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Ugandan Pastor Responds To Rick Warren’s Statement; Revives “Forced Therapy” Option

Jim Burroway

December 17th, 2009
Martin Ssempa

Martin Ssempa

Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, who had met several times with Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, is positively livid over Warren’s statement calling on Ugandan pastors to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In a letter addressed to Warren (PDF: 88KB/4 pages) and obtained by Christianity Today, Ssempa acknowledges receiving a letter from Warren asking Ugandan pastors to speak out against the bill, and counters with a deliberately misleading and convoluted defense of it.

After nearly three pages of ranting, Ssempa says that two amendments will be proposed for the bill:

At a special sitting of the Uganda Joint Christian Council taskforce sat and reviewed the bill to make comments. We resolved to support the bill with some amendments which included the following:

a. We suggested a less harsher sentence of 20 years instead of the death penalty for pedophilia or aggravated homosexuality.

b. We suggested the inclusion of counseling and rehabilitation being offered to offenders and victims. The churches are willing to provide the necessary help for those who are willing to undergo counseling and rehabilitation.

L-R: Unidentified woman, American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, International Healing Foundation's Caleb Brundidge, Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer, Family Life Network (Uganda)'s Stephen Langa, at the time of the March 2009 anti-gay conference in Uganda.

L-R: Unidentified woman, American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, International Healing Foundation's Caleb Brundidge, Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer, Family Life Network (Uganda)'s Stephen Langa, at the time of the March 2009 anti-gay conference in Uganda.

This revives the forced therapy proposal brought up last March during a three-day anti-gay conference in Kampala. That conference, organized by Stephen Langa of Kampala-based Family Life Network featured Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge.

The Ugandan Parliament will reportedly bring the Anti-Homosexuality Bill up for a second reading debate on Friday. It’s unknown whether these proposals will be brought up during that debate.

Ssempa also recounts Warren’s 2008 trip to Uganda in support of the Anglican Church of Uganda’s boycott of the Lambeth Conference over the U.S. church’s ordination of Rev. Gene Robinson as the denomination’s first openly gay bishop. Ssempa lectured Warren:

When you 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.”

Ssempa later returns to this subject at the end of his letter with a reference to Warren’s PEACE plan for Africa:

We note with sadness the increasing levels 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 offfense. 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 pedophilia 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.” 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.

Ssempa has been a leading promoter of harsher treatment for that country’s LGBT citizens. He has also accused rival pastors of homosexuality. These allegations were found to be false, and Ssempa found himself under investigation for filing false reports. That investigation was apparently halted when President Yoweri Museveni intervened.

Rick Warren recently distanced himself from Ssempa:

Martin Ssempa does not represent me, my wife Kay, Saddleback Church, nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy. In 2007, we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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Lynn David
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

Recalling Warren’s repudiation of Ssempa, one wonders if he is thinking along the same lines with Kagame of Rwanda. Don Schmierer said that David Bahati “does not reflect the Ugandans that I have ministered too. … After some challenges from me (except for one person) they softened up and came around to a more redemptive position.” I wonder if those other than that one person was Ssempa, or Langa or anyone else he talked to.

David
December 17th, 2009 | LINK

It is possible that the homophobes in Uganda could bring down the homophobes in the U.S.

Recognition of that danger may explain the recent distancing that Rick Warren and his co-propagandists have engaged in regarding Uganda – a desperate attempt to distance themselves from the implementation of their ministry, lest it destroy their lucrative careers in the states.

Warren and Ssempa are birds from the same flock, and it is clear from Ssempa’s own words that Warren was a mentor and teacher for him.

Instead of celebrating the weasel-worded statements from Warren and company, we should be constantly reminding the rest of U.S. society that these professional homophobes fertilized and actively nurtured the hate now coming to fruit in Uganda.

wackadoodle
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Instead of celebrating the weasel-worded statements from Warren and company, we should be constantly reminding the rest of U.S. society that these professional homophobes fertilized and actively nurtured the hate now coming to fruit in Uganda.

No you see they issued a single statement saying that its wrong to murder gay people. That totally absolves them of any involvement in this anti-gay law in a country they’ve spent years in preaching that gays are disgusting dangerous deluded perverts no different from pedophiles and drug addicts.

Seriously, you cant say “homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus (its) not a human right.” and then pretend to not be involved when they follow that philosophy.

CB
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Rick Warren is a sleaze. He and his Conservative ilk should also be held partially responsible for pushing these nuts to the point of genocide. Their hate has been widely reported, and as such, nuts like members of the Uganda government, think it is acceptable to murder a populous.

With Warren and others facing some heat here in the U.S., they are quietly ‘condemning’ this proposed genocide of humans.

I am a minority in this thought, but I think that those like Warren, Palin, O’Reilly, Hannity, Prejean, Gallagher, Brown, Diaz, Beck, Kern, the Republican Party, Conservatives, FOX News, etc. should be taken to task on this. They are no different than those proposing this holocaust. Their hate helped to fuel the fire. So have many religious leaders, who I refer to as the Religious Reich. I dare to say that FOX News’ elite (O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck) haven’t even reported, whoops, they don’t report, I mean provide comment on this.

If you click on my nomen (initials), you will see a 1939 MGM cartoon, fit for the season, but also somewhat fits into this discussion.

Elise
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

“We suggested the inclusion of counseling and rehabilitation being offered to offenders and victims.”

So, is that instead of jail time, or in addition to it?

Darren
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

“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.””

If the above is, in fact, a statement from Warren, then he has clearly helped create this mess. How very sad.

anteros
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

I personally witnessed Ssempa’s anti-gay rally in Kampala. It was very scary, lots of hate. It was a rowdy crowd almost like a lynch mob out of the movies, with posters and placards reading stuff like “Homos will go to hell” and “God hates gays” and “Gays are kiwani (phony)”. After the rally, those posters were stuck on a fence for all to see, along Kampala’s busiest roads opposite one of the most popular shopping centers.

Ssempa has been on television countless times, spreading homophobia. His method is always the same, he claims to have expertise and special knowledge on the subject and then asserts the following:

Homosexuality = anal sex = pedophilia = western perversion = male rape = evil/ungodly = unnatural = recruitment of kids into homosexuality = illegal… etc

Ssempa, despite having a white wife, often racializes his attacks on both homosexuality and tolerance towards homosexuality. On this evening’s Luganda news, he criticised President Obama, saying that as a son of an African man, he should be ashamed to be opposing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and made disparaging reference to “bazungu” (white people). He also said that of all the issues for President Obama to criticise, homosexuality is low priority – despite the fact that that’s all Ssempa is known for himself.

He deliberately rouses the public into a homophobic frenzy and convinces them that homosexuality is an evil threat. The words he attributed to Warren actually sound a lot like the exact kind of thing Ssempa repeats on television.

This bill belongs to Bahati, Ssempa and Buturo.

anteros
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Ssempa recently coined what he calls “Michael Jackson Syndrome” to attack Ugandans in the diaspora… he says they are born black but die white. He uses these kind of attacks to question the “africanness” or “blackness” of Ugandans in the diaspora who express attitudes of tolerance or indifference towards homosexuality. What does his poor wife have to say about Ssempa’s racist remarks?

Ssempa was one of the chief sponsors of the false allegations of sexual abuse laid against Pastor Kayanja.

And now here he is, pushing for forced therapy.

He is bad news. I dont know why anybody would pay any attention to him or take him seriously the way so many Ugandans do.

Benjamin
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

The professional anti-gays can’t handle this recession so they have to peddle their fraud overseas to other countries that might take it. What a profitable export this fraud must be for them.

Benjamin
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Again I say it would be incredible if we could bring Alexander & Hephaistion back along with their armies and roll over Uganda like an all consuming fire. They would be screaming for mercy. I’m sick of this to the point I wish a U.N. sponsored military force would intervene. This gay genocide is absolutely unacceptable and no free nation should ever tolerate this.

Eric in Oakland
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

It is interesting to me that a major part of Ssempa’s defense of the Anti-homosexuality Bill is that homophobia is a “tradition” in his church and country. Well, cannibalism, slavery, and human sacrifice were once also traditions.

I also find it curious that he repeatedly peddles the pretense that the bill would only criminalize rape and pedophilia. If he truly believes it is just to punish gays for getting married or for having consentual relations with another adult, then why lie about the bill?

mikeksf
December 18th, 2009 | LINK

Will we next see Warren Livley, Exodus, et. al. in Jamaica? That seems like fertile ground for their money grubbing ministries.

ZRAinSWVA
December 19th, 2009 | LINK

“Jesus’s gospel is a stumbling block, and a rock of offense.”

Please, someone, tell me: what in the world does that mean???

Family Policy
December 21st, 2009 | LINK

anteros, what part of Kampala do you leave, i have never seen these things you are writing about about ssempa and his demonstrations, man stop propagating misinforamtion…

anteros
December 21st, 2009 | LINK

That rally was at Lugogo, opposite Shoprite. The posters were stuck on the wooden fence. I saw it. And it was even on the news. Nsaba Buturo made a guest appearance at that rally. Go to google, there are enough reliable sources about all the things I have written about. What exactly do you mean by “misinformation”? …give me even one example of something I wrote that is not true.

anteros
December 22nd, 2009 | LINK

more on Ssempa and “misinformation”:

http://blog.exodusinternational.org/2009/11/02/martin-ssempa-renounce-support-proposed-ugandan-criminalization-homosexuality/#comment-4819

anteros
December 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Family Policy: please read all the comments posted at the end of the above article… then tell me about misinformation.

Using Rape To "Fix" Gay People | The Next Write Thing
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

[...] how the church “took the gay away” and condemning those who refuse to follow his lead. Uganda is now considering “conversion” instead of the death penalty for [...]

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