|May God protect Gay Ugandans from harm|
On 15 Oct 2009, a David Bahati, a Parliamentary member of the ruling party in Uganda introduced an “anti-homosexuality” bill which would criminalize any party or organization for supporting gay people, a death penalty for gays having sex under 18, or with HIV, and increased the sentence for homosexual sex. The bill is expected to pass as Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has strong anti-gay views with connections to Christian extremist groups in America. An independent MP, John Otekat Emile said that the bill had a "99% chance" of being passed. This issue appears to add to a sad story of Uganda, a country of 32 million which gained independence from Britain in 1962, but only led to a series of brutal military armed struggles, coups, and counter coups. The reign of Idi Amin who seized power in 1971 and ruled until 1979 cost an estimated 300,000 lives. Therefore, the value of a life is cheap in Uganda and poverty reigns with a nominal GDP per capita of USD 500 (as compared to USA of 46,900). Gays are again blamed for the ills and sufferings of the Uganda society.
In a country of extreme poverty and denial of human rights, where the hands of the leaders are dirty with crimes against humanity for the wars they were involved in, it is surprising that Christianity makes up 84% of the population. The Roman Catholic Church makes up 41.9% and the Anglican Church of Uganda 35.9%. The remaining 8% of Christians belong to the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches which have been particularly active. The increasing fundamentalist stance of the church in Nigeria and Uganda is exemplified by Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) which published the Africa Bible Commentary featuring Nigerian religious leader Yusufu Turaki's hateful and intolerant article on "Homosexuality" were endorsed by the likes of Rick Warren and John Scott and reflective of the Bill against gays now at Parliament. Gays are again blamed by Christians for the nation’s sin and downfall, and now a call for a special bill against gays when their focus should be on addressing the deep poverty and suffering. Without basic human rights, there is no humanity and no respect for life and basic freedoms, putting gays deeper into closet but also causing the entire nation forever trapped in poverty.
The hands of the Uganda Government is soiled and it is no surprise that they are trying to persecute gays so that they appear righteous and holy to cover up their own sins against humanity. In a 2005 ruling the International Court at the Hague found that the “Christian” government of Uganda had,
In Uganda, Gay sex is already punishable by life in prison, but the new bill would make it almost legal to put gays, their family and friends into prisons. The impetus for the bill appears to be the recent “anti-gay” forum in Nigeria to wipe out gays supported by Exodus Board member Don Schmierer (Exodus is known as “Choices” in Singapore, and supported by the “Church of Our Savior”, an Anglican Church in Singapore) and The Fellowship, (aka The Family) one of America’s most powerful and secretive Christian fundamentalist organization. After losing the election in America, the Christian Fundamentalists are now turning to Nigeria and Uganda. This is akin to the Catholic crusades of the 11 th to the 13 th century against the Arabs in Jerusalem. The Catholics have kept quiet, perhaps they know it is a losing battle, and the aggression by Christians would only result in a more determined stance by the gay community to fight for their basic rights and one day to demand that Christians be taken to tasks for the harm caused which was totally unprovoked.
Key Figures in the Christian anti-gay movement includes Pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa who was known to be engaged in a crusade outing prominent people. He has said that those who were against the bill, were actually supporting homosexuality ie guilty of the very crimes stated in the bill. Under the bill, free speech would be curtailed as anyone speaking for gays will be accused of “promoting homosexuality” and therefore be persecuted. There is little to stop the bill, and despite the amicable face of Christianity given by Rick Warren in America, he is not much different from the rest and would give his blessing to the killing of gays in Uganda and Nigeria. Pastor Rick has a strong influence in Uganda with its national Purpose Driven Living program strongly supported by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi.
We are reminded of the religious zealots in Jerusalem 2000 years ago who killed Jesus, stamped out the revival of the early Christians and causing the effective dispersal of the early church. This bill will cause many deaths and imprisonment all under the banner of Christianity. The Jewish religious zealots did not end their campaign after they silenced the Christians in Jerusalem, they went after the Roman occupiers which back fired terribly with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. There is a danger of religious fundamentalism by a mob majority going out of hand and stir up trouble causing the demise of the entire nation. Singapore cannot afford the same religious zealots taking control.
If the Christian Extremists in Singapore have had the same majority and control of power in Singapore, they would have implemented the same laws of death penalty against gays. After all, with the Evangelical Christian population of only 10%, they were willing to go out of the way to insist that gays be put in jail. These people are extremely determined, have wealth and resources, very radical and narrow minded in their views, and justifies every action they made as mandated by God for which of course no one can argue against. Their true colors are seen in Uganda. Perhaps, as Rev Mel White so pointedly declares of his previous employers when he was the ghost writer for the likes of Pat Robertson, “They want you dead”. But, we shall stay alive and overcome all their plans.
To the Gay Christians in Uganda, I believe that God is saying tonight that those who have championed the persecution and death penalty against gays will be judged and their condemnation and destruction is sure just as Sodom and Gomorrah was judged for their cruelty against the defenseless. They will not so easily escape judgment for their crimes against humanity. Today, the Gay community is sent out as sheep to be outed and betrayed even in the very place of worship and within the Church. Therefore, take courage and be wise, and stay hidden, and pray for deliverance for your time of deliverance shall come one day not too far off. Stay alive for we shall overcome one day because Christ is with us, the Hope of Glory. You are not forgotten, His eyes are on the Sparrow, how much more His eyes is on you tonight, to deliver and to protect and provide a good future.
His eye is on the sparrow
Why should I feel discouraged
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm happy