Winning, sinning on Uganda


The latest winner among media voices speaking out on Uganda is WaPo conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who rises to considerable eloquence today in a denunciation of the bill in the Uganda legislature that would, among other things, apply the death penalty to those found to have repeatedly engaged in homosexual acts. “State genocide of a minority,” she calls it.

The latest sinner, meanwhile, is Christianity Today, the gray lady of mainstream evangelicalism, whose February 11 editorial, “Listen, Then Speak,” gives new meaning to the word equivocation:

Now Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill has put Western Christian leaders in a bind:

(1) The leaders’ commitment to human rights (based on
the Golden Rule and the image of God) leads them to oppose harsh
penalties for consensual adult homosexual activity; (2) their belief in
the traditional family leads them to support Ugandan Christian
resistance to sexual liberation movements imported from the United
States and Europe; (3) their belief that churches need to minister to
homosexuals leads them to oppose legal penalties for those who don’t
report homosexual activity; (4) their belief that the fight against
HIV/AIDS requires confidential testing leads them to oppose laws that
could expose HIV-positive people to harsh penalties; (5) their belief
in the ability of African churches to make mature decisions prompts
them to remain silent on legislation that African churches are still
pondering; (6) their commitment to ongoing engagement in missions and
social service with African churches makes them extremely cautious to
interfere in general.

And here’s the wrap-up:

We join many other American voices in our concern over the way the
proposed legislation can hamper ministry and harm children of God. But
we are also grateful for the African voices who are calling us to pay
attention to how Western society may be undermining our own zeal for
preserving God’s gift of sexuality.

Throckmorton eviscerates the editorial here. I’d just add that, so far as I can see, the only half-way plausible reason for equivocation on this issue is that speaking out forcefully would do more harm than good. That’s essentially the Archbishop of Canterbury’s position, justified by the claim, made sotto voce, that he’s working against the bill behind the scenes. But that’s not CT’s argument. To the contrary, its reasons for not coming out against the legislation are:

1. Deference should be paid to Ugandan resistance to Western “sexual liberation movements.”

2. Deference should be paid to African churches’ ability to make their own judgments.

3. Our missions might suffer.

These are grounds for refusing to take a stand against a genocidal campaign against homosexuals? Let’s rethink this, guys.