Friday, January 25, 2013

Homosexuality and the American Evangelical Legacy in Uganda

Readers of this blog will know that I have expressed my discomfort, if not out right opposition, to the way we talk about homosexuality in this nation. I have warned of the unintended results of talking about "biblical marriage" and I have asked when will the church have a conversation about homosexuality.

Both of those previous posts came to mind as I watched the below video. It is an Op-Ed from the New York Time by Roger Ross Williams. In the piece Williams explores the connection between American Evangelicals and churches in Uganda. While Williams praises the American churches for providing some much needed services in Uganda, he also criticizes them for the way that they are impacting the debate on homosexuality in Uganda. Williams outlines connections between American Evangelicals and ministers and politicians in Uganda who are using the debate over homosexuality to marginalize gays and lesbians in Uganda to the point that not only is there an attempt to make it an illegal, but even to enforce the death penalty against homosexuals. The death penalty clause seems to have been dropped for now, but one can't help but wonder if it will surface again later should the law pass.

No matter on which side of the debate one stands, I am not convinced that many would truly want to see the death penalty used against homosexuals (though a minority certainly would be in favor). I am also not convinced the many evangelicals would want to see homosexuality made a crime in the USA. They may have theological objections to the practice, but they aren't ready to enact legislation to outlaw it. Many of them, I suspect, have family and/or friends who are gay and while they may disagree with them, they are not in favor of throwing them into jail. This seems to be one more example of unintended results of applying the Bible.

Here is the video. I am sure that some level of editing has been involved and, like every story, it would be interesting to hear more than just sound bites from both sides. But the basic outline of the story should raise our conscious as to what it is American money, through various missions organizations, is promoting in Uganda.

 I would be interested to hear your comments.


  1. This video is excerpted from the film "God Loves Uganda" which has recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

    Here is the film website:

    The Facebook page has lots of news and details:

    I don't know how big a commotion there will be from this, but I pray that God would somehow use it for the good of all those touched by it.

  2. A Facebook friend, who is a leader of an evangelical organization, just posted this on Facebook:

    I joined with others to sign a full-page ad in Kampala, Uganda, opposing the so-called "Kill the Gays" bill, and commend this story to those who would tolerate hate against any person, regardless of sexual orientation. My Prius sports our bumper-sticker which reads "Who Would Jesus Discriminate Against?" (WWJDA)

  3. As a gay Christian (Yes, we exist), I have known about this whole Uganda thing and the "Kill the Gays" bill for over a year. It's a disgusting thing that (from my understanding) was spurred on by some evangelical leaders here in the U.S. Scary.

    What I'd like to know is how many of you heard of this prior to this blog entry and if so, how long prior? a yr? 6 mos? etc

  4. I've been aware of it by reading news media stories probably going back a year.

    I wonder if this is all over Africa or just Uganda where US preachers are alleged to have preached this?

  5. The missionaries involved posted this:


  6. The film is an anti Christian propaganda piece using these people as his straw men for Orthodox Christianity, that's all this is. The IHOP seems to me to be a cult (, I don't think "American evangelicals" fairly describes this crew.