April 8th, 2010
That might be an odd question to ask. After all, televangelist Joyce Meyer isn’t known for getting involved with culture wars type stuff. My observations of what Meyer’s all about seems to jive pretty well with this Wikipedia entry:
Meyer frequently talks about overcoming obstacles and finding strength to deal with difficult circumstances. She shares her views on how to deal with everyday life situations, often drawing on her own experiences. Meyer speaks candidly and with a sense of humor, sharing with her audience her own shortcomings and taking playful jabs at stereotypical church behavior.
She’s also been criticized for her lavish lifestyle, but that’s not uncommon with contemporary televangelists, nor is it the point of this post which is this: Does she support Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill?
There’s a good reason why I’m asking that question. According to Meyer’s web site, her Enjoying Everyday Life program broadcasts all over the world. BTB readers in Uganda report that Meyer enjoys tremendous popularity in that country, where her program is not only available over satellite television via South Africa, but is also broadcast over the air via Lighthouse Television (JPG: 460KB). LTV appears to be an affiliate of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Joyce Meyer’s program airs on LTV three times every weekday, at 8:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (She also enjoys a fourth time slot on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 4:30 a.m., and her program airs again on Sundays at 2:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.)
But Meyer’s presence in Uganda isn’t just from afar and over the airways. Her ministry also maintains a physical presence in Kampala, right there on the main road through the business district. A helpful BTB reader in Uganda sent these photos of her ministry, located at in Suite 11 of Crown House, located at Plot 4A on Kampala Road.
In February, we asked another American evangelist who maintains a physical presence in Kampala, Andrew Wommack, whether he supported Uganda’s proposal to legislate gay people out of existence and criminalize their families, friends and acquaintances. The answer we got was a resounding and enthusiastic “yes!” — complete with a full-throated apologia from Wommack’s man in Uganda who repeated the same distortions about the bill that we’ve heard before and have disproved repeatedly.
When we wrote to Wommack’s ministry asking for their opinion on the bill, we also attempted to contact Joyce Meyer’s ministry as well but we received no response. We followed that up with further inquires this week, but again we’ve received nothing but silence.
As I said, Meyer is very popular in Uganda — popular enough to maintain a physical presence there. And she seems like a genuinely nice lady. Her latest book, Eat the Cookie, Buy the Shoes, is all about lightening up and not being too obsessed with some of the sillier rules in life. Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren likes to come across as a genuinely nice guy and he condemned Uganda’s proposed anti-gay bill by calling it “unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals.” Exodus International, whose board member Don Schmierer participated in that “nuclear bomb” of a conference that sparked this legislation, eventually came around and denounced the bill. It’s what good people of conscience do, especially when they have a measure of popularity and influence in Uganda, and who have sought to reach ordinary people in that country — as Warren and Exodus have done, and Meyer does as well.
So why the silence? Where does she stand? Is she with Rick Warren, who came out firmly against criminalization of homosexuality? Or is she with Andrew Wommack, whose response was to say, in effect, that yes, his ministry really does support killing gay people?
As it happens, there may well be a chance for some of you to ask Joyce Meyer directly. Next week she will be on a whirlwind book tour, hitting five cities in three days. So here’s your chance. If you happen to live near any of these locations, you can go and ask her yourself. Does she support killing gay people? And more importantly, will she add her voice to those of Rick Warren and Exodus against the bill.
Meyer will appear at:
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