Uganda, Executing Queers, "The Family"...

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Some of you may be aware that there has been an aggressive bill in Uganda to make homosexuality not only a crime, but one punishable by execution.

One of the leading supporters of the bill there is an African pastor who is close friends with Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren. Warren has invited this pastor to speak many times at Saddleback.

"As an American pastor," Warren said in his statement, "it is not my role to interfere with the politics of other nations, but it is my role to speak out on moral issues." He told the Ugandan pastors that the bill was "unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals." The bill's requirement that Ugandans report any meeting with homosexuals to authorities, he said, would hinder the ministry of the church and force homosexuals who are HIV positive underground. He also defended the timing of his denunciation. "Because I didn't rush to make a public statement," he said, "some erroneously concluded that I supported this terrible bill, and some even claimed I was a sponsor of the bill. You in Uganda know that this is untrue." He added, "I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality."

Thankfully, after pressure and public outcry (worldwide) execution has been removed from the bill. However, it continues to move forward in an only slightly less virulent form. This is still unacceptable, and American voices need to speak out and continue condemning this outrageous bill and its insidious, subversive American supporters.

6 comments:

pastormack said...

Obviously executing homosexuals is ridiculous, a violation of the most basic human rights, and so forth.

But then again, so is abortion.

It's worth pointing out that this is only formalizing the attitude towards homosexuality that abounds in most of the non-Western world. In many pre-industrial societies, homosexuals were at least shunned at at worst, as above, executed.(See Mbiti's 'African Religion'.) Even societies that accepted homosexual relationships (like the ancient Greeks) never saw them as substituting the marital bond of man and woman.

By the by - this is a perfect example of where and when 'tolerance' falls apart as a virtue. We love other cultures and belief systems, until they disagree with us.

While tragic, the controversy over this law ought to give us pause. Our understanding and view of sexuality in North America and as Christians has drastically changed over the last 50-100 years. We assume a great deal that much of the world would find horrible. Think about daytime TV for a moment. Sexuality has been divorced not just from marriage, but even love and emotional intimacy. Pornography is a billion dollar a year industry. Are we not sick also?

Of course no one should be persecuted for their sexuality. But should we automatically assume that every desire someone has is "natural," "good," or something to be celebrated? Methinks not.

Existential Punk said...

'But should we automatically assume that every desire someone has is "natural," "good," or something to be celebrated? Methinks not.'

Me majorly disagrees with you pastormack! The love b/w my wife and me is real, deep, more than sex, and has the same ups and downs as as any relationship! Just b/c traditions MAN has made over the years does not mean they are correct! i believe G-D celebrates and embraces me and all G-D's queer children around the world!

Adele

pastormack said...

Some people are born with the desire to kill people. Or molest kittens. Or other things that strike us as aberrant. Because they are born with them, does that make them "natural?" I thought one benefit of worshiping a supernatural God is that the natural is not what defines us?

Forgive me if I insulted you and your partner, that was not my intention. I was trying to place the question of homosexuality within the larger question of sexuality and western culture. It seems to me indisputable that we as a people are out of control. Christians, by and large, go with this trend and not against it. Have we changed our definitions and habits too quickly, too fast? This seems a legitimate question.

And I, too, believe that God "celebrates and embraces" gays and lesbians, along with the rest of the creatures made in his image. Having questions about homosexuality does not mean one hates homosexuals. I was particularly moved by Hauerwas' article on 'Gay Friendship'.

But still, shouldn't our vocation be to "celebrate" and "embrace" God? After all, this life is not about us.

And no one bit on the abortion comment. Perhaps that is another question closed too soon...

Existential Punk said...

Pastormack,

Your comment about murder does not surprise me. All you Christians who narrowly interpret scripture always play the murder card in their arguments. To compare murder and being queer is so inconceivable, wrong and does not make any sense. it's like comparing apples and oranges! Come on, that is SO PASSE!

Obviously we disagree. i am not going to go around in circles with you. It really gets us nowhere. i am ok with that. You have a right to your views/beliefs. i just encourage you not to hold onto anyone belief so tightly that you miss something beautiful from G-D. G-D bless you in your journey!

Warmest Regards,
Adele

Existential Punk said...

i would like to add one thing: Marriage has been re-defined throughout history to fit with cultural changes. Women used to be chattel/property and had NO rights. THIS is why Jesus spoke against divorce. If women became divorced, they had nothing and were left to become prostitutes. In the OT, polygamy was the norm! Before Loving v. VA, blacks and whites were not allowed to marry here in the USA!.

For too many years the Bible was used to advocate and condone slavery and subordinating women so that they had no rights! THANK G-D for women's suffrage, civil rights for blacks, women's equality,or else we'd still be living in the dark ages.

The Bible is not a static document/book imho! It is a story of G-D's interaction with creation. Instead, it is being made an idol by its followers rather than G-D's followers following the living, breathing, non-static G-D of the universe.

We too often like to point out in others the things in their lives we think are wrong rather than look at the planks in our own eyes.

A friend recently pointed out that Jesus NEVER referred to people OTHERS had a problem with as sinners but as friends. HHMM!!! VERY INTERESTING!

G-D bless, Pastormack!

Adele

Peter said...

Adele,
You said, "To compare murder and being queer is so inconceivable, wrong and does not make any sense. it's like comparing apples and oranges!"

I absolutely agree. I also think that homophobic attitudes in the non-Western world (particularly: the developing/3rd World) are largely the residual effect of Colonialism. When people are brutalized, segmented, fragmented, enslaved, persecuted and tortured, systematically, for generation after generation, how can you expect them to immediately revert to healthy functionality? I would argue that the treatment of homosexuals, women and ethnic minorities in the Global South is largely learned behavior from Western Imperialism and Colonialism.

There's nothing organic or authentic about that.

pastormack, Wendell Berry argues that abortion simply cannot be discussed in isolation. It cannot meaningfully be an issue unto itself. Though he believes abortion is wrong, he does not advocate taking a woman's right or a doctor's right to perform it, away. Because live is not black-and-white. We are often - OFTEN - left with choices that are only between two evils. Abortion cannot be separated from issues of education, poverty, misogyny, rape, feminism, welfare, healthcare, mental health, culture, religion, access, and countless other qualifiers and clarifiers. The biggest reason the abortion debate has been so unproductive is because it's only been about abortion.

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