Thursday, December 06, 2012

Human Rights

Regardless of where you land on the rights for gay persons to participate in church and society, Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' bill has to be the most unChristian legislation ever to be considered. I feel very angry that this bill is tauted as being Christian.  I have been trying to find a way to channel my outrage at the inhuman law they want to pass. Here is one way I've found - sign this petition.

Thank you.


Brooke said...

I stumbled on your blog and glancing through it you and I have some common interests (academic and ministerial). I get the sense you value a fair and well-informed search for truth, and this is why I endeavor to comment here. This short entry bothers me for a couple reasons:
1) Language akin to "killing" has not been present in the proposed legislation you mention for quite a while. BBC headlines have made this information easily accessible throughout the last several months. Whether or not you are aware that the death penalty was dropped from this proposal is unclear from your entry, which is a problem either way. Either you did not bother to do your own cursory research in "channeling your outrage," or you obscured the facts in your post to court the outrage of your readers.
2)Continuing from where I left off above, you offer no context about Ugandan politics or Ugandan Christian faith. I searched your blog for "Uganda", hoping maybe you had offered something in the past, but the only hit was this post.

Now, I don't disagree with your sentiments that this proposed bill (even without the death penalty possibility) is not the way to handle what would be considered deviant behavior to most Ugandans, Christian or not. However, your inattention to context, your inflamatory comments, and your jumping on a bank petition (??) is puzzling to me given the thoughtfulness present elsewhere in your blog. I offer this with respect, though it is a question and a challenge. Peace to you.

One of Freedom said...

The petition is from which is a site I follow. The removal of the death penalty from this bill is more recent than my post - and is a good thing. Although I am opposed to any form of racism or sexism. I'm not sure why looking for an avenue to act is puzzling?

Thanks for commenting.

Brooke said...

Thanks for your reply, Frank. Good to know your name. :)

This BBC article (, dated 7 Feb, 2012, stated that the death penalty had been dropped, and I believed that was accurate. In looking it up again, I see that BBC added a correction at a later date, after my initial reading, that clarified that the death penalty had not yet been dropped at that time. I apologize for my mistake. This BCC article ( does indicate that the death penalty was dropped prior to your posting in early December, but only by a matter of days.

It's not the desire to act that is puzzling; I can appreciate your efforts to do something. Primarily I found the latent imperialism in your post puzzling, as I had gathered that you would indeed be opposed to racism. The chosen means of action does remain somewhat puzzling, though I must admit I'm unfamiliar with The click of a mouse to lend support or disapproval to the latest cause of choice hardly seems like "action" to me. It seems like a cop-out, a way to feel morally superior to others, and/or an excuse to pat ourselves on the back for our "action" toward justice, all of which likely help mask the ways we are complicit in perpetuating other injustices. Perhaps I am somewhat cynical and unfair to you as an individual or to your chosen petition. Please help me understand what you see yourself and fellow petition-signers doing if I have missed the point.

If pressed, I would say that if a North American Christian really desires to get involved in this somewhat minor portion of Ugandan legislative possibility, perhaps that person could find out what Ugandan Christian leaders are thinking, feeling, and doing about this. I don't mean the MPs who are debating and potentially voting on the bill, but rather the denominational leadership. The [Anglican] Church of Uganda has consistently taken a stand against homosexuality, but outgoing Archbishop Orombi has also spoken against violence on multiple occasions, even if not directly in connection with homosexuality. Perhaps a concerned Christian could begin by trying to understand Christian perspectives within Uganda, aside from the MPs who make international headlines and, I agree with you, make dubious claims about the Christian-ness of their stances.

I have gone on enough. Thank you for engaging me.

One of Freedom said...

I think I'm getting a better picture of what your concern is here. I certainly appreciate it. I'm not a huge fan of costless social action, like simple charity or signing endless petitions. For me the response was born from two articles (which may not have been entirely correct) that made the statement that Uganda's bill was purported to be Christian and the other that it was to be a Christmas present for the Christians in that country. While I do know that many Christian groups decry homosexuality - I am finding that position less and less tolerable personally. It is perhaps the changing tenor of that conversation in North America that spurs my views along. In my own country I am fairly active in shaping views amongst peers and students, as well as challenging established norms even within my own denomination. But on an international scale I have few opportunities to act - hence Change.Org provides at least a voice at an international level. I'm fairly picky about what I sign - but this bill has been on my radar off and on for a while now and mirrors some of the views that I encounter within the more fundamentalist edges of evangelicalism in North America.


Brooke said...

Thanks, Frank. Your acknowledgement that your own North American context and your frustrations with the fundamentalist edges therein contribute to your perspective on issues in Uganda eases my mind. Ugandan Christianity definitely has its fair share of imported North American fundamentalist tendencies, but it also has a very different history and political context. Uganda's motto, for instance, is "For God and Country," which allows for much different starting points than US American assumptions about the separation of church and state. At any rate, I can appreciate your concern while retaining my concern that we North American Christians tend to think we know how the rest of the world should go about being Christian, whether we are fundamentalists or not.

The peace of Christ be with you this Christmas.