Thinking Anglicans

Uganda: an update

Updated

Colin Coward has posted a progress report, Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill challenges all in the Communion and also Fulcrum and a gay Ugandan journalist comment.

The Anglican Communion and its leaders have reached a critical moment of judgement in its attitude to homosexuality. It is now 19 days since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 was tabled by David Bahati, the MP for Ndorwa West in Uganda but the leaders of the Communion have remained silent. The only Anglican groups to have responded are those working for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people…

And he has published the text of the letter which he has proposed sending as a joint statement, see the text of the proposed open letter sent by Changing Attitude and Inclusive Church to Anglican Mainstream, Fulcrum, the Church Society and Reform.

…Anglican bishops in this country have long-standing relationships with the Bishops of the Church of Uganda. They have participated in Lambeth Conferences where the bishops committed themselves to speak out against capital punishment (Lambeth 1988 33:3b), and to condemn the irrational fear of homosexuals (Lambeth 1998 1:10d).

While it is well known that, as organisations, we stand on opposing sides over the controversies about homosexuality and the Church, on this occasion we set aside our differences and call on the Church of Uganda to make her voice heard in protest at this draconian legislation and in defence of the civil liberties and dignity of an oppressed minority of the population of Uganda. We further call on our Primates and the English bishops of the three dioceses linked with the Church of Uganda to use their friendship with the Primate and bishops to urge them to publicly oppose the bill.

There is also the statement from the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law which you can read here.

Warren Throckmorton has a number of posts on his blog about this. He also has a Facebook group (h/t PO).

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Tim Chesterton
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Thanks to Colin for publishing the letter. I only hope it will get the positive response it so richly deserves.

Graham Kings
Guest

Thanks, Colin, for the details. Fulcrum, following on from some private communications, will be publishing an article on this appalling Ugandan bill very soon.

Graham Kings
Guest

Another very worrying development is described by Xan Rice in The Guardian, 29 October 2009, ‘Kenya launches gay survey while homosexuality remains illegal’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/29/kenya-launches-gay-survey

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Whenever abortion doctors here in the US are murdered, many Christian groups condemn the attacks, period. Other Christian groups express regret that someone lost their life, then proceed to condemn the murdered person for their participation in abortion. I would not be surprised if Fulcrum chooses the latter course: States that the Uganda bill goes too far, then expresses the hope that all homosexuals are one day freed from the bondage of their unique sin, excuses the, um, eagerness of those who wish to rid the world of this sin, etc. If it’s an outright affirmation of the dignity of… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

WE AWAIT WORD(s) from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams…perhaps he ought initiate a EMERGENCY MEETING of The Anglican Primates…afterall, murdering innocent, LGBT Anglicans, OUR families, OUR spiritual advisors and OUR friends in UGANDA/abroad is an EMERGENCY (far greater than +V.G. Robinson being called, nominated, elected and consecrated at TEC as a HONORABLE, and open, uncowardly Bishop)! ANGLICAN BASIC CHRISTIAN CARE IN UGANDA IS DISMAL and is a deadly igredient to the current pogrom threat: Please be reminded of the case of Heterosexual Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, Retired bishop of West Buganda, Uganda, who was excommunicated by ¨archbishop Orombi¨ after… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

With peterpi, I will wait to see what sort of response Fulcrum can manage to emit on the subject of the vicious Ugandan laws.

The best I expect is something like: “Good move: Uganda is right to condemn homosexuals, but they’ve chosen the wrong tactics.”

“Good move, good tactics, wrong time to try it” is what I think they’d say if they thought they could get away with it.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Archbishop Orombi is a coward who operates in the background and sets up anti-lgbt Anglican/other outcasting both in Uganda and abroad…his behind-the-scenes manipulating at the Anglican Communion must be CONFRONTED and ADDRESSED! Peoples lives are at stake!” – Colin Coward : Changing Attitude blog – It seems that Archbishop Orombi is determined to proceed with his calculated genociDe against the LGBT community in Uganda. Together with at least one other African Anglican Primate (Akinola), he is betraying the Lambeth 1:10 Statement, which urged all Bishops of the Communion in particular to respect LGBT persons, acknowledging their inclusion into the Church… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I couldn’t agree more to what has been said of this horror!

karen macqueen
Guest
karen macqueen

Sadly, we do not have time to waste in waiting for the ABC and the many tired bishops of the Anglican Communion to take action against the unveiled violence and hatred directed against LGBT persons in Uganda, and other countries with large Anglican populations, such as Nigeria and Jamaica. Too much time has passed since the introduction of the Ugandan legislation. For many of our Anglican leaders, there is no LGBT life worth saving. And for the political leaders of these countries, statements from feckless bishops who are afraid to act will hardly dissuade them from their murderous course. We… Read more »

Robin
Guest
Robin

Surely no-one imagines that Rowan Williams actually cares about any of this?

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest

I am given to understand that ++Rowan has made his opposition known, but that – for whatever reason – it has not been reported. Make of that what you will.

Laurence C
Guest
Laurence C

Well, if Rowan has made his opposition known, this fact doesn’t appear to have made it as far as David Brownlie-Marshall, his own Press Officer at Lambeth Palace. I spoke to DB-M this morning and he had nothing to say on the matter.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Well, if Rowan has made his opposition known, this fact doesn’t appear to have made it as far as David Brownlie-Marshall, his own Press Officer at Lambeth Palace. I spoke to DB-M this morning and he had nothing to say on the matter.”

I have had no reply to my email from KJS or staff.

The next time I write, I think I will try to shame them by reminding them of the West’s silence and weak response to the Rwanda genocide. This looks to be the beginning of a genocidal pogrom against glbt Africans.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Disgraceful.

I ask again – why are you all sticking with this utterly discredited and institutionally homophobic organisation?

How far do they have to go before you finally say – enough!

Would you accept such behaviour from any other organisation of which you are part?

BillyD
Guest

“I ask again – why are you all sticking with this utterly discredited and institutionally homophobic organisation?…Would you accept such behaviour from any other organisation of which you are part?”

For the same reason that I stick with the country of my birth, in spite of its sometimes stupid actions and policies: it’s my home, and I think that I can help make it better. You seem to think of the Church as just another “organisation,” like the Rotary Club or the RSPCA; most Christians probably feel differently.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I wish it was just like any other organisation. But most of then don;t want opt outs to enable them to discriminate

You can always emigrate to use the metaphor….I came to the conclusion that homophobia was just too ingrained in the fabric and beliefs to ever change. So I came to the conclusion that I had no opyion but to change my beliefs

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“We note that Uganda is current Chair of the UN Security Council which operates with the UN Charter and UDHR as guiding principles. It is also current Chair of the Commonwealth and a signatory to the African Union’s Constitutive Act which has as its premise the promotion and respect of human rights. In 2009 and 2010 it is hosting AU Summits. What will happen to Uganda’s hard-won role on the global stage if it nullifies its international and regional human rights commitments? Uganda cannot wish away core human rights principles of dignity, equality and non-discrimination, and all Ugandans will pay… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Merseymike
Your response never made sense. Assuming the Christian God exists, he still exists if his whole church corrupts him and his message.
Leaving the church can make sense. Abandoning faith as a consequence is a non sequitur.

Fr Ron
Here in Britain many of us have also lobbied our MPs. As you say, this is not just a problem for the Christian community.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

It wasn’t something I did on a whim, Erika….but I came to the conclusion that there was something quite fundamentally wrong with Christianity and that I could no longer in all honesty profess faith whilst maintaining the views I have.

I respect those working for change and still take an interest in what’s going on – bit from the outside, I fear that the homophobia is just too ingrained

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Merseymike I think we’re talking cross purposes. I don’t believe it is possible to come to a logical decision about believing in God or not. Many of us believe because we’ve had some experience that makes it seem more likely that God exists than that he doesn’t. Some would go a lot further than that. Whether official religion represents him right or not is a completely different question, and it is perfectly possible to come to the conclusion that homophobia is too engrained in Christianity to ever be eradicated. But that says absolutely nothing about whether God exists or not.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“any other organisation of which you are part?” Really, Merseymike! As Erika says, I believe there is a God because I find things in my life that tell me He exists. Other’s might call them coincidences, and I wouldn’t argue. But what do you think the Church IS? Before you left the Church, did you think you were part of something like the Lion’s Club in fancy dress or what? Seriously, lots of us have anger issues around specific topics, look at me and Evangelicals, for the love of God! Perhaps we ought to do more work at resolving them… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Check out this Facebook page for some insight into the mentality we are dealing with here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-are-Ugandans-and-we-do-not-support-Gay/91107543469?ref=nf

And these are the people who now presume to run our church???

No thanks.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Merseymike, With respect – and I have great respect for you – you wrote: “….I came to the conclusion that homophobia was just too ingrained in the fabric and beliefs to ever change. So I came to the conclusion that I had no option but to change my beliefs. . . “ Note the use of “I” throughout. This was a personal decision on your part, and you wish people to respect it in the face of what seems to them nonsense, so, they have every right to ask you the same respect of their beliefs. For myself, I found… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

JPM,
We can hope that this is just one or two people who have invited their like minded friends to join them. 1240 fans. According to one poster, at least some of them are African American, though how she knows they are not Ugandans studying in the US or something, I don’t know. We can hope this is just a bunch of bigotted nutbars. But, in light of the other developments in Uganda, if there is a significant population in Uganda with these attitudes, I dread what’s coming.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Ford, we know exactly what’s coming.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Really don’t know why you don’t think I’m happy, Ford. The internet is a good place to play with words and to provoke debate – that’s all I do. I have always been interested in the ‘politics of religion’. Why should I not engage with the discussion simply because it gives you an excuse to trot out the same old resentments against my presence here?! I think that I was kidding myself that I had genuine belief and maybe that’s why, when it came down to it, I realised there was nothing left. However, look towards yourself when you do… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“one thing I have recognised is that gay Christians are very sensitive when they have to face the utter illogicality of belonging to a religion whose ‘holy book’ condemns them – and you know it does!” – Merseymike –

No, not so, Mike! It is only the implacable biblical fundamentalist who claim that. To those of us who believe that the Gospels are the most important Scriptures for followers of Jesus, the tenor of his teaching says something quite different from what the homophobes might like to be the basic message of the Bible.

Fr Mark
Guest

I think Merseymike makes a great contribution here. I think it probably does us good to be challenged in the way he does: it is, after all, quite possible that he may be right in thinking that we are complicit in immorality by supporting an organisation which is an agent of injustice in the world. It is because of what people like Merseymike see in the Church that it is imperative to work to change it soon.

MarkBrunson
Guest

I think there is a fallacy here, Merseymike, in that you assume all Christians must regard both their “Holy Book” and the authors thereof to be infallible. This simply isn’t the case.