Martin Ssempa resigns from the Oral Roberts University Board of Reference

Back in January, I noted that Martin Ssempa, at the time the most vocal pastoral supporter of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, was a member of the Board of Reference at Oral Roberts University. At the time, the school had no comment about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill or Rev. Ssempa’s controversial public pornography displays.

Recently, Change.org crafted a petition delivered to ORU asking them to denounce the anti-gay effort. This petition and another article were triggered by Ssempa’s involvement in campaigns of outing gays published in the Ugandan tabloids, Rolling Stone and the Campus Nail.

Earlier today, ORU Director of Public Relations Jeremy Burton sent an email with this simple message:

I wanted to let you know that Martin Ssempa has resigned from the ORU Board of Reference.

I followed up with questions about the timing and circumstances of the resignation but Mr. Burton has not replied as yet.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks for this post. I look forward to your updates.

  • Val Kalende

    Thanks Warren. Waiting for the story as it develops.

  • http://www.leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com leonardo ricardo

    Martin can always start Oral Ssempa Ugandan School for advanced liars, abusers, bigots and those who deceive (themselves as well as others)…his credentials all seem to be in order and he no doubt can get a freebe with Rolling Stone (not the U.S. publication) publicity.

  • Lynn David

    I’m guessing that more or less dries up Ssempa’s speaking engagements in the US.

  • http://gayuganda.blogspot.com gayuganda

    good riddance…???!!!!!

  • Mose

    Little by little,,,he will be finished, lol

  • Jame

    Oh, really? I suppose ORU has lost a great brain. I admire Ssempa’s boldness. Not wanting to have ORU wrongfully pressured into anything , he deliberately resigned. Congs Ssempa, you are a great Leader who reads the times perfectly.

  • ron

    why target gay men? the practice of anal play is also indulged by hetero’s as well.

  • joe

    who cares!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=716305826 Joe-Allen Doty

    I was a student in the Master of Arts in Theological and Historical Studies degree program at Oral Roberts University for 5 semesters in the 3rd quarter of the 1970s.

    I signed the petition electronically when my friend, Lee Conger, sent me a notice about it.

    There are other people on ORU’s current Board of Reverence who are anti-gay, too.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    Ssempa is fast becoming a ‘has been’. His ‘AB only’ doctrine seems to have led to an increase in HIV transmission rates in UG, and his obsession with homosexuality has made him a laughing stock, albeit a dangerous one.

    It is a great shame – I’m sure that a ‘sensible Ssempa’ would be a good thing for UG. Instead he’s now ‘silly Ssempa’ – firmly on the wrong side of history.

  • Maazi NCO

    While not holding brief for Pastor Ssempa or my evangelical compatriots, I will react to this blog as follows :

    Ssempa is fast becoming a ‘has been’. His ‘AB only’ doctrine seems to have led to an increase in HIV transmission rates in UG….

    The “ABC” strategy have always emphasized the “A” and “B” strategies since it was introduced in the early 1990s. The “C” strategy was option of last resort in the wider ABC policy. At the time it was introduced by the Ugandan government, hedonistic westerners criticized it for its emphasis on “A” and “B” strategies. They all predicted that it will fail for not being a condoms-only program. Well, they were proved wrong as the infection rates reduced from double-digits to single digits with that policy. HIV/AIDS prevention is not just about condoms, its also about responsible behaviour by adult men and women. If it was all about condoms, then South Africa which has one of the world’s highest concentration of NGOs distributing free condoms would have its infection rates reduced drastically. Instead what we have seen is that despite all these free condoms floating about, the South African infection rates have stubbornly stuck at 20% or more.

    Ssempa is fast becoming a ‘has been’. His ‘AB only’ doctrine seems to have led to an increase in HIV transmission rates in UG, and his obsession with homosexuality has made him a laughing stock, albeit a dangerous one.

    A laughing stock, among who?—gay sex practitioners and their supporters in the West?

    It is a great shame – I’m sure that a ‘sensible Ssempa’ would be a good thing for UG. Instead he’s now ‘silly Ssempa’ – firmly on the wrong side of history.

    Of course, a “sensible” Ssempa is one that bends over and accepts Western hedonistic opinion that aberrant sexual behaviour is good and should be practiced by all.

  • Richard Willmer

    Hello Maazi

    How’s your ‘evidence’ for so-called ‘recruitment’ coming along?

  • Maazi NCO

    Martin Ssempa resigns from the Oral Roberts University Board of Reference–Warren Throckmorton

    I think it may be wise for Ugandan evangelicals to look inwards and stop clinging to foreigners who seem to be fair-weather allies to them. A case in point being the volte-face of Pastor Rick Warren and company after being subjected to blackmail by the euro-american gay lobby. My thinking is that we Ugandans do not need Westerners to validate our opinions, beliefs or convictions. I doubt that Ssempa’s personal matter with his erstwhile allies in USA will adversely affect the Ugandan people’s campaign to keep gayism firmly at bay.

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  • Richard Willmer

    And your evidence for all this child abuse you claim that gay people are responsible for? Got it yet, Maazi?!

  • Maazi NCO

    And your evidence for all this child abuse you claim that gay people are responsible for? Got it yet, Maazi?!

    Are you okay? Did I ever talk of child abuse? Please stop distorting my words !! I only spoke of vulnerable youths who are being invited to pro-gay counseling meetings on the basis that they (i.e. the youths) are allegedly “confused with their sexuality”.

    Hello Maazi

    How’s your ‘evidence’ for so-called ‘recruitment’ coming along?

    It seems you have run out of sensible things to say, so you keep repeating yourself like some kind of parrot on heat. This matter has been addressed properly and adequately in previous threads. I shall not attend to it again.

  • Richard Willmer

    OK Maazi

    So you have no credible evidence to back your claims of ‘recruitment’. This doesn’t really surprise me, to be honest.

    Saw this in the New Vision (which is government-owned, is it not?):

    http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/739863

    Maybe ‘ABC’ is going to make a comeback (i.e. the policy of Ssempa be repudiated)? Good idea.

  • Maazi NCO

    Maybe ‘ABC’ is going to make a comeback (i.e. the policy of Ssempa be repudiated)? Good idea.

    The ABC policy never went away. It has always been there as the HIV/AIDS policy of the Ugandan State. Dr. Martin Ssempa is not the Ugandan State. Please go and educate yourself on Ugandan affairs.

  • Richard Willmer

    The condom-burning Ssempa might not share you view! He is (or was?) a ‘big player’ in the anti HIV / AIDS programme in UG.

    http://martinssempa.blogspot.com/2010/03/statement-asking-speaker-of-ugandas.html

    And here he seems to be telling the UG Parliament how to run its affairs.

    My ‘take’ on ‘Ugandan affairs’ happens to be quite well-respected in some quarters (including Ugandan ones), by the way, so your continued rudeness doesn’t worry me, dear. Actually, if you stopped being rude, THEN I might start to worry!

  • Richard Willmer

    And the fact that you, Maazi, are clearly unable to produce credible evidence of the widespread ‘recruitment’ you claim takes place is deeply gratifying.

    We both know that it doesn’t happen, of course.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com Emily K

    Whenever i see “ABC,” I think “Anything But Condoms!”

  • Richard Willmer

    Emily

    Strategies to fight the scourge of HIV / AIDS are a very serious matter, isn’t it? I think the Ugandan authorities, judging by a number of reports I’ve seen recently, are rather concerned about the high incidence of ‘unprotected’ sex (including with multiple partners) in UG.

    Condoms are not ‘the answer’, of course; an end to ‘sexual secrecy’ and hypocrisy (both of which can all to often be the results of the kind ‘moralistic screeching’ the Ssempas of this world provide) are of course much more important in the long run. In the meantime, condom usage has its place within a comprehensive anti-HIV strategy. Even the Pope seems to recognise this now.

  • Richard Willmer

    Emily

    It has just occurred to me that you were joking! Sorry to ‘preach’ at you!

  • stephen

    Richard,

    as our good buddy Maazi puts it:

    It seems you have run out of sensible things to say, so you keep repeating yourself like some kind of parrot on heat. This matter has been addressed properly and adequately in previous threads. I shall not attend to it again.

    Or as we say in the States: I got nothin’.

  • ken

    Warren,

    Any update on Canyon Ridge’s support for Ssempa?

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

    Stephen – indeed!

    (While I don’t know, because I have not seen them, I suspect that the ‘offending leaflets’ were to do with health education/promotion, or providing support for people who wanted some form of counselling etc.

    And of course, the moment one suggests that being gay might not be ‘completely evil’, one becomes a ‘recruiter’!)

  • Richard Willmer

    In other words “recruiter” = “someone who disagrees with me”.

  • Richard Willmer

    As someone who claims to be christian, Ssempa has made a cardinal error: he has abandoned ‘moral philosophy’ and fallen prey to ‘cultural relativism’.

    I have just been to Mass. At any Mass, one is reminded (especially in this season of Advent) that, by his coming as man, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity has affirmed the intrinsic dignity of all human persons (regardless of their perceived ‘moral worth’ or ‘use to society’). Recognition of human dignity is one of the two ethical principles that transcend all cultures; the other is the idea of the ‘common good’. To lose sight of either of these cardinal principles is to lose any kind of meaningful ‘moral compass’. This applied to Britons, Americans and Ugandans alike.

    I would argue that the ongoing persecutions of gay Ugandans (the vast majority of whom constitutes not the slightest threat to any child – or, indeed, to the large number of potential victims of rape) conforms to neither of these ‘cardinal principles’, and is therefore a moral turpitude of thre highest order which must be opposed by all right-thinking persons (whatever their views may be on the ‘moral status’ of same-sex relationships).

    It is probably, at least in part, for the reason that I have outlined above that:

    1. the Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, Cyprian K. Lwanga, has described the provisions of the Bahati Bill as ‘at odds with the core values of the Christian faith’;

    2. the Ugandan evangelical Christian, Kato Mivule, has condemned the Bill as ‘totalitarian, evil and anti-christian’;

    3. many Ugandan friends and contacts of people like Warren and me applaud our efforts in exposing the lies behind the Bill and opposing the efforts of the Bill’s supporters, of whom Ssempa is assuredly one;

    4. some churches, in both the U.S. and Europe, that used to support anti-HIV programmes run by certain ‘pastors’ in UG feel that they are no longer able to do so (this is tragic, of course – but not ‘their fault’).

  • Richard Willmer

    Ssempa’s ‘Catholic counterpart’ at Makerere doesn’t ‘approve’ of homosexual acts, but his take on homophobia is VERY different – and in my view, his ‘non-approval’ of homosexual acts notwithstanding, in accord with the ‘cardinal principles’ above:

    http://www.monitor.co.ug/LifeStyle/Religion/-/689744/852016/-/jwvn1h/-/index.html

  • Jame

    Richard I disagree with your submission of Dec 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm. Ssempa hasn’t become silly and I am pretty sure he won’t become. It’s also an intended lie for you to say Ssempa caused an increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Ug because of his AB approach against the killer disease. That is no submission any wise man can deliver. I wish you could show me any statistics showing that. There are many NGOs in Ug that have promoted AB and our Gov’t before since 1986 has been promoting this approach. Things changed when the International parties came in play. They messed up our campaign and everything seems to be going amiss right now. Associating such with the likes of Ssempa, First Lady, Missionaries is no kind speech.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    Ssempa’s ‘speech’ is hardly ‘kind’: it is hateful, deceitful and designed to set Ugandan against Ugandan.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    I don’t have statistics, but here is one of many recent articles on the increasing incidence of HIV transmission.

    http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1063396/-/cklj66z/-/index.html

    The have also been articles in the New Vision (a government ‘mouthpiece’) expressing concern over low condom usage in UG.

  • Jame

    Rich,

    you don’t have to be like Ssempa in speech. Since it’s claimed Ssempa’s speech is ‘hardly kind’ why must you respond in anger too? I think we need to respond to him in love. The HIV/AIDS issues you raised about were baseless. Rich am sure you have better and mature discussions to thread upon.

    Secondly the lack of condoms doesn’t mean AB is being promoted. No. AB is what I have been taught from the time I gained “mature” understanding. This approach does not need any machines or any resources for its production. Any parent can administer it. Before condoms, was AB. Actually in Uganda between 1986-1994 AB was the approach not until we were “penetrated” by certain NGOs with ill motives. The “C” was quiet. Presently “C” is louder than the traditional AB we’ve held for long. Uganda was a success story after employing AB. In my home Catholic Church, the old Rev Fr. kept teaching us these things and we embraced them. The Ssempas of this world bolstered it at Higher institutions of learning. I appreciate his HIV/AIDS work.

    Rich As we condemn hate speech let’s be careful to fall in the same vomit.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    I’m not promoting hatred against Ssempa; I’m merely stating the obvious:-

    1. Ssempas has said dreadful things, both undeserved and untrue, about some people;

    2. HIV transmission rates have risen recently, at a time coinciding with such stunts by Ssempa such as burning condoms and showing porn in his church.

    As for NGOs: you are welcome to show me some evidence to back your claim that THEY are responsible for the current increases.

    At the start of the start of anti-AIDS campaign in UG, Museveni’s line was really A and B, with ‘C in reserve’ (and condoms were promoted widely, from early on in the campaign, for those who were finding A and B ‘difficult’ – and there were, and are, quite a lot of people who do … after all, people like David Bahati think that polygamy for men is fine). Dropping the ‘C in reserve’ bit was not a good idea, as the Pope has now recognised in his very careful comments of two weeks ago.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    You would be correct to say that the slogan ‘ABC’ was not actually used in UG, but coined in Botswana in the mid-1990s.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    For the record: you say that I accused Ssempa of causing an increase in HIV transmission. I did not say that.

    What I actually said was this (and I quote):-

    “His ‘AB only’ doctrine seems to have led to an increase in HIV transmission rates in UG, and his obsession with homosexuality has made him a laughing stock, albeit a dangerous one.

    “It is a great shame – I’m sure that a ‘sensible Ssempa’ would be a good thing for UG.”

    In other words, I’m not holding him ‘personally responsible’; rather I’m saying that the approach he espouses seems to be damaging the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    I stand by what I have said.

  • Richard Willmer

    Jame

    You might find this link interesting:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/5/212316/8024

  • Richard Willmer

    I would add that the Family have, since this article was written, said that they do NOT support the Bahato Bill.

    The article suggests that the NGOs were probably OK, and the more recent use of ‘churches’ like Ssempa’s has not worked as well. Maybe this thought has also occurred to the Holy Father, hence his recent ‘change in emphasis’.

    I’ll try to find some more info. for you if I can, Jame.

  • Richard Willmer

    *Bahati Bill*

  • Kay

    Crazy Crazy world….. some one tells u not to eat rice because it will make u sick…. u adamantly go on and it… and become sick….. not only do u eat it thru yo mouth, but using the nose… as though it was created for eating…., You say the person who told me not to eat rice has a problem…… For heavens sake, guys be realistic…. If i dont indulge ma self in sex every where, will HIV come and nock on the door and enter me by diffusion…..???? Unfaithfulness and Premarital sex… condoms also.. are the cause of the rise in HIV. Abstainance the way to GO…. Ssempa you are the man…..

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