UGANDA NATIONAL PASTORS TASK FORCE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY
Uganda Pastors' Response to US Church Pastor Rick Warren over the anti-Homosexuality Bill
Martin Ssempa Ph.D
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
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:
1. 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.;
2. 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.
3. 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
4. Creation of organizations whose sole purpose is to promote homosexuality in Uganda; (e.g. (Sexual Minorities Uganda); (Gay Uganda); (Integrity Uganda)
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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:
1. We suggested reduction of the sentence to 20 years instead of the death penalty for the offense of aggravated homosexuality.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Martin Ssempa, Phd
Bishop David Kiganda
Pastor Ssozi Peter
Prof. Peter Claver Matovu Seventh Day Church Representative. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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