Ugandan Pastor Issues Video Response To Rick Warren

Jim Burroway

December 31st, 2009

Martin Ssempa

Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa issued a video response to Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren’s vigorous condemnation of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.  And boy is Ssempa upset with Warren. It took Warren just six and a half minute to concisely and clearly condemn the bill as “unjust, extreme and un-Christian.” It took Ssempa two videos and nearly eighteen minutes to respond.

In the first video posted to YouTube on December 28, Ssempa continues to misrepresent what the text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would provide.

In this segment, Ssempa discusses one of the misconceptions about AIDS that some hold in Africa, where some people believe that having sex with a virgin will cure someone of HIV/AIDS. Ssempa then argues that the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” is an absolute necessity in order to criminalize raping of children, which Ssempa incredibly claims is not against the law in Uganda.

The problem with that, of course, is there is no such gaping loophole in Ugandan law. Here’s Section 129(3) and (4) of the Penal Code, as amended in 2007 (Act No. 8 of 2007):

129(3)
Any person who performs a sexual act with another person who is below the age of eighteen years in any of the circumstances specified in subsection (4) commits a felony called aggravated defilement and is, on conviction by the High Court, liable to suffer death.

129(4)
The circumstances referred to in subsection (3) are as follows-

(a) where the person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of fourteen years;

(b) where the offender is infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV);

(c) Where the offender is a parent or guardian of or a person in authority over, the person against whom the offence is committed;

(d) where the victim of the offence is a person with a disability; or,

(e) where the offender is a serial offender.

In other words, Ugandan law already covers what is commonly called “defilement” in a very gender-neutral way. What’s more, Ssempa’s contention that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is intended only to cover “defilement” is blatantly false. Again, we go to the text of the bill for its definition of “aggravated homosexuality:”

3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the

(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;

(b) offender is a person living with HIV;

(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;

(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;

(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;

(f) offender is a serial offender, or

(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by  enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,

(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

The text is very plain. The bill goes beyond criminalizing sex with underage minors — which Ugandan law already does. It penalizes any gay person who is HIV-positive with death by hanging, the method of legal execution in Uganda, whether that person had sex with a minor or a consenting adult.

Part 2 continues with Ssempa’s misrepresentation of “aggravated homosexuality.”

Both parts of this video response taken together follow roughly the letter that Ssempa sent to Warren demanding that Warren apologize for his condemnation of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He repeats that demand in the second part of his video.

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

gayuganda

December 31st, 2009

Uhhhhh!!!

Very very good. Someone make sure those videos dont disappear from youtube.

Because they will. Soon as he sees that people are fact checking him and pinning down his lies.

And let us go on pinning down the lies. Because they are lies and lies and lies. That is Ssempa’s best fodder. Lies.

chrissypoo

December 31st, 2009

It appears that the pastor or whomever owns that youtube account is censoring and deleting comments that don’t agree.

Phil

December 31st, 2009

I’m curious about subsection f:

“(f) offender is a serial offender”

…it sounds like the bill is saying that if a person is a serial _homosexual_ then they are guilty of aggravated homosexuality. So, an HIV-negative person who is twice convicted of having consensual gay sex would face death?

Priya Lynn

December 31st, 2009

That’s correct, Phil.

David C.

December 31st, 2009

I can only conclude that Martin Ssempa is willfully ignorant, a liar, seriously deluded, a political tool, a bigot, mentally ill, or some combination of all of these. Ugandans must reject this man and everything he stands for.

David

December 31st, 2009

On the plus side

Rick Warren is getting a good taste of what his homophobe peers dish out.

Maybe he’ll learn something about the birds he flocks with.

David C.

December 31st, 2009

Rick Warren is getting a good taste of what his homophobe peers dish out. —David

Perhaps this will prompt Pastor Warren to take another good, hard look at that “purpose” thing he likes to go on about. While he’s at it, he might also want to carefully reexamine his notion of grace, fully internalizing and not merely saying:

The freedom to make moral choices is endowed by God. Since God gives us that freedom, we must protect it for all, even when we disagree with their choices.

Of course, similar advice applies to Martin Ssempa and all of his colleagues who seem to have their ears stopped to the words that condemn the dangerous course he and other misguided Ugandan spiritual leaders are on, words which are coming from faith communities throughout the world.

Jean-Paul Bentham

January 1st, 2010

What a pile of crap! Nothing but rhetoric and nauseating emotional paternalism.

And this guy is expecting anywhere from 3 to 5 million Ugandans to demonstrate in the streets of Kampala on January 19TH??!!

Long live equal civil rights! Long live the Universal Declaration of Human Rights!

Uganda Gay Rights! Uganda Gay Rights! Uganda Gay Rights!

Anguksuar

January 1st, 2010

it’s interesting that Ssempa says that he says that ‘homosexuality’ breaks the laws of 5,000 years of culture, from Timbuktu to Cairo. Actually, the oldest known visual representation and celebration of same sex love is Egyptian. And actually too, African tribal and cultural history is relatively equivalent to American Indian traditions, where there is a spectrum of genders, an acceptance and respect for all people, and an enlightened view of the reflection of the divine in all human beings. I wrote to Ssempa and said I thought he was a puppet dancing to Rick Warren’s twisted music. You can send him your opinion directly as well: “Martin Ssempa”
Just for the record, he does list this email on his rolls royce of a website and invites communication from all comers.
Happy 2010

Anguksuar

January 1st, 2010

One more thing- the national task force that he mentions- it’s a paper tiger- there’s a Ugandan Joint Christian Council that he refers to: http://www.ujcc.org/ujcc.php

you can join this- I did, and therefore it is easier to keep an eye on them. The ‘task force’ in his Rick Warren letter refers to principally 3 hazily defined religious bodies:
-“The National Fellowship of Born again Churches” (hard to say exactly what that is, but it hardly sounds mainline denominational)
-“The Seventh Adventists Church” (he doesn’t have the correct title of the denomination quite right in this instance)
-and “The Uganda Joint Christian Council”

The interesting thing about that council is that there is no evidence of activity on their website between roughly 2005- to this year, when suddenly there were a couple of new front page articles, to give the website that lived-in, cared-for look. I think it’s a sham and his whole national task force is a sham as well.

It would be extremely interesting to compare the claim in his letter that his pastors task force speaks for the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda- and cross check that with the Vatican offices to see if this ridiculous sounding claim is at all viable. He may not be saying anything deceptive intentionally, but the authority he claims to represent seems to be rather overextended. Particularly since the Catholic Church has condemned the proposed legislation.

Rob

January 1st, 2010

I’ve flagged the videos.

gayuganda

January 1st, 2010

Anguksuar

you have got the man right. He lies, dazzles and dodges, picking up a fact, twisting it, and then turning to present it in another way. That is Ssempa.

Fact check him and most of his facts dont jell. Not at all.

That National Task Force of pastors was 20 pastors who met in the Minister of Ethics and Integrity’s office to formulate an answer to the wave of condemnation from Christians outside the country.

In Uganda itself, the Catholic Church has come out with a statement AGAINST the bill. I know for a fact that they have been double talking, supporting the bill, but being prodded by the Vatican to follow Catholic teaching. They cannot support the Task Force or any of its statements. Because it is directly contradictory to the statement of the Catholic Bishops of Uganda read by the Archbishop. It is on BTB

Jim

January 3rd, 2010

Martin Ssempa speaks English well. I admire that so many people outside the states make a point to learn other languages. I should learn a different language too. BUT. I don’t understand the language of lies and manipulation.

Burr

January 3rd, 2010

English is one of Uganda’s official languages..

Bill

January 5th, 2010

With 80% of HIV/AIDS cases in Africa contracted HETEROSEXUALLY, I guess we can expect an Anti-Heterosexuality Bill of 2010???

anteros

January 6th, 2010

Ssempa’s claim that witchdoctors advise their hiv/aids clients to rape virgins/kids is just another example of Ssempa being untruthful… that has been a persistent problem in South Africa for years, but that particular phenomenon is alien to Uganda. In South Africa, mostly baby girls not boys, have been victimised this way… it’s almost exclusively a problem of “heterosexual” child rape… in SOUTH AFRICA, NOT UGANDA. He’s lying on purpose as usual, just to generate more hate and disgust towards homosexuals. What a shame… many Ugandans are buying his lies. Will he ever get tired of lying?

Even if it were a problem in Uganda, as he implicitly suggests… this bill wouldnt solve that problem at all.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Jubal

Another Temporary Hiatus

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1971: Minnesota Couple Stake Claim To First American Same-Sex Marriage

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1954: "Perverts Vanish" From Miami

Born On This Day, 1907: Evelyn Hooker

Born On This Day, 1925: Fr. John J. McNeill

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.