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On The Legalized Murder of Gays in Uganda

Posted by Gary Labels: ,

Uganda is considering a bill before their parliament that will make homosexuality an offense punishable by at least life in prison, at most by execution. John Mark Reynolds, a biblioblogger over at Evangel gave me first heads up about this. Jim West, the #1 biblioblogger (8 months running), also made some comments.

In short: imagine the registering of the Jews in Nazi Germany. And then their being exiled or killed simply for their religious and ethnic identity. Now apply that to gays, and you know what this is. This goes beyond simply not accepting homosexuality as legitimate sexuality. This is talking about imprisoning people -- killing them if they also have AIDS or are public personalities. Well-known figures caught in homosexual behavior -- broadly defined to include touching -- are to be executed.

If you are an authority figure of some sort (e.g. a school teacher) and you discover someone who is homosexual, you have 24 hours to report the behavior, or else you may be penalized with up to 3 years in jail.

Uganda is one of the areas in Africa that is having a very serious time dealing with AIDS breakouts. The infection rate is currently about 6-8%, according to one of the above articles.

Rick Warren, author of the Money Purpose Driven Life, has chosen to take a stance of neutrality, apparently. For a long time, I've not been impressed with exegetically because of his tendency to cite whichever Bible version's wording fit his point best. Now, however, I have lost respect for him as a pastor. Those who relied on his programs to stop AIDS through abstinence-only education have fallen flat on their newly-infected rear ends, and the pandemic is not losing any significant momentum.

This just in: Rick Warren has made a youtube response to the Ugandan pastors, almost in the form of a video epistle (an e-pistle, if you prefer). That link leads to a the script, but it also has a link to the actual video. Long story short: It sounds suspiciously like he was defending his reputation to an American audience, and not really addressing Ugandans at all.

Moving on: I would certainly prefer that the whole world chose total celibacy, because then the world would die out in a generation and Jesus would theoretically HAVE to come back. But that's not realistic. To withhold the information about condoms from people that you want to remain abstinent is like withholding information about salvation from people that you don't want to ever sin again. It's damning them to be cursed with an infection that could have been prevented. It's misguided idealism -- you might as well teach works-based salvation.

What would you do if you taught abstinence but chose to never mention condoms, and a former student came to you who got infected and then found Jesus? It would be your fault that the child is dying. Leaders bear some responsibility in the misdeeds of their followers. DO NOT WITHHOLD MEDICAL INFORMATION THAT MAY SAVE LIVES.

AIDS is a curse. Maybe not in the sense that God sent it to punish, but it is a curse in that it hurts. It separates people. And it kills. Jesus came to heal the afflicted, and He took care of prostitutes, too. "Give to everyone who asks," He said.

As says: "The Church of Uganda has said that it is studying the bill but does not yet have an official position. It added, though, that the church cannot support the death penalty and that it was “committed at all levels to offer counseling, healing, and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation.”

This frustrates me. Jesus = life. Serving Jesus = protecting life. This is unacceptable.