Monday, December 17, 2012

Kill the Gays -- American Evangelicals in Uganda

by Jim Burroway, Box Turtle Bulletin:

American pastor David Dykes has traveled from Tyler Texas, where he pastors Green Acres Baptist Church, to Uganda to offer his apparently unqualified support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Here, he appears on NTV, Uganda’s largest independent television station to denounce the State Department’s efforts to avert a human rights catastrophe and says that American churches will come together to fully back Uganda if the U.S. withdraws aid:

Dykes: I’m extremely upset that our state department is putting pressure on Uganda to recognize homosexual behavior. And I’m praying that Uganda will say, “We don’t want your money, America. It is blood money. It is sin money.” I hope that you will continue to stand strong on what the Bible defines as the definition of a real marriage.

…Already in Canada, there’ve been pastors who have been arrested for simply saying from their pulpit that a union between two men or two women is an abomination in the sight of God. A Canadian pastor was arrested for that. … But there’s also maybe a law soon that says we could be arrested if we say anything bad about gay marriage or about homosexual behavior. It would fall under the category in America of “Hate Crimes.”

… In America, Christians are going to put as much pressure as we can on our government not to cut the aid to Uganda over this issue. But if they do decide to do that, we’ll let our displeasure be known, but we’ll try to step in as the Church in America to try to make up sending resources over here, especially to the churches. We hope to stand alongside the believers of Uganda during this time of crisis.

Dykes’s Green Acres Baptist Church (Facebook page here), which is a member of the Southern Baptist conference, is one of the sponsors of Pastoral Care Ministries (Facebook page here). It appears that Dykes was in Uganda as part of a Pastoral Care Ministries effort. The PCM web site describes their work in Uganda (Emphasis in the original):

The work has just begun with Parental Care Ministries USA, yet the Lord has accomplished much in a short time. The effort in Parental Care SchoolMbarara Uganda, our first area of focus, has brought many improvements to the quality of life for this group of orphans and their staff of employees. Our accomplishments in 2008 included a new 16 passenger van for the ministry, dormitories for the orphans, new classrooms for the school, a uniform for every orphan, school desks, and teaching bibles for the teachers and pastors. …

Our other focus arm of the ministry is working with Pastor Emmy’s 50+ ruralUgandan pastors. We try to gather them from all over Uganda at least twice a year for conferences. We are assisting them with resources to help equip their churches to minister to local people. We have started a program called Cows for the Kingdom where pastors are given a cow to milk to provide for their family and sell the excess milk for a daily profit of a few dollars a day. Nearly 2/3 of all our pastors have a cow now. Pastors are also provided a bicycle which they use effectively sharing God’s Word wherever they go.

The other focus of work regarding the pastors is the School of Ezra that Pastor Emmy and Reuben direct. Here they teach these young pastors many Biblical truths and motivate them to share God’s Word with the reached and unreached in their particular areas. The school of Ezra currently meets at Mbarara Parental Care School when the children are on holiday.

It is worth remembering exactly what it is that David Dykes is so eager to support. The full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is available online here (PDF: 847KB/16 pages). Our examination of the bill’s nineteen clauses are available here:

Clauses 1 and 2: Anybody Can Be Gay Under the Law. The definition of what constitutes “homosexual act” is so broad that just about anyone can be convicted.

Clause 3: Anyone Can Be “Liable To Suffer Death”. And you don’t even have to be gay to be sent to the gallows. There has been talk of removing the death penalty — which has not happened yet; it’s just talk — and replacing it with a life sentence. But can anyone seriously imaging that spending a lifetime in Uganda’s notorious Luzira prison is any better? Especially once your fellow prisoners learn that you were sent there for “aggravated homosexuality”?

Clause 4: Anyone Can “Attempt to Commit Homosexuality”. All you have to do is “attempt” to “touch” “any part of of the body” “with anything else” “through anything” in an act that does “not necessarily culminate in intercourse.”

Clauses 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10: How To Get Out Of Jail Free. The bill is written to openly encourage — and even pay — one partner to turn state’s evidence against another.

Clauses 7, 11, and 14: Straight People In The Crosshairs. Did you think they only wanted to jail gay people? They’re also targeting family members, doctors, lawyers, and even landlords.

Clause 12: Till Life Imprisonment Do You Part. And if you officiate a same-sex wedding, you’ll be imprisoned for up to three years. So much for religious freedom.

Clause 13: The Silencing of the Lambs. All advocacy — including suggesting that the law might be repealed — will land you in jail. With this clause, there will be no one left to defend anyone.

Clause 14: The Requirement Isn’t To Report Just Gay People To Police. It’s To Report Everyone. Look closely: the requirement is to report anyone who has violated any the bill’s clauses.

Clauses 16 and 17: The Extra-Territorially Long Arm of Ugandan Law. Think you’re safe if you leave the country? Think again.

Clause 18: We Don’t Need No Stinking Treaties. The bill not only violates several international treaties, it also turns the Ugandan constitution on its head.

Clauses 15 and 19: The Establishment Clauses For The Ugandan Inquisition. These clauses empower the Ethics and Integrity Minister to enforce all of the bill’s provisions. He’s already gotten a head start.

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