounds like bickering to me.

    I expressed opinions that differ from yours. I’m sorry that’s difficult for you.

  • David Blakeslee

    I still don’t think we have heard Mike Airhart (TWO) justify with citations his accusations against Rick Warren.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sounds like bickering to me.

    It was. Damn. I can’t seem to resist doing that with you. It might help if I agreed with you. Or just let it pass…

    I really seem to have a hard time with both. You’re irresistable. No more today.

  • Michael Bussee

    Gay activists or Conservative Christians? What good does it do to argue about who cares LESS?

  • Mary

    Michael – YOU”RE THE ONE WHO BRINGS IT UP TIME AND AGAIN

  • Michael Bussee

    I may do it most often here on this blog, but people on both sides of the gay issue do it, Mary.

    Gay activists accuse Conservative Christians. Conservative Christians accuse gay activists.

    I don’t hammer on groups like Exodus because I think that groups like Exodus care less. I actually believe they DO care.

    I just think they are sometimes (OK often) puzzling in their slowness to express it.

  • Eddy

    Gay activists accuse Conservative Christians. Conservative Christians accuse gay activists.

    IMHO, the use of ‘gay activists’ in this statement is unfortunate. Percentage-wise, I believe that people who fit the label ‘gay activists’ accuse Conservative Christians more than people who fit the label ‘Conservative Christians’ accuse ‘gay activists’. (Many Conservative Christians don’t even know who or what ‘gay activists’ are while most gay activists hold the ‘Conservative Christians’ responsible for most anti-gay sentiment. In the focus of gay activism, it is natural to trash talk your perceived enemy; in the focus of conservative Christianity, days and weeks can go by without much thought to gays at all.)

  • Ann

    Well said Eddy – thank you. Being attracted to the same gender does not give one carte blanche to be rude, assuming, condescending, contemptuous, sarcastic, self serving, and cruel to others. This is the big mistake that is made. This is why there is contention. This is why there is division. It is not about being gay – it is about the inability or unwillingness to understand that words and actions have consequences – you cannot vilify a religion, it’s members or anyone else for that matter and then expect or demand to be supported, accepted, or liked for that matter. Believing that everyone who has another perspective is homophbic or anti-gay might be emotionally sustaining for awhile but the truth prevails and the lie cannot be sustained. Uganda is a problem that needs to be resolved – it must not be confused with the bloviating that goes on with the gay activists we have all come to know.

  • Ann

    Also, being gay (all varying definitions included) does not always have to equate to being an activist – Michael is very different to me than others. I do not always agree with him, or he me, however, there is always civility, therefore, I will always listen to what he has to say and reason things out with him.

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

    Being attracted to the same gender does not give one carte blanche to be rude, assuming, condescending, contemptuous, sarcastic, self serving, and cruel to others.

    So, how do you REALLY feel, Ann? :)

    I’m with you.

  • Eddy

    In the famous onscreen dialogue of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore: “Ditto”.

  • Mary

    Third that!

  • Ann

    Debbie, Eddy, Mary,

    Thanks :-)

  • Ann

    Unless I am missing it, there still is nothing about Uganda on the Human Rights Campaign web site. I wonder what human rights mean to that organization?

  • Richard

    As a member and (small) contributor to HRC, I have just posted an email on their site requesting to know their stand on this issue. When (and if) I receive a reply, I will relay that info.

  • Ann

    thank you Richard!

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

    And speaking of human rights, a pro-gay faith outreach called Other Sheep posted an item on its blog site last week that included this statement: “In March 2008, U.S. evangelical leader Rick Warren told Ugandans that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right.”

    Even stronger and more finger-in-the-eye still was this statement:

    Other Sheep, in its eNews of October 19, called upon evangelicals Rick Warren (USA), John Stott (England), Douglas Carew (Kenya) and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) to accountability for their part in inducing inhumane and hateful attitudes of Africans towards homosexual Africans.

    I cannot verify the veracity of those claims, but it would be interesting to see how HRC responds to them, if they do at all. The human rights issues surrounding Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill and already harsh focus on sexual immorality in its penal code pertain to life and individual dignity and freedom, not to accepting homosexual behavior as natural and on the order of heterosexual behavior, a sticking point for the religious community.

    FWIW.

  • David Blakeslee

    Debbie…are you doing Mike Airhart’s work for him?

    You cannot hold a divergent view from those who identify with their SSA without being called a bigot…

    Even though their birth order, biological, genetic and inutero hypotheses about the origins of SSA are quite weak.

    SSA is a puzzling phenomenon.

    Wrapping human rights for safety for all people who deal with ambiguous and confusing beliefs or sensations is completely justified.

    It is a form of bullying and narcissism to call those who disagree bigots, or anti-gay, since many thoughtful people are concerned with changing the definition of marriage or a monolithic gay-advocacy educational model for our children.

    GLSEN cannot have a thoughtful and scientific role in creating school curriculum; they have proven they are more monolithic and anti-science than FOTF, only they have much more political power and access through the NEA.

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

    Debbie…are you doing Mike Airhart’s work for him?

    Is it April Fool’s Day? :)

    For those who might miss the joke, I am a former SSA’d, pro-man-woman-marriage, anti-Kevin Jennings (and anti-bullying), anti-NEA, anti-TWO, mostly pro-FOTF, anti-pseudo-science — and let’s throw in anti-Global-Warming, for the heck of it — bigot.

  • David Blakeslee

    Pure Evil.

  • Frank

    Made damn sure that Pilate

    Washed his hands and sealed his fate.

    Mick Jagger, “Sympathy for the Devil”

    How can a mere denunciation by Rick Warren and his wife be seen as anything other than an imitation of Pontius Pilate in washing his hands of responsibility.

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

    Pure Evil.

    God help me.

  • Frank

    Debbie,

    I’m fervently ex-Catholic and ex-Christian. I am not, however, opposed to freedom of religion.

    Your support for Locusts on the Family is something I don’t exactly admire.

  • Frank

    The disingenuous assertion that homosexuality is not a civil right is responsible for this Kristallnacht in Uganda. This assertion is disingenuous because it conflates action with orientation. This assertion, made by both the Pope and Rick Warren, seeks to make gay people a stranger to the law by making it impossible for the law to specifically protect them if needed.

    One can’t make this assertion and simultaneously claim to be opposed to discrimination against gays and lesbians precisely because the claim asserts that they are guilty of a crime based on their status.

    The Warrens and the Pope have blood on their hands and so do those who support their position. Without legal protections for gays and lesbians that acknowledge their status, this will keep happening again and again.

    As for the mutability of sexual orientation that is observed in some persons, I would remind you that religion is similarly mutable. I was formerly Catholic Church Attracted (CCA) , I’m now a recovering Catholic.

  • Ann

    To date, unless I am still missing something – there is nothing posted on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) web site about Uganda – even on their international page. This is the organization the Barak Obama spoke to a couple of weeks ago and made promises to – they have an in with the president of the United States – throughtout his speech he offered his views on human rights to gays and lesbians – this would be an awesome opportunity for him to practice what he preaches and go to Uganda or send an ambassador. He says he is a Christian, he has direct ties to Africa, and he professes, at least in public, to be a gay rights supporter. He can use my frequent flyer miles if he wants to go there.

    I believe Wayne Besen used to be affiliated with the HRC and am wondering why he has not demanded they put a statement on their web site about Uganda. I also believe he is the person who put a scathing post (what else is new) on this blog to Randa Thomas of Exodus because Exodus had not put up a statement on it’s blog. Amazing. The hypocrisy continues – the demands continue – the scathing commentary continues, all the while the people of Uganda are being helped by people like Debbie and Warren and Rick W. and Randy (I know there is many, many more) reaching out and bringing awareness and entering into dialogue. These people are Christians – some even conservative Christians – I’ll be darned.

  • Frank

    Ann,

    The HRC is dimly viewed my most gays because it’s an internship for the Democratic party. The Democratic party is no more interested in ensuring gays civil equality than the Republican party is interested in banning abortion. Those two causes are for captured audiences whose votes are secured without any investment of political capital.

    As for Wayne Besen’s scathing criticism of Exodus, he’s right. Unlike the HRC, Exodus caused this witch hunt in Uganda. They held an anti-gay conference with Scott Lively, a holocaust revisionist who blamed the Holocaust on gays.

    As for Rick Warren, he’s helping the heterosexuals in Uganda. Let’s not pretend that anything he does helps Ugandan gays with the HIV problem by telling them to wait until marriage.

  • Ann

    p.s. – sorry, meant to type Randy, not Randa

  • Ann

    The HRC is dimly viewed my most gays

    Frank,

    This is interesting – I believe you, however, it is something that surprises me. As to the Democratcs having little interest in securing gay civil rights – I know you are right. It has been my observation, often, that what they say in public is not what they say behind closed doors.

  • Michael Bussee

    However and whatever we may believe about homosexuality, this Bill is a Human Rights issue, not a gay issue.

    Can you imagine any nation suggesting that Jews should be killed or imprisoned for being Jewish — or that folks should go to prison if they aided Jewish friends or did not turn them in to police? Can you imagine would that look like? Would anyone seriously suggest a compromise for such a Bill?

    PS: When I’m mad, I sometimes forget my manners and become rude and sarcastic. I really am trying to get that embarassing habit under control — with somewhat limited success.

  • Michael Bussee

    Here is an example of a brave Christian woman in such a time and place who risked everything and took a stand against such things:

    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10006914

  • Eddy

    However and whatever we may believe about homosexuality, this Bill is a Human Rights issue, not a gay issue.

    Nope. It isn’t as cut and dried as all that. You’ve got pedophiles mixed in there and some other unsavory characters as well. But I won’t belabor that. I’ve said it at least 4 times before and you simply choose to ignore it. You’re not protesting the death penalty for heterosexual pedophiles but you refuse to talk any compromise on this bill. So, yes, it IS a gay issue. And I believe that failure to talk compromise has and will cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of conservative Christian voices.

    Please understand that we’ve moved beyond discussion. I’m simply presenting another viewpoint and another explanation for why you need to keep begging for support…you honestly seem baffled that you don’t have thousands upon thousands joining your effort but that’s because you fail to see the individuals who comprise the thousands…and you fail to recognize the validity of their hesitation.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy wrote: You’ve got pedophiles mixed in there and some other unsavory characters as well.

    Where are the pedophiles?

  • Michael Bussee

    …you honestly seem baffled that you don’t have thousands upon thousands joining your effort …

    Not att all, Eddy. Very pleased with the response. Baffled by you.

    Would you suggest “compromise” if this same type of law was aimed at Jews?

  • Eddy

    Where are the pedophiles?

    I believe that would be the first item under ‘aggravated’.

  • Eddy

    Don’t be baffled Michael. Read the whole of what I say and you’ll understand me.

    Your question to me about my response to this issue if it applied to the Jews demonstrates to what extent you haven’t comprehended a word I’ve said. So, you and I are done. And, as I suggested in my last comment, my remarks will present another and counter viewpoint than the one you present but they really aren’t intended to engage you. They are more for those others who may be reading. I’m content, as I suggested earlier, to have people consider both of our viewpoints for whatever merits they may or may not have. No interest whatsoever in bickering with you. (Still refusing to even discuss my point of view or the examples I present that come from the actual circumstance being discussed, you bring in an example of your own–the Jews–that has so many areas of distance from the actual circumstance. That’s the ‘attitude’ I was speaking of.)

    It’s midnight here. Goodnight.

  • Michael Bussee

    So, you and I are done.

    PTL. Nite. I understood everything you said and I still think it’s disgusting. You wouldn’t suggest compromise if an identical law were aimed at Jews.

    You and I are done.

  • Michael Bussee

    And I believe that failure to talk compromise has and will cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of conservative Christian voices.

    You honestly think that’s why “tens of thousands” haven’t spoken out against this??? Because they want a compromise? Ridiculous! Couldn’t it be that they don’t know about this, are afraid of looking “pro-gay” — or don’t really care?

    My question about a similar law aimed at Jews was not “attitude” — I was asking about a moral priniciple – would you apply your same talk of compromise if the targeted group was changed? Pick any group. How about conservative Christians?

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Another new provision relates to extra-territorial jurisdiction, which basically confers authority on Ugandan law enforcers to arrest and charge a Ugandan citizen or permanent resident who engages in homosexual activities outside the borders of Uganda. The Penal Code already provides for crimes that call for extra-territoriality. These are limited to treason, terrorism and war mongering.

    It is important to note that serious offences such as murder, rape or grievous bodily harm do not invoke extra-territorial jurisdiction in our laws.

    Are the drafters of this Bill suggesting that sex between consenting adults is worse than murder?

    It seems so, yes. As do many in the USA. From the comments on that article:

    Homosexuality is abnormal behaviour and repugnant to natural law. It is anti population by nature and therefore a potential threat to our very existance and civilization as we know it.

    Many people think it’s not just worse than murder, it’s worse than genocide.

    Buttars: “What is the morals of a gay person? You can’t answer that because anything goes.”

    And finally, this is how senator Buttars refers to the “radical gay movement.” “They’re probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of.”

    Buttars’ views on gays parallel those of Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern. Last year, the preacher’s wife turned politician created a firestorm of protest when she said the gay community is “the death knell in the country” and “the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.” Despite the protests, the Republican managed to win re-election on Nov. 4.

    From my viewpoint, the fanatical homophobia comes first – scripture is then used to “justify” it. The perception is that Conservative Christians, as a whole, view Homosexuality as the worst possible evil, worse than rape, worse than murder, worse than anything. No measure is too extreme when dealing with it – though they know that won’t play well, so um and ah, say, “well of course we don’t mean them to be executed, we don’t encourage that” while continuing the funding of those who are more overt in their fanaticism.

    By their fruits shall ye know them.

  • Michael Bussee

    Frankly, I don’t think I would want hundreds or tens of thousands of conservative Christians willing to compromise on this. Let them say quiet.

    I am happy with the conservative Christians who are speaking out — folks like Alan and Randy — and many others who clearly denounce this bill.

    Also happy that Warren’s strong convictions led him to start the group — about 3,000 at present and growing by the minute.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy: Here is the entire section you referred to:

    3. Aggravated homosexuality.

    (1) A person commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality where the

    (a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;

    (b) offender is a person living with HIV;

    (c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed.

    (d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;

    (e) victim of the offence is a person with disability; or

    (f) offender is a serial offender.

    (g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex, commits a misdemeanor.

    (a), (c) and (g) are offenses which are not consensual and would require a consequence. I would not be involved in this to the degree that I am if the bill was this alone.

    Even (a) however, is so broad that using the word pedophile to describe it is inadequate. Some offenders would be considered pedophiles. However, the way this law is written, an 18 year old who engaged in consensual relations with a 17 year old would be subject to the death penalty. Some way to distinguish between child abuse and consensual relationships between peers should be included for this to be taken seriously.

    (b), (d), (e) and (f) are consensual acts between adults.

    Please read this analysis. These issues are already addressed by Ugandan law as noted by this Ugandan law professor.

  • Michael Bussee

    November 3, 2009 ·– France has joined the United States in publicly condemning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would vastly strengthen the country’s anti-gay laws.

    http://dewoflittlethings.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/condemnation-for-ugandas-proposed-anti-homosexuality-bill-as-it-undermines-human-rights-and-hivaids-aid/

    Perhaps someone should tell them they are alientating “thousands upon thousands” of conservative Christians by doing so.

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

    From my viewpoint, the fanatical homophobia comes first – scripture is then used to “justify” it.

    Yeah, Zoe, I’d say there’s some truth to that. There is an elemental, negative reaction to homosexuality in much of the world’s populace. And most religions have some kind of “scripture” to cover that.

    The perception is that Conservative Christians, as a whole, view Homosexuality as the worst possible evil, worse than rape, worse than murder, worse than anything.

    According to the book “unChristian,” some 91 percent of “outsiders” perceive Christians (evangelicals, especially) to be hateful toward gays. I think most of us are quite capable of separating homosexuality as a condition — or a sin-nature brokenness — from the disgust engendered by its “crime-against-nature” aspects. Homosexuality does not automatically a criminal make, of course. And murder, rape, etc. are horrendous crimes. So that mantra from the pro-gay crowd is becoming a little dated.

    Do we stop to ask ourselves why people with a strong moral code, Christian or otherwise, are generally disgusted or put off by homosexuality? We ought to seek to understand why rather than dismiss them outright as lunatics. There is some validity to their reactions, but we live in a postmodern world where every “truth” has becoming relative and the old moral order has been sacked. Reading the Bible and reading classical literature would reopen some eyes. But that isn’t going to happen, I’m afraid. What’s lost is lost. The world moves on — toward hell on a conveyor belt, many would say.

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  • Eddy

    Warren–

    I feel like I’ve slipped into the twilight zone. Strong resistance to talking about compromise (maybe it’s a ‘buzz word’ that sets off an irrational resistance)…yet, in your response to me, you address some of the points of compromise I think should be discussed.

    1) You say that you wouldn’t be involved to the degree that you are if the bill were only about (a), (c) and (g) and you feel, that for those offenses, some form of punishment is appropriate. That’s been the crux of my resistance all along and I’ve cited examples from among them. Now, let’s see, we’re looking at parts of the bill; we’re distinguishing between levels of offense; we’d consider a different severity of punishment. That’s what I mean by ‘compromise’.

    2) You cited that the law does not distinguish between genuine pedophile behavior and instances involving someone who is barely over age with someone who is barely underage. “Dear Uganda, While we agree with you that pedophilia is deplorable, we note that your proposed law does not distinguish between pedophilia and instances where consensual sex might occur between persons who are not pedophiles and are not predatory. We suggest that you address this distinction in any revision or new bill that is introduced. We further suggest that you address this distinction in your existing law re ‘aggravated defilement’.” We accept some of their intent but suggest a better defining of the perpetrators. Compromise and constructive criticism.

    3) I did read the piece that said these more serious offenses were already addressed in the ‘aggravated defilement’ laws. I will have to dig back through my research but there seemed to be a hint that the wording had loopholes and could be interpreted as only applying to heteros. One compromise to this bill might be to suggest that they modify the wording of the existing ‘aggravated defilement’ laws to close those perceived loopholes. BUT, a major part of what’s got us stirred up is the death penalty. This compromise would not address that. The penalty for ‘aggravated defilement’ is death…whether homosexual or heterosexual. Concern and outrage over the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is being expressed but none for ‘aggravated defilement’. To me, it demonstrates a biased motivation. (It should be noted that a number of those against the Ugandan bill are very confused. They aren’t picking up that the death penalty is reserved for ‘aggravated’ offenses and think that it’s ‘death for homosexuals’ in general.)

    It is my firm belief that we are trying to deal with a culture that doesn’t think like us. We’re criticizing what they’ve got on the table; we’re demanding that they abandon it but we’re unclear in providing anything constructive. Even your well-written opinion piece re ‘Stones’ fails to suggest alternatives to the death penalty and skims past the existing death penalty (that we didn’t cry out about) for ‘aggravated defilement’ in general.

    I’ve mistakenly thought of your blogsite as a ‘think tank’, where concerned and thoughtful individuals could dig a little deeper, explore beyond the surface and, perhaps, suggest solutions that have some lasting impact. On this issue, every attempt to dig and explore has been met with resistance…loud and persistent but shallow and meaningless. I refer to the oft-repeated mantra “It’s a Human Rights issue.” There is some truth to that statement but it glosses over, skims past, simply ignores the (IMHO) valid concerns I’ve expressed in 1, 2 and 3 above.

    There are concerns beyond that (more sticky wickets) but, in an atmosphere of ‘no talk of compromise’, there’s really no point in bringing them up. It would be a waste of my time and yours. (I realize that sounds sarcastic but it’s not intended to be. If you honestly assess the atmosphere of this/these conversations, you’ll recognize that the tolerance for ‘sticky wickets’ is very minimal.)

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

    I’ve mistakenly thought of your blogsite as a ‘think tank’, where concerned and thoughtful individuals could dig a little deeper, explore beyond the surface and, perhaps, suggest solutions that have some lasting impact. On this issue, every attempt to dig and explore has been met with resistance…loud and persistent but shallow and meaningless. I refer to the oft-repeated mantra “It’s a Human Rights issue.” There is some truth to that statement but it glosses over, skims past, simply ignores the (IMHO) valid concerns I’ve expressed in 1, 2 and 3 above.

    You ARE thinking, Eddy. I’ll gladly jump into the tank with you.

    The word “compromise” calls forth a knee-jerk negative reaction. The applicable dictionary definition is “agreement, understanding, settlement, terms, deal, trade-off, bargain; middle ground, happy medium, balance.” Its antonym is “intransigence” or a “firm or unreasonable refusal even to consider changing a decision or attitude.”

    Nobody has a lock on this deal yet.

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

    I was perhaps too short with people suggesting an examination of the bill initially. Sorry about that; I perceived at the time that the bill was about to fly through the parliament and that we only had a short time, perhaps days to act.

    We may have only a few days but probably a couple of months now. And given that aspects of Ugandan society have come out for discussion of compromises, then it makes more sense to talk that way here.

    What I am still unable to figure out however, is if there is any willingness to compromise among the hard liners there. It is fine for us to discuss it and probably it could have an effect for the good if indeed willingness is demonstrated. So think in and outside the tank…

  • Ann

    What I am still unable to figure out however, is if there is any willingness to compromise among the hard liners there. It is fine for us to discuss it and probably it could have an effect for the good if indeed willingness is demonstrated. So think in and outside the tank…

    There probably could be a willingness to compromise their hard line position if all the coercion stopped. No one is a willing participant if they feel coerced. Their position needs to be listened to and acknowledged first, then a discussion could be entered between them and reasonable representatives who can engage rather than bully. It is more important to impart possible resolutions and compromise rather than be right about positions. I think all the outreach is good, however, nothing will be as effective as a neutral and credible representative going to meet with the Ugandian government with the objective to reason this out by listening and then offering compromise. I do not care for Bill Clinton but he is very supportive of gay rights (at least in public), profess Christianity, and has been successful in international relations with hostile countries. Perhaps someone from the HRC can make the suggestion to Barak Obama, who they were able to secure to speak at their gathering, to ask Bill Clinton to go to Uganda and be an ambassador in this regard.

  • Eddy

    The applicable dictionary definition is “agreement, understanding, settlement, terms, deal, trade-off, bargain; middle ground, happy medium, balance.” Its antonym is “intransigence” or a “firm or unreasonable refusal even to consider changing a decision or attitude.”

    Thanks, Debbie.

    I’d be willing to wager that, even though I’ve cited examples numerous times of the areas where we could discuss compromise and even suggested that it could be the nature of the offense or the penalty–citing the aggravated offenses as a prime example, someone is going to say “oh, we didn’t know what you meant by ‘compromise’.”

    One blogger, despite my separating out these levels of offense in several blog comments, expected me to address this as if they were applying it simply ‘to Jews’. His hypothetical substitution contained no levels of offense…no differences in prescribed penalty…no perception of victims… I like that word ‘intransigence’ and think it describes that scenario quite well.

    Warren–

    I appreciate your apology and explanation of your reasons for resisting talk of compromise. I understand. However, I believe that too much ill feeling exists on your blogsite for rational talk of reasonable compromise to be discussed here. Perhaps I’m wrong. I’ve clearly stated in my preceding comment three areas of compromise that could have impact and that could be discussed here. If folks care to pursue discussion of any of them, I will be attentive to, if not involved in, the conversation.

    I share your concern re the Ugandan hard-liners. I don’t believe they need to be the focus. If you try to appease both the ultra-right and the ultra-left, you often wind up appeasing no one. If we can present some rational thoughts embracing a compromised position, we may be successful in actually creating a solid and stable middle ground that could lure many away from the extremes. (Proverbial ‘we’…I edited out a paragraph last evening expressing my ‘complete exasperation’ with the resistance to compromise talk. At the moment, I’m not sure how ‘complete’ my exasperation is.)

    My perception is that this thing is playing out as a ‘black & white’, ‘good vs evil’ scenario. Perceiving only two positions, Ugandans are inclined to align themselves with the extreme that is closer to their beliefs; they are in desperate need of a rationally presented middle ground that is actually closer to how they really feel.

  • Ann

    You ARE thinking, Eddy. I’ll gladly jump into the tank with you.

    Debbie is right and I am with you as well Eddy – keep thinking and we will all keep learning.

  • Eddy

    Thanks Ann and Debbie–

    I’ve been caught up in causes with intransigents before. Never seems to come to a good or productive end.

    I don’t know the nature of the discussion…or even if there is actual discussion…on Warren’s facebook group. If either of you are part of the group. feel free to introduce any or all of the talking points I’ve cited (if OK with Warren). I’m guessing that the group has far wider exposure than our blogsite discussions…perhaps even folks from Uganda.

    Debbie–

    Outside of Warren, you seem to have the best ‘connectability’ with some people who could really make a difference. I’m quite sure that I’ve simply given voice to concerns you already had…and possibly even expressed.

  • Michael Bussee

    Compromise. OK. Suggest one.

  • Eddy

    I suggested three. And that’s all I have for you. You and I are done. Nothing productive can come from a conversation involving the two of us. If you care to discuss compromise with the others, I’ll try to minimize my involvement. Happy Intransigence!

    Michael Bussee ~ Nov 5, 2009 at 1:13 am

    So, you and I are done.

    PTL. Nite. I understood everything you said and I still think it’s disgusting. You wouldn’t suggest compromise if an identical law were aimed at Jews.

    You and I are done.

  • Michael Bussee

    Fine by me Eddy. The only compromise I heard from you was shorter or lighter sentences. On this issue, I am proud to be intransigent.. Compromising with evil is evil.

    You never answered the underlying ethical and moral question: Would you suggest compromise if this legislation was aimed at Jews?

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

    I don’t know the nature of the discussion…or even if there is actual discussion…on Warren’s facebook group.

    It mostly is drawing a cacaphony of “shock and disbelief” from people in a somewhat global community weighing in with reactions, with the occasional self-righteous Ugandan… and Michael as the official cheerleader. :) Some are suggesting contacts and points of action. Some appear to have real connections. Some post links to articles. One thread recently went down a rabbit trail, even going to the whole change (gay vs. ex-gay) discussion. But Warren can rein in folks when that happens.

    Hard to say what the net effect of the group and Warrens’ and others’ behind-the-scenes work will be. Naturally, we hope the impact is positive and fruitful.

    Back to the compromise thing for a moment. It seems to me that an arbiter of some stature would have to go in and point both sides to some kind of higher ground or greater good, with concessions on both sides. Appeasement doesn’t generally work too well.

  • Eddy

    No Michael. We’re DONE!

    Warren, Debbie and Ann have all expressed that there may indeed be some value to discussing compromise. You are very clear in your opposition to that. Respecting your right to hold to that. Please respect our right to think and to discuss differently.

    As Warren has suggested, even with the extension of time on the bill, time is of the essence. It is pure foolishness to waste time discussing your hypothetical when clear talking points have been presented relating to the time sensitive issue at hand. If, in our discussions, we see that there is some value in weighing your hypothetical proposition, we will consider it. In the meantime, it does not have priority since 1) my questions were raised first and several times and 2) mine are tangent to the real situation whereas yours is hypothetical.

    Please address any further objections to the blog in general or to Warren personally. I will endeavor to do the same. I strive to live up to my words and am doing my best to be done dialoguing with you.

  • Ann

    Would you suggest compromise if this legislation was aimed at Jews?

    Michael,

    I do not think this is a good comparison. The Ugandian government has a mindset that they are entitled to have UNTIL they can see how harmful it is.

    Many people would argue that engaging in same gender sex is harmful and you and others would disagree with them, as has been evidenced. Coercion and being dogmatic about being right never solves anything with any kind of sustainability. The Ugandian government really believes they are right, just as you do. What will create a door to compromise – meaning modifying a current mindset, would mean a neutral party intervening with the willingness to listen to why the Ugandans feel this way to begin with and then offer another perspective for them to see another way – one they can benefit from, not feel coerced into – it does make a huge difference in a willingness to compromise.

  • Ann

    Back to the compromise thing for a moment. It seems to me that an arbiter of some stature would have to go in and point both sides to some kind of higher ground or greater good, with concessions on both sides. Appeasement doesn’t generally work too well.

    EXACTLY! Debbie, you and this statement rocks!

  • Eddy

    Thanks for the insight Debbie. I was afraid of that. And, funny that you should use the word ‘cheerleader’. I was going to reference the credibility issues that would naturally arise from Warren’s facebook page having a ‘cheerleading captain’ who is easily googled and also found on Wikipedia…and representing a point of view that seems to give little space to those who sincerely believe that homosexual behavior is a sin. Will that impact the effectiveness of the group? Only time will tell. Will it/has it impacted who joins the group? Only time will tell to what extent.

    This ties in to what I commented to Ann…just as I believed that Ellen Degeneres or Rosie O’Donnell would be ineffective voices (both lesbians…both divorced lesbians)…So easy to dismiss their voices regardless of any integrity in their message. Oprah’s image is almost ‘new age’ and doesn’t come across as Christian, per se.

  • Ann

    before Eddy corrects me, as he should, rock in the context I wrote it, is not plural – sorry :-)

  • Michael Bussee

    Back to the compromise thing for a moment. It seems to me that an arbiter of some stature would have to go in and point both sides to some kind of higher ground or greater good, with concessions on both sides

    .

    OK. What kinds of concessions? What kind of compromise?

    Would anyone here seriously suggest compromise and concessions if the Ugandan proposal was aimed at Jews? Why won’t anyone answer that? For heaven’s sake, It’s the same moral principle, just a different group being hated and targeted. Don’t you get that? Would we suggest concessions and compromises if this was aimed at Christians?

    Call me anything you like, but It seems to me that the “higher ground” and “greater good” is to say “NO”. And I am not the only “cheerleader” who thinks so. Warren started the Facebook group and to date, nearly 3000 have joined.

    Moreover, a growing number of countries are agreeing with a UN declaration to end criminalization of homosexuality around the globe.

    http://www.apla.org/news/press_releases/2009/2009_0318_APLA_applauds_Obama_administration.html

    I guess the 67 nations who have signed the UN declaration so far don’t understand that they are alientating thousands upon thousands of conservative Christians by doing so.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    LOL. I missed that one until after you corrected it. And, I do tend to overlook ‘flying finger typos’ as opposed to misspellings. But, I’m still a work in progress.

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW, I am not the cheerleader, just another person expressing his opinion. One of 3000. And many on the Facebook group think homosexuality is sin.

  • Eddy

    Ann, Debbie–

    Please don’t swallow that hook. I already answered why that burning question of his doesn’t need to be answered. Ann addressed it to a point also. I’m infuriated at the gall! He’s stated quite clearly that he has no interest in talk of compromise and yet, he wants to control the discussion on the topic. He’s ignoring the points that we’ve already established as good talking points in favor of his own…which, by their flavor, already demonstrate that he’s toting a bigtime anti-compromise bias. Can that come to ANY good or productive end? This is pure insanity.

    Talks of productive compromise will need to be abandoned here.

  • Michael Bussee

    I do not think this is a good comparison. The Ugandian government has a mindset that they are entitled to have UNTIL they can see how harmful it is.

    We disagree. It’s a very apt comparison. Targeting a despised group for injustice. Requiring others to turn them in. It’s the same moral principle.

    I am sure the Nazis’s felt entitled to their “mindset” as well. It took nations standing out against it (not compromising with it) to get them to see how harmful it was.

  • Ann

    Would anyone here seriously suggest compromise and concessions if the Ugandan proposal was aimed at Jews? Why won’t anyone answer that? For heaven’s sake, It’s the same moral principle, just a different group being hated and targeted. Don’t you get that? Would we suggest concessions and compromises if this was aimed at Christians?

    Michael,

    You cannot get from A to Z without going through the alphabet. Compromise is just a beginning – a start – a way to ease someone into thinking differently. It is a foundation that can be built upon. Please don’t discount any compromise – it leads to greater things. I know you know that.

    By the way, people are persecuted all over the world – the only way to get the perpetrators to stop is to get them to think differently. Coercion does not work, bullying does not work, ganging up does not work, nor does the unwillingness to understand why they feel the way they do in the first place.

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

    Eddy – Speak for yourself, if others want to discuss that, then by all means do so.

    Given that the law contains provisions that already exist in Ugandan law, withdrawing the bill still leaves some of us with difficulty. Going back to square one would be a compromise of sorts. Discussion can also include sharing information about why each side holds the position it does. Who knows perhaps the Uganda leaders will understand that the people they have trusted for information about sexual orientation have misled them. This might lead to a more enlightened result.

    I am up for discussion but that does not mean backing away from basic principles.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think talk of compromising with this evil is pure insanity. I am not controlling this discussion. I am staing my firm opinion, just as others are expressing theirs. Do I have to agree with you?

  • Michael Bussee

    …ganging up does not work.

    Against evil, sometimes it does. Sometimes, realizing that most of the world disagrees with you causes you to re-examine your positions.

    By the way, people are persecuted all over the world – the only way to get the perpetrators to stop is to get them to think differently

    And sometimes, strong international pressure and consequences can cause nations to re-think.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Our president is willing to go to other countries and apologize (ugh) for America’s perceived transgressions to them. If he is willing to do this and wants to enter into discussions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who openly professes his hatred to the Jews and Israel, then perhaps he can also go to Uganda and talk with them. This would accommodate your analogy about the Jews, wouldn’t it?

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    Both Ann and Debbie expressed their appreciation for my wisdom and insight on this subject and both hinted strongly that the points I brought up were worthy of further discussion. I’ve brought them up at least 4 times in the past few weeks and except for the first time (you) it was Michael who simply prohibited any further discussion. And now that they’ve expressed interest, suddenly he wants to be involved. Only the conversation needs to take his detour first. Unfortunately, I cannot participate in that discussion and that discussion cannot follow the talking points they saw value in because of Michael’s rejection of the notion and his failure to respect our right to move on in dialogue.

    I could email them both privately (which is what we might need to resort to) but I thought I’d at least be ‘up front’ about my thoughts.

    I had hoped to have some real and credible impact on the Ugandan situation but I recognize that that is an impossibility. Ann, Debbie….I appreciate you much! You know how to reach me. I think it’s time I ‘blow this popstand’.

  • Ann

    Sometimes, realizing that most of the world disagrees with you causes you to re-examine your positions.

    Not if one wants to argue for and rationalize their position.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am up for discussion but that does not mean backing away from basic principles.

    Thanks, Warren. Although some others here don’t seem to think so, my “basic principle” is that this is the SAME moral priniciple — whether aimed at gays, Jews or Christians. The SAME moral principle.

    Why is it any less applicable when aimed at gays and those who won’t turn THEM in?

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

    before Eddy corrects me, as he should, rock in the context I wrote it, is not plural – sorry

    Sweet of you, Ann. I have a massive rewriting/editing project in front of me, so I am not being too particular myself today about little typos on blogs. I’ve made my own. We makeses our own ruleses in tee blogosphere. :)

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

    Eddy, we all have a life and stuff worth attending to. It’s a bit too tempting sometimes to get swept up in a discussion that, at the end of the day, has little merit. I can share your pain when it comes to much ado about nothing.

  • Michael Bussee

    it was Michael who simply prohibited any further discussion.

    God, Eddy. You give me WAY too much power. I can’t “prohibit” anything here. You push your opinion. I push mine. We disagree. What’s new about that? You and I do it all the time. You suggest compromise. I think the idea stinks.

    I have no power to prohibit discussion. You have every “right” to say anything you please. And I have every right to say you’re wrong.

    Ignore me, for God’s sake, but quit whining that I am “prohibiting” you from doing what you usually do…sharing your superior wisdom and insight in a rational, always fair, never “spun”, never harshly opinionated or sarcastic manner. Would that we could all follow your example, huh, Eddy?

  • Ann

    I truly hope we are all of the mindset that we can learn from each other. There is much to be gained when opposing views can be examined objectively and reasoned out. Lots of biases here – including me =-0

    If we think we are right then just think what the Ugandan government thinks. If we cannot compromise and learn from each other to reach a higher level of understanding, how can we impart that to or expect that from the Ugandan government?

    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    What Debbie suggested is worth repeating -

    It seems to me that an arbiter of some stature would have to go in and point both sides to some kind of higher ground or greater good, with concessions on both sides. Appeasement doesn’t generally work too well.

  • Michael Bussee

    Done bickering for today. Back to cheering people on to oppose this bill…

  • Michael Bussee

    If we cannot compromise and learn from each other to reach a higher level of understanding, how can we impart that to or expect that from the Ugandan government?

    Ann, I am not against “compromise” in the sense of learning from each other. I am against this bill. No compromise on that.

  • Ann

    You suggest compromise. I think the idea stinks.

    Michael,

    Quick note because I have to leave but will look at the posts a little later today. I am not sure what your understanding of the proposal of initial compromise is. For me it is not black or white – it is merely a beginning – better than what currently is – a start to build on. What could be worse than the current mindset? I, nor anyone else is suggesting that any human being continue to be put in danger or jeopardy. The Ugandans think they are correct – I think we need to know why first before we can address it intelligently and effectively. Why would we fuel the fire which will continue to put lives in danger?

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

    I

    f we think we are right then just think what the Ugandan government thinks. If we cannot compromise and learn from each other to reach a higher level of understanding, how can we impart that to or expect that from the Ugandan government?

    Gee, there’s a lightbulb moment.

  • Ann

    I am against this bill. No compromise on that.

    Michael,

    I am against it too – it is how we approach it that will make the difference.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am not sure what your understanding of the proposal of initial compromise is.

    I am not against trying to understand why the Ugandans feel this way or trying to influence them through dialog. If that would work.

    But, I am against THIS bill.

    I keep asking, “Would you suggest compromise or concessions if this were aimed at Jews or Christians?” — trying to point out that the SAME moral principle apllies regardless of which group is be hated — and no one so far seems to see the parallel. No one will answer that question.

    Why not say, “Of course not! We would certainly oppose it! We might try understanding and dialog to try to persuade the Nazis that they were wrong, but we would certainly speak out in strong opposition to such a law.”

    Why the hesitation when the hated group happens to be gays?

  • Michael Bussee

    I am against it too – it is how we approach it that will make the difference.

    Thanks. I think all of the regular posters here are against it — even Eddy.

    But I don’t think there is anything wrong witht a group of people banding together to say NO to this bill. That strong international message could make a difference. So could dialog and reasoning. But concessions and compromises to THIS particualr bill? NO.

    No more than any moral or religious person would suggest concessions and compromises to a similar anti-jewish bill. You don’t make deals with the devil. And THIS bill is evil.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    That the bill is evil to many people does not make it evil to the Ugandian government. For them to enhance or elevate their way of thinking and handling something that they do not agree with is the issue. Jesus asked us to forgive those that persecuted Him because they did not know what they were doing. That was only a beginning – to start from a premise – it does not mean we agree with or facilitate – it means we begin by understanding that they think they are right. How do we get them to think another way – that is the issue.

    As to the issue of equating this bill with other compromises and concessions – I

    believe that all humans deserve the same human rights. I also think we need to intervene whenever there is an injustice. I would not support any bill that would jeopardize a life or the quality of life. To separate people by labels that gives them distinction to human rights over another is not something that I can be part of.

  • Michael Bussee

    …it does not mean we agree with or facilitate – it means we begin by understanding that they think they are right. How do we get them to think another way – that is the issue.

    Thanks, Ann. . I understand that they think they are right. How did they get there? Did conservative Christian teaching that gayness is an abomination worthy of death play a part? Americans going to the ex-gay conference? Fears related to AIDS? Cutural, political factors within Uganda?

    I am sure that many thing led to this. And it would be helpful to understand those things if the world wants to persuade Uganda to stop this insanity. But compromise anbd concessions to this bill? NO.

    If it’s wrong to single out Jews for persecution, it’s wrong to do it to gays. If we would voice a strong and uinmistakable “NO” to a similar anti-Jewish law, we must do the same here.

    Saying NO. Reasoning. Listening. Praying. Political and economic measures. Whatever wordks. I hope it all will.

  • Michael Bussee

    3,000 people today. Thanks to all of them — from many nations and many faiths. Step up. Speak out.

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

  • Michael Bussee

    What got me going on this “rant” originally was the obscene suggestion that “compromise” might include lighter penalties for gays or for not turning them in. Maybe omit the death penalty but leave the other provisions intact? Never.

    Listening, praying, trying to understand, being sensitive to cultural differences, using reasoning, gathering information and mobilizing people to speak out is another thing altogether. . I think the Facebook group is a great example of all those things.

    And I have never been opposed to that

  • Mary

    I think many of us will be having to pray and forgive the Uganda government for misinterpreting the lessons of Jesus and scripture. Sometimes – we really cannot influence others through our own means.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think many of us will be having to pray and forgive the Uganda government for misinterpreting the lessons of Jesus and scripture.

    A lot of people are doing just that, right now. I am praying that Christian leaders in Uganda and around the world will help them to hear His true lessons — and not what they thought they heard us saying.

  • Michael Bussee

    Did they get any help from outside Uganda (say, from us) in misunderstanding? If so, we need to pray they will forgive us.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sometimes – we really cannot influence others through our own means.

    Yes, but sometimes we can. In some ways, I think that we may have already (though perhaps unintentionally) influenced them through our own means — by the dogma we preach and by the poor example we set for them.

    Perhaps this tumbleweed of injustice didn’t spring wild on Ugandan soil. Perhaps some of the seeds of misunderstanding were imported?

    http://www.desertusa.com/mag01/may/papr/tweed.html

  • Ann

    I understand that they think they are right. How did they get there? Did conservative Christian teaching that gayness is an abomination worthy of death play a part?

    Michael,

    The Muslim faith/religion is the predominate religion of the world – they do not study the Bible, rather the Koran. It would be prudent not to blame Christians

    for how the world feels and reacts to same gender sex when, as far as I can tell, almost all religions teach against it. Some are extremely punitive whereas Christianity seeks to understand and meet people from all walks of life right where they are.

  • Ann

    If it’s wrong to single out Jews for persecution, it’s wrong to do it to gays. If we would voice a strong and uinmistakable “NO” to a similar anti-Jewish law, we must do the same here.

    Michael,

    At the risk of being redundant, let me say again – it is wrong to persecute any innocent person because they are different in the eyes of others. Pre-born children are killed every day – the indifference to this atrocity is stunning to me. How do we change injustice? By finding out the reasons behind it. If we are attacking the person and not the reasons, then we do do an injustice ourselves.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Do you think the Human Rights Campaign should post their opposition to this law on their web site?

  • Michael Bussee

    It would be prudent not to blame Christians

    I am not blaming Christians, Ann. I was asking if their message (especially Old Testament laws condemning it, tales of God raining down wrath on two cities for it and holy instructions to put gays to death for it) might play a PART in planting these seeds of fear and intolerance.

    I was asking if already hateful or fearful people might take that part of the Biblical narrative and run with it — if we don’t tell the rest (the redemptive part) of the story more clearly.

    Regading your question about the HRC posting opposition to the law on their website, I am not aware of this but will check it out. If they don’t already post clear opposition to this bill, I will ask them to.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK. Thanks for alerting me. I was quite surprised, but found nothing on their website about this. I called, left a message and sent email. I will do this with every individual or organization I can think of that can and should speak out. Any others you can think of?

  • Michael Bussee

    How do we change injustice? By finding out the reasons behind it. If we are attacking the person and not the reasons, then we do do an injustice ourselves.

    It is not “attacking the person” to express clear opposition to this law. We can do BOTH. Find out the reasons for the injustice and call for the end of it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, I also asked HRC to join the Facebook group.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    I have posted for about a week now regarding the HRC web site – what do you think their reasoning is for not posting an opposition to this law. I wonder what their definition of human rights are – especially for the gay (all definitions included) are?

  • Ann

    I was asking if already hateful or fearful people might take that part of the Biblical narrative and run with it — if we don’t tell the rest (the redemptive part) of the story more clearly.

    Michael,

    Do you think the other religions of the world, especially the prominent one, Muslims, really care what the Bible says? I don’t think so. They have their own opposition to same gender sex that has endured for as long as time has been recorded.

  • Michael Bussee

    …what do you think their reasoning is for not posting an opposition to this law.

    Ann, I don’t know if we can conclude that they are “opposed” to posting something. But I am puzzled as to why they haven’t.

    I wonder what their definition of human rights are – especially for the gay (all definitions included) are?

    I don’t know. What are you getting at? Think it might not be inclusive of all people? Could you be more specific?

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, the reason that I am focussing on the Judeo-Christian part is that Ugandan Pentecostals favor this bill, not just Muslims. Are you suggesting that what conservative Crhistians may say about gayness being an abomination worthy of death is NOT having any impact there? That it is strictly a Muslim thing?

  • Ann

    I don’t know if we can conclude that they are “opposed” to posting something. But I am puzzled as to why they haven’t.

    Michael,

    I agree. Also, not really trying to “get” at anything, just trying to understand why, just like I am trying to understand why the Ugandan government has the thoughts they do. Also, I know Exodus was called to an explanation as to why they didn’t post an oppositon and was wondering why the same wasn’t required by the HRC. I have been posting about it for over a week now. Wayne Besen wrote a scathing post to Randy Thomas on this blog about it, yet he did not do the same for the HRC. Wasn’t he at one time an outspoken leader in that organization?

  • Michael Bussee

    From Wikipedia:

    “According to the National Census of October 2002, Christians of all denominations made up 85.1% of Uganda’s population.”

    What are they being told about homosexuality by their Christian pastors? What are American Christians doing to help them adopt a more redemptive approach? Are they encouraging their flocks to put the stones down?

  • Michael Bussee

    Also, I know Exodus was called to an explanation as to why they didn’t post an oppositon and was wondering why the same wasn’t required by the HRC.

    (1) I didn’t know they hadn’t. (2) An HRC board member did not go to Uganda to fan the flames — even if that was not the Exodus board member’s intent.

    We can’t “require” Exodus or the HRC to do anything. We can only ASK. And sadly, sometimes, we have to ask repeatedly.

  • Michael Bussee

    As for Wayne Besen, I cannot and do not speak for him. For all I know he has asked them to do it. I will contact him and ask. Sorry. For some reason I did not register your earlier comments about the HRC. Trust me. I will be on it now.

  • Ann

    What are they being told about homosexuality by their Christian pastors? What are American Christians doing to help them adopt a more redemptive approach? Are they encouraging their flocks to put the stones down?

    Do you feel as though someone like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton, or Desmond Tutu could accomplish what you suggested above?

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, I don’t think you get it that much of the the anger directed towards Exodus is because Exodus gave their blessings and praise for their Board member to go to Uganda, apparently against very good advice, perhaps oblivious to the political implications of his going — and that he has still not apologized or denounced this bill.

  • Ann

    For some reason I did not register your earlier comments about the HRC. Trust me. I will be on it now.

    Thanks Michael – I know Barak Obama spoke at their gathering about a month ago and assured them of his support of gay rights. I would think because they have a direct line to the president of the United States, they could ask him to intervene for the situation in Uganda – if not him, he could send a representative. He and the other people I suggested profess Christianity, support gay rights (at least publicly) and some have direct ties to Africa. It is perplexing as to why they are being silent.

  • Michael Bussee

    Do you feel as though someone like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton, or Desmond Tutu could accomplish what you suggested above?

    Perhaps they could. I will write to all of them as well. Keep making the list and I will keep doing what I can do. I have already written to Pres. Obama, Hilary Clinton, my US representatives, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, Rick Warren, Martin Ssempa — the list goes on. I will write to any person you suggest. I will also look for contact information for the people you have named and make it available to others.

    .

  • Michael Bussee

    It is perplexing as to why they are being silent.

    It is perplexing as to why any person of conscience — if they know about this — would remain silent.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that people of good will do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann: Really tired. Have been at this all day. I will do more tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions as to folks and organizations that might speak out. I will resume in the morning. Nite.

  • Ann

    It is perplexing as to why any person of conscience — if they know about this — would remain silent.

    Some do not remain silent but go about God’s business in a quiet way.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Thank you for all you are doing.

    Good night – God bless.

  • Michael Bussee

    Some do not remain silent but go about God’s business in a quiet way.

    I know they do and may God bless them. I tend to be vocal, as you have probably figured by now. :)

    No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. — Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse

    And all voices, including the small or quiet ones, can make a difference. I guess I am more of a lion…or a badger… :)

  • Eddy

    What are they being told about homosexuality by their Christian pastors? What are American Christians doing to help them adopt a more redemptive approach? Are they encouraging their flocks to put the stones down?

    Wow! ‘redemptive approach’. We don’t usually use that word outside of it’s Christian context of being bought back out of sin. Is that what we mean here? Are we suggesting that homosexual behavior really IS a sin….or are we using the word ‘redemptive’ for it’s Christian sound but saying and meaning something else entirely? Sorry, it struck me as odd to be addressing ‘American Christians’ and ‘redemptive approach’ in the same sentence but clearly not meaning ‘redemptive’ in the usual Christian context. A touch of linguistic spin, perhaps?

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

    Some do not remain silent but go about God’s business in a quiet way.

    I’d far rather have some praying quietly and fervently than many lashing out angrily. So would God. The real work is in prayer.

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

    By the way, when Warren was starting his Facebook group and asking for input, I suggested adding a call for prayer. I do not see that anywhere there as an action step. Perhaps it’s been mentioned in a random comment somewhere. Warren?

    William Wilberforce is said to have prayed this prayer on his 41st birthday:

    “Oh Lord, purify my soul from all its stains. Warm my heart with the love of thee, animate my sluggish nature and fix my inconstancy, and volatility, that I may not be weary in well-doing, that I may bear about with me a sense of thy presence. …”

    As you know, Wilberforce was the evangelical impetus behind England’s abolishing of its African slave trade. He patiently presented bill after bill in the Parliament for 26 years before the Slave Trade Act was finally passed in 1807. I wonder how many people were praying all those years.

  • Michael Bussee

    Wow! ‘redemptive approach’. We don’t usually use that word outside of it’s Christian context of being bought back out of sin. Is that what we mean here?

    It’s not how I was using it, Eddy. It has other meanings. No “spin” intended. I was using iy in the sense of doing something to make a bad situation better. Redeem the situation. Make it right. I believe Warren may have used it in this way when he suggested that Exodus and Don speak out.

    To “make something acceptable: to make something acceptable or pleasant in spite of its negative qualities or aspects, to-restore reputation, to do something that changes a negative opinion to a positive one”

    I understand that it’s usual religious meaning is alont the lines of: “:atonement for human sin: to pay for the sins of humanity with death on the Cross.”

  • Ann

    Today is another opportunity God has given all of us, everywhere, to bring out the best in each other through our words and actions. This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it.

  • Michael Bussee

    I’d far rather have some praying quietly and fervently than many lashing out angrily. So would God. The real work is in prayer

    Debbie, I “lash out angrily primarily” (though not exclusively) at Eddy — here on this blog — even though I swear to myself time and time again that I will not do it. I kick myself every time I do.

    I keep repeating, “I will not lose my cool with Edy, I will not lose my cool with Eddy…” I ask God to help me remain calm. But, sometimes, I just lose it. I don’t like that. I feel like a fool. But for some reason, he just annoys the living daylights out of me. He probably feels the same about me.

    My tone on the Facecook group is considerably different, as you will note. None of my comments has been angry or disrespectful. None of my phone calls have been angry. I have tried to be ebcouraging and welcoming

    Prayer is not the opnly “real work”. Speaking out is also real work. So is action. There is nothing wrong with being angry at times. Jesus lashed out angrily when the situation called for it. (And before anyone jumps on that, NO, I am not comparing myself to Him.)

  • Michael Bussee

    “A man is about as big as the things that make him angry” — Winston Churchill

    Today I will try, if I feel anger, to be angry at bigger things.

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

    Anger is a valid emotion, Michael. It can easily lead to sin, of course.

    I’m sure we can all share your frustration at how easy it is to lose our cool or do or say the very things we are loath to. Here’s what the apostle Paul said on the matter:

    For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. … For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. … For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-25, abridged)

    Paul wrote much of canonized New Testament Scripture. I think we’ll make it. :)

    As to prayer, why would we want to go to battle without the covering of prayer? We need both.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks, Debbie. I need the reminder. Keep praying for me. :)

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  • Michael Bussee

    I just posted on the Apostolic News link, above, that Pastor Warren has indeed finally denounced this bill. I guess they hadn’t heard yet.

    http://www.youtube.com/saddlebackchurch

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Denis Kayumba

    God created both sexes for a reason.Therefore we should not risk to look down upon Him by doing the contrary.This is the time therefore the Anti-Homosexuality Bill should be passed,but for a specific number of years and not necessarily death as the first priority, because this can give the culprits room for adjustment.

  • Lynn David

    How does the death penalty or life imprisonment give a ‘culprit’ any ‘room for adjustment?’ And if you believe as Ssempa and Langa believe that homosexuals have a mental illness brought about by their own abuse as children or poor parentage, then why are you supporting a law which throws mentally ill people into prison?

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  • http://nil Kigingi Busagwa

    I have never been impressed by Rick Warren’s humanistic wisdom that many people buy into.This gentleman is just a politician and with his Global peace plan he is just making an imitation of the peace that Jesus has brought and which comes to divide even close people when truth is declared and he chooses to become a peacekeeper not wanting to offend people. We are called to be peace makers not keepers and war will be produced as long as truth is spoken and this is the war Ssempa is facing as his former close friend is fighting to save his “reputation” and his double standards are out.Please lets understand that God is gracious and all grace kills and stops sin but it does not promote sin. Sin rules where true grace is not and true grace moves hand in hand with truth not lies as seen in guys promoting homosexuality.I know Rick cant even repent because he is a politician with many faces depending on the environment and present purpose that drives him.

    Rick! What purpose drives your life? Is it to please God? If it is to please man and seek praise from men like your buddy Obama who accepts homosexuality then you are no longer a servant of Christ but an enemy of the cross and your god is your belly and your glory is in your shame.You might be American but here in Africa we still know true peace does not come from your global peace plan with its “humanitarian” agendas but through Faith in Jesus Christ.Rick! The world may honor you but scripture tells us that we shall know them by their fruit not their popularity. Is your fruit glorifying the name of our Lord Jesus or you are busy trying to do ya global peace plan? True peace does not come by changing environments of people as much as changing what people believe in relation with Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.

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

    “True peace does not come by changing environments of people as much as changing what people believe in relation with Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.”

    Wow, Kigingi. Powerful words.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren Throckmorton

    Kigingi, to be consistent with your words about not changing environments, you would need to oppose the bill. Changing the law will not alter any hearts, true?

    So you do oppose it correct?

  • Daniel Batt

    I am not blaming Christians, Ann. I was asking if their message (especially Old Testament laws condemning it, tales of God raining down wrath on two cities for it and holy instructions to put gays to death for it) might play a PART in planting these seeds of fear and intolerance.

    I know this is an old post (I really am having trouble with it all). But, there are only two references to homosexuality in the OT, Lev. 18 and 20, which were an editor’s repitition mostly likely anyway. Sodom was not destroyed because of sexual sin (Ezekiel 16), though rape is certainly abhorrent to God. And the fact that no one was ever recorded to be sentenced to death for ‘homosexuality’ or homosexual sexual acts in Scripture or Jewish tradition is worth noting, contrary to all the other abomination in Leviticus. Saul Olyan, for example, argues that those two texts relate to the holiness code of not mixing semen with blood (no longer relevant) and mixing semen with fecal matter (also not relevant), along with other not mixing codes such as not mixing seeds and not mixing types of fibres, that were equally an abomination at the time.

    Explicit Jewish Homophobia is a more recent phenomenon that emerged in the time of Philo and his immediate predecessors, and for Christians around AD 340 when homosexuality became a capital crime. The curse of Patriarchy, that Genesis records (“Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you”), has as a subset homophobia (if men were dominant and women inferior, then men must ipso fact treat another man as inferior when ‘lying with him’, which was revealed in Ancient legal codes from a variety of Near Eastern sources). That both have existed for Millennia is no case for arguing it as having a modern relevance or a biblical warrant.

    If you believe in an original Adam and Eve, well, obviously there was no Adam and Steve because there was only two of them. After the fall, lots of things entered the world that were sinful and also that were morally neutral (pain in childbirth, ’tilling the soil’, body hair :), singleness and homosexuality). That’s what I think at the moment, anyhow.

  • Daniel Batt

    In case my above reference to body hair gets taken out of context, let me just say that it is obvious from almost all art which depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there can be no doubt that before the fall, both facial hair, chest hair and, yes, pubic hair, was not part of God’s original design. So, obvioulsy, all efforts in shaving, laser hair removal and Brazilian waxes are a noble but often futile attempt to get back to the original state — while Muslim men seem to want to glory in their fallenness with beards, Muslim females often shave profusely.

    Anyway, it’s not something that will ‘always’ keep you out of heaven. But, one must take seriously the example of Jesus who very rarely will appear in art bearded. Obvioulsy, the predominant long haired Jesus of art would be offensive to Paul, who made very clear that such a thing was ‘against nature’ in 1 Corinthians. One would hope that Christians today took the biblical witness seriously and learned from the gay community that hairless (sack and crack included) was best, and that Christian women learned from both Muslim and Jewish orthodox women that bare was best.

    In every representation of the saints in Heaven worshiping the Lamb that was slayed we find not a hint of body hair. No doubt God saves those who still live in sin, but we all have at our disposal lasers, waxes and even razors and we have no excuse from presenting ourselves as an appropriate living sacrifice to God. I trust you will see that homosexuality matters infintely less to God than body hair. Michael? Can we get a Facebook group going for this? And, yes, I believe such procedures should be tax dedictible. Churches should obviously set up in the least XXXX-wax studios. You know it makes sense.

  • Lynn David

    Are you for real?

    And I guess the Levitical injunction not to trim the corners of your beard, fits where in your …. idea?

  • Daniel Batt

    Hi baby doll (Lynn),

    We all know God regulated sin re. divorse and polygamy, etc.

    But . . . before I debate an unbeliver, I need to know if you wax regularly.

    I can talk to unbelievers based on revelation and reason, but for those who don’t believe in it, I need to take a different tack.

    FWIW, any look at modern and medieval Christian art would tell you hairyness is a sin. God’s grace is great, but not to those who wilfully refuse to shave or wax . . . and now we have laser hair removal, you simply cannot ignore the theology of ‘common grace’.

    Let God be true and any man (or woman) be a liar.

    Anyway, I pray the Lord’s grace to those who refuse to wax or shave. But . . . . cultural mores are not an excuse to the Most High God, as you know. To those who think salvation is by grace alone, they need to re-read the epistle of James for a start, and to rethink the role original sin had in our hair follicles. Paul called us to lay aside all that encumbered us. Some may not have left all that behind. Mostly, they deserve hell of course. But all? Call me a liberal, but I think some of them might be saved.

  • Eddy

    Lynn David–

    I can’t believe he’s for real either. But I’m not sure that it matters. If he’s for real and has all these prohibitions about who he can speak to…then he doesn’t belong here in a site that attempts to be inclusive. If he’s not for real and takes his sarcasm to such extremes, I suggest we simply don’t respond. We already have enough trouble having productive conversations without these histrionics–whether they be real or conjured.

  • Daniel Batt

    No, Eddy, not my real beliefs. I didn’t mean to offend Lynn (sorry if I did :(). My post was a modern parable, with a serious message. He who has ears . . .

    Merry Christmas everyone. It’s Christmas morning here now. Thanks for a great site, Warren.

  • Eddy

    Daniel,

    I believe that most would think that your appeal to sarcasm and gross hyperbole was ill-timed and ill-presented….and that holds true for both sides of the issue. The first posting was marginal…out there but within the bounds; the second, at least IMHO, was ‘out of the park’.

    Please remember that we, the Throck bloggers, are a diverse group. Even those of us who have dialogued for years frequently misunderstand and misinterpret each other…and that’s when we aren’t employing ‘skills’ such as sarcasm, rhetorical speech, hyperbole and the like. In the written world, no one hears your inflection…no one sees your wink. I’ve rarely seen attempts at any of those techniques succeed in blogville. Your apology/explanation is much appreciated. In lieu of the death penalty, your sentence for such crimes is to proofread all of Warren’s writings for the next six months. (Just kidding!)

    Merry Christmas! I feel a nap coming on before a second family holiday party.

  • Michael Bussee

    In the written world, no one hears your inflection…no one sees your wink.

    Merry Christmas, Eddy. :)

  • Lynn David

    LMqAO!!

    Oh well…..

    Merry Christmas to all the Christians, and happy holidays to everyone else…. I guess that’s just me.

    LOL!!

  • David Blakeslee

    In case my above reference to body hair gets taken out of context, let me just say that it is obvious from almost all art which depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there can be no doubt that before the fall, both facial hair, chest hair and, yes, pubic hair, was not part of God’s original design.

    This is funny…

  • Eddy

    ;-) …because I love the emoticon wink!

  • paulo

    2010 is a year in which God is calling for a restoration of His divine order of His10 commandments . So if we shall repent and turn away from our sins, then the land will be healed. I can not afford struggling to answer my children in future when asked ” dad where were you when when homosexuality was being legalized?”. shame upon you who are cowards . How can you fear to stand against Jezebel especially you hypocrite Christians

  • Daniel Batt

    ” dad where were you when when homosexuality was being legalized?”

    Yeah, and where was Jesus when they stopped stoning adulterers? Oh, I think he was on her side and thereby forbade the parctice. Good on him!

  • Michael Bussee

    To Paulo:

    I can not afford struggling to answer my children in future when asked ” dad where were you when when homosexuality was being legalized?”

    There really should not be a struggle in answering that question. I would tell my child that I was there, reaching out to people who needed to know that God loved them. I would tell my child that I was trying to be truly Christian:

    Christian: Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.

    I would want to tell my Child that I was trying to treat people like Jesus did.

  • Michael Bussee

    I wonder what might prompt a child to ask such a question? Why would a child think that it should be crimianlized?

    Why would the child express any confusion that it is not illegal — that is, unless the parent or someone else had told the child that it should be? Why would the child think that the parent should have tried to make it or keep it illegal?

    I would try to explain that that one’s religion and the law may not always be the same thing. If the child was old enough to get it, I would then tell her how very lucky she was to live in a country like that.

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  • Francis in Uganda

    Uganda’s Anti- Homosexuality Bill has been misinterpreted. This Bill is about aggravated acts against minors i.e. below 18 years. You people don’t know what is taking place in our country. Homosexuals are taking advantage of poverty and financial needs of minors and exploiting them against their will. This is the main core of the Bill. Cases and testimonies of forced acts of homosexuality on innocent children have been rampant and we as parents and God fearing people cannot allow this to continue.

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

      Francis: Have you personally read the entire bill?

      And are you aware that boys and girls are currently protected from the crimes you mentioned under your law via the Penal Code Amendment Act?

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