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Adventist magazine draws attention to Uganda’s Kill Gays bill

Timothy Kincaid

January 7th, 2010

Spectrum is “a journal established to encourage Seventh-day Adventist participation in the discussion of contemporary issues from a Christian viewpoint”. As such, it is uniquely qualified to discuss the recent statements coming from Seventh Day Adventist religious leaders in Uganda in support of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality bill.

Spectrum’s Alexander Carpenter has written an online commentary expressing concern about the bill and the way in which support for it is contradictory to church policy.

Given this attempt to mix church and state, it is particularly troubling that the highest ranking Adventist leader in Uganda would support this law.

Furthermore, the law states that,

Where the offender is a corporate body or a business or an association or a non-governmental organization, on conviction its certificate of registration shall be cancelled and the director or proprietor or promoter shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.

Thus, if, as has happened in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a church administrator turns out to be gay, John Kakembo’s support for this bill could actually threaten the work of the church in Uganda.

Given the parameters outlined in the Working Policy of the church, John Kakembo’s common cause on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 lies outside our religious liberty principles, breaks church policy, and is opposite the goal of following Christ in helping, not jailing, the least of these.

In response, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has issued the following statement:

The church has made official statements on the issue of homosexuality. These continue to be our expressed position. Our inquiries with the Uganda Union indicate that not all that is being reported or interpreted in the media coverage is factual.

Our office has taken steps to inform the Uganda Union president’s office about the officially articulated position of the church regarding homosexuality. There will be on-going communication with the East-Central Africa Division and the church administration in Uganda.

I am uncertain what the church means by “not all that is being reported or interpreted in the media coverage is factual”. If that indicates that the church leader in Uganda, John Kakembo, has been falsely claimed as a supporter of the bill, then I am encouraged.

If, however, it indicates that the church is dismissive of public criticism of the bill, then that is most distressing. And sadly, while the statement of church principles does mention compassion and value, the only principles stated consist of condemnation of homosexuality and same-sex relationships and do not clearly articulate a position on criminalization of gay persons.

It is difficult to determine from this vague statement whether the Seventh-day Adventist Church opposes the bill or if it stands in the unique position of being the only denomination in the West to publicly endorse the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality.

I would encourage the church, and all Adventists, to read the language of the bill and issue a statement strongly condemning it as contrary to the teachings of Christ. Until it does so, the only position on record is that of Kakembo’s announcement of Seventh-day Adventist endorsement and of the Church’s refusal to refute that endorsement.

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

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David Roberts
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve written to them (main SDA leadership here) as recently as last week and have not received any reply to date.

Adventist magazine draws attention to Uganda’s Kill Gays bill « Coreys Views
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

[…] http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2010/01/07/19171 […]

david
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

From Monitor Newspaper

Govt could stop Gays Bill – minister
By Steven Wandera & Ben Jumbe (email the author)

Posted Friday, January 8 2010 at 00:00

Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill may be withdrawn from Parliament following pressure from the international community, a senior government official has said.

Donor countries, including the United States, have piled pressure on the government to drop the proposed law, on grounds that it violates human rights.

The State Minister for Investments, Mr Aston Kajara, yesterday said the government was looking at the Bill with the possibility of withdrawing it. “The government’s official position is that we have enough laws to cover homosexuality acts,” Mr Kajara said. “Government did not sponsor this Bill. It is a private member’s Bill. The government is studying it and we may talk to the honourable Member of Parliament (David Bahati) to consider withdrawing it.”

In October 2009, Mr Bahati tabled the private member’s Bill that proposes death or life imprisonment for gay people. But the government tried to own the piece of legislation, with Ethics Minister Nsaba Buturo once telling reporters in Kampala that homosexuals “can forget about human rights”.

Mr Bahati denies being in a hate campaign, although he has failed to provide evidence to back claims that European gays are recruiting in Ugandan schools. The Penal Code Act already criminalises homosexuality.

On one account, President Museveni has assured US authorities that he would veto the Bill. This comes a day after the State Minister for International Affairs Okello Oryem insisted that the government is not bothered by foreign criticism because homosexuality is not a priority. in Uganda.

Jeff
January 8th, 2010 | LINK

I also sent an e-mail to the church leadership on this issue.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

I am an adventist in South Africa and i strongly support criminalisation of homosexuality. I dont see how jailing gays is unchristian when we all agree on jailing those who commit incest. Rapists can be jailed but that doesnt mean they cannot be introduced to Christ in their jails. The argument that we should not jail them but christianise them is nonsensical because it seems to suggest that the two are incompatible meaning we cant do both. How many gays has the author of this article brought to Christ? I am sickened by the so called church position as if the church is the final authority on faith matters. Adventists believe in the bible as the only rule of faith – not church positions.

grantdale
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Emmanuel,

The same Bible was also used to declare you as damned to be slaves. You are a ‘Son of Ham’. That was what white Christians were told for centuries. Ask your pastor.

Also, perhaps you are too young to remember how the Reformed Church spoke about black people before apartheid fell, but you should learn about that part of your history. Ask your pastor.

I am gay. I have never attacked anyone. I am not a member of your church.

Therefore I expect you to leave me alone. Mind you own business.

Ignorance and prejudice is harmful.

emmanuel moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Grantdale, our children are growing up in a society where their understanding of “mariage” and “family” and even “dating” is being corupted and confused by gay life styles, gay mariages, gay families etc and the result is to corupt their minds leading them to make wrong choices. So the question is, where do we turn to for help in order to protect them – if we cant use the law? You as gays have no right to corrupt our children with your life styles. Unfortunately this not understood by gays who would rather have everyone become gay or at least endorse homosexuality. That is unacceptable. Turning to the bible – the fact that it was once used by racists for wrong purpose does not make wrong. It is still the word of God. I see no point in reading the history of how racists used it in the past because it never said the things that they said. If a murderer kills someone using a kitchen knife, do we go on to condemn kitchen knifes? Certainly not!

Rob
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

So the question is, where do we turn to for help in order to protect them

By getting rid of people of your mentality and level of ignorance of course.

Honestly, it’s not surprising that countries with anti-gay laws are the ones with the highest levels of corruption, poverty, illiteracy, and social violence in the world. In fact those that are religious are more likely to commit crimes or be in prison. Perhaps we should criminalize outright the religious ignoramus in order to prevent them from even corrupting the fabric of society.

grantdale
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Emmanual,

I live in a culture where children can grow up knowing they have gay uncles and aunties, and knowing that they have gay friends. We have been privileged to be part of many children’s lives. We are surrounded by children. Their parents know we are good people.

None of these children are corrupted or confused. These children grow up entirely normal, but without your ignorance and prejudice. They make good choices in life because they know the facts. It is from people like you that they need to be protected. From you they could learn to hate, or fear.

I also don’t care how may gay people there are in the World. I have no idea how to make anyone “become” gay. I think you are inventing that to frighten yourself or others.

If you could come to my home and meet us, and my family and friends, you would change your mind. You will find no corruption or confusion, but you would find understanding, love and commitment.

I honestly don’t care how you read the Bible. That is your problem. What I do know is that some day you will realise you are just like those racists.

But until then, mind your own business and leave other people alone. You are spreading lies.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

The word ‘ignorance’ is word that is widely used by gays to silence opposition. Their strategy is to attack the messenger if they dont like the message, just like what Rob says, that people like me need to be eliminated. Is that how far gays are willing to go to present their case? What a shame. Anyway i voluntarily choose to remain ignorant as long as it remains wisdom in the sight of God. I have Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26,27 to support me in my opposition to homosexuality. I wont be scared by those who advocate for my elimination – the likes of Rob – who are scared even to reveal their names.

grantdale
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Emmanuel,

I’ve called you ignorant, but you are not silent. Obviously it doesn’t work, even if I wanted it to.

Your message is wrong and harmful. That is why it is not liked.

If you claim to be a Christian you should already know that Leviticus no longer applies. That is Old Testament. But you can have Leviticus 19:18 and 19:38 anyway.

Romans 1:26 says nothing about my life.

Now read Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31 and Luke 10:25-28. And many others. Plainly you cannot think for yourself and need to read some instructions.

You are called to love, not to hate. You are called to love, not to spread lies. You are called to love, not to be ignorant. You are called to love, not to persecute.

That is what Jesus commanded, and you are disobeying him.

Your problem, not mine.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Who said the old testament no longer applies? Jesus qouted the old testament numerous times – i dont time to go through that with you right now. Paul, John, James and other new testament writers qouted the same old testament numerous times. In fact the old testament was the only bible the early church especial shorty after the death and resurrection of Jesus used. Do a little research on the dates the books of the new testament was written and you will have an idea. So who said the old testament no longer applies? Is this a genuine misunderstanding of biblical texts or is deliberate twisting of facts to support gay theology? I appreciate the texts on love for one another. That i have not violated at all. Unfortunately i cannot stop speaking the truth even if it will appear harsh and unloving. I love all sinners but i condemn sin. I do not claim to be perfect but if practice sin, i too should face the same consquances. I believe that God can forgive anyone including gays if they turn away from their wicked ways and seek God. Lastly i will say blessed are those who are called fools and ignorant for God’s sake!

John
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Emmanuel,

You live in a country rife with problems far greater than what two consenting adults do in their bedrooms.

I guess you have no concern for the poverty, hunger, violence, rapes (men raping women), murders, lack of housing, educational disparities, unemployment, inter-ethnic and racial tensions.

Addressing even one of those issues might actually make someone in South Africa’s life better. But in your version of Christianity, it isn’t really about treating your neighbor as you would like to be treated.

For people like you, inventing bogeymen to go after is easier than facing up to the real problems right in front of you.

Timothy Kincaid
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Emmanuel,

I think that you are uneducated, lack context, and are ignorant. Let me explain.

Do you read Ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic? Are you a cultural anthropologist familiar with the societies of the Near East? Have you studied the mutations of Scripture and are you aware of the uncertainties of original language or even authorship of some texts? Are you familiar with the ways in which place and time change the meanings and connotations of language?

If not, then your opinions about what the Bible “says” are of no value whatsoever. You are reading without culture, context, or knowledge. You think that you have Leviticus and Romans, but you know nothing whatsoever about the people who wrote the text or the people to whom it was written so you can’t begin to understand what it means.

Though it may surprise you, the Bible was not written in English or in the culture of the 21st Century. Think of the difficulty in translating from modern French to modern English; the subtleties are hard to catch and word-for-word translation is certain to transmit incorrect meaning. Think of how hard it is to understand something written in English just two hundred years ago.

But you are claiming to know what a text intended that is thousands of years old and written in nearly extinct languages in a time and place which has very little similarity to our modern life. That is astonishingly foolish.

When I say that you are uneducated, I mean that you lack the knowledge to understand what you read. When I say that you lack context, I mean that you are not taking the time or place of the original language into consideration.

But when I say that you are ignorant, I mean that you have no desire to consider language, context or culture and are choosing to wallow in your ignorance in order to justify your own bigotry.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

I see this discussion is going no where…. I expected much anyway especially if i have to debate with those who believe in playing the man and not the ball. I am not interested in proving my knowledge or lack of it of Greak Timothy ….. I am surprised you claim to know so much that you know I have never been student of any of these ….. suit yourself and best wishes as you reinivent the bible to suit a clearly satanic habit …. man with and woman with woman. Even dogs know better.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

To John i cant understand how living in a country rife with social problems as you put them disqualifies me from engaging in debates of today. I was going to call such reasoning rubbish but i will not. For your own informtion i could have stayed in England but chose to remain in South Africa because i believed my skills were needed here. That still shouldnt keep me out of this discussion, should it? Anyway let me opt out rather than keep responding to senseless and idiotic attacks. I expect more of those.

Burr
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Even dogs know better.

One quick search on YouTube will prove that wrong.

Emmanuel Moyana
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

Burr

do a quick search on you tube and you will come accross a video with the title ‘Hitler finds out that Scot Brown won the Massachusette seat.’ I guess to you that is a real video. I am sure you know that anyone can post videos on you tube and you tube accepts them without regard to their authenticity or otherwise. Anyway i thought i should respond to you only otherwise I have had enough of my time wasted already.

Burr
January 30th, 2010 | LINK

So you equate a comedic video with swapped subtitles to completely unaltered video of real dogs disproving your idiotic assertion?

’nuff said.. Keep sticking your head in the sand.

(Not that whether something is natural or not has any bearing on its morality anyway.)

Richard Rush
January 31st, 2010 | LINK

Timothy is correct, of course, in his comment outlining the issues of culture, context, language, and translation as they relate to the Bible. I might of added one more – the selectivity of men in deciding which writings would be included in the Bible.

Although presumably unintended, I think Timothy helped make the case for why the Bible should not be taken seriously as the word of a god. A real god could have and should have assured the preservation of all the original manuscripts in defiance of ordinary natural decay, assured that the manuscripts were not lost, and found a way to circumvent the issues of culture, context, language, and translation. Those things are not too much to expect from a god who condemns people to eternal suffering if they don’t believe in him.

I would expect a god’s word to be devoid of contradictions, and to have included a few things that only a god would know, instead of limiting the content to the level of human knowledge at the time. When Jesus was sitting around the campfire with the guys, wouldn’t it have been reasonable for him to mention, for examples, that the earth was not flat and that it revolved around the sun? Wouldn’t the son of a god have known that? Why would he have kept it a secret?

And among other things, I would expect a god’s word to have managed to condemn slavery – instead of repeatedly mentioning it as if it were perfectly acceptable, while including a few passages to apparently condemn homosexuality. It appears that humans are evolving to have a much higher moral standard than that contained in a god’s word.

Priya Lynn
January 31st, 2010 | LINK

Well put Richard.

Carmen
September 19th, 2010 | LINK

We as adventists preach about the love of God…how can we hate our gay brothers and sisters then? My daughter is gay and when I found it out I went through hell just thinking that God hated her and that she didn’t deserve to be saved…then I decided to go to hell with her…but now I love my daughter dearly and I am so sorry for having those stupid thoughts…my daughter is God’child too. She is His creation too. God is love not hate. His love embraces all not just “good people”. Open your hearts to gays they are as human as we are…we all are the same under God’s eyes…or do you believe in white and black sins? May God forgive us all for our meanness.

Kayumba
May 29th, 2011 | LINK

Salvation is universal to all including the hitlers of this world. Let no body confuse these issues in supporting the vice of homosexuality. Salvation in Jesus as a gift to man kind will lift people who receive it irrespective of their history. Jesus receives homosexuals like any other sinner the way they are but will not maintain them the way came; he will give them victory over slavery to the sinful flesh. This is Biblical Romans 8.1…

I am an Adventist and a trained Pastor from Uganda. Most of you people who make statements carelessly about Uganda Union position on the gays are misguided and have lost your way. The GC response is not only hypocritical but compromising the very 1999 statement. The 1999 statement is very simple for any lay person to understand and there is nothing in it requiring interpretation except the motive. I challenge the GC of Adventist Church to pronounce itself on whether it is prepared to bless the marriage union of homosexuals.

I recognize that the Church in the US lives in a hostile environment and so it has lost its direction on matters upon which the state has protected like the “gay rights”. But you better realize that these things will not work in Uganda. Adventist in Uganda believe in the Bible and Bible alone. Those statements made by the GC will not have authority in Uganda. Time is coming when we must now sensitize our people to be prepared for separation from the GC.

The Adventist Church through out its history has failed to maintain any given position. In south Africa during the Apartheid era, it moved with the crowd!! She never pronounced her self on this issue in a meaningful way. Now under pressure, she is condemning Pr.John Kakembo whose position on the gays is clearly taught in the word of God. What does Romans 1.18-31mean to you?

We may not share the unity on the word of God but at least you must respect our Culture which actually agrees with the revealed will of God. Our situation in Uganda and in most Africa is very different from that in America and Europe. Some of those things you call human rights are sins and perversion. Leave Uganda alone. Homosexuality is simply a result of ungodliness. When people choose to live independent of God, the result is wickedness.

The GC statement pretends to want to exercise patience and love towards the gays; how come you do not show the same love and patience to those who have dissenting theological views? Did the GC not treat Dr. Desmond Ford with such hate yet his only crime is that he lifted up the Christ, the cross, the Gospel and he challenged false hood in some of our Church teachings? Shame on you!!

I believe the homosexuals need not be subjected to hatred of an sort. They should rather be given the Gospel of Jesus who alone can set them free from the slavery to this sin and others. In fact, the reason why we have many people learning these habits is because the Gospel of Jesus has been trampled in the dust of religious oddities. Let the Bible speak.

The proposed bill in Uganda has undergone amendments to remove the death penalty which the Adventist Church in Uganda did not support. For your information, in Uganda we have death penalty for capital offenses. So it is not bad that homosexuals can be given deterrent sentences(life imprisonment with parole) in order to cub the influx of homos who are out to destroy our society. We do not want to see a Sodom and Gomorrah in Uganda.

We believe that this vice is dangerous not only because it is unnatural but also it once called down the Judgement of God.

The GC am afraid seems to be under the control of these people and no wonder they show double standard; they claim to stand for the rights of all yet they have not respected the called rights to gay marriages!! Moreover, in denouncing the Uganda Union position, the GC has not stated the basis for its detour. And if such basis be mere statements other than the Bible then we should dismiss it it with contempt.

Kayumba
May 29th, 2011 | LINK

For Timothy, the reference to Greek and what not is itself unschooled statement. Go the Adventist research institute and read on homosexuality before you make those statements here. You are trying to intimidate people here with Greek and what not: these languages have been demystified. The in themselves contain no truth. Even without the Bible God is knowable.

Pagan
May 30th, 2011 | LINK

homos, keep your filth to your self and leave African alone!!!!

Richard Rush
May 30th, 2011 | LINK

Kayumba & Pagan,

Haven’t you ever noticed that the nations most accepting of their gay citizens are among the nations ranking highest in every measure of human achievement, prosperity, and general well-being? And haven’t you also noticed that the nations treating gays with vile contempt are among the nations ranking lowest in those measures? Even within the United States a similar correlation can be seen, to some degree, among the states.

If the people of Uganda want to improve their lives, they should start with a focus on education to reduce their ignorance, illiteracy, superstitious beliefs, and poverty, rather than scapegoating gays as a solution to their problems. History shows that scapegoating of unpopular minority groups has always been an effective way for people, governments, and religious leaders to deflect responsibility for their own failures.

You need to wake up to the fact that many of Uganda’s governmental and religious leaders are demagogues manipulating you to maximize their power and/or wealth.

Timothy Kincaid
May 31st, 2011 | LINK

Kayumba,

No, The proposed bill in Uganda has NOT undergone amendments to remove the death penalty. That simply isn’t true.

And even if it was removed, there is still the incarceration of gay people, their landlords, their doctors, and even their ministers if they don’t report them to the government. There is still a ban on free speech. There is still false assertions about who gay people are and why.

Kayumba, God has called his people to be beacons of light. Jesus said that HIS FOLLOWERS would be known by their love.

But Ugandan Christians are becoming known the world over by their murder, hate, and evil. You are saying that “culture” is more important than the commandments of Christ to love your neighbor and treat him the way that you want to be treated.

And for most of the world, Kayumba, the only thing we know about Ugandan culture is what you have shown us: that you would execute gay people, throw their ministers, families, and friends in jail, and ban free speech on the subject.

All that we know about your culture is that it is hateful towards gay people. And that your cultural hatred of gay people trumps the message of Jesus.

God is watching you, Kayumba. So is the world.

Emmanuel Moyana
September 1st, 2013 | LINK

I commented on this forum in 2010. In 2013, I wish with them, especially my dupport for the Ugandan bill. I now hold the view that criminalisation of homosexuality is wrong. Much as I still do not agree with homosexuality, I now believe they are entitled to their choice like any person, a choice that must be respected by all. I also belive that everyone is entitled to have their set of beliefs, which ever they are, provided the save religious beliefs are not used to harm another person. Please do not think I am being forced to withdraw my comments… I have decided to do so on my free will as I no longer stand by them, and I no longer want to be associated with them as that is not the person I am 2013. Peace be upon you!

Emmanuel Moyana
September 1st, 2013 | LINK

I meant to say that I withdraw my comments in support of criminalisation of homosexuality including support for the Ugandan bill. All people are equal and deserve the same treatment. Sorry for the typing mistakes.

Priya Lynn
September 1st, 2013 | LINK

Thanks Emmanuel.

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