World Net Daily and Scott Lively sang the praise of Uganda’s President Yowari Museveni in an article published November 24. Museveni recently prayed at two events and seemed to repent for Uganda’s sins. His prayer was a recitation of problems with no mention of specific actions on Museveni’s part. However, WND and Scott Lively, who is quoted in the article, believe Museveni’s prayer should be a model for other nations.
This article relates to meetings that occurred in Uganda back in October. The current relevance relates to the fact that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is back in the news. The Parliament may consider the bill this week. On that point, Scott Lively opposes the death penalty but lauds Uganda’s efforts to pass the anti-gay bill.
Sunday, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association tweeted his approval of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and signaled the appearance of Lively on his show on Monday.
I think Lively and Fischer are completely wrong. They defend the indefensible. Uganda watchers recognize Museveni’s prayer as a move to pander to the conservative Christians of that nation.
This is not the first African leader to declare his country a Christian nation. For instance, Zambia’s late president Frederick Chiluba declared Zambia to be a Christian nation early in his rule. His rhetoric was much like Museveni’s but the rest of the story is that Chiluba was tried for corruption in a trial that cost Zambia millions of dollars.
Furthermore, there is a mistaken belief at work here. Lively and Fischer believe that national repentance is possible. They take the verses in the Old Testament directed toward Israel as having application to any nation today. This flaw is responsible for much mischief. In the Bible, God was active in making a covenant with Israel. However, whether it be Uganda or the USA, God has not made a covenant. It doesn’t work the same way for a political leader to declare such a covenant.
When a political leader acknowledges God, there is no guarantee of prosperity or success. For instance, the Confederate Constitution gave recognition to “Almighty God” in a way that the United States constitution does not do. That document begins:
We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.
The Confederacy invoked “the favor and guidance of Almighty God” but this invocation did nothing for them.
Museveni has invoked God’s blessing before and yet Uganda remains a very poor nation with multiple problems. Lively says Uganda will prosper for their stance on gays. However, Uganda has been a difficult place for gays to live for many years without some obvious divine blessing.