Uganda National Pastors Task Force Against Homosexuality demand apology from Rick Warren

Just now, Martin Ssempa sent an email to me and several others including Rick Warren and Christianity Today with this statement. It is similar but not identical to the letter Christianity Today published on Thursday, the 17th. In this letter, the coalition discloses that 20 ministers met and read Rick Warren’s encyclical. It appears they did not consider Warren’s theological points but rather responded with a defense of the bill as written.

UGANDA NATIONAL PASTORS TASK FORCE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY

Task-force Chair: Martin Ssempa PhD

The taskforce represents

The National Fellowship of Born again Churches

The Seventh Adventists Church

The Uganda Joint Christian Council which also represents:

The Orthodox Church in Uganda.

The Roman Catholic Church in Uganda

The Islamiic Office of Social Welfare in Uganda

Born Again Faith Federation 

familypolicycenter@gmail.com 

Dear Rick Warren, 

Christmas greetings from the Pro Faith, Family, and Human Rights Leaders here in Uganda. We acknowledge receipt of a letter from you in which you called on us (Ugandan Pastors) to “speak out” against the proposed “Anti-homosexuality Bill 2009” which is currently before our parliament. This bill has been greatly misrepresented by some homosexual activists causing hysteria and we take this opportunity to give you the background, facts and response to the concerns you raised. A special meeting of 20 denominational heads met on Thursday 17th Dec in the offices of the minister of Ethics and Integrity, examined your letter and formed a joint task force to respond to you as well as help support the parliament in the passage of this bill.  We are further distressed by your unwarranted abuse of our duly elected officials who are in the process of making laws in the fulfillment of their mission and make demand that you biblically issue an apology for having wronged us as demonstrated by the facts of this letter. 

Developments underlying the Bill

Several developments in Uganda and around the world constitute the compelling circumstances that have necessitated the Anti-homosexuality Bill. These include:

a) increasing incidents of homosexual abuse of children and youth by people exercising power and influence over them like teachers, pastors, parents etc. A recent report shows this. Uganda: Child Abuse rampant.;

b) recruitment of youth into homosexual practice with inducements including money. (Homosexual admits recruiting students).  While we have a law that currently prohibits “acts against the order of nature”, this law is not comprehensive enough to cover the promoters of these acts.  The draft law seeks to stop promotion and further recruitment of unsuspecting children and youth into homosexuality.

c) promotion of homosexuality by some organizations, including a pro-gay book by UNICEF circulated in schools without seeking permission of the Ministry of Education; (UNICEF Book supports teen homosexuality)

d) creation of organizations whose sole purpose is to promote homosexuality in Uganda; (e.g. (Sexual Minorities Uganda); (Gay Uganda); (Integrity Uganda)

e) government-led campaigns at the UN led by some countries like France and Brazil to secure a UN General Assembly resolution imposing homosexuality as an internationally protected human right. For example, on November 18th 2008, France and Netherlands initiated a law which seeks to use the UN to push homosexuality on other nations of the world. This explains provisions in the Bill preventing ratification of treaties and conventions affirming homosexuality and related practices.

f) un-believable growth in the power of the homosexual lobby in western countries, clearly seen since this Bill was proposed in Uganda – entire governments in Europe and America have used their diplomatic offices on an issue that should be freely debated and dealt with by their citizens at civil society level.

g) the mistake in western society, where the issue of homosexuality was treated with kid-gloves as a minor, private issue, but these societies are waking up too late on realizing that the matter affects how their entire society is ran, what children are taught at school and literally what everybody “must believe and practice”. This waking-up is for example seen in anti-gay-marriage campaigns in United States, where US citizens are fighting to retain family values against stiff competition from gay-activists in 31 states where the matter has come up for a referendum vote, winning such battles by the skin of their teeth. These countries are stuck with a huge population of their citizens that has been recruited into homosexual practice over decades of lax attitude that has seen the rise of powerful, well-funded organizations that misinform children and youth about homosexuality and daily recruit them into their ranks. This discontented population is angry, a threat to public order and is demanding equality for self-evident disordered and harmful behavior. This represents a mismanagement of human behavior by public institutions, because legal safeguards were not put in place in time to prevent the spread of homosexuality and related practices.

h) The take-over by homosexuals of western institutions that should have remained as defenders and protectors of moral integrity in society, particularly the church, to the extent that even evangelical church leaders in America no longer protest when a practicing homosexual is appointed into pastoral leadership in the church (e.g. the election to the office of Bishop of  Mary Glasspool in your state of California last week and Gene Robinson in New Hampshire before her). This institutional takeover by homosexuals has been systematic and planned, to the extent that other bodies like the UN, national governments, financial institutions, private companies, NGOs, etc. have become spokespersons of the gay movement and daily use official resources to promote the gay agenda and to arm-twist anyone who opposes this agenda. In a globalized world, this western takeover of institutions by homosexuals has turned into international promotion of homosexuality and of other vices like abortion and pornography in other countries.

Some members of Parliament in Uganda have looked at all these developments as a threat to strongly held family values in Uganda and everywhere and have sought to use their mandate as people’s representatives to seek remedies before it is too late. The Anti-homosexuality Bill, 2009, therefore, while acknowledging that homosexuality is not an innate condition, states as its object: “to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (1) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (2) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any Government entity in Uganda or any non-governmental organization inside or outside the country”.

What’s the death penalty all about?

Some people have asked about the rationale of a death penalty mentioned in the Bill. There has been a lot of misinformation about this matter with headlines such as: “Gays face death penalty in Uganda”. These headlines are deliberately misleading. This penalty applies only in special cases termed “aggravated homosexuality”, which include, those convicted of unlawful homosexual rape of a child or handicapped invalid; This is a conviction of paedophilles! As highlighted in the problem of “virgin rape cures HIV/AIDS”  the offender can be a person living with HIV; a parent or guardian of the victim where there is abuse of authority! Finally is the use of drugs to stupefy the child so that they can rape them!. Clearly, the intent of this penalty is to protect weaker members of society from being victimized. Please note that for over 15 years Uganda has had the same penalty for persons who have carnal knowledge of minors heterosexually, mainly to protect against sexual abuse of girls by men. This time, this provision intends to provide equal protection of boys, among others.

In the early 1990s, at the height of the HIV Crisis, Uganda sought to protect children, principally girls, from sexual abuse by adults and infection with HIV. There was troubling concern over some people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) who raped and infect girls with HIV/AIDS in a grotesque belief of a “virgin sex cure” prescribed by some witchdoctors. Since 1997, Section 123 of the Penal Code only provided protection against defilement (sexual abuse) of girls under 18 years of age. Section 123(1) states that: – “Any person who unlawfully has sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of eighteen years is guilty of an offense and is liable to suffer death.” Sub-section 2 of Section 123 of the Penal Code provides for attempts to defile a girl under the age of eighteen years. It states that: “Any person who attempts to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of eighteen years is guilty of an offense and is liable to imprisonment for eighteen years with or without corporal punishment”. This has and continues to be the law which no one has complained that it is unchristian or a human right violation. Many boys have been violated without legal protection leaving their evil oppressors to get away with no law enforcement protection. The current draft law, simply aims at providing equal protection of the boy child and other vulnerable persons, as currently exists for the girl child. The question for you is this; does the sexual abuse of a boy constitute a lesser crime than the rape of a girl?

The question of human rights and privacy:

Some people have asked whether this law raises questions of human rights infringement. Some have asked whether it infringes the right to privacy, for example, asking what legitimate interest the state has in what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms? But not all things done in private are free of negative consequences on the public. Most harmful behavior occurs in private: corruption, bribery, abortion, murder, rape, etc. Many laws prohibit these private practices. Practices like homosexuality and bisexuality are associated with serious, yet preventable public-health risks. The risk of HIV transmission in male homosexuality is for example about 10 times that of heterosexual sex, simply due to use of parts of the body for inappropriate functions. Other diseases and medical complications are also associated with these practices. Secondly, by its nature, behavior spreads in the population through experimentation, modeling and social affirmation. Increase in homosexual and bisexual practice could thus rapidly reverse Uganda’s success against HIV/AIDS. The state’s interest in public health requires that it takes action on these preventable health risks, not only through education, but also legal deterrents for those who misinform and mislead the public.

An organization recruiting and encouraging people to continue in homosexual practice lacks justification but one dealing in counseling and helping people with behavior management is justified. The clause requiring mandatory reporting of known offenses may therefore need an amendment to exempt disclosure made in counseling situations.

Our Historical Struggle:

When you-(Rick Warren) came to Uganda on Thursday, 27 March 2008, and expressed support to the Church of Uganda’s boycott of the pro-homosexual Church of England, you stated; “The Church of England is wrong, and I support the Church of Uganda”. You are further remembered to say, “homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus (its) not a human right. We shall not tolerate this aspect at all”. (Gay Row-US Pastor supports country on boycott) He was indeed affirming Uganda’s long historical struggle against institutionalized homosexuality. This recent boycott was not the beginning of the struggle. In fact on June 3rd 1886, 26 Ugandan Christian converts to were martyred for their stand against a deviant king who had taken to the practice of sodomy. Their faith in Christ emboldened them to stand against homosexuality, resisting even up to death. Today we honor them, and June 3rd is a national holiday where millions of Ugandan believers converge to remember and renew their strength.(When faith, state and state inspired homosexuality clash).  As you yourself have said, “..the Bible says evil has to be opposed. Evil has to be stopped. The Bible does not say negotiate with evil. It says stop it. Stop evil”. (12/2007)  Since homosexuality is evil, you cannot possibly be against a law that seeks to stop it unless you have misunderstood it. 

Clarification on the spirit of the Mandatory reporting clause 14:

Finally, sexual abuse of children takes place in institutions such as boarding schools, churches etc. Research by ACFODE, “The situational review of rape, sexual harassment and defilement 2005” in three districts found unusually high levels of coercive heterosexual/homosexual rape and harassment especially in single-sex schools.  Unfortunately the school officials and some police officers, maintain a conspiracy of silence, ignoring the pleas of the children and victims who report these crimes. They value the reputation of the school or other institution above the welfare of the children and adults in their custody. This is the reason for section 14, of mandatory reporting of the offenses within 24 hours. 

This reporting is similar to the mandatory reporting of all “unlawful sexual intercourse” in the state of California in Penal Code 11165 which includes, – rape (261), incest (285), sodomy (286), child molestation (647.6), and statutory rape (261.5). California Penal Code 11166; 11165.7 requires that Teachers, Social workers, District attorneys, Doctors, Psychologists, marriage and family counselors, clergy members and state or county public health employees are required by law to report “unlawful sexual intercourse” as defined by the state of California. If mandatory reporting has been deemed necessary in other in America on sexual offenses, Uganda could use the same measure in specified situations.

What has been our recommendation on the law?

At a special sitting of the Uganda Joint Christian Council a taskforce sat and reviewed the bill to make comments. We resolved to support the bill with some amendments which included the following: 

a. We suggested reduction of the sentence to 20 years instead of the death penalty for the offense of aggravated homosexuality.

b. We suggested the inclusion of regulations in the law to govern provision of counseling and rehabilitation to persons experiencing homosexual temptations. The churches are willing to provide the necessary help for those seeking counseling and rehabilitation.

c. Even with the provision for counseling and rehabilitation in the law, homosexuality should remain a punishable offense to control its spread.

Warning of a widening shift.

We note with sadness the increasing levells of accepting of the evil of homosexuality. The ordination of Mary Glasspool a Lesbian as a bishop in Los Angeles without any condemnation from you, has increased the widening gap between the global south church in Africa and the global north church in Europe and America. In these increasingly dark days, we encourage you not to give into the temptation to water down what the bible says so as not to offend people.  Jesus’s gospel is a stumbling block, and a rock of offense.  Rick you are our friend, we have bought many of your books and have been blessed by them. Do not let the pressure of bloggers and popular media intimidate you into becoming a negotiator for homosexual paedophillia rights in Africa. As you yourself say about evil, – “the Bible says evil has to be opposed. Evil has to be stopped. The Bible does not say negotiate with evil. It says stop it. Stop evil.”(RW-12/2007) Since the bible says that the giant of  homosexuality is an “abomination” or a great evil, you cannot achieve the peace plan without  a purpose driven confrontation with evil.  

Ugandan Clergy Demand for your apology within:

Please note that on Friday 11th December, more than 200 of Uganda’s top religious leaders met and supported the legislators in strengthening the law against homosexuality.  (Church leaders back anti-gay bill.) The issue is, we all want the law on homosexuality, the only debate is on what penalties are appropriate.

Your letter has caused great distress and the pastors are demanding that you issue a formal apology for insulting the people of Africa by your very inapropriate bully use of your church and purpose driven pulpits to coerse us into the “evil” of Sodomy and Gaymorrah. This is expected within seven days from this date.

Sincerely Yours, 

Martin Ssempa, Phd

Bishop David Kiganda

Pastor Ssozi Peter

Prof. Peter Claver Matovu

Seventh Day Church Representative.

familypolicycenter@gmail.com

PS: A video Youtube response will be sent as possible.

The taskforce represents

The National Fellowship of Born again Churches

The Seventh Adventists Church

The Uganda Joint Christian Council which also represents:

The Orthodox Church in Uganda.

The Roman Catholic Church in Uganda

The Islamiic Office of Social Welfare in Uganda

Note that the coalition met on the 17th in the office of the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Nsaba Buturo. One has to assume that the recommendations for altering the bill will get a pretty solid hearing.

Regarding the defense of the bill, I addressed some of these claims yesterday. This letter addresses the actual bill a bit more directly than the Christianity Today version. Here, the Ugandan Task Force acknowledges that they are addressing private conduct of adults and not just child abuse. However, when they suggest restrictions on homosexuality will somehow address the HIV problem, they ignore the fact HIV in Uganda is primarily a heterosexual problem. In essence they ignore the religious arguments against the bill and attempt to make a weak public health argument. 

Clearly, some alterations in the bill are forthcoming and these will be debated in 2010.

UPDATE: Martin Ssempa has reactivated his website and has the statement posted there as well

  • http://gayuganda.blogspot.com gayuganda

    Gosh, I do salute my countrymates, for sheer gal. I mean, I didnt expect this of them.

    Now, the politically correct thing to do, in view of this blatant lie, is to shut up in sheer disbelief.

    And of course, to allow them to add onto this another missive.

    Which, I believe they have prepared.

    I will helpfully point out that the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda, the Anglican Church of Uganda, and the Orthodox Church are under external pressure to rescind their support of the bill.

    Dont amuse, (and exasperate me) by caving in to this blatant blackmail……!

    Hey, you know your jungle better than I know it. So, my advice is just that. Advice.

    But, I will be very interested in your reply… You, the Christians outside Uganda!

    I salute, (in amazed fascination), my countrymates gal and sheer stupidity…. But, as Goering is said to have said, the bigger the lie, the harder you shout it out….

  • Erp

    If I’m reading this correctly, no Anglican representative signed on. The Roman Catholic Church seems to have signed on indirectly.

    The continuing confusion is of consensual relations with non-consensual relations (including those with people incapable of legally consenting due to youth).

    Also they misstated the California Penal Code. Mandatory reporting is for child abuse (including sexual abuse of a child) not for sex crimes involving only adults and there is a very specific list of who must report. It was argued about but it was decided that a child didn’t have the full capacity (physically and/or mentally) not being an adult to decide whether to report incidents themselves so it was up to certain adults aware of an incident to report it on behalf of the children. I don’t think anyone on this list has any problem with this sort of mandatory reporting of child abuse (except some might balk at priests having to report stuff learned in a confession). Parents are not required to report.

    As for AIDS being an excuse, that might have a shadow justification if the bill was about only male-male homosexuality but the bill also goes after female-female homosexuality and female to female sexual relations are the least likely means of sexually transmitting HIV.

  • Mary

    Looking forward to the alterations.

  • David Blakeslee

    However, when they suggest restrictions on homosexuality will somehow address the HIV problem, they ignore the fact HIV in Uganda is primarily a heterosexual problem.

    I am not sure that is a fair reading of the whole document…they refer over and over again to the myth of heterosexual virginal sex curing HIV AIDS.

    I found the narrative about the martyred Christians in 1885 interesting…if true it highlights how quickly a culture’s values can shift…

    The narrative of Oundo is compelling…but is equally true behavior in heterosexuals who molest children.

    Is it fair to say “Kill the Gays” bill is a misrepresentation? Would it be fairer to name it “Kill

    All

    the Pedophiles, and persecute those who Engage in Same Sex behavior”?

  • David Blakeslee

    Oops:

    “Kill the Gays” bill is a misrepresentation? Would it be fairer to name it “Kill All the Pedophiles, and persecute those who Engage in Same Sex behavior” bill?

    I think this is Sempa’s emphasis…and he make numerous false leaps in judgment to criminalizing Same Sex relations from the work of Cameron, Cohen and Lively.

  • Michael Bussee

    I guess with the APA being politicized, he has no choice.

  • Lynn David

    Well, that’s what you get when you demand to apply late bronze age rules to what is a modern understanding of life. It gets to sounding rather delusional. But perhaps it is best that Rick Warren should get on his knees and cry out for forgiveness from the Ugandan pastors. They obviously have things well in hand.

    Oh well…. whatever. Our lives have never been our own. We’ve always had to kow-tow to hatred and inordinate fear.

  • James

    Several developments in Uganda and around the world constitute the compelling circumstances that have necessitated the Anti-homosexuality Bill. These include:

    a) increasing incidents of homosexual abuse of children and youth by people exercising power and influence over them like teachers, pastors, parents etc. A recent report shows this. Uganda: Child Abuse rampant.;

    I followed the link to the study ‘Uganda: Sexual Abuse Rampant’ and there was no mention of homosexual acts or sodomy. It just states that:

    “Some 13 percent of boys aged 10-17 were sexually abused”

    It does not make any reference whatsoever to whether the perpetrators were men or women. Therefore I find it quite disingenuous on the part of those pastors to claim that this percentage constitutes sodomy victims. The research does not say this at all. Which is not to say that it is impossible, only that the research they are citing does not make it clear.

    Then:

    “b) recruitment of youth into homosexual practice with inducements including money. (Homosexual admits recruiting students). While we have a law that currently prohibits “acts against the order of nature”, this law is not comprehensive enough to cover the promoters of these acts. The draft law seeks to stop promotion and further recruitment of unsuspecting children and youth into homosexuality.”

    Aaah, Oundo again. I have been keenly following the ‘Oundo’ story ever since it exploded in the media. It is interesting that the Ugandan media AT NO POINT IN TIME took steps to find independent corroboration to back up Oundo’s testimony. No evidence on who was recruited, how, where..etc..None of the ‘recruited’ have ever come forward or have even been identified, and we are yet to hear names of organisations that are ‘providing funding’ for the ‘recruitment’ programmes. In short, Oundo’s claims have not been substantiated with good evidence.

    It is also worth noting that Oundo’s ‘confession’ comes after the beginning of his association with Martin Ssepma. He got ‘saved’ in Ssempa’s church afterall. Considering that Ssempa is being suspected of coercing young boys to LIE about how Pastor Robert Kayanja molested them.

    (http://allafrica.com/stories/200909280029.html)

    One would indeed be justified in remaining skeptical about Oundo’s claims. Couldn’t he, just as easily, been offered enticements to fabricate these allegations of ‘recruitment’? To me, it would seem more than likely, given that we are yet to be shown ANY EVIDENCE that can back up Oundo’s claims.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Michael,

    I guess with the APA being politicized, he has no choice.

    That was cute….

    I would be interested in your reasoned assessment.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Warren and others,

    Are you aware that there may be some inconsistency in one of your logical arguments against this bill?

    You rightly assert the HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly a heterosexual condition in Uganda…

    …but then the argument against the bill includes that it will drive SSA men underground and thereby increase HIV/AIDS…

    Now, I have thought of another:

    …Education and openness in our culture has not helped keeping HIV/AIDS from being overrepresented in the MSM (Men having sex with Men ) community.

  • David Blakeslee

    I should have argued in the first point that since MSM is such a small part of the population, it is unlikely they could change the national rate of HIV/AIDS…although, the next argument, which is quite valid, is that it could spike dramatically in the MSM community (which is unacceptable).

  • David Blakeslee

    I think if we sharpen our logic to multiple fine points, we can “love the Lord with all….our mind.” In that process we are more likely to address the law and its motivations and manipulations.

    We are in the midst of triangulation maneuvers on all sides…and our thoughtful response can continue to be instrumental.

    Triangulation is facilitated by leaps in logic and distortion of facts for emotional reasons.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    David: Here are my thoughts about HIV and this bill.

    Ssempa and others are talking about HIV like it is being transmitted in large measure by gays. If straights start thinking it is a gay problem and now we have handled it, what will that do for testing or those found to have it? I am not thinking of next month, I am thinking long term.

  • Mary

    AIDS education does not seem to have worked. For those who really don’t want to get sick – every precaution is taken. For those who do not care – they do not care. And then there is the phenomenon of those with AIDS deliberately spreading it to others. In any case, AIDS occurs at a higher rate in Uganda and we really do not know the reason and can only surmise by comparing our cultures without real scientific foundations.

    If Uganda presses forward as their excuse for such stringint laws in our western eyes, then time will tell. Unfortunately, innocent people will suffer. It is an endless argument – where did AIDS come from, who started it, why does it continue when we have the knowledge to prevent it?

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

    Uganda had made significant strides in turning back HIV/AIDS just a few years ago. They were not going after gays then. They were pushing things like Zero Grazing and ABC, covering all the bases. It was the best that could be hoped for. Now, all the political backbiting and the condoms vs. abstinence wars have collapsed that window.

  • Eddy

    Thanks, Warren.

    IMHO, this letter provides the best glimpse yet into the mindset of the Ugandans. I’m always amazed at your access to information!

  • David Blakeslee

    Warren,

    Thanks for drawing my attention to your previous post. I understand the logical sequence of concerns.

    Ssempa and others are talking about HIV like it is being transmitted in large measure by gays.

    I don’t know how to reconcile this statement in the greater context of Ssempa’s work with abstinence…It appears he started with the heterosexual community years ago…In that regard he may have some credibility by “judging his own house” (heterosexuality) before looking elsewhere.

    His concerns about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is completely justifiable…the numbers there are astronomical…whether there is a link to MSM is worth exploring.

  • David Blakeslee

    Ssempa does not mention the recent events in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of American regarding ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.

  • Michael Bussee
  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks Michael…

    Any thoughts about my other comments?

  • Michael Bussee

    Not yet. I am a bit behind in my reading. Need to catch up! :)

  • Eddy

    Warren,

    Can you link to Rick Warren’s letter and the theological points you cited in the lead paragraph to this thread? Thanks!

  • hazemyth

    Looking at the letter, I see no mention of the bill’s infringement on the freedoms of speech and association.

  • hazemyth

    Perhaps this wording is no longer current but, regarding the ‘aggravated homosexuality’, the bill states:

    3. Aggravated homosexuality.

    1) A person commits the offense 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;

     f) offender is a serial offender, or

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

    2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

    This would seem to apply the death penalty to any homosexual with AIDS/HIV (b) and to any ‘repeat offender’ (f) — which would include pretty much any gay person who has ever had a relationship. I assume that ‘repeat offender’ refers to multiple counts brought simultaneously rather than prior convictions, since conviction on a single count of homosexuality merits life imprisonment. Of course, even if it does entail prior convictions, it’s still a travesty.

    There is no acknowledgement of these articles in the letter above.

  • hazemyth

    Lastly, it seems pointed that, while they are defending the bill on the grounds of pedophelia, that term is not used. By terming it ‘aggravated homosexuality’ they are creating an indelible association between pedophelia and sex between consenting adults.

  • Michael Bussee

    By terming it ‘aggravated homosexuality’ they are creating an indelible association between pedophelia and sex between consenting adults.

    I think that is the intent.

  • hazemyth

    Naturally. I was just high-lighting it as another aspect of why these articles (of the bill) are so objectionable. Perhaps unnecessarily. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    I am a repeat offender. I have knowingly rented to a homosexual person. I have touched a person with the intent of having gay sex. I have promoted homosexuality by speaking out for gay rights. I have known many homosexuals and have not turned them in. I did all of that this weekend. I think I might have done some other things prohibited by the proposed law. I’m not good at math. How many years in prison is that so far?

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

    The definition of the phrase “repeat offender” within the bill includes anyone who has been convicted for any of the offences mentioned in this bill. So if you are convicted for both advocating for rights for Intersexed and Transsexual people, and also convicted of Homosexuality, you’re liable to be put to death.

  • Daniel Batt

    It is interesting to see how conspiracy theories flourish, especially within Christian communities. All the obsession with the ‘International Gay Agenda’ is stoked by western evangelicals. All these myths of homosexual recruiters, etc. is really disturbing. Poor Rick Warren! All his chickens are coming home to roost, as Ssempa displays when he quotes Warren’s earlier statements in Uganda that there is no such thing as gay rights.

    As an aside, this law will obviously be in breach of the Human Rights Charter and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Have they addresses this yet?

  • David Blakeslee

    @ hazemyth,

    Your wording seems similar to what has been posted before on the bill…I am trying to figure out if the word “or” at the end of each description of “aggravated homosexuality” is missing….

    or if the semi-colon means that all behaviors described in the list must be met for the condition of “aggravated homosexuality” to be met…regardless, it is not pedophilia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophilia

  • http://gayuganda.blogspot.com gayuganda

    Wow, [shake of the head],

    I think I should give Ssempa a congratulatory look. From the commentary here, he seems to have guided the conversation as he would love it to be… On the inconsequentials.

    I am sorry to say, but, Ssempa lies. That is a matter of fact. The first thing to do for this missive of his is to FACT CHECK it. A thorough FACT CHECKING. Because, if you dont do that, then you are going to start discussing the red herrings like they were fact. That is what he wants, to pull wool over your collective eyes. He is VERY good at that. Even Rick Warren acknowledges that he doesnt think he knows the Ssempa that he sees now.

    Ssempa will tell history to fit what he believes should be as it should be. Please, do take all mentions of what is supposed to happen in Uganda with a large pinch of salt. His reality is his reality. And, from the wording, I am guessing that Ssempa wrote this missive himself. With little input from the others.

    Know the man on the other side. The first reality you have to take in about Ssempa is that he, man of god etc, will still first sell you a barefaced lie. Frankly. If it will suit him.

    That is my assesment of him.

  • David Blakeslee

    If you marry a person of the same gender…lifetime in prison….

    You just can’t win, be monogamous, pick a peer, make a commitment…lifetime in prison.

  • Lynn David

    Yet how can you marry someone of the same gender when gay marriage is already outlawed by the constitution? You can’t be convicted of something you can’t do in the first place!

  • Eddy

    I am sorry to say, but, Ssempa lies. That is a matter of fact. The first thing to do for this missive of his is to FACT CHECK it. A thorough FACT CHECKING.

    I followed gayuganda’s suggestion and attempted to check the facts contained in ‘this missive’…by following the provided links. Being in another country is indeed a setback to complete understanding and research but, a cursory review of the claims from the missive, comes out reading mostly true.

    Point a, however, is false. Heterosexual abuse of minor girls went from an alarming 60% down to 53%, following steps to educate and intervene. Homosexual abuse of minor boys was at 13% and remained so even after steps to educate and intervene. While the abuse rates are indeed alarming, the letter claims to respond to an increase and the facts (from the link they apparently provided) don’t bear that out.

    Point b is a fact-finders nightmare. The link is to a news story that reports on George Oundo’s speech to assembled parents. The story reports Oundo’s tellings…some of which can be verified and some which can’t. Oundo claims to be a former gay activist and recruiter (the first claim would be verifiable; for the second {recruitment does tend to secretive} we’d need to take his word for it). That would also hold true for Oundo’s claim that he himself had been recruited. Since Oundo had identified as transsexual, that word ‘recruited’ can be viewed as loaded. Did someone seek him out and recruit him or was he ‘enlisting’?

    Point c appears to be true. No one seems to dispute that the books were indeed circulated by UNICEF and that they state as fact the unscientific conclusion that ‘we are born with these feelings’. (I use ‘unscientific’ to mean simply that it’s a conclusion that science has yet to prove…it’s popular theory but not proven fact.)

    Point d also true. Undeniably. Whatever the declared reason for the existence of these groups is; it is undeniable that they exist and that promoting the acceptance of homosexuality is one of their primary agendas.

    Point e also true. The link source appears credible and there does appear to be an international movement to regard homosexuality as a ‘human rights’ issue. Most interesting is that the US was the dissenting vote.

    Point f is also apparently true. There has been significant lobbying done here in the West to impact the situation in Uganda.

    Point g is also pretty much true. A number of our political campaigns here in the US to legalize gay marriage have resulted with ‘skin of their teeth’ victories for those holding the conservative view.

    Point h is also true. Undeniably. Michael even provided another link that demonstrated further that the church itself is being influenced towards acceptance and condoning homosexuality.

    I only evaluated the statements for their truthfulness and, as I indicated earlier, I only have the provided links to go on. Gayuganda’s challenge was ‘Ssempa lies. That is a matter of fact.’ Gayuganda recommends ‘a thorough FACT CHECKING’ and, while mine was cursory, it still was rather time-consuming and, at that, only embraced the first half of the missive.

    Gayuganda:

    I’m wondering if you could provide anything more re the statements a-h that I addressed to demonstrate the lies. Or, if the lies are primarily contained in the second part of the missive, could you cite them and then provide the facts that refute them? This would be a tremendous service! Thanks!

  • David Blakeslee

    Wow, Eddy, thanks.

    More help from GayUganda appreciated (I know it must be tiring).

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

    Point g is also pretty much true. A number of our political campaigns here in the US to legalize gay marriage have resulted with ’skin of their teeth’ victories for those holding the conservative view.

    That one’s not entirely true. It’s a regional thing. Some of the 31 states passing traditional marriage amendments have done so by significant margins.

  • hazemyth

    @David Blakeslee

    or if the semi-colon means that all behaviors described in the list must be met for the condition of “aggravated homosexuality” to be met

    It’s hard to imagine how that could be. For starters, points C and D would seem redundant. That aside, if all conditions must be met, then the charge would be limited to:

     HIV-positive, ‘serial offending’ parents or guardians who have drugged and committed statutory rape with their disabled child.

    Surely, that’s an implausibly narrow category — certainly more narrow than the issues addressed in the letter above, which speaks of statutory rape and child abuse generally. The letter includes abuse by parents/guardians and abuse of the disabled as subsets but does not limit itself exclusively to concurrent cases.

  • David Blakeslee

    Thanks hazemyth…

    I ask the question given the second to the last category includes “or.”

    Ssempa’s personal narrative includes an episode where a person of power attempted to manipulate him into homosexual sex when he was a minor.

    I wish we could do a side by side comparison of the previous law that Ssempa often refers to and this proposed law.

    The issue is whether they are identical in their focus on adults who have sex with minors.

  • Eddy

    David,

    I failed to mention that I did follow a link or two from the second half of ‘the missive’, therein they link to Section 123 of the Penal Code, that if I’m reading it accurately, became effective in 1997. That reading is ONLY about male perpetrators and female victims.

    I do have questions about it though. The link appears to be not to the Penal Code itself but rather to a citing of it. The language appears to be intact and may be the exact wording of the actual Penal Code but since it appears to be a citing of it rather than the Code itself, I can’t be certain.

    What seems extraordinary, especially to my American brain, is how gender specific it was. It repeatedly addressed girl or female victims and didn’t once address boy or male victims. This goes to the oversight that many say they want to address with this new bill.

    What troubles me, though, is that I’m sure I’ve read a number of comments over the past few months here on Warren’s site that maintain that this new bill is redundant…that existing laws in Uganda already address the exploitation of both genders, not just the female.

    You mentioned a comparison between the old law and the proposed law…and I’m wondering if perhaps there aren’t two versions of the old law…one that can be found by following the link to Section 123 in the latter half of the missive and the one that others have commented on that addresses both genders.

    (What’s ironic is that I think I may have even referenced the law as it applies to both genders…but we’ve had so many threads on this topic, I wouldn’t know where to find my previous comments. I’d like to know which website I found them on to evaluate them fairly.)

    Anyway, to sort this out. We would need to determine if Section 123 as linked to above is an accurate rendering of the current penal code. If it is, we need to determine where the notion that Ugandan law already addresses both genders comes from. (I think I first found it when I googled ‘aggravated homosexuality, Uganda’…I’ll try that again and see what I can come up with.)

  • Michael Bussee

    Wonder what Rick Warren will do now?

  • Eddy

    He will most likely assess the comments sent to him by his Ugandan brethren and prayerfully and thoughtfully consider whether those comments have merit. If he finds them to have merit, he will respond humbly as a Christian brother. If he finds that they do not have merit, he will respond humbly and patiently explain how and why he disagrees with their assessment.

    The part that’s a real guess is whether he’ll have his next communication with them privately or if he’ll continue to operate in the public eye. My hope is that he’ll respond privately and that, jointly, they’ll decide how to respond to the lobbying groups.

  • Pingback: Box Turtle Bulletin » Ugandan Pastors Demand Apology from Rick Warren

  • David Blakeslee

    The “section 123″ link above goes to a description of the law provided by a Non-profit group SAP.

    It views sexual behavior between an adult woman and a minor boy as “indecent assault.”

  • Daniel Batt

    Eddy quoted “Heterosexual abuse of minor girls went from an alarming 60% down to 53%, following steps to educate and intervene. Homosexual abuse of minor boys was at 13%”

    I wonder whether this is a similar abuse of statistics as we see in the west by Paul Cameron. When a male abuses a boy, it is incorrect to call him or that abuse homosexual, because in the vast majority of cases it is men who are a heterosexual (primarily sex-attracted to women) who abuse boys.

    Second, Eddy listed point e “The link source appears credible and there does appear to be an international movement to regard homosexuality as a ‘human rights’ issue. Most interesting is that the US was the dissenting vote.”

    I think the US under Bush dissented on the UN bill but signed on under Obama.

  • Lynn David

    The only way someone could consider points d, e & f to be true is to share the same level of homophobia as Ssempa.

    .

    The organizations do not promote homosexuality in the sense that Ssempa would have you believe, that is to seek to “turn” people into homosexuals.

    .

    The proposal by France was to simply decriminalize homosexuality, which is no more than the Catholic Church recommends to nations, although it won’t get behind the French proposal because it fears actually saying something kind about gay people.

    .

    Finally if ‘f‘ is true then the positions of people like Dr Throckmorton and Rick Warren among others whose Christian faith is behind their lack of support for such a bill would be easily dismissed by Ssempa by something other than they are being unChristian.

  • Mary

    Some of the 31 states passing traditional marriage amendments have done so by significant margins

    Do you know those margins – exactly? what is significant to one may not be so to another.

  • David Blakeslee

    Daniel Batt…your point about heterosexual abuse of boys by Men is well taken…do you happen to know the percentages (you said vast majority)?

    Lynn David…I agree with your clarification that what Ssempa sees as gay advocacy and what these groups do for gay advocacy are two different things.

  • Daniel Batt

    . . . your point about heterosexual abuse of boys by Men is well taken…do you happen to know the percentages (you said vast majority)?

    Hi, David, the actual stats are beyond me at the moment. As heterosexuals are in the majority, the vast majority of abuse is of course hetero. Cameron’s misuse of science is analysed here:

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html#cameron

    and all over the web.

    Other misuses of science re. hetero and homo abuse is available here:

    http://www.nisswa.net/~critiques/hetmor.html

    The latter link may well yeild actual stats, but it takes a lot of work to come to grips with all the definitions, and their implications, of peadophilia, fixated paedophilia, etc., etc. The science is rigorous in this link, but very dense.

  • Eddy

    Some clarifications:

    Daniel: sorry, I did not mean to convey that the abuse of boys was perpetrated by homosexuals; I was referencing that the abuse itself was homosexual. (Two people of the SAME (homo) sex.) Who the perpetrators were did not seem important; I was conceding that the missive overstated that one…since there was no increase. The percentage remained the same and was far lower than the heterosexual rate.

    Lynn David: ah, yes, the trouble with definitions. What does ‘change’ mean? what does ‘promote’ mean? We might presume that Ssempa used a word like ‘promote’ that we know has multiple connotations. To some, it would be seen as simply ‘promoting’ a healthier view of homosexuality and advocating for the rights of gay people; to others it would read as ‘recruiting’. Whether Ssempa is playing such a word game, I cannot say. I addressed the truth of his statement. (gayuganda claims he lied…not that he used obfuscating language). And, I want to thank you for your very unbiased critique. No acknowledgement whatsoever of my comments regarding Oundo who claims he was recruited and I suggested may have freely enlisted. Ah, but paint me as you will.

    For this statement, I think there’s still time to put your name in for ‘Understatement of the Year’:

    The proposal by France was to simply decriminalize homosexuality, which is no more than the Catholic Church recommends to nations

    LOL. ‘to simply decriminalize’!!!! No, to make it mandatory that all nations within the UN decriminalize it. That’s not my definition of ‘simply’. LOL. Yes, the Catholic Church recommends. The UN enforces. Big difference between a recommendation from an organized church and enforcement from a group as powerful as the UN. (Some, I’m sure, will bicker over the word ‘enforcement’. Let me say that ‘losing your membership or standing’ in the UN amounts to ‘enforcement’.)

    Your comment re ‘f’ still does not make ‘f’ a lie. Western churches are changing their stance on homosexuality. There were gay churches. Then mainline denominations began to question. Then they became ‘welcoming congregations’. Then it advanced to having gay clergy in those denominations. Ssempa cited examples of gay bishops (overseers) being appointed. You may feel that it’s a long overdue ‘coming of age’ but that doesn’t change the truth of what Ssempa said…even the Western churches are radically changing their tune.

    Gayuganda (who still hasn’t checked back in) painted Ssempa as a liar…not as someone who had a different point of view. I’m looking for the lies.

    Mary–

    I don’t have the stats but I believe Debbie may be right. In some places, the margins weren’t ‘skin of the teeth’ but were rather sizable. The focus, though, ought to be ‘was Ssempa lying in what he said’ not a haggling over what ranks as sizable. What Ssempa(and the others behind the missive) was(were) saying–from a distant country–was that, in following our news, he saw that the homosexual agenda had gained such momentum that, in many areas, gay marriage was nearly legalized. Was that a lie?

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

    What Ssempa(and the others behind the missive) was(were) saying–from a distant country–was that, in following our news, he saw that the homosexual agenda had gained such momentum that, in many areas, gay marriage was nearly legalized. Was that a lie?

    No. Ssempa sees a trend in the U.S., as momentum has been building for gay rights. He had already given up on the EU, but I think he wanted American to be the bastion of sensible values. He is not the only one who has concerns over it. And he has to be worried about the upward trend again in Uganda for HIV/AIDS.

    He is looking for dots to connect, I think. American families are in shambles in large measure (I do have some optimism, but we have to be honest). Ssempa is desperate to hold onto whatever image he believes is Uganda. He is not seeing the forest for the trees. Human nature cannot be exported, of course. What topples one nation can topple them all.

  • Daniel Batt

    Ssempa sees a trend in the U.S., as momentum has been building for gay rights. He had already given up on the EU, but I think he wanted American to be the bastion of sensible values.

    You really have to be careful what you think America represents. As the global exporter of theology and Christian literature, it is pre-eminant. But in Africa it exports sheer heresy by the bucketload, such as the prosperity gospel and the ‘wrongly dividing the word of truth’ trash of the rapture cult (among much good stuff). Both telecast mercilessly via CBN and TBN, etc.

    But Ssempa also sees the paradoxical message of gay rights and the evangelical conspiracy theories of the International Gay Agenda. One would wish Ssempa appreciated the thinking of the 17th century Baptist Roger Williams, not to mention Thomas Jefferson. Williams was as devout as Jefferson was skeptical, but just as heretical according to the standards of his time. Williams coined the phrase “soul rape”, by which he meant the imposition of beliefs or practices on another’s conscience, another’s ability to seek truth.

    Williams, who wrote “The Bloody Tenent of Persecution”, a 1644 text relating to the Indian persecution that was remarkable in its call for government to refrain from enforcing orthodoxy. Seeking truth, he believed, mattered as much–more, for the purposes of governance–than finding it. It was the act of inquiry, or even the potential for inquiry, that he viewed as the most essential quality of being human. Williams saw consciences as “delicate, vulnerable, living things”, a perception that led him to conclude that to ensure liberty of conscience government must go beyond simple neutrality and protect the rights of the minority. (See http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080609/sharlet )

    If Ssempa thought through the ideas of the early Baptists regarding the imposition of morality by government fiat, he would have a far better biblical theology that wouldn’t seek the death of those who pursue other avenues of fulfilment in life. The US has much good theology and civility to export. And one would hope it would outweigh and eclipse the bad theology. If only!

  • David Blakeslee

    Williams coined the phrase “soul rape”

    Perfect.

  • David Blakeslee

    I knew, someone, somewhere could articulate this…it is even more comforting that it is articulated by early American immigrant, a devout baptist, who is also engaged politically…and that it is over 300 years old.

  • Eddy

    Daniel–

    You might want to rethink or rephrase this sentence in light of the reality that the death sentence is/was considered only as a punishment for pedophiles and specific exploiters. Or are you justifying those as ‘other avenues of fulfillment’ that some might legitimately pursue?

    he would have a far better biblical theology that wouldn’t seek the death of those who pursue other avenues of fulfilment in life.

  • Michael Bussee

    “Regarding the imposition of morality by government fiat…”

    “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.” — Thomas Paine

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

    Eddy said:

    You might want to rethink or rephrase this sentence in light of the reality that the death sentence is/was considered only as a punishment for pedophiles and specific exploiters.

    At risk of offending you, this is irresponsible for you to adopt the spin of the Ugandan coalition.

    I have posted the law but I will do so again with comment. The death penalty was not conceived just for pedophiles and exploiters.

    3. Aggravated homosexuality.

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

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

    I recognize that an existing (bad) law in Uganda harshly punishes boys who have sex with girls who are under 18. However, pedophilia applies to adults who have sexual interest in pre-pubescent children. It is wrong in my view to compare a man who victimizes a child and two boys, one 18 and one 17, who kiss or touch each other through their clothing (look at the definition of sexual act and the definition of the offence of homosexuality). I asked Martin Ssempa if that exact situation was in view and he sent me an article describing a boy and girl caught in the same situation. The boy was not killed but it ruined both of their lives. So yes, this situation applies. That is not pedophilia.

    (b) offender is a person living with HIV;

    There is nothing here about exploitation. Persons with HIV may safely engage is sexual intimacy of all sorts and should be able to without fear of the state imposing the death penalty. Repeat, there is nothing in this phrase that indicates exploitation or force.

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

    This is an exploitative situation and most likely is already covered in their laws. I do not favor the death penalty for this but I do favor strong penalties of course.

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

    Perhaps, the framer of this law thought that the status of authority conveyed force but it does not cover situations where an employee might willingly engage in sexual relations with an employer. Other consensual situations come to mind. This could be coercive but is not of necessity rape. I can see some kind of penalty for sexual harassment or other impositions but not death. However, this needs to be clear that there is no crime without harassment or coercion.

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

    Here the language changes to make the “victim” the focus. If victim means what the law defines it mean then here we have victimization and a penalty is in order. If it just means someone who has a disability has consensual sex with someone else then it is a problem.

    (f) offender is a serial offender, or

    The bill defines a serial offender as “…a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences.” So someone who repeatedly touches someone with the intent to commit a same-sex act could get the death penalty. Where is the pedophilia or exploitation in that?

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

    This is exploitation and should have a consequence.

    (2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

    I say again, it is irresponsible spin to suggest that the death penaly in the AHB is reserved for situations of pedophilia and exploitation.

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

    I thought the death penalty was out or on its way out now. Is it still there?

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

    Debbie – The Pastor’s Coalition is going to suggest that the death penalty be removed but there is no current official draft with it removed. The current version is the one we have been reporting and which was read for the first time in October. A draft without the death penalty may come in Feb for the 2nd reading but this is not certain. As far as responding to the spin about the death penalty only being for pedophiles and exploiters, it does not matter. It needs to be pointed out that the argument for why it was ever there in the first place is flawed. Is it possible that those who wrote it just wrote it really badly and they meant for only exploiters and pedophiles to be the target? Maybe but I have not heard that argument made. What we are being treated to is an effort to get people to ignore what they plainly read.

  • Eddy

    Honest discussion with someone who disagrees with me never offends me. I believe we learn most when we don’t see completely eye to eye.

    Let me say, once again, that I do not favor the death penalty under any circumstances. I’m even reluctant to support it for serial killers…mostly because I don’t fully trust any justice system to always get it right. But, for sexual offenses, I simply don’t support it at all.

    I don’t care to repeat every qualifier I’ve previously supplied in each and every post. I also cited previously that there ought to be some distinctions in the law for those who engage in sexual behavior with someone under the age of 18 when the age difference between the two is 3 years or less. (Arbitrary. I wouldn’t scream with outrage if the difference were broadened to 5 years.)

    It seems we have different points of view regarding b, d and f.

    Re b: I agree with you that a person living with AIDS should not be regarded as some sort of special offender. In some of my earlier readings, I thought I picked up on the notion that they were reacting to those who were HIV positive who were having unprotected sex.

    Re d: On this one I’m sure that I had read their concerns that referenced the authorities, not as workplace superiors, but as teachers, counselors, caregivers, etc. I can see how the wording could be misconstrued to apply to situations such as you presented but I caught the sense that they were going after exploitive situations.

    Re f: Once again I’m guilty of thinking the best. When I read ‘convicted of serial offenses’, I felt they were referring to ‘worthy crimes’…already rightly judged…and that the perpetrator simply continued in that.

    In any event, you were able to take partial exception to points b, d and f. (Even in those categories, there would be some–even many–who fit the truly exploitive definition that ought to have some penalty or restriction.) For the exploitives of b, d and f and those who fit a, c, e and g, I still maintain that we shouldn’t view those as ‘legitimate avenues of fulfillment’.

    I suggested that Daniel’s statement was weak in the fact that it somehow glomped these exploitations in his grand conclusion and suggested a modification. Instead, we’re willing to overlook these very serious inclusions into ‘avenues of fulfillment’ while we pick away at the others, more innocents, who are at risk. A bit biased but still commendable. And, a bit laughable…with a sad sort of laughter.

    Those unclear areas such as you cited were the very things I hoped to pick through via discussion of compromise. In fact, it was probably in my first effort to discuss compromise that I mentioned that there ought to be a distinction made between pedophiles and those with a minimal age difference. No one was up for discussion of compromise then…and now that we’re in the final hours…hints of compromised thinking (I see this as wrong but this as something that ought not to be penalized) are emerging. Sorting out the various behaviors and whether they should be considered punishable…determining the severity of the punishment. I KNOW those are points I made when suggesting that we needed to look beyond the black and white and make credible and constructive suggestions to the Ugandans.

    Now we simply criticize. The proposed law isn’t clear! The proposed law could be interpreted to put such and such group at risk! We’ve been through this here on our own soil. We’ve made decisions both good and bad…but we refuse to give the Ugandans much more than “kill that bill”. Criticism that fails to be constructive isn’t generally well-received.

  • snowisfun

    I’m not a Christian, nor am I religious but I see something wrong with homosexuality & GID. With regard to Uganda laws, if science eventually finds the cure for homosexuality (whatever the causes), then it’s a moot point. They must abolish sex changes & what science must do is learn to cure or @least better treat GID, not surgically maim patients to make them what they’re not. Sex changes happen because science knows how to do it. IF they knew how to Whiten Blacks, surgeons would be Whitening Blacks who think they’re White & they’d be making the same justifications as what currently happens with GID.

    Incidentally, if oral sex were to disappear, that would be fine as well, though I know many straights do it. With abortion-pro-choice or abort. If it’s predicted that an unborn baby would be handicapped (they can already do this) & in the future if they can predict an unborn baby will be a homosexual or have GID & the mom wants to abort it, then yes it would be a justified abortion.

  • Daniel Batt

    . . . it is even more comforting that it is articulated by [an] early American immigrant, a devout baptist, who is also engaged politically…and that it is over 300 years old

    The Baptists and non-conformists are owed a huge deal of gratitude by the US, Europeans and the rest of the wold, as they are all in debt to much of their thinking. As an anabaptist myself, I admire their prescient view that morality in the hands of the ‘principalities and powers’ of government were inevitably perverted. Much better to provide space for those who sought their own way than legislate for those whoone thought, with the best of intentiuons, ‘were in the right’.

    What did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery? All the ‘sacralists’ said, “Go and sin no more”. But the Baptists remembered that Jesus first said, “Neither do I condemn you,” As Jesus abolished the holiness code in Mark, so he also abolished any sexual law (and other moral laws) here in the Gospel of John. Why didn’t Jesus condem her, when he obviously had no sin in his own eye? Well, Jesus wasn’t about to establish a new law re. sexuality, obviously.

    The history of the anabaptists, among others, influences all Western laws for human rights. Simply, they believed, that to love one’s neighbour was to allow her to live and behave as he or she liked. Not to promote liberty for its own sake only, but to allow liberty to provide a free space in which to search for, to discover, and to then worship God.

    It might not work that way, of course, but there was no other way for the radical liberty of Jesus to be understood for both the believer and unbeliever.

  • Daniel Batt

    sorry . . . the above block quote is wrong. The first is a block quote, the rest is my own work. Sorry for goofing up.

  • Michael Bussee

    I see no need for the word “homosexual” in any law aimed children or the vulnerable. Abuse is abuse. Start there.

  • Daniel Batt

    I suggested that Daniel’s statement was weak in the fact that it somehow glomped these exploitations in his grand conclusion and suggested a modification

    Sorry, Eddy, I am sure most people (or anyone really at all) wouldn’t see me arguing this. But, if they do, I want to state clearly for the record (oh why do I even have to do this?) that I wasn’t making a case for exploitative sexual relationships as part of God’s design or humanity’s preferred civil legislation. Clearly . . . Clearly!

    Why would you accuse me of this? I am making the case re. the rest of the proposed Bill and existing law that people must be free to find their own meaning in life and relationships and that the State has no place impinging on this. Most developed western states do this, and the UN in trying to commodify this too. As I have said, this is in line with the Human Rights Charter and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which most nations have signed.

  • Michael Bussee

    The criticism of the Bill and the call that it be withdrawn may indeed be having an impact. There are already some indicators of this.

  • Eddy

    Daniel–

    I was going after the obvious omissions in your argument. They are fine-sounding words until we reckon with some of the real people and real situations. I never suggested that you endorsed these behaviors…had that been my approach, I would have ‘flown off in an outrage’ that you would even dare suggest such a thing. Instead, knowing that you would not be endorsing these other behaviors, I pointed out that your statement could be read as to include them and perhaps needed to be reworded.

    Given that so much of our discussion has been about what ‘could be read’ into these laws, I simply believe it’s fair that our discussion observes the same principles of preciseness of speech that we are demanding of the Ugandans.

    We are challenging them to step around these linguistic landmines…I’ve been challenged when I haven’t bent over backwards to separate the offensive behaviors from the non-offensive…why shouldn’t ‘your side’ also be called upon to be careful to separate the offensive from the non-offensive in your statements?

    Do we only call on the one side to jump through the ‘correctness’ hoops?

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Daniel

    Not to promote liberty for its own sake only, but to allow liberty to provide a free space in which to search for, to discover, and to then worship God.

    It might not work that way, of course, but there was no other way for the radical liberty of Jesus to be understood for both the believer and unbeliever.

    AMEN!…from the fourth row back, on the right…amen.

    So glad you stopped by.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    This is almost a non-statement.

    The criticism of the Bill and the call that it be withdrawn may indeed be having an impact. There are already some indicators of this.

    Someone from the other side could just as easily say:

    The defense of the Bill and the call that it move forward may indeed be having an impact. There are already some indicators of this.

    In either case, I’d want a little bit of meat with those potatoes. Like what evidence of impact is there? What are the indicators?

    This particular thread seems to start out with the defenders of the Bill coming together jointly and coherently to emphatically call on Rick Warren to rethink his position. That’s a very strong ‘indicator’ for the defenders of the Bill. What are some of these ‘indicators’ that they critics are succeeding?

    BTW: I am NOT a defender of this Bill. I believe it has a number of serious flaws. But, at the same time, I have not joined sides with the critics of this bill because I believe their approach has some serious flaws.

  • David Blakeslee

    DIGRESSION ALERT!

    @ Warren and others:

    Ssempa has his problems, but this seems a helpful and positive way to talk about Christian Sexual morality:

    Abstinence Stigma is a negative, biased, hostile attitude that has permeated the culture toward those who choose abstinence as their protective measure against STDs and pregnancy.

    Rather than celebrating their strength of conviction and self-protection, Abstinence Stigma makes young people making healthy choices feel ostracized, embarrassed, isolated, rejected and shamed. It is an absurd, yet dominant mindset in today’s sexualized society. For change to occur, we must break the shame of Abstinence Stigma.

    My goal…at multiple sites…is to talk about what we have in common and to avoid the narcissistic attack game (to include devaluing and splitting our opponents simplistically into all bad categories).

    Abstinence Stigma seems a good label for how this has been applied to those who apply Christian Sexual Morality to their behavior.

  • David Blakeslee

    Ok…my block quotes got reversed:

    Abstinence Stigma is a negative, biased, hostile attitude that has permeated the culture toward those who choose abstinence as their protective measure against STDs and pregnancy.

    Rather than celebrating their strength of conviction and self-protection, Abstinence Stigma makes young people making healthy choices feel ostracized, embarrassed, isolated, rejected and shamed. It is an absurd, yet dominant mindset in today’s sexualized society. For change to occur, we must break the shame of Abstinence Stigma.

    My goal…at multiple sites…is to talk about what we have in common and to avoid the narcissistic attack game (to include devaluing and splitting our opponents simplistically into all bad categories).

    Abstinence Stigma seems a good label for how this has been applied to those who apply Christian Sexual Morality to their behavior.

  • Michael Bussee

    It is true that people within Uganda (and elsewhere) who are trying to claim that the Bill is only aimed at child molestors and at those who homosexually abuse the vulnerable may be having an impact in getting it passed. Sadly, that side may yet succeed.

    But, recent recent posts are more hopeful. Articles posted on FB report that the President of Uganda says he will not let it fly, that some high-ranking Ugandan officials think this Bill “may not be necessary” — and that they really don’t want or need the “bad press” it is getting.

    Here is the link to the FB group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=198541255168&ref=mf

    Time will tell.

  • Maurice Lacunza

    Well, this is what happens when people start judging others. The anti gay Christians are reaping a bounty that they did not anticipate. To me, this is a reminder that I must be careful and cautious about the words I use in a public setting. Rick Warren is learning that to be an anti gay preacher, he has to accept that his teachings will lead to anti gay behaviors. By the way, gayness is not an “giant abomination of evil.”

    See Rick? Do you see what happens what happens when you judge God’s children? It is a runaway train. One day, God will be asking questions about your treatment and love for the lesser of these.

    For me, I am going to try to not judge anyone if I can help it. It is my experience that God loves everyone.

    God doesn’t need me to set policies on earth. He just wants me to live and walk and work in the spirit and in the truth that is love.

  • Maurice Lacunza

    I just realized that I am guilty of judging Rick Warren by my veiled comments above. My apology.

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

    I just realized that I am guilty of judging Rick Warren by my veiled comments above.

    It’s very difficult for us not to carry some vestige of this guilt, isn’t it? Life ain’t so simple. You “came clean.” Most don’t even know they need to.

  • Maurice Lacunza

    It is difficult, Debbie. Perhaps perfect love is the ability to love all- including sin- to that point God’s love should be our goal. Human interpretations go badly when we judge sin, but what can go badly if we just focus on love? Forget the rest and just fall on the side of love. Perhaps it will bode better in the end to be judged for loving instead of judged for judging. I will continue to strive for love. Thanks too for sharing your thoughts.

  • David Blakeslee

    As creatures of God…created in His image…we are called upon to Judge…and we will be judged by other’s in God’s kingdom and God Himself.

    Can’t escape all the ramifications.

  • Michael Bussee

    Primarily, we are called to love.

  • hazemyth

    @David Blakeslee

    I’m not sure that it’s abstinence as such that earns many people’s ire but rather admonitions of sexual promiscuity. The two are often facets of a single sexual ethos. I think people mostly bristle at having their more liberal sexual practices derogated. Conversely, sexual liberty needn’t imply libidinousness. It could include abstinence. There’s plenty of room for a meeting of the minds.

    At the same time, abstinence has gotten a bad reputation because of it’s occasional association with unscientific attacks on prophylactic use.

  • Michael Bussee

    I wish more Christians who believe we are called to judge would speak out clearly against the Bill. I am pleased that so many compassionate and smart ones already have. The list keeps growing…

  • David Blakeslee

    @ hazemyth,

    abstinence has gotten a bad reputation because of it’s occasional association with unscientific attacks on prophylactic use.

    I wish you would consider that such attitudes preceded the “unscientific attacks” on ‘rubbers’ (I didn’t want to spell out ‘prophylactic’).

    There has long been a cyncism (not just skepticism) toward sexual restraint. The peer pressure is overt on teens and young adults. The negative consequences of sex is disproportionately experienced by women.

    Remember Billy Joel: “Come out Virginia…Only the Good die young!”

  • hazemyth

    Well, sure, I didn’t mean to suggest that was an exclusive factor. Perhaps I was thinking more in terms of public policy discourse.

    Naturally, there’s a great deal of dubious peer pressure regarding sex, as well as commodification/marketing/etc. Often, this is a narrative shaming people for (presumptively unwanted) virginity, rather than abstinence per se, but definitely inclusive of abstinent youth, religious or otherwise.

    I think we can agree that this behavior is problematic.

  • David Blakeslee

    hazemyth,

    Thanks…I am trying to build a common set of arguments.

    Abstinence, as an ego strength (restraint, delay of gratification, an expression of emotional intelligence) is a personal behavior…which has dramatic public policy implications.

    Sexual expression as a validation of maturity or a validation of orientation appears endorsed and encouraged in our Popular Culture.

    Sexual expression as a validation of worth and power seems more deeply valued in our culture than it was, maybe 60 years ago.

    This seems problematic as a public policy issue and sexual expression has broad ramifications (it appears emotionally destabilizing for many teens; adolescent impulsivity means exposure to STD’s; pregnancy has dramatic costs and responsibilities which the adolescent is poorly equipped financially and emotionally to bear…taxing the larger society, not only in terms of welfare assistance, but increased support in after school programs, drug and alcohol programs and unfortunately, criminal programs).

    As the greater society is negatively effected by those consequences it is tempted to take short cuts to resolve them…abortion is one of them. We may come to conclude, like we have already regarding overt eugenics 80 years ago, that this is a corrupt policy that we should be ashamed of.

    When we think of abstinence…as a public policy issue…it has huge ramifications.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy – How about you just writing out for us what you think the Ugandans ought to do? That way we would have something to react to.

  • Eddy

    Eddy – How about you just writing out for us what you think the Ugandans ought to do? That way we would have something to react to.

    I think I’m already getting more reaction than I can take. I’m trying to figure out if a particular comment provoked this response from you Warren…on this thread, I had to go back more than a dozen posts to find a comment from me.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Eddy – I was reacting to the comment at Dec 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm. Your characterization of the bill as regulating pedophiles and exploiters was not based on the plain language of the law. What the pastors want it to mean doesn’t matter, they are not legislators. I agree the law is poorly written but when these men of god ask observers to ignore the plain language of the law in favor of their spin, I am not going to trust their good will. Your answer at Dec 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm seemed to give their spin credence. If they want to do what they say they want to do, there are good English words to do that.

    So I say again, without going around the block a bunch, why don’t you suggest some language?

  • Eddy

    Warren–

    It’s very easy for all of us to see the language errors…and God knows that we make numerous language errors on our own. I’ve been jumped on for language and poor word choice so many times that I don’t think I’m your man for the job.

    My comments have largely been based on the presumption that we’ve been going at this with an extremely risky all or nothing assumption. ‘Pull that bill!’ But, my understanding of the situation in Uganda is that they won’t settle for nothing…they’ll demand that something needs to exist in the law.

    What I had hoped to contribute was to engage in discussion and that the discussion would serve to refine our language, to catch those areas of ambiguity, to address those areas that, even here in the US of A, we regard as criminal. Every attempt at that failed. I believe I even once suggested that if their concern really is with protection of the ‘boy child’, the simplest solution would be to rewrite the current law that seems to address the female with scarcely a mention of the boy…to rewrite that law so that it is inclusive of both genders. Biggest problem is, though, that that law also contains those extreme penalties of death and life imprisonment. And when I did bring that up, again no one wanted to discuss those areas where penalties would or should apply.

    So, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this whole bill will simply get flushed down the toilet. That would be the best solution. But they sound so powerful, so influential and so entwined in the political system that I can’t envision them settling for a complete flushing. And I strongly felt that we needed to have a countermove…a counter suggestion at the ready.

    The points that you brought up in response to my response to the letter to Rick Warren are valid points for clarification…a minimum demand. “While we have a number of concerns re your proposed bill, most notably the severe penalites of death and/or life imprisonment, a chief area of concern is unclear language in several areas that would extend criminalization to…(here you would list those areas of concern: the HIV positive, workplace ‘authority’, sex involving a minor when the other person is scarcely out of the minor status…)

    But, again, maybe I’m reading the situation wrong. Maybe a 100% withdrawal of the bill is a possibility. The commentary has been so tainted with judgements, suppositions, second guessing, sarcasm and the like that it’s been extremely difficult to come up with a clear picture of the actual situation. Even people who don’t normally presume or jump to conclusions seem to be engaging in those behaviors. That was my main concern on the Joyce Meyer thread. People seemed to be drawing conclusions from a ‘no comment’ response and at least one person seemed to be interpreting the ‘no comment’ response to you as a more global “I see where you are very concerned…however, I’m not. Have a nice day.”

    But, alas, I repeat myself. I don’t enjoy doing it and I know people don’t enjoy hearing it. For me, Christmas begins in just a few hours with a celebration with a part of my family. I need to start winding down on my blog and Lexulous time.

    Merry Christmas to All! (That’s no guarantee that I won’t be checking in again…)

  • David Blakeslee

    Eddy,

    It would probably be helpful to start with the existing law based on heterosexual abuse of minors…

    Changing the language to include sexual abuse of boys….

    Amending punishment to exclude the death penalty…

    Shorter prison sentences for late adolescent (16-18 years old?)…

    Longer prison sentences for younger victims….

  • David Blakeslee

    I don’t know…but think we are all missing a motivational driver in this:

    Ssempa’s own personal experience with attempted exploitation by a male adult when he was a minor.

  • David Blakeslee

    Until we address that driver…(I think)…we cannot make inroads…this law may be less bigotry based and more trauma based.

  • Eddy

    David–

    I agree that Ssempa’s personal experience may be a driver but I’d still like to sort out just how much this bill is ‘his baby’ and how much is representative of the Ugandan way of thinking. Ssempa has been painted as the villain–and the chief engineer behind this bill quite effectively–but I don’t recall seeing that much documentation. (When I consider how conservative Christians have been villainized and the type of anecdotal impressions that are used to support the charge…I find myself wanting hard facts rather than impressions and judgements.)

    I think your ‘short list’ from the previous comment is a good one although I balk at ‘shorter prison sentence’ for the 16 to 18 year olds. If you mean 16 to 18 year old victims, I can concur. If you are referring to 16 to 18 year old perpetrators (them having sex with someone 14 or older), I’d be inclined to go with no prison sentence at all. (It wasn’t until I started typing that I realized you were likely referring to 16 to 18 year old victims…one example of where need to be precise when speaking legalese.

    I fear that time is now so short. Getting hung up as we did, if this stuff does need to get talked through, I fear it’s too late. We’ve only cited these areas for discussion and the bill is heaped with so much more. How do we move them…can we move them…from ‘life imprisonment for gay marriage’ to ‘no penalty’? How do we sort out the intricacies of freedom of speech?

    I firmly believe in freedom of speech but I don’t believe that we’ve quite got it right here in America. There are excesses (as evidenced by the materials that we HAD been discussing that GLSEN provided to our schools) and there are imbalances (our currently unofficial policy of ‘freedom from religion…that would condone having a speaker affirm homosexuality as completely natural and would screen out an ex-gay since their motivation was religious). My guess (and something I believe I commented on a while back) is that we’d need to make some kind of distinction…distinguishing freedom of speech (on the web, on the airwaves) from the government sanctioned classroom. I think that referring to one as a ‘freedom of speech’ issue and the other as an ‘advocacy’ issue might be a start. In any event, they need to be separated so that they can be considered separately.

    Oh, for the wisdom of Solomon…

  • Michael Bussee

    So, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this whole bill will simply get flushed down the toilet. That would be the best solution.

    I tend to agree.

  • Michael Bussee

    I find myself wondering which countries have the best-written laws on child sexual abuse and protection of the vulnerable from sexual predators?

    Since supporters of this Bill claim that these are there real concerns, perhaps they could review some of the statutes already adopted by other nations.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    This is an excellent idea. I think by ‘supporters of this Bill’ you mean Ssempa et al. In the missive, they did reference our statutes in the latter half, so it seems that, for those specific offenses, they are at least consulting the statutes of others. I hesitated to say ‘other nations’ there because I’m not sure that we’re consistent state to state with our child abuse and protection laws.

    I believe it would be okay to suggest that to them but I suspect they would justify the most severe penalties they find that have not caused public outcry; my hope was that those sincerely concerned might recommend a more moderate punishment more based on mercy.

  • Michael Bussee

    Here’s one example. I did not notice any mention of the sexual orientation or gender of the victim or perpetrator. Why would a good child abuse law need that?

    http://www.interpol.int/public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/csaSweden.asp

  • Eddy

    So Michael is suggesting (I think) that rather than suggest that Uganda rewrites the old laws to purposely include both genders, they should rewrite them without reference to gender. That is another way to go at it and sounds workable but it doesn’t address the most troublesome part of the proposed rewrite–which is the penalty for the behavior.

  • Michael Bussee

    Uganda might want to consider not only how other countries define sexual abuse of minors and the vulnerable, but how other countries punish the offenders as well. Just leave gender and sexual orientation out of it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Of course, if they did that, it wouldn’t be this law. Maybe this whole bill should simply get flushed down the toilet. That would be the best solution.

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  • Robin Crane

    Did you notice that section 3 (aggravated homosexuality ), subsection g makes it an offense to drug someone of the same sex for the purposes of carnal sex, but it’s just FINE for men to drug women! If you want to get rid of AIDS, you might make it illegal for men to rape women AND ENFORCE THAT LAW.

  • Robin Crane

    This law (and SSempa) sound like the news stories of men pointing to strangers in the street (always women in the stories I’ve read) and accusing them of “shriveling my manhood.”

    This anti-gay law is not one full step from those witchcraft-based fears OR the Salem witchhunts of 17th Century Massachusetts.

    I don’t give credence to ANY of the arguments…..these folks are, like many fundamentalist haters, acting like haters have always acted. They aren’t thinking; they don’t WANT to think; they don’t want to solve the problem. Just look at the stats on AID since they went on their abstinence kick.

    I pray that God will protect us from the hatred wreaked on the powerless in His name!

  • Eddy

    Hi Robin.

    This has been a long ongoing discussion…there are dozens of different topic threads where we’ve sorted through this situation. It would be extremely difficult to sum up everything but I wanted to let you know that Uganda already has laws that address the various ‘defilements’ of women…including the use of drugs to have sex.

    In fact, the original law, rather than clearly addressing both genders, majored on offenses committed by male perpetrators against women. The folks behind the ‘anti-homosexuality’ bill seem motivated by an attempt to make sure that the laws clearly address homosexual perpetrators as well.

    It seems clear, though, that that original law was amended to address sexual offenses whether the victim was female or male. This would suggest that this new proposed bill is not needed.

    Even given that, though, the proposed penalities cited in the new ‘anti-homosexuality’ bill are considered extreme. The wording of the anti-homosexuality bill is also unclear and seems to criminalize not just the offenses of rape or exploitation but homosexuality or being HIV positive as well. It has been noted that the extreme penalties have their parallels in offenses against women.

    Part of the outcry is against the homophobic designs of the new proposal…simply to be identified as homosexual would be criminal. This, of course, would severely inhibit free speech and freedom of assembly. Another part of the outcry is against the extreme penalities of life imprisonment or death for some offenses.

    I’m sure I didn’t capture all the nuances but I felt it important to address your misperception that women weren’t protected under Ugandan law.

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  • Jonathan Kisekka

    For crying out loud…has anyone of you had from the Ugandan populance on this issue of legislation? As a Ugandan (representing a constituency) we respect rule of law and so is it with the order..We find homosexuality appauling and this “pressure” unnerving.

    Ssempa and the team should stick to the first draft or else the existing penal

    code on defilement be changed too.

    Another angle is we need our resourse which is our population, and homosexuality will not in any way help us achieve our economic ambitions.

  • Eddy

    Jonathan–

    Currently, this blog site has dozens of topics related to this issue. Yours is not the first voice representing the ‘Ugandan populace’…and all voices are welcome.

    Some will take comfort in knowing that you find the pressure ‘unnerving’ as that was it’s intent.

    Even the conservatives among us find the suggested penalties too severe and some of the peripherally attached issues counterproductive. I have no problem with you finding homosexuality appalling as long as you are likewise appalled by all the other things that religion calls sin or abomination. “Lying lips” are an abomination. Why does homosexual behavior between consenting adults merit death or life imprisonment? What is your punishment for “lying lips”?

    I firmly believe that singling out one behavior called ‘sin’ over others actually works counter to the intent of the Gospel…it drives the needy away rather than drawing them to Christ. I’m not sure, but I think that may be the primary reason behind many of the American conservative Christian voices who have joined in the campaign to impact the passage of this bill.

  • James

    Mr. Jonathan Kisekka,

    As a Ugandan myself let me inform you that homophobia is intellectually indefensible. It is the product of ignorance, and a skewed brand of religious fanaticism.

    Ugandans are a by and large an illiterate and uneducated bunch. You know this very well. You and your compromised parliament have done little, if anything to change this. So appealing to the emotions of an uneducated populace as justification of discrimination on the basis on sexual orientation (a subject they do not understand) is not very impressive, I must say. They don’t know any better, and have been blindly incited to hate homosexuals by certain religious leaders and opportunistic politicians who have INTENTIONALLY conflated homosexuality with defilement of children. Sensible people know that this is ridiculous.

    It is good that pressure is being applied to Uganda by the international community with regard to the bill. You will recall that the Southern States in America also had to be ‘pressured’ to free SLAVES and to DESEGREGATE their schools and public facilities. South Africa also had to endure sanctions while they still practiced apartheid. It is this pressure that brought liberty to blacks in all 3 cases. (Hmm..should those societies have been left to practice their ‘sovereignty’ and be left to keep slaves and/or segregate? You get the drift)

    These examples clearly show us that where an injustice is being manifested in any way, applying pressure is not only justified – but is also morally obligatory.

    Bravo USA and the international community..and the few Ugandans that are standing up to this most egregious bill and the homophobia driving it.

  • Eddy

    James–

    I appreciate your input as a Ugandan in response to Jonathan.

    My only reservation is about this phrase:

    on the basis on sexual orientation (a subject they do not understand)

    .

    While it may be fair to criticize the unenlightened population of Uganda for not understanding ‘sexual orientation’, I believe it’s fair to say that even the enlightened psychological community doesn’t fully understand it. The concept of sexual orientation was first presented in the last century primarily to describe the condition of being attracted sexually to one’s own gender. Natural course then applied orientation to the opposite gender and there isn’t much being clearly said about an orientation towards both genders. So, to pretend that others are woefully misinformed seems to imply that we are far more informed than they are. Beyond having labels and calling it a ‘condition’, though, I’m not sure that we know all that much.

  • James

    Hi Eddy,

    I admit that I’m not a professional psychotherapist or anything like that, but as I understand it, the major professional organisations (representing tens of thousands of certified psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, and pediatricians) engaged in peer reviewed studies on this subject have at least established that:

    1. Sexual orientation is not a choice

    2. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder

    3. Forced reparative therapies have not been demonstrated to work, and in fact are known to be harmful to those subjected to it.

    Do you dispute these conclusions? Or am I wrong in stating that this is the prevailing consensus?(I hope I have not opened a Pandora’s box here. I have heard this is a sticky subject on this blog)

    If the above 3 points are true, then my point would still stand. Most Ugandans have NO IDEA of the kinds of studies that have been undertaken to investigate sexual orientation. You sound as if you are suggesting that psychologists are just as clueless on the issue as the Ugandan populace. If that is what you mean, I must say you’ve kind of lost me.

    I’d appreciate some clarification from you.

    Thanks.

  • Eddy

    Hi James,

    Yes, it is a Pandora’s box but it’s one we’ve somehow learned to manage.

    I’m in complete agreement with you that thousands of therapists agree on the notion they’ve termed ‘sexual orientation’. Many, however, believe that this was not in response so much to science as to lobbying pressure. We invented the concept of ‘the condition of being attracted to one’s own gender’ and then needed a name for that condition and ‘sexual orientation’ surely fits.

    But consider that every child alive has a ‘lying orientation’. No one has to teach a child how to lie; it seems to come automatically. “Did you put those toys in the toilet?” “NO!” (A few classics on Funniest Home Videos come to mind. In one, a young girl is still covered in mom’s lipstick and makeup but when mom asks if she was using mommy’s make-up, a wide-eyed innocent ‘NO’ response.) What makes something a condition other than that we’ve felt the need to categorize it for some purpose?

    Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. When using a psychological definition of ‘disorder’, truly, homosexuality is not a mental disorder. The tendency to want to tell a lie is not a disorder either. Because something is not a mental disorder does not automatically mean that it’s right, good or sanctioned by the creator.

    I agree that forced reparative therapies have not proven particularly successful; i sumbit though that the jury is still out on the success of voluntary reparative therapy. There’s what we call a ‘sticky wicket’ though. If we go back to point one…about that ‘condition’ or ‘orientation’. The thinking regarding that concept seriously alters the definition of success. If you think of it as ‘a condition’, then success is a change in the condition…you once had strong same sex attractions; you now have strong opposite sex attractions. Some go so far as to say that even if a so called ‘ex-gay’ enters into a happy and sexually satisfying marriage, if they still have occasional homosexual attractions, they are not a success.

    I’ll go back to the lying example (not comparing gays to liars…using lying because it’s probably the one universal sin of all humans). Now, if we thought of our attraction to telling untruths as a ‘lying orientation’, then success would be a strong desire for telling the truth and the absence of even considering lying again. I daresay that success rate would by similarly abysmal.

    Regrettably, conservative Christians are responsible for adding to this confusion. Many, in their attempt to appear credible to the scientific community, adapted the scientific lingo not being particularly attentive to the concept of ‘a condition’…using the word ‘homosexuality’ instead of ‘homosexual behavior’ or ‘homosexual attractions’. This means that when they mixed in terminology that had Christian overtones, it muddied the message. The words ‘change’ and ‘freedom’ are the prime example. If you think in terms of a condition, both change and freedom mean a change of the condition and freedom from it. If you think in terms of behavior or attraction, change and freedom mean a difference in the way that you respond to the attractions and (hopefully) a definite change in behavior. Change and freedom, in that context, also applies to the frequency and potency of the attractions but does not mandate that they be totally eliminated.

    According to the Bible, it is quite natural for humankind to be attracted to pleasure. According to the Bible and to basic human understanding, if you once found something pleasureable, you’re likely to be drawn towards it again. According to psychological understanding, stress, isolation, depression, and other emotional factors can increase a drive towards gratifying pleasure. Combining all those factors, I totally reject the notion that success is the total absence of homosexual attraction. I believe amnesia (forgettting that we once found pleasure or comfort in an area) IS a mental disorder.

    One final word about ‘reparative therapy’. The term is similar to our word “Kleenex”…a word commonly substituted for tissue. Kleenex is actually a distinct brand name and there are many tissues out there, some better…some worse which some mistakenly call Kleenex. Or just as some parts of our country tend to call all colas “Coke”. (My head bobbed in awe the first time I heard someone say “I’ll have a Pepsi-coke”.) Anyway, there is a lot going on in the world of ‘ex-gays’ that does not fit the ‘reparative therapy’ model. ‘Reparative Therapy’ is actually the brand name of a very specific therapy model but it is certainly not the only model being employed. I do believe, though, that it’s the one that is most visible to the psychological community and is likely the chief proponent in appealing to that sense of condition as opposed to behavior and attraction.

  • James

    Hi Eddie,

    You said:

    Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. When using a psychological definition of ‘disorder’, truly, homosexuality is not a mental disorder. The tendency to want to tell a lie is not a disorder either. Because something is not a mental disorder does not automatically mean that it’s right, good or sanctioned by the creator.

    Actually I am non-religious myself, so what Christians believe God sanctions or prohibits is not something that is of much concern to me, or relevant to the point I was trying to make in my response to Mr. Kisekka.

  • Eddy

    James,

    I hear you and must admit that I used Christianity in an attempt to be forthright because it is my base. However, even my non-Christian friends have a moral code that does not favor lying…and there are many non-Christians who do not feel that homosexuality (or homosexual behavior or attraction) is the intended purpose for a person.

    At the very least, there are many who question the fully cognizant ability of an adolescent to take on an identity based on a sexual orientation recognition. In all of the confusion and floundering associated with adolescence, it must be conceivable that some will go through a homosexually attracted phase, even finding it pleasurable and gratifying to a high degree, but be in fact responding to unresolved emotional issues and to pleasure and/or orgasm.

    Advocates of ‘homosexuality as a norm’ continually point out how much it actually has in common with heterosexuality. Wouldn’t those things in common also make it more likely that a person could be confused for a time? “Wow, I can’t begin to describe how it felt to be in the arms of someone who knew me, loved me, and accepted me for all that I am.” A powerful and gratifying experience. But, does the fact that it first happened with a same sex individual mean that it couldn’t happen with an opposite sex person? ‘ When we accept the label, the identity, the condition known as orientation, we mentally rule out that possibility.

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  • John Cummings

    I saw that a pastor in Uganda was promoting genocide on homosexuals. As if this world needs any more negativity and bigotry, we get another ignorant, narrow minded spotlight seeker that just doesn’t get it. I am a gay man. It took me a very long time to understand what I was feeling inside growing up, who I was and finally acceptance. These people think that we have a choice of what we are and that we influence, molest and manipulate others into becoming homosexuals and that we go after them when they are young. Are you friggin kidding me??? Talk about being ignorant and living in the dark ages. But then again, I’m at a lost as to why any homosexuals private life is headlines to others anyway. Maybe it’s time to get a few things straight (no pun intended)…

    First, gay poeple are NOT pedifiles and we are not after your children nor are we here to “recruit” others to become homeosexual. If the Ugandan pastor would have done his research he would have found out that straight people make up nearly the full majority of the pedifiles that you find out on the streets molesting young children, not homosexuals. Second, homosexuality is NOT a choice… As if any of us would choose to be gay bashed, ridiculed, harrassased, beaten and even killed simply for loving someone that is the same sex. Third, as of 2110 there were 6,840,507,000 people in the world and of that nearly 7 billion, statistics say that homosexuals make up 15 percent of that number (at least the ones that admit to being homosexual, that is)… that means there are approximately 1,026,076,050 gay people in the world. 1.03 BILLION… that means that homosexuals out number, nearly every race on this planet. In fact, that is NOT an abomination that IS a race! Imagine if every one of those people turned on the world that has turned on them.

    Since as far back as I can remember, all I have ever heard is that homosexuality is immoral and against God. Lets clarify that as well. First God did not write the bible, man did. God did not bellow down from above and dicate the bible to man. So first we need to be clear, the bible, even though it is one of the oldest books in the world, it is still a book and like any good book written by man, it is open to interpretation, unfortunately those that wrote it are not around to say exactly what they meant when they wrote the things we now question. But since a good portion of the world relys on that book as a tolken of inspiration, guidence and morality, then let me take from Genesis the most important parts from the very beginning… God created the world, and it was good. God created man in His own image and it was good. To first say that homosexuals are an abomination is an insult to God, he created 1.03 BILLION of us and according to the bible… it was good. Second God, unlike man, doesn’t discriminate. He isn’t a bigot, a racist or even a God that takes sides. He is a God that loves all and cares for all evenly, no matter what color you are, who you believe is the real God or even if you don’t believe in him, he still loves you the same. He will not take sides, he will not endorse your decision to blow up the trade center towers, he wont agree with you to shoot a homosexual, especially not in His name.

    Every educated person in the world knows about what took place in Nazi Germany. Nearly 8,861,800 people were exterminated because one man didn’t like Jews (or anyone that didn’t fit into his idea of the perfect race for that matter, that included homosexuals as well). Do we know how many homosexuals were annihilated along with the jews? Does anyone care? Sadly, the answer for nearly half of the population of the world’s non-homosexuals is no. The number could be as staggering as the number of Jews killed by the Germans: 5,933,900. Does anyone care? According to the Ugandan pastor, he believes that all homosexuals should be killed, that means (applying the statistics) he endorses killing 1.03 billion homosexuals… How many more Hitlers does the world need before we all finally say enough is enough. When will the world open it’s eyes and see what God has laid out right in front of them? Life is a beautiful thing not to be squandered and wasted disagreeing, fighting and killing people. God is all about love not hate and nothing in the Bible or the Caran says otheriwse.

    I hope that this will help people change their perspective on homosexuals or at the bare minimum, allow homosexuals to keep their private lives, just that… private. And to the Ugandan pastor, you have many problems in your own country much larger than homosexuality. As a pastor of a church your focus is supposed to be on love, peace and kindness to others. Somewhere along your journey, you have lost your way to richeousness.

  • StraightGrandmother

    John Cummings I salute you! Well said. I dunno about 15% of the world population being homosexual but regrdless on the percentage it is still a lot f people.

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