Is Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill part of reclaiming the 7 mountains of culture, Part Two

(Yesterday I posted the first part of this article examining the “Seven Mountains Strategy”)

On the Reclaiming 7 Mountains website, articles are offered which describe what reclaiming a mountain means. One article called “Girgishites and the Mountain of Government” is a chapter from Johnny Enlow’s 2007 book The Seven Mountain Prophecy and the Coming Elijah Revolution. The book has been endorsed by C. Peter Wagner. According to Wagner, this book is exemplary in describing how to reclaim the seven domains.

No one to date has better revealed to the body of Christ the natural and the spiritual challenges for fulfilling God’s plan in each of the mountains than Johnny Enlow. I believe that every kingdom-minded leader, whether in the church or in the workplace, needs to make this amazing book required reading!

Peter Wagner

Founder, Intl Coalition of Apostles

Uganda’s Julius Oyet has spoken on at least two occasions at Johnny Enlow’s Daystar Church in Atlanta and prophesied that Elijah’s Revolution would begin in Atlanta. In part because of that prophecy, Johnny Enlow believes Atlanta is a pivotal place in the New Apostolic Reformation, saying in 2007:

What does the USA’s 2007 look like? 

I will prophesy that an Elijah Revolution will begin this year in the USA and that it is a sure thing. I believe that “The Call” in Nashville on 7-7-07 is a very key piece of the puzzle in all that will explode upon the USA in this year. Prophetic words and decrees coming out of Charlotte are also a key piece of the puzzle. A proper spiritual aligning of Charlotte, Nashville, and Atlanta will expedite and intensify this Elijah revolution.  “As Atlanta goes, so will the South go.” I believe that, as she steps into her destiny, she will flourish and, within ten years, become the prime city of America and maybe the nations. Several prophets have come into Atlanta and have prophesied that the “revolution” starts in Atlanta that will touch the whole nation. Julius Oyet from Uganda has prophesied that it will be an “Elijah Revolution.” 

While connections are not especially close recently, they are real and the men seem to share the same theological outlook that the church should reclaim the government based on Christian teaching via a movement called Elijah’s Revolution.

So how do we reclaim the mountain of government and what does it mean? Reading through the chapter of Rev. Enlow’s book on the mountain of government, we get a glimpse:

This apostolic positioning will increase more and more among the nations of the world as the mountain of the Lord’s house is exalted above all others. One reason we haven’t advanced as far as expected in this area is that “Christians” who have come into power in various national governments haven’t always been apostolic Christians. By apostolic Christians, I mean that they have made it to the top of the mountain without carrying apostolic authority. Apart from apostolic anointing, there is no displacement authority. Therefore many of these Christians have fallen to the same corruption as their predecessors. Lucifer and his corrupting Girgashites have not been spiritually displaced by the angels that would normally accompany a true apostle.

The goal is not just to have Christians in high places, but rather to have Christians who are called to be in high places step into that role. And wearing a “Christian” label on our sleeve isn’t the point. We need to learn to be “as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition. Political righteousness isn’t determined by whether someone calls himself a Christian or not anyway. That’s established by whether the political values they are prepared to defend or establish are actually righteous. A Christian who espouses abortion rights or the validity of gay marriages, for example, is worthless as a “Christian” candidate. If candidates don’t understand righteous politics, they aren’t anointed for this mountain. They may have enough Christianity in them to enter heaven, but they don’t have enough Christianity to bring the rule and reign of God down to earth.

This will change as the Elijah Revolution is released upon the nations. Sons and daughters of the King who understand the call to take the seven mountains will rise to the mountaintops. More important than their confession of faith will be their understanding of Kingdom issues. Do they understand God’s redemptive plan for Israel in these last days? Do they understand that “if you touch Israel, you touch the apple of His eye”? (Zechariah 2:8). Entire nations will be severely judged or highly blessed and favored based on this issue alone. Governing cannot be done by the flesh anymore, as the issues will be increasingly highly charged spiritual matters that God will directly address—often through devastating judgments (Isaiah 26:9).

The world will come to learn, for example, that though God passionately loves every homosexual, remaining in that sin will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment. Feelings don’t validate a homosexual lifestyle any more than they validate a murderer’s desire to kill. We are all born with feelings that we must curb and cut off, and the sooner we embrace God’s standards, the sooner we have a chance to be at peace with Him. It is well understood that any child, when left to his or her own standards based on a feeling, will become a spoiled, unruly brat. What comes to us naturally is sin. We will lie, cheat, fornicate, dishonor our parents, and commit every other form of sin when we define righteousness by whatever we think we were born with. The sooner we understand that God expects righteousness—regardless of what our innate tendencies tell us—the sooner we will be able to eliminate His judgments from our personal and corporate lives.

One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction.

Recall that these thoughts are presented in a chapter of his book which deals with the reclamation of government. When Enlow says, “the world will come to learn” that “remaining in that sin [homosexuality] will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment,” it sounds to me like he believes that the reclaimed government should prosecute homosexuals. I asked Johnny Enlow via email, and on the record, if that was his teaching. At his request, I am providing his full answer to provide full context.

I do believe that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. It is not part of God’s original design. We don’t even need to quote specific scriptures of the Bible to validate this, as nature itself reveals the self-evident truth that homosexuality is an aberrant manifestation of original intended sexuality. Having said that, I do not believe that most homosexual feelings are chosen – though all homosexual practice is in fact chosen. Homosexual feelings are an aberration of normality brought on by a number of aggravating realities such as rejection, sexual abuse etc. The practice itself is a significant sin that reaps its own judgment or consequences- such as all sins do. Therefore as a rule God doesn’t have to release a “sword of judgment” on it or other sins. Sin begets its own reward. However when there is an aggressive promotional agenda connected to a sin behavior such as homosexuality it can come to the place where it elicits a unique response of God that is beyond the normal reaping of consequences. The Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah is such an example with a city so aggressive in this sin that the ground itself cried out for a judgment.

As to the question of whether governments should criminalize homosexuality as part of taking the mountain of government- this would only be a second best method of bringing awareness that the behavior of homosexuality is wrong. This becomes a necessity only when the moral fiber of society has become so degraded that society itself is in need of knowing right and wrong. For me, the point of criminalizing homosexuality is not to bring punishment to homosexuals but rather to inform society of right and wrong. I would be against harsh punishments against homosexual activity between consenting adults and would not endorse capital punishment for this scenario. Society does need to know that homosexual behavior is wrong but it would not be defensible to execute homosexuals anymore than it would be to execute rebellious children- which is espoused to some measure in Leviticus. There is a greater grace assigned to the new covenant understanding of the New Testament. Rebellious children are still wrong in their rebellion and homosexuals are still wrong in their behavior but we do not need the extreme punishments of the Old Testament. I personally believe that most who suffer from homosexual feelings are worthy of great compassion because as a rule it tells us they have suffered some significant traumas in their lives. It would not express the heart of God towards them for there to be government-sponsored “witch hunts” against them. Our fractured homes and fractured society greatly contribute to the presence of homosexual realities and individuals who manifest the marks of societal decay cannot be made to pay the full price for a greater societal ill. They are responsible for personal choices but there must be margin for compassion when fully understanding the causal effects. The in-your-face activist homosexual agenda is of course generating it’s own strong repercussions and backlashes and to the degree that they insist on forcing upon society their aberrations to that degree they will see increasing measures to limit their activism of a sin behavior.

I wonder if Ugandan legislators believe they are reclaiming the mountain of government via the Anti-Homosexuality Bill? Does Julius Oyet support this bill because it would help reclaim the mountain of government in accord with his Vision 2020 (see points 8 & 9)? I wrote Lifeline Ministries to ask but have not yet received a reply.

I want to state clearly that I do not believe anyone in the 7 Mountains movement prompted the Ugandan legislators to write and offer this bill as an expression of the 7 mountains teaching. However, according to Rev. Enlow, the concept of criminalization is consistent with his Apostle Wagner endorsed view of reclaiming the mountain of government. Could leaders and members of the Ugandan Born Again Federation view this bill as a means to a Kingdom end? Or even the fulfillment of a prophecy? Earlier this year, Julius Oyet placed this prophecy for 2009 on his website:

God will judge evil in 2009 as mob justice will kill and destroy witches, thieves and evil people. There will be lots of manifestation of Satanists and exposition of homosexuality and other evils in the Church, human sacrifice and all sorts of evil will manifest in the nations. God’s people will rise in full authority and dominion! The righteous will march against evil and triumph over them all.

Apostle Oyet links severe punishment of those he believes to be evil with God’s people rising in “authority and dominion.” According to an ex-gay blogger from Uganda, both Oyet and Martin Ssempa seem to see the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as being a kind of national protection for Uganda against the judgment of God. This post was provided by a witness to the introduction of the motion to introduce the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in April of this year. After the motion was unanimously passed, Apostle Oyet, Martin Ssempa and followers prayed outside the Parliament in thanksgiving for the bill.

We congregated in the twilight outside and had a prayer led by Oyet. I remember him thanking God that Uganda would not be destroyed now that its leaders were in obedience to Him on this issue. There we were, Catholic and Pentecostal of various stripes and others, standing hand in hand in prayer! What a moment of unity.

The final blessing was when Pastor Martin Ssempa said that since the death of the Uganda Martyrs and the spilling of their blood on this soil, Uganda has been anointed for leadership in this area. Amen to that.

There are many precursors to the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. I have examined several of them and I think that the theological soil for at least some of the proponents is that a nation’s laws about private consensual behavior must reflect Christian teaching in order for the culture to be preserved, reclaimed and reformed. American teachers are exhorting their followers that national salvation is more vital to the mission of the church than individual salvation. Ideas have consequences. If the Ugandan believers viewed individual salvation as more vital, I wonder if the Ugandan proposal would have been advanced.

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  • David Blakeslee

    Apart from apostolic anointing, there is no displacement authority. Therefore many of these Christians have fallen to the same corruption as their predecessors. Lucifer and his corrupting Girgashites have not been spiritually displaced by the angels that would normally accompany a true apostle.

    Wha????

  • David Blakeslee

    I would be against harsh punishments against homosexual activity between consenting adults and would not endorse capital punishment for this scenario.

    better.

    Oyet and Martin Ssempa seem to see the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as being a kind of national protection for Uganda against the judgment of God.

    Sadly, this makes sense…

    Old Testament Theocracy applied to republics.

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    It appears that the religious theories about homosexuality that were put into law are from Reverend Enlow…

    Not from the conference this past March.

  • Michael Bussee

    As to the question of whether governments should criminalize homosexuality as part of taking the mountain of government- this would only be a second best method of bringing awareness that the behavior of homosexuality is wrong.

    “Second best”? You mean, if you can’t change gays by effectively communicating the Gospel, arrest them?

  • Lynn David

    Warren, I do not think that blogger, Ex-Gay Uganda, is an ex-gay himself. I see no ‘testimony’ in the site’s titles (especially at the beginning) nor do I see where he claims to be ex-gay in a quick read of many of the entries. I think the man started the blog simply as an opposition to the blog Gay Uganda. The fellow on Ex-Gay Uganda talks like someone I once knew on a forum on the web who kept saying he was a ‘depraved’ gay but became ex-gay via the Toronto Blessing and vehemently would state that all gays molested young boys. I mostly ignored him until he got going at it one day hot and heavy, so I asked him, ‘how many boys did you molest as a gay man.’ He shut up after that.

    This dominionist group might be behind the bill, in part, but I think it is mostly a political move on Museveni’s part. Tullow Oil of the UK has stated that the first production from its discoveries in the rift basin near Lake Albert will begin to flow in 2011. I’d bet that Museveni wants his share of the money. Sub-Saharan Africa has not been good at providing the African populace their due share of the wealth from natural resources in terms of better government services. Nigeria, and the Congo being at the top of that list (South Africa & Namibia perhaps a bit less so). African Roman Catholic Bishops recently have pointed this out as something they need to work towards (but yikes! Isn’t that socialism?). Would that the US got 80% of the production profits like Uganda is for oil on the nation’s land.

  • Lynn David

    Rick Warren’s Ph.D. Advisor Leads Network Promoting Uganda Anti-Gay Bill

    By Bruce Wilson

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/12/4/134435/084

    .

    Might also catch the connections there. Such as…..

    Both C. Peter Wagner and Rick Warren want to transform the world, and both [1,2] have proclaimed the advent of a second Reformation. Wagner calls it the New Apostolic Reformation, while for Rick Warren this is a “purpose driven” effort powered by Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In Uganda both visions for societal transformation appear to include the categorical elimination of homosexuality – by any means.

    .

    Rick Warren wrote his 1993 dissertation for a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminar, under Wagner’s supervision. It is titled New Churches For a New Generation: Church Planting to Reach Baby Boomers.

    .

    …..

    A March 8th, 2007 news release, hosted on the official web site of Republic of Uganda State House, reveals the extent to which the Transformations model is being integrated into Ugandan government policy:

    “President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Mrs. Janet Museveni today hosted at State House, Nakasero 2 officials of California based Harvest Evangelism. Founder and President of Harvest Evangelism Mr. Ed Silvoso was accompanied by Mr. Graham Power.”

    According to the release, the Musevenis discussed with Silvoso and Power “issues pertaining to investment opportunities in the country particularly road construction and the development of infrastructure.”

    .

    Ed Silvoso is an apostle in C. Peter Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles and is CEO of the International Transformation Network (ITN). Janet Museveni has spoken at several Transformation conferences around the world including one hosted by Silvoso’s Argentina-based ministry.

    And more….

  • Jayhuck

    Kingdom-Minded

    Who comes up with this stuff?

  • http://gayuganda.blogspot.com gayuganda

    Ha ha ha ha!

    Yeah, is kind of amazing, isnt it?

    I used to hear this kind of stuff all the time in church, once, long ago, when I was a pentecostal and, living in Uganda here. Kind of bullshit, which I outgrew. Just remembered it when I saw the post.

    But yes, there has been a ‘Pentecostal’ revival in the country, Uganda, since when Museveni took over power in 1986. His wife became a leader in it, and, she is a very devout, very effective power behind the throne. That made the Pentecostals very strong politically. And, that led to them being given lots of leeway in the country. One of the First Daughters is a mega-church pastor, who one Christmas season, had God’s own voice to take Kampala, the Capital, and make it God’s City.

    Remember, these ‘pentecostal’ churches are set up by people who just become ‘called’. Most have minimal levels of education. Which means, they can maybe read, maybe write.

    Kayanja, the biggest of them, who was accused of being homosexual this year, well, he finished college and masters degrees after he started his mega million dollar ministry.

    These pentecostal pastors, [including my brother!] are ever visiting the US, to raise money, and perform miracles. And, of course come back with theology from there. they are illiterate, itinerant preachers. So, what do you expect? Most have never even stepped in a theology college. Including my brother, who is a pastor!

    Oh, he is also an Apostle. Which means, he had a revelation of Jesus.

    So, where does all this come from?

    Unfortunately, true. The US.

    Didnt know the rot. Suprised, like everyone. But, it is the sad truth.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Jim Burroway

    Warren,

    This is amazing work you’ve done. And depressing and demoralizing all at the same time. With beliefs like these, one wonders whether those behind the bill would be amenable to any logic — theological, political or otherwise — to alter their course.

    I’m overwhelmed and need some time to absorb all of this.

    So, one thing I noticed, the mention to The Call at Nashville on 07-07-07. I met someone who attended that meeting two weeks ago while in Florida. It was a direct outgrowth of the Kansas City Prophets, put on by Lou Engle to fulfill a prophecy. The tentacles stretch out so far and wide that I find my self wondering where the boundary lies between honest investigation and paranoia. I used to think I would know that line when I saw it. Now to be honest, I’m not so sure.

  • Pingback: Warren Throckmorton on Julius Oyet and the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill « Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Jim and Gayuganda,

    Thanks for touching base here and helping us stay thoughtfully involved…man, this is way harder than it should be.

    This whole thing reminds me of two years I spent at an Assembly of God church in my adolescence. It is painfully reminiscent of the teaching I received there: setting up an Old Testament morality (sin in the camp!) coupled with miraculous healing (pray infirmity away…if it doesn’t leave it is because you are bad), God is punishing a nation because of it’s sins (usually sexual, not pride, or selfishness).

    As you said, many who lead in such locations have no biblical training. They have a highly subjective calling, but near limitless authority.

    This has to have some traceable cultural root, I hope someone has the curiosity of follow the branch to the root.

    If I could cry, I would, instead, I ache.

    Refresh yourself Jim…and keep working. I am praying for you.

  • Eddy

    At the close of his remarks, Enlow said:

    The in-your-face activist homosexual agenda is of course generating it’s own strong repercussions and backlashes and to the degree that they insist on forcing upon society their aberrations to that degree they will see increasing measures to limit their activism of a sin behavior.

    To date, we’ve been focussed pretty much on Christian voices as the primary means of impacting this proposed legislation. If the above quote is true, it hints at another means of impact. I don’t know to what degree the ‘activist homosexual agenda’ has been ‘in-your-face’ in Uganda. Is the notion that they are ‘forcing upon society their aberrations’ true? If so, perhaps they can be less aggressive in the pushing of their agenda or possibly tweak their agenda somewhat to make it less of a threat to Uganda society as a whole.

    But, as I’ve said, I don’t know if this is simply rhetoric or if there is an ‘in-your-face’ agenda being forced upon Ugandan society. It may be worth exploring.

  • Michael Bussee

    “The world will come to learn, for example, that though God passionately loves every homosexual, remaining in that sin will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment. Feelings don’t validate a homosexual lifestyle any more than they validate a murderer’s desire to kill. We are all born with feelings that we must curb and cut off, and the sooner we embrace God’s standards, the sooner we have a chance to be at peace with Him.” — Enlow

    Imagine. Peace with God — and we won’t get killed or put into prison — and you won’t have to go to jail for not turning us in…gayness will be banished from our personal and national lives. One way of another, first best or second best, the world will come to learn.

  • Eddy

    One way of another, first best or second best, the world will come to learn.

    Will come to learn what, Dorothy?

    that though God passionately loves every homosexual, remaining in that sin will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment.

    I realize that there’s a great debate going among thoughtful people about whether or not engaging in homosexual behavior is sin; I just find it incredibly strange that those who are clamoring for the help and support of the conservative Christians in this battle over earthly consequences are simply dancing around (when they aren’t mocking) the notion of a holy, just and loving God who does happen to view some things as sin—and cares so much about sin that He sent His Son to redeem us from it.

    I realize it’s the weekend and may pose the question from my 7:15 post again on Monday.

  • Zoe Brain

    Eddy -

    On August 16, 2007, Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights groups, held a press conference to launch their campaign, “Let Us Live in Peace,” designed to obtain basic rights, respect and dignity for LGBT people. On August 21, a coalition of anti-gay religious groups held a public rally in Kampala at which they led demonstrators in demanding government action against LGBT people. The rally also called for the deportation of an American journalist writing for the Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, that has reported on the experiences of gays and lesbians in Uganda. The tactic of shutting down public debate on issues of homosexuality is not a new one in Uganda. In October 2004, Radio Simba was fined for broadcasting a show on HIV and homosexuality and in the government banned the play the Vagina Monologues by UN Ambassador Eve Ensler.

    Ugandan Lesbian Prossy Kakooza today won the latest fight in her battle for asylum in the UK.

    A senior immigration judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling, denying Prossy asylum, calling the judgement “a mess”.

    Prossy fled Uganda after being tortured and raped by police officers.

    Her family had discovered Prossy and her partner in bed together and had marched them, naked, to the police station where they were detained. Prossy was subjected to horrific sexual attacks and physical torture. She escaped to the UK after her family bribed the guards to release her – as they wanted to deal with their family shame by having Prossy killed.

    The Home Office denied her asylum but the original judge believed Prossy’s claim to have been raped and tortured but felt it would be safe to return her to a different part of Uganda.

    According to IGLHRC, the Broadcasting Council’s threats “seem to have encouraged a flurry of public assaults on the safety of individuals whose actual or perceived sexual practices fall outside of social or cultural norms.” The Ugandan press soon followed the advice of the Council.

    In October, the Ugandan weekly ‘The Xtreme’, published a list of purportedly gay people. The article further claimed that homosexuals have “invaded” and “infested” Uganda. The publication threatened to release more names over time, the result of which would be to create a climate of fear and threat that violates individuals’ rights to privacy and security of person.

    When Francesco Mascini, the First Secretary and Legal Advisor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kampala, challenged the Uganda Human Rights Commission to have an open conversation about sexuality and sexual orientation, he was ridiculed by the government, calling his appeal “indecent”, and arguing that Ugandans “have more pressing issues to propose debate about.”

    - Uganda’s determination to shut down public discussion of sexual rights issues, and the public threats to anyone who challenges the government’s efforts to limit freedom of speech and association violate the very fundamentals of human rights, stated Susana Fried of IGLHRC. “We see, time and again, how claims to protect ‘public morality’ are used for the distinctly immoral purpose of excusing a pattern of human rights abuses against marginalized communities,” Ms Fried added.

    In another set of incidents, the government of Uganda is reported to have directed the police to investigate and “take appropriate action” against “homosexual associations” at a major Ugandan university. Activists in Uganda have perceived this as a direct threat to their freedom of expression and association, as well as their ability to receive an education in conditions of safety and security.

    According to IGLHRC, President Yoweri Museveni’s government has “a documented record of torture and abuse of lesbians and gay men.” In 1999 for example, five Ugandan gay and lesbian activists were tortured in secret government detention centres and forced to flee the country after the president called for the arrest of “homosexuals”.

    Publicising the rapes and murders of GLB people in Uganda is considered to be “in your face activism”. There isn’t much of that, as many who used to engage in it are terrorised, or have been “disappeared”.

  • Zoe Brain

    Oh and Eddy – you broke it, you bought it.

    May I suggest that you go reading some of the literature and public discussions in the 30′s. About whether the German Jews had to some extent “brought it on themselves” by being too pushy. And berating the Reich not for the persecution per se, but for going too far with it.

    I think you will find some uncomfortable parallels with what you’re saying now. That may lead you to be a bit more forgiving of those that said this kind of thing back then.

  • Michael Bussee

    According to Enlow, “they will come to learn”:

    The Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah is such an example with a city so aggressive in this sin that the ground itself cried out for a judgment.

    They will learn that “remaining in that sin will cause someone to fall under the sword of His judgment.”

    “Criminalize homosexuality as part of taking the mountain of government- this would only be a second best method of bringing awareness that the behavior of homosexuality is wrong.”

    How to escape such judgement? “First best” would be voluntary repentance. “Second best” would be criminalization and punishment. I wonder what “third best” would be?

    This dominionist use of government to criminalize a consenting, adult behavior in order to teach and enforce religious and “moral values” scares me. That seems to be the proper role of the church. The state’s proper role seems to be to protect God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Michael Bussee

    Exodus has stated opposition to the “second best” approach. Other Christian groups ought to follow their example.

  • Eddy

    Zoe–

    Sorry but you’re ‘you break it, you bought it’ remark is lost on me. I was very appreciative of the background you provided re conditions in Uganda…until your ‘you break it, you bought it’ comment, I actually thought you were responding to me with some semblance of respect.

    Your comments re the holocaust suggest that you’ve already pigeon-holed me. That’s much to your discredit. I attempt to ask questions that will broaden the dialogue or look at aspects that, for some reason, we won’t even discuss. For all your professed love of ‘freedom of speech’, you play your own game of censorship.

    If we cannot discuss or try to comprehend the Ugandan mindset, those facebook group numbers will count for nothing. The American debate tradition of mocking or minimizing those whose opinions you disagree with instead of discussing them…that’s going to get you nowhere. That would be fine if we were in some hypothetical situation…but this one is real…and, I hate to break the news to you, but, even at the best, the eventual outcome is NOT going to be a mirror of the American way. The refusal to discuss anything short of that; the insistence on talking the American ideal of ‘political correctness’….that arrogance is going to cost more than it can hope to gain.

  • Michael Bussee

    It occured to me that some readers may not be aware that in addition to all of the information, discussion and viewpoints that Warren and other commenters have brought to light on this blog (thanks to Warren), the Facebook group (also created and hosted by Warren) is engaged in a very active, broad-ranging, international exploration of the many complex factors — inside and outside Uganda — related to this bill.

    Again, thanks Warren for creating and hosting the group, which should reach 10,000 members from around the world by 2010.

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

  • Michael Bussee

    You gotta hand it him, you may disagree with Dr. Throckmorton on many things, but he sure knows how find interesting information and how to get people talking about it. For example, this 7 Mountains stuff — the “theological soil for Uganda’s bill” — is truly fascinating.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Jim Burroway

    @David Blakeslee

    >>Refresh yourself Jim…and keep working. I am praying for you.

    Thanks David. It’s really very hard right now. I really appreciate that :-)

  • Jayhuck

    For all your professed love of ‘freedom of speech’, you play your own game of censorship.

    Honestly Eddy, there comes a time when speech is truly hate speech, and ideas are truly intolerant and prejudice is king. The argument could easily be made that the klu klux, well, you know who they are, were silenced by politically correct voices. Perhaps that was a good thing

  • Jayhuck

    Exodus has stated opposition to the “second best” approach. Other Christian groups ought to follow their example.

    That is the first time in Exodus’s decades of existence that I’ve ever heard anyone suggest that they should follow their example – wow

  • Jayhuck

    I don’t know to what degree the ‘activist homosexual agenda’ has been ‘in-your-face’ in Uganda

    Eddy,

    LOL – Are you kidding me? Interesting technique to distract from the incredibly awful laws perpetuated by so-called Christians in Uganda and facilitated by so-called Christians in the US.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Please be mindful of the LOL. It really gets Michael p.o.’d when I do it.

    Please don’t suggest that I’m kidding as a way to distract from my legitimate question. We’ve had approximately 2 dozen posts, most focussed in one way or another on the Christian voices and their impact. I took a direct quote from the thread topic lead article. That quote was provided to Warren in a personal email from Enrow. I asked if we could discuss its validity. Since when is attempting to discussa point that’s actually been brought up and presented by the site host an ‘Interesting technique to distract from the incredibly awful laws perpetuated by so-called Christians in Uganda and facilitated by so-called Christians in the US.’

    The resistance to my totally on topic question taken right from the thread’s lead comment and your slanderous remark that it’s some form of distraction technique rather than an attempt to dig deeper into this issue speaks volumes and deepens my conviction that we Americans have become specialists at restricting ‘freedom of speech’.

    Honestly Eddy, there comes a time when speech is truly hate speech, and ideas are truly intolerant and prejudice is king. The argument could easily be made that the klu klux, well, you know who they are, were silenced by politically correct voices. Perhaps that was a good thing

    What’s your point here, exactly? You are responding to a direct statement I made to Zoe that aspects of this conversation are being stifled. Perhaps you missed that. So the connection is lost on me unless you are implying that I’m guilty of hate speech and need to be silenced or stifled. Or perhaps it’s you who is engaging in a ‘distraction technique’…..going global in response to a personal individual to individual statement.

  • Ann

    Is the notion that they are ‘forcing upon society their aberrations’ true? If so, perhaps they can be less aggressive in the pushing of their agenda or possibly tweak their agenda somewhat to make it less of a threat to Uganda society as a whole.

    Eddy,

    I heard Rachel Maddow use the word “aggressive” or “aggression” several times when she read the bill on her show. I think you might have hit the nail on the head with your question. If Ugandans feel an agenda is aggressively being pushed on them, perhaps this is the reason they feel threatened – it certainly is not the right way to respond or approach this matter IMO, however, it could explain their own agressive actions in response to their perceptions. Your suggestion makes perfect sense and seems like it could be the start to a remedy, if in fact that is the reason behind the bill.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann: I certainly would not say that an “agressive gay agenda is being pushed upon them” by anyone inside or outside Uganda — or that this is “the reason behind the bill”.

    Supporters of the Bill claim this as one of their motivations, but so far, I have seen no actual evidence of it. Yes, there is the widespread fear and perception that Uganda is becoming too Westernized — They simply don’t want openly gay people there, as we have in the West. It is an afront to their deeply held cutlural and religious values.

    But as far as I can tell from my research, gay acitvism within Uganda itself is minimal and certainly not “in your face”. That sort of activism is way too risky there. I have found no evidence that a “gay agenda” is being pushed on Uganda — in your face or otherwise. There are many, many factors that have led up to this Bill. Fear of Uganda becoming like the evil West is just one of them.

  • Michael Bussee

    I suppose the argument could be made that if people with SSA all became ex-gay or would just stay in the closet that criminalization would not be necessary. First best: voluntary repentance. Second best: threaten to kill or imprison the non-repentant so they do repent — or at least remain fearful and silent in their sin.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Thanks for the information – it is important to know as much as we can from both the people who are involved with the bill and the people it is affecting. Whether it is perceived as an aggressive agenda or if that is not the case at all, the Ugandan response is reprehensible. Until the government can be reasoned with, It makes sense to look at all possible remedies, whether it is tempering or modifying any perceived agenda, if that is in fact the issue, to save lives and stop the imprisonment of others.

  • Michael Bussee

    It makes sense to look at all possible remedies, whether it is tempering or modifying any perceived agenda, if that is in fact the issue, to save lives and stop the imprisonment of others.

    How would you suggests that gays do this, Ann? What would you temper or modify? So far, it seems the only thing that could be tempered or modified within Uganda itself would be for the handful of “gay activists” there to remain completely silent.

    The only direct “activism” I can find there are the few brave Ugandan (mainly religious) voices that are saying no to this bill on human rights grounds — in spite of great personal risks.

    I have heard wild claims by supporters of the Bill that “gays from the West are inflitrating Uganda and pushing a recruitment and child molestation agenda” in the streets, but so far no evidence of of that or of in your face gay activism within Uganda itself.

    Are you talking about gays elsewhere (like here in the USA) “tempering or modifying” their “percieved agenda? That they should pipe down? What specifically are you suggesting? This sounds awfully close to saying “Well, those out-front, in-your-face gay activists” have brought this upon Uganda. It’s their fault.

    Don’t blame in your face Christian activists and their anti-gay agenda. Gays should have stayed in the closet and kept their damn mouths shut. But since they won’t, I guess we have to go to “second best”.

  • Ann

    Are you talking about gays elsewhere (like here in the USA) “tempering or modifying” their “percieved agenda? That they should pipe down? What specifically are you suggesting? This sounds awfully close to saying “Well, those out-front, in-your-face gay activists” have brought this upon Uganda. It’s their fault.

    Don’t blame in your face Christian activists and their anti-gay agenda. Gays should have stayed in the closet and kept their damn mouths shut. But since they won’t, I guess we have to go to “second best”.

    Michael,

    No, I am not say any of this. I am sorry I attempted to say anything at all. Maybe I can try again at another time.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    Sometimes it’s all a matter of where you look. I was trying to determine if there was a perceptible rise in gay activism in Uganda and stumbled upon a gay travel site called ‘Global Gayz’. As a service to their readers, they would assess the ‘gay friendly’ climate of a country or region. I noted this about the group SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda)”

    Each group operates in their own spheres of interest such as government lobbying, women’s rights, trans rights, gay men, lesbians, youth, HIV—about 350 people in all that SMUG helps to focus toward the higher mission of social and legal change in the country.

    Awareness is slowly improving as SMUG presents itself on TV, radio, seminars and in person distributing leaflets on the streets as well as coordinating with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to increase their visibility and voice to the national government.

    This gives a hint as to the ‘in-your-face activism’ perceived by some. I’m not sure, but it appears that activism began to ramp up in late 2003/early 2004.

    When you consider how deeply intertwined religion and politics are in Uganda, you begin to understand that the perceived threat hits on multiple fronts.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, I am sorry. I did not mean to be disrespectful or shut you down. I just wondered what you would suggest?

    How could gays “temper and modify” their message and “agenda” so that Uganda won’t hate and fear them so much?

    And, in the same vein, how could Christians temper and modify their own message and “agenda” so that gays would not hate and fear Christians so much?

    By my comments above, I did not mean to perpetuate the gay vs. Christian quarrel. Are gays to blame? Christians? Both? That gets us no where fast. I fear I have already said too much. The temptation to become adversarial is too great for me here. So, I will try to restrict my participation mainly to the Facebook group where the goal is solely focussed on defeating this bill. I feel I can do more good there.

    Again, I am sorry if I blocked conversation or was disrespectful to you Ann. Your point is well taken. Every possible factor ought to be considered if we are to stop this Bill.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    I’m sorry–even though our discussion never got off the ground–I’m afraid that we won’t be able to proceed. Already, we’ve endured Michael’s flame responses and now have him taking our discussion but putting into his terms. (That’s ‘our’ in the sense that I pulled the quote from Enlow and raised the question and you were the only one who thought it might be a worthwhile point of discussion.) Michael is asking for/demanding the conclusion before we’ve even begun the discussion. And, he’s expressing interest in this point only because you’ve expressed interest. I don’t see him allowing us to dialogue without jumping in to flame and, personally, I’ll be damned before I’ll allow a conversation-point that I’ve started be hijacked by someone who has admitted their intense ill-feelings towards me. (In fact, it’s Michael’s intense ill-feelings towards me that most likely explain his attack on you.)

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, I am sorry. I do bristle at any suggestion that gays might have somehow brought this on themselves. I apologize if I jumped to the conclusion that you were saying this. I admit, it’s a real sore point for me. I need to stay focussed. Please disregard my comments. I did not mean any disrespect to you personally.

    I will try not interupt you or comment here again — except to inform readers of developments with the Facebook group. Ann, I believe your intentions are loving and fair. I do appreciate you personally and I do value your input. Please do not allow my personal feelings towards others to block any discussion you wish to have.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    I don’t believe him and reiterate that I won’t try to resume the discussion with you. Perhaps others, if they feel it might be helpful to thwarting this bill, will pursue that discussion elsewhere.

    I have not joined Warren’s facebook group–mostly because of my distrust for Michael, one of it’s primary cheerleaders. I hope that, with nearly 10,000 members, they have found a way to funnel the conversations into ‘sub-groups’ or ‘sub comittees’…providing more focus and not constantly having to cover old ground to bring newcomers up to speed.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks, Ann. I think I understand where you are coming from now. Sorry I jumped to conclusions about your questions. I agree with you that ALL possible ways to stop this bill ought to be considered, including what “gay activists” might do differently.

    One thing we (gay acitvists) are doing a bit differently is actually working with (instead of against) faith groups to get this done. It’s kind of exciting, but we are exploring common ground. Since this is new ground, the two “sides” are still working on trusting each other… :)

    God bless you. Happy Advent. Enjoy your dinner.

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

    This gives a hint as to the ‘in-your-face activism’ perceived by some. I’m not sure, but it appears that activism began to ramp up in late 2003/early 2004.

    ..and was soon stomped on.

    The government action seems to have been touched-off by the broadcasting of a call-in talk show on Radio Simba, a popular Ugandan radio station; it featured sexual rights activists — a lesbian and two gay men — discussing discrimination against lesbians and gay men in Uganda and the need for HIV/AIDS services for men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women.

    As a result of the open discussion, the Broadcasting Council of the government of Uganda imposed a fine of $1.8m Uganda shillings (approximately US$1000) on the radio station and ordered the station to apologize for “having offended a wide section of the public.” The chairman of the Broadcasting Council, Godfrey Mutabazi, claimed that the program violated federal law prohibiting broadcasting that is contrary to “public morality”. The council also threatened other broadcasters, advising them to “be more responsible about the content of their programs”.

    The clampdown was in November 2004.

    Oh yes – I’m not American, I’m Australian. And where I come from, offering a contrary view, with evidence, is not considered suppressing your free speech.

    And pointing out the uncontested similarities between what you’re saying now, and what was said in the 1930′s, is not a personal attack, but a statement of fact. If you wish to distinguish the two situations, all you have to do is provide evidence of how they’re different.

    Your evidence from 2003-2004 is the type of thing I mean. If you can show a pattern of unsuppressed activism after the late 2004 crackdown (which led to a number of deaths and injuries), then I’ll believe you. I go with the evidence, you see, changing my opinions as new facts come in.

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

    Eddy -

    When you consider how deeply intertwined religion and politics are in Uganda, you begin to understand that the perceived threat hits on multiple fronts.

    Extremely Insightful. That was my conclusion too. Care to elaborate, to save me from having to? Otherwise I’d have to go into the LRA, tribal factions, etc.

  • Michael Bussee

    And, of course, this sort of thing doesn’t help much. Perhaps he should temper and modify his message.

    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/12/06/17462

  • Eddy

    Zoe–

    Duh….not sure what you read into what I said but please….. Let’s get this clear. I was struck by Enlow’s closing sentence. I recognized that it was a piece of this puzzle we hadn’t discussed AT ALL. We hadn’t evaluated it in any way…whether it was a real situation or whether Enlow, et al imagined it. I admitted to being clueless and wanting more info. I found that SMUG seems to have officially launched in 2004.

    So, going to Enlow’s closing sentence and my question, this is the closest thing to ‘in-your-face activism’ that I could find. That’s it. No one else was looking into the question and I had found that one piece. Did I justify? qualify? negate? evaluate? Did I suggest that I had compared it to age old history? Nope. I simply said there seemed to be a rise that is perceptible. Wondered if this might be what Enlow was referring to….

    I’m finding you people to be quite a trip. Once again, you respond as if I’m ‘making a case for’ or justifying the Christian response when I’m simply exploring the issue.

    As to your second post, thank you for appreciating the insightfulness of my observation. Feel free to expound on that all you want….as before, I was asking questions, wanting to explore Enlow’s claim and it’s validity. That observation was my way of saying that Enlow et all could certainly have more invested in this matter than ‘a concern for morality’. Their motives could be tainted; their feelings could be exaggerated by the many political complications.

    Forgive me, but I hear insinuation in your tone. Kind of a ‘bring it on, dude’ tone. Sorry, my goal here was to explore and to possibly be enlightened; that tone, much like Michael’s, suggests a sparring contest rather than a discussion. It’s truly unfortunate. I would have thought that our common goal of impacting this impending legislation could have us mutually contributing observations that would enhance our understanding of the people we are trying to change. Instead, even a simple question first turns into a barrage of sarcasm and resistance and now leads to these apparently testy remarks from you.

    Please understand that I recently commented to Ann that I gave up on this as an environment suitable for a productive discussion of Enlow’s perceptions. By all means, feel free to post any observations that my earlier questions prompted. Perhaps someone can take them and work with them to have some impact on this bill. I do have the curiosity that caused me to ask the questions in the first place so I will be glad to read any observations or history you bring that goes toward addressing those questions; I simply don’t intend to participate in conversations that are viewed as debates rather than discussion. There may be a place for that on other issues. This one, however, demands people working together.

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

    One thing we (gay acitvists) are doing a bit differently is actually working with (instead of against) faith groups to get this done. It’s kind of exciting, but we are exploring common ground

    Michael, may I just take a moment to say thank you for your being the ONLY one I am aware of who is able to lay aside past misgivings about Exodus and move ahead, focusing on the bill rather than divisive in-fighting?

  • Michael Bussee

    Debbie, Thanks, you are welcome. I have noticed that many blame Exodus for this situation. I do not. I believe serious mistakes were made but that Exodus has taken positive steps to correct them. Fault-finding and in-fighting won’t help now.

    An Official Policy Statement, in video form, denouncing the criminalization of homosexuality on religious grounds, might do even more — since some in Uganda have brushed aside Exodus’s written statements as fake — the work of gay hackers.

    We are calling on all religious leaders and faith groups to follow Exodus’s example — and its promise to do more. We really need such voices of faith in clear opposition to this Bill. Those voices, I am convinced, have the best chance of being heard. Gay voices, even the most respectful and diplomatic ones, may soon be silenced altogether. We need others to speak out. Now.

  • Michael Bussee

    And it is possible that gay voices will need to become quieter so that strong voices of faith may be clearly heard. Otherwise, Uganda will dismiss the outcry as just another part of the Western gay agenda — instead of a truly Christian call to put the stones down.

  • Michael Bussee

    We need to learn to be “as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition. — Enlow

    I guess that could be said for folks on both sides of the divide.

  • Pingback: Bruce Wilson: Rick Warren Mentor Tied To Effort Behind Uganda’s "Kill the Gays" Bill | News from: The Huffington Post - Breaking News and Opinion

  • Michael Bussee

    Great quote from the the FB group on gays and evangelicals working together:

    Many of us “Queer activists” joining here with “evangelicals” have moved beyond blame at this point to save lives. Please join with us in this bridge of the “gay/evangelical” divide and help us get mass media attention. — Lisa

    Move beyond blame to save lives. Cool.

  • Michael Bussee

    From what I can tell, strong anti-gay sentiment has deep historical, cultural and religious roots in Uganda. I find myself wondering why and how a gay rights movement might have recently emerged there. What was the percieved threat that might have motivated these activists? Perhaps gays who live there could shed some light.

  • Eddy

    LOL! Michael, you flew off the handle when we tried to discuss what threat Enlow perceived from the gay activists (this was something that was actually in the main body of the thread that Warren provided) but now, just one day later, you ask what threat might have motivated the activists. Why is it okay to discuss this from your point of interest while it wasn’t from mine or Ann’s, especially when ours went directly to a quote from the main thread? You wear your bias on your sleeve! And you remain blissfully blind to the ‘control game’ you play here.

    Hmmm….Should Ann and I now rant all over you instead of actually responding?

    (Real answer hint: If you google ‘gay activists, uganda, 2003′…you’ll find some interesting background to the rise of the activists. I’m pretty sure that it was in Dec. 2003 that Mukasa (not sure of spelling and too caught up elsewhere to look) recognized the need for activism and in 2004 that SMUG was born. (I’m not sure if it had that name from the beginning but it does appear to be the roots of SMUG.) ) Had you permitted us to dialogue rather than react as you did, this would have come out in the developing dialogue.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sin begets its own reward. However when there is an aggressive promotional agenda connected to a sin behavior such as homosexuality it can come to the place where it elicits a unique response of God that is beyond the normal reaping of consequences. The Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah is such an example with a city so aggressive in this sin that the ground itself cried out for a judgment.

    As to the question of whether governments should criminalize homosexuality as part of taking the mountain of government- this would only be a second best method of bringing awareness that the behavior of homosexuality is wrong.

    To ward off judgement and a unique response of God, voluntary repentence would be preferable. In “taking the mountain of government”, criminalization is second best. In the meantime, unrepentant gays may have unwittingly brought this on themselves with their “agressive promotional agenda.” Maybe they should pipe down if they know what’s good for them.

  • Michael Bussee

    I guess third best would be Sodom and Gomorrah. Are you listening, Kampala?

  • Eddy

    Michael Bussee says–and this is a direct quote:

    In the meantime, unrepentant gays may have unwittingly brought this on themselves with their “agressive promotional agenda.” Maybe they should pipe down if they know what’s good for them.

    I’m not the only one who has grown weary of your sarcasm. Not only is it insulting but it confuses those who may be visiting the site. I won’t protest any further but I will feel free to quote your sarcasm as I did above. If you don’t want to risk the misunderstandings that could result from that, please delete sarcasm from your bag of blog tricks.

  • Eddy

    Earlier today, you posted that perhaps it’s time for the gay voices to tone it down a bit in this effort to impact the Ugandan law…that perhaps they are having a detrimental effect. Now, in your past two posts, you seem to be trying to pick a fight with them and push a few hot buttons. Do you assume that they wouldn’t check in on the website of one of the signers of ‘the letter’? Please take some time to figure out which approach will best suit your long term goals.

  • Michael Bussee

    If I understand him correctly, Enlow seems to be arguing that there is a logical progression. First best, voluntrary repentance. Second best, criminalization. Third best, annihilation by God for pushing a gay agenda.

    Don’t misunderstand me. I abhor this line of reasoning. I think it can and will lead to the deaths and imprisonment of many Ugandans — gay and straight. I reject Enlow’s idea that gays have brought this on themselves — that they should repent or remain silent — if they know what’s good for them. If they don’t, Enlow argues, it is a proper role of government to teach them. I disagree.

  • Eddy

    In the sentence I quoted that Enlow concluded with, he claimed to be responding to an escalation of gay activism. I realize you’ve interpreted that differently…you’ve gone black and white…you say that Enlow is demanding total silence. Perhaps he is but that’s not what his words say. You are free to think what you will but it is NOT an accurate interpretation of what he said. It is a subjective interpretation that you are presenting as his thoughts.

    Enlow used the term ‘in your face activism’ and you totally discount the ‘in your face’ part. And you resisted when Ann and I attempted to assess the validity of those words. Their validity doesn’t just rest on the level of activism that exists but on the level of activism that he perceives. Again, you are free to do so but, in so doing, you are applying your interpretation without having personal knowledge of the man who spoke the words. That would elevate you to a ‘judge’.

  • Michael Bussee

    Voices of faith, not gay voices, are the best approach of convincing Uganda that this Bill is wrong. Keep in mind that Gay voices are seen as the enemy. Uganda considers them a threat worthy of imprisonment or death. That is why gays are asking for religious leaders and voices of faith to speak out on their behalf.

    Perhaps gays are going about this the wrong way. Perhaps gays are making things worse. Perhaps gays should try being less vocal and see who stands up for them. I am trying to imagine that. There isn’t much of a precedent. In any event, I don’t think they will tone down or be silent. What would happen? Would that work? I don’t think they think so.

    I think they are worried, as I am, that with a few exceptions, they will be pretty much left to stand on their own — if they do not speak up for themselves. They believe they are fighting for their freedom and their lives. That’s why every voice of faith means so much to them. They are looking to God’s people to help them.

  • Michael Bussee

    Considering the intensity of deeply rooted historical, cultural and religious anti-gay feelings there (feelings that pre-date the current gay rights movement), I would also imagine that any activism there, even a very soft-spoken variety, might be perceived as in-your-face and elicit a strong, punitive response.

    It seems that Uganda would prefer to believe that gays don’t even exist and they seem to be determined to rid themselves of the ones who do speak up or are caught. So I am torn. Do gays here and there tone it down hoping others will speak up? Should they trust that people of faith will come to their aid?

  • Michael Bussee

    The in-your-face activist homosexual agenda is of course generating it’s own strong repercussions and backlashes and to the degree that they insist on forcing upon society their aberrations to that degree they will see increasing measures to limit their activism of a sin behavior.

    He may be right. Gay activists here and abroad may have made the situation worse by engaging in activism that is percieved as in-your-face.

    What I am wondering is this: What level, type or degree of activism (if any) would not be percieved by Uganda as “in your face?” Even a rumor or accusation could get you killed. Suspected witches are still sometimes stoned there, without trial, on nothing more than a rumor. I wonder if that’s a backlash to in-your-face witch activism? (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)

    Enlow may not be calling for complete silence, but in Uganda it seems that only complete invisibility and silence will prevent death and imprisonment. I guess that is what Uganda is hoping for. Complete elimination of homosexuality.

    The message seems to be: (1) Don’t be gay. (2) If you are gay, be miserable. (3) If you aren’t miserable, shut up if you know what’s good for you. To what extent that may be a backlash, I don’t know.

  • Eddy

    Wow!

    I would also imagine that any activism there, even a very soft-spoken variety, might be perceived as in-your-face and elicit a strong, punitive response.

    Exactly the type of nuance I had hoped to discuss when I raised the question yesterday. The key word here is ‘might’…we don’t know and it would have helped to explore the questions: Has the activism ramped up perceptibly or is it Enlow’s (and his compadres) hyper-senstitivity? Knowing this would have helped some of us religious folks to know who and what we were dealing with…how to appeal to them and what to say.

    Ironically, while attempts to develop a more complete understanding are being squelched, the squelchers dispense advice such as ‘they should have been better informed before getting involved’. What a mess! Wanting our help but nipping at our hands and heels the entire time. Accusing us of moving recklessly in the past but being intolerant of our cautions in the present.

    There was a time when I believed that I could serve a productive role in this. Not only do I have a conservative Christian history, but I’ve been acquainted (albeit long ago) with apostolic and prophetic types. Beyond that, I was a social activist years ago and majored on ‘building bridges’…getting two opposing sides to hear each other. Trouble is that I don’t run off half-cocked. I needed background…a more complete understanding of their mindset. But I’m one voice that was stifled by gay arrogance and obstinance. (No, Michael’s was not the only stifling voice here…and, from comments here, it appears that Michael’s is one of the more temperate voices outside of here.)

    I offer one word that’s sorely needed as the time grows very short: COHESION.

    Without it, I’m afraid the efforts are doomed.

  • Michael Bussee

    You are right. Personal feelings aside. Cohesion. I will do my best.

  • Michael Bussee

    This is wonderful news on voices of faith, just posted by Lynn David on the FB group:

    “American Christians from across the theological and ideological spectrum have united to denounce a proposal in the Ugandan parliament that would make homosexual behavior punishable by life imprisonment or death.”

    “This bill is an affront to human dignity and offensive to Christians around the world who take seriously Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves. I’m proud to stand with other people of faith who believe our values compel us to speak out against this profound injustice,” said former Ambassador to Uganda and the Vatican, Thomas P. Melady.

    The full statement with all signatories is at the following (small PDF):

    http://blog.faithinpubliclife.org/Uganda%20statement%20and%20signers%20final.pdf

  • Eddy

    “American Christians from across the theological and ideological spectrum have united to denounce a proposal in the Ugandan parliament that would make homosexual behavior punishable by life imprisonment or death.”

    I firmly believe that the ‘spin’ could likely be the downfall of the voices that are in opposition to this bill. Quite simply, saying that the proposed bill ‘would make homosexual behavior punishable by…death’ isn’t quite true. It is certain behaviors, that we all agree are not characteristically homosexual, that would merit the death penalty.

    Don’t get me wrong. Even for those behaviors, the death penalty or life imprisonment is much too severe a punishment (IMHO) but it does not serve the battle well to imply that it’s ‘the death penalty for homosexuality’. On Facebook, in particular, you’ve been trying to rally conservative ‘persons of faith’ to speak out. What happens when they speak out–especially to someone in Uganda who is well acquainted with the proposed bill–and it becomes clear that they don’t really know what they’re talking about? …that they thought the bill meant the death penalty for gays? It would diminish–perhaps eradicate–their credibility. By association, it would diminish the impact of other voices that speak a generalized objection that doesn’t necessarily reveal whether they fully grasp the proposed bill or not.

    One way in which I’m sure the Ugandans are like us is that NOBODY likes to be told that they are wrong or mistaken. The usual first response is defensiveness; a close second is to find fault with the one(s) who exposed your wrong thinking. Due to the fact that religion and politics (and political power) are so intertwined, it would seem that the motivation to discount the voices of the critics would run very high. For that reason, I feel that this slight exaggeration (that makes it seem that it’s the ‘death penalty for gays’ in general that’s at stake) could snowball and actually hurt the efforts at thwarting this bill.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren, what is your understanding of which offenses are punishable by life imprisonment or death? Do they have this wrong? Am I misunderstanding the law? What exactly is punishable by death and what warrants life in prison?

  • Michael Bussee

    The quote I posted was how the “Faith In Public Life” blog reported about the US Christian’s Statement, perhaps spinning the news a bit.

    Here is how another blog reports the same news of this Statement by US Christians:

    Conservative and Liberal Voices Combine to Condemn Anti-Gay Ugandan Law, By Candace Chellew-Hodge, December 7, 2009

    Christians speak out as others remains silent.

    As passage of a new law in Uganda requiring jail time and possibly a death sentence for gays and lesbians, or those who aid and abet them, seems inevitable, a group comprised of both conservative and liberal U.S. Christians has issued statement opposing the measure.

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/blog/2086/conservative_and_liberal_voices_combine_to_condemn_anti-gay_ugandan_law_

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Death for sex with someone under 18, with someone disabled, with someone if you are HIV positive, with a subordinate at work, with a son or daughter or for serial offenses. Life in prison for one homosexual touching action, and 7 years for intent to commit homosexuality. 3 Years for promoting homosexuality or failing to report suspicion.

    No one in support of the bill has accused the opposition of stretching it except Martin Ssempa and he was not telling the truth.

  • Michael Bussee
  • Eddy

    Michael–

    It’s my guess that Lynn David supplied the first paragraph (the one I quoted) and that the second paragraph was from the letter. I’ve read the letter and feel that it’s ‘right on the mark’…but then I would expect these signers to be more informed that your ‘average’ conservative. Their wording, which I favor over the paragraph that I took exception to, is:

    The “Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009″ would enforce lifetime prison sentences and in some cases the death penalty for homosexual behavior, as well as punish citizens for not reporting their gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities.

    I feel that the qualifying phrase ‘and in some cases the death penalty’ is that more accurate rendering that wouldn’t mislead some people into thinking that Uganda is proposing ‘the death penalty for homosexuals’.

    I appreciate Warren citing those areas cited for the death penalty. While I do not support the death penalty, I also recognize that our culture also deems most of these behaviors as criminal while not criminalizing homosexuality itself. This goes to that compromise discussion I wanted to have a month or so ago. I’m not certain but I believe I’ve heard you speak that pedophilia and sexual exploitation of vulnerable persons are 1) atypical of homosexuality and 2) rightly deemed ‘criminal’. Not in those words, of course, but it came up in a discussion re what a therapist is obligated to report.

    This leads to what I’d hoped we could discuss as a compromise re the reporting the bill wants to mandate. I think we all might be able to agree that consensual homosexual behavior and admitting to being homosexual should not be subject to mandatory reporting BUT that at least some of the behaviors (pedophilia, sexual exploitation of vulnerable persons, continued unprotected sex by someone who is HIV+) should be subject to mandatory reporting requirements.

    Talk of compromise would address what penalty, less than the death penalty, should be prescribed. for these particular offenses.

  • Michael Bussee

    As I have said many times, I am not interested in discussion of “compromise” to this Bill. Perhaps someone else might be. I personally find the idea totally unacceptable and will not discuss it with you.

    I know you really want to have that discussion with someone. Count me out. By all means, see if you can get it going with other commenters here. I promise I won’t interfere, interupt, “disallow” or try to block it in any way. I will just sit back and watch how it goes.

    That said, I certainly believe that sexual assault, knowingly infecting someone with HIV, sexual abuse of diabled persons and child abuse should be illiegal everywhere — regardless of the sexual orientation of the offender. I suspect that these things are already illegal in Uganda. I will check that out.

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

    Michael, I think you may be overreacting to Eddy’s use of the word compromise. It is what is already going to happen in Uganda’s Parliament. It happens every time a bill is debated and voted on. The bill is not a slam dunk as is. I think it was intentionally offered in the extreme, with full knowledge that some of it would never fly. In this case, compromise is deciding where to draw the line. What should be criminalized and what not? What should the punishments then be?

  • Michael Bussee

    Perhaps, you are right, Debbie. I think of this law the same way I think of laws that were aimed at the Jews or blacks. Others may want to explore this idea, but I do not. I believe that is my right.

    I oppose this bill in its entirety. The law should be the same for any offender. In my opinion, the gender or suspected sexual orientation should not matter one bit.

    As I said, others here have every right to discuss or suggest any “compromise” they please regarding how (or even if) homosexuality should be criminalized or punished. I won’t go there, but I will not try to block the discussion.

    I do not want to be accused of silencing, censoring or controlling the blog, so I elect to disengage from this particular topic. I will be interesting in hearing your compromise suggestions, but will try not to comment. Have at it.

    What should be criminalized and what not? What should the punishments then be?

  • Eddy

    Debbie–

    I agree with you…somehow that word sets off some trigger in Michael. But, putting that aside, he has agreed to allow conversation without silencing, censoring or controlling.

    I personally believe that pedophilia should be criminalized and, in fact, I believe it is under Uganda’s more general laws seen by many to apply to heterosexuals. In that sense, then, there might be no need to address this or a few of the other offenses in this new bill. There is one big problem with that, though, for those of us who are opposed to the death penalty.

    The current laws already prescribe the death penalty for these offenses. Seeing this current ‘anti-homosexuality bill’ withdrawn would not address the fact that the death penalty is already in existence for these offenses. Yet, it seems to be the ‘death penalty’ that is spurring a great deal of the protest against the bill. Very confusing. We are against the death penalty; we give lip service to the knowledge that pedophilia, exploitation and ongoing unprotected sex by HIV+ persons are ‘covered in laws already on the books’; why then do we overlook the fact that ‘on the books’ THE PENALTY IS DEATH?

    Rather than reminding the Ugandan government that ‘you’ve already covered these things’, it seems we should be taking this opportunity to speak out against the death penalty altogether…to encourage Uganda to re-evaluate the severity of the punishments it already has on the books.

    Certainly there’s more to be discussed but this seems to be a rather crucial oversight…that, even if the bill were withdrawn, we wouldn’t have accomplished a thing in terms of eliminating the death penalty for these offences.

    Sometimes, I feel like I’m going crazy. Am I seeing something that it isn’t there? Or are others missing this vital piece?

  • Michael Bussee

    Just for the record. I strongly oppose the death penalty. Another reason I oppose this bill. Carry on.

  • Eddy

    Just for the record. I know you do. And I do too! That’s partly why I can’t believe you seem to be forgetting that, even if this bill gets withdrawn, the offenses marked for the death penalty still warrant it under the existing laws.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: I am not “forgetting” anything. I am fully aware that Uganda has the death penalty for other things — and that simply removing this law will not change that. I oppose the law for many reasons, not just the death penalty aspect of it.

    Why not do ALL these things? Oppose this law. Oppose the death penalty. Urge Uganda to review the severity of its existing laws. Is that what you mean by “compromise”? That sounds like we are actually asking Uganda to more.

    In any event, I am off for a few hours to run some errands, so the conversation can flow on unimpeded by me. I will check back later. Very interested to see what sort of compromise ideas will be generated while I am gone.

  • Eddy

    Compromise: a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc. by reciprocal modification of demands.

    Possibilities: (this is by no means complete…nor has it been thoroughly thought through…that’s what discussion’s all about.)

    1) Cite to Uganda that the portions of their new bill addressing the offenses punishable by death are, in fact, redundant. They are already covered in existing laws. Request that those items be stricken from the bill.

    2) Address the death penalty as too severe a punishment for crimes such as pedophilia and sexual exploitation of vulnerable persons. Suggest that existing laws also be modified. This would be conceding that some things are indeed criminal while seeking a reduction in the existing penalty. (As Michael rightly suggested…this is actually asking for more.)

    3) Further, establish definitions for such offenses as pedophilia and exploitation of the vulnerable. Example: redefine pedophilia so that it isn’t simply ‘sex with a minor’ perhaps by adding an age difference qualifier.(A person who is 18 who has consensual relations with a person who is 15 is NOT the same as a person who is more than 5 years older than the 15 year old.)

    4) Seek compromise on the reporting qualifications. Agree to the mandatory reporting of exploitation of minors or the vulnerable, to persons who are HIV+ having unprotected sex but reject the reporting of homosexuals in general.

    5) Establish a distinction between free speech and advocacy. (This one would be a major concession likely offensive to many.) This would mean a moratorium on advocacy talks or programs in schools but would not restrict the internet, the media or community groups.

    6) Address the hypocrisy of withholding AIDS prevention tools and education from people based on their orientation. (This one would be a major concession on their part that would likely be offensive to many. Another instance of asking for more.) (Discussion: when they provide these tools to heteros, do they screen out those who are having hetero sex outside of marriage? If not, what is their ‘righteous’ justification for withholding them from gays?)

    The key words in the definition of ‘compromise’ are mutual, agreement, adjustment, reciprocal and modification. Discussion without demanding. Speaking frankly but listening sincerely. Accepting limitations…saving some battles for another day…facing present realities. If Uganda only hears demands, they are likely to grow stony towards the demanders….and, whether we like it or not…they are holding the cards. They HAVE the upperhand and aren’t in any immediate danger of having that threatened. We can’t afford to have them go stony on us.

    Hopefully any discussions we have with Uganda will be tempered with Christian or religious attributes such as grace, mercy and humility rather than venom, vengeance and vindictiveness.

  • Lynn David

    Eddy wrote:: I appreciate Warren citing those areas cited for the death penalty. While I do not support the death penalty, I also recognize that our culture also deems most of these behaviors as criminal while not criminalizing homosexuality itself. This goes to that compromise discussion I wanted to have a month or so ago. I’m not certain but I believe I’ve heard you speak that pedophilia and sexual exploitation of vulnerable persons are 1) atypical of homosexuality and 2) rightly deemed ‘criminal’. Not in those words, of course, but it came up in a discussion re what a therapist is obligated to report.

    .

    This leads to what I’d hoped we could discuss as a compromise re the reporting the bill wants to mandate. I think we all might be able to agree that consensual homosexual behavior and admitting to being homosexual should not be subject to mandatory reporting BUT that at least some of the behaviors (pedophilia, sexual exploitation of vulnerable persons, continued unprotected sex by someone who is HIV+) should be subject to mandatory reporting requirements.

    What compromise can take place with a bill so steeped in homophobia as to be inhuman itself? Let’s forget that they lumped pedophilia &/or sex with minors into a bill to demonize gay people, because unlike the lies Ssempa, Langa and their cohorts are saying about male children not being protected under Ugandan law – minor male children apparently are protected.

    .

    In Warren’s Part One of the 7 Mountains, I posted:

    I understand why they want to keep victims anonymous. And I much agree when a youth is involved. But at the same time they have written the bill such that someone who may be of age and had consentual sex with another person may be considered a victim to be kept anonymous. This bill is thus quite wrong in considering pedophilia and consentual adult sex under the same act.

    .

    And speaking of which:

    Mr Herman Kalule Kirumira, the area youth councillor appeared in Entebbe court early this week on charges of molesting the pupil but hearing of the case was pushed to May 4, reportedly to allow the presiding magistrate Steven Waidubba attend a workshop. The suspect has been charged with having unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor against the order of nature, an offence for which under the Ugandan law, one could face life imprisonment if convicted by court.

    Who said that boy’s weren’t protected under the law? Oh yeah… Langa, Ssempa, and many others. The bill is superfluous, except to call things homosexuality which aren’t, tie it together with homosexuality, and then outlaw any advocacy. The stuff about making counselors, priests, etc. out as criminals is simply to radicialize the population further against homosexuality and help create the pogrom they haven’t yet been able to produce.

    So what’s the point of dithering down the punishment from death to life in prison – life imprisonment already is the punishment for that crime!

    .

    The bill is one large lie. And while the Christians here are all so worried about the idea of criminalizing their knowledge of a gay person having sex, that pales in comparison to the fact that this bill legislates the idea in Uganda that gay people have no rights. Not just the right to share their love intimately with another but no right whatsoever to speak out positively for their lives. Ugandans feel that if you are gay or lesbian you have no right to free speech concerning your life, and that translates into a loss of rights in many other ways. Such as a right to privacy (which is written into the Ugandan constitution), which thankfully, the Ugandan courts ruled in the favor of a lesbian couple when their home was invaded by police a few years ago. That is what is sought to destroy in this bill. The dignity of gays and lesbians by the systematic dismantling of the human rights any person should enjoy.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks, Eddy. Whether we oppose the Bill in its entirety or believe that some sort of compromise is the better way to go, I agree that the message needs to be “tempered with Christian or religious attributes such as grace, mercy and humility.”

  • Eddy

    Lynn David–

    You and I are obviously not on the same page. I trust that this blogsite is big enough to contain us both. I’m sorry my perspective offends you; yours disturbs me. I really don’t see how either one of us is going to come to an understanding of the other. I feel you’ve missed me by a mile…and I’m sure you likely feel that you know me better than I know myself. I am at peace, though, knowing that I don’t fit that pigeonhole you’ve got me in.

    Tell you what, though. I’ll make a concession…a compromise of my own. Recognizing how much rancor my approach seems to stir up, I will not taint the voices you’ve been able to muster by speaking up myself. I won’t be silent here on Warren’s blogsite (I believe strongly in freedom of speech–including my own) but in all other arenas I will keep silent.

  • Lynn David

    I was offended by you? Where did I say that? I am offended by this bill. You evidently have a rather thin skin.

    .

    You seem to not understand that the point of the bill is to tie gays and lesbians to pedophiles and then remove their human rights. They do this by saying that no law exists to stop male pedophiles from preying on male children; and yet such a law does exist in Uganda.

    BTW… when I wrote my next earliest post yours at 2:27 was the last post I knew about. If one later one has meaning for you, that doesn’t have meaning for me, I had no knowledge of it. Why mine didn’t show up until after 8pm, I do not know.

  • Eddy

    Lynn David–

    I pointedly separate pedophiles from homosexuals in my last few posts, where do you get your notion that I don’t seem to understand that they are trying to tie the two together?

    I say that homosexuality itself ought not to be criminalized while pedophilia should, where do you get the notion that I support the removal of gay rights?

    You attempt to inform me that they already have a law that protects male children from pedophilia; I’ve cited that fact myself several times.

    The above points support why I said that you’ve missed me by a mile.

    I did not say that you were offended by ME. I said you were offended by my perspective. I still believe that to be true. Let’s not wrangle over nuances of meaning. The following sure suggests to me that you found my pov offensive:

    What compromise can take place with a bill so steeped in homophobia as to be inhuman itself? Let’s forget that they lumped pedophilia &/or sex with minors into a bill to demonize gay people

    I suggested discussing a penalty less than the death penalty for certain offenses; you interpreted this as follows:

    So what’s the point of dithering down the punishment from death to life in prison – life imprisonment already is the punishment for that crime!

    Where did I suggest what that lesser penalty ought to be?

    Sorry, but it sure does sound like you find the idea of talking ‘compromise’ (my perspective) offensive.

    .

  • Michael Bussee

    I still kinda do. But I’m listening anyhow. Please,carry on.

  • Eddy

    It’s supposed to be a discussion not a dissertation. :-)

    I’ve said my piece…now waiting to see if others have anything to add or amend.

  • Lynn David

    Eddy…. I pointedly separate pedophiles from homosexuals in my last few posts, where do you get your notion that I don’t seem to understand that they are trying to tie the two together?

    I say that homosexuality itself ought not to be criminalized while pedophilia should, where do you get the notion that I support the removal of gay rights?

    You attempt to inform me that they already have a law that protects male children from pedophilia; I’ve cited that fact myself several times.

    Where did I say you did support the removal of gay rights? I was speaking only of the effects of the bill. And since we’re supposedly on the same page, I’ll quit talking about it here. We don’t seem to understand each other very well and I’d rather not get into an argument when it seems that semantics is the problem.

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