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Las Vegas Church May Drop Support for Ugandan Anti-Gay Pastor

Jim Burroway

October 26th, 2010

Conservative Evangelical professor Warren Throckmorton, who has been a stalwart opponent to the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill that continues to linger in Uganda’s Parliament, received a message from Las Vegas-based Canyon Ridge Christian Church indicating that after several months’ delay and excuse-making, are considering dropping their financial support for Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, one of that country’s most ardent supporters of the proposed bill. The statement has also been posted on Canyon Ridge’s web site with a prominent link on the front page:

Because of the current controversy in Uganda over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and because of Pastor Ssempa’s involvement in the support of the bill, we have been in regular communication with him to clarify his positions and opinions. While we have come to understand that Pastor Ssempa advocates for an amended version of the Anti-Homosexuality bill that removes the death penalty and reduces other severe penalties, he is still supports passage of this bill.
 
We, however, do not support him in this effort.

We are in the process of determining how we can redirect our support in Uganda to activities specifically related to addressing HIV/AIDS issues.

It is still unclear exactly what this statement means. Will they continue to provide financial assistance for Ssempa’s work in “HIV/AIDS issues” while condemning the passage of the anti-gay bill? As I read it, that scenario could conceivably fit within the parameters of this statement. But it’s also worth noting that while Ssempa’s profile on Canyon Ridge’s web site is still accessible, the link to it from the Global Partners page has been removed and replaced with a link to the statement.

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Michael Bussee
October 26th, 2010 | LINK

This summer, Aid for AIDS Nevada and Southern Nevada Health District both dropped Canyon Ridge Christian Church as a partner in the fight against HIV — due to CRCC’s support of Ssempa. Perhaps this sort of community pressure helped prompt CRCC to take this step.

It does seem unclear as to what will happen next. I sincerely hope that CRCC will sever all ties to Ssempa and that they will not “continue to provide financial assistance for Ssempa’s work in “HIV/AIDS issues” while condemning the passage of the anti-gay bill.”

Lindoro Almaviva
October 26th, 2010 | LINK

Call me a cynic, but I believe this is what will happen:

CRCC will say that they are not in favor of the passage of this law nor happy with Sempa’s involvement in it. THAT BEING SAID, they will praise Sempa for his continued effort in his AIDS work and will say that cutting all economic ties to him will mean casting a judgment on all the good work he is doing “for the Lord“; with all those people who suffer from AIDS. THEREFORE, while not supporting Sempa in his efforts to pass the law, they will continue supporting his godly endeavor on behalf of the “Lord” among those who have been rightly punished by the Lord for the horrible crime of having sex with other men been suffering from the devastating effects of AIDS in Uganda. THUS, they will announce that they are no longer offering financial support to Sempa, just to his AIDS efforts.

That way, when people criticize them, they will be able to play the victims and say that the evil homosexual agenda will rather have people die of AIDS in Uganda than having a good God-fearing pastor help them because of a difference of opinion.

While all this happens, Sempa will be transferring the money from the AIDS work to his efforts to pass the law and when all this is discovered CRCC will claim they didn’t know Sempa would do such a horrible thing and how distraught they are that their money was used on such an endeavor.

It is all a matter of spin, as we all know. For the moment, I am taking bets, anyone want to join me?

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