Sunday, December 13, 2009

Browsing more

The Advocate has a very important piece. Well, the US White House comes out explicitly against the bill.

“The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history,” read the White House statement that came late Friday in response to an inquiry from The Advocate.
The article goes ahead to rehash what has been happening, in the US. The Examiner gives a useful summary of what it has been like. The fight to get the US and the world's attention. Funny how our world kind of ties together.

It is interesting to me how this has played out in the press in the US. Well, of course the links to the US have been explored very closely, and, some pretty big people have been forced to admit some responsebility. But, from being a Ugandan thing, it became an international issue, and then, became an American issue. Big reason for optimism. As someone pointed out, we get the PEPFAR dollars, and, more important to Mr Museveni, millions in spending for the army. Leverage indeed.

Some in the South African press are not willing not to call the stupidity stupidity....! I mean, they go all out and call it that. Well, they are justified. Evil Minds Rule Uganda, indeed!

Closer to home, dont know what a dimarche is. Diplospeak, but it seems that is the way that some pretty important people, or countries deliver warnings, or cautions. Here, it was in the monitor yesterday. This piece was interesting.

By the weekend major global news networks including CNN, BBC and TIME were carrying stories condemning the Bill, crowding out most stories about Uganda including the passing of a “progressive” law banning female genital mutilation.

Bad publicity indeed. Well, well deserved bad publicity.

The Guardian of UK continues coverage. And, I continue wondering when Cantebury will be brave enough to say something... ! A useful assesment on whether to speak out or not on things like this bill. Feet dragging.
A silence of the shepherds. I wish I had the time, and brightness to dwell on the profiles of courage that this Anti-Homosexuality bill is for some people. Silence of the Shepherds indeed. Some are cowards. Some are brave. But, there is nothing like a real silence of the Shepherds.

By the way, I am not exonerating the Catholic Church for making this statement at the UN. We need it in Uganda, because, the Catholic bishops are preaching hate here, while the Holy See releases oblique statements. We need the Catholic Bishops in Uganda to speak out against the bill. We need the Catholic Archbishop, and Cardinal in Uganda to come out and oppose the bill. Not someone from the Vatican releasing an oblique statement without even mentioning Uganda. Because, their current silence is tacit approval of the anti-gay rhetoric that is going on. And, some of the Catholic priests are doing the very thing that the Vatican is opposing. (Sigh, it was I writing that I would never be Catholic.... Centralised thinking, but, I am taking advantage of it!

The Catholic Church in Uganda is part of the Inter-religious Council of Uganda which had the following statement.

The Secretary General of IRC (Inter-Religious Council of Uganda), Mr Joshua Kitakule told Daily Monitor that development partners should not  interfere in the process of legislation in Uganda.
“Those countries should respect our spiritual values. They shouldn’t interfere,” he said. “All senior religious leaders have been given copies of the Bill to read and educate people in the churches and mosques,” he added.   Mr Kitakule said the Bill, which was tabled last month by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, has not been understood by human rights activists and homosexuals.  
“The Bill is ok. But it has been misunderstood. We need to educate people on this proposed law,” he said.
Bishops from the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventist churches as well as Muslim kadhis agreed to defend the Bill in their centres of worship.

Today is Sunday. Bet you can guess what is happening in Churches all over Uganda. And, if you believe this is not so, just remember Val Kalende's courageous testimony.

The Sunday before last, Val Kalende listened quietly as her pastor’s sermon digressed into a soft tirade against homosexuals. “We may even have one in our midst,” the cleric told a congregation of about 50 born-again Christians.
If Ms Kalende did not know her pastor to be an honourable man, a father figure, his sudden anti-gay remarks would have left her shifting uncomfortably in her chair, wondering if those dreaded words were meant for her.

A small reminder as to how powerful the pro-bill, anti-gay forces in Uganda are. All churches and mosques, indeed. And, the bill being given to every one of them, this bill here? I bet they didnt give them a lawyers interpretation of the bill. Forgive Ugandans, but, for most of us, English is not the first language, and we cant claim to understand a legal testament like the bill is. What the preacher says is evil, that is evil. The pope has spoken.

Rick Warren? Well, Someone asks, why did he wait so long? And, I would like him to have his statement aired on Uganda TV stations.
We are poor. Only 4% of the country has internet connection, so very few will hear about the fact that he has done what he did. Of course, the Christian stations are very many. So, he can use his clout to air it? Please?...!

Well, forgive me, but his statement was made in the US, to his audience, but, it is best that the Ugandan pastors that he was speaking to actually hear it. Like the US Trinity Broadcasting Network's Lighthouse Television which many of the faithful in Uganda watch.

Put Nsaba-Buturo and any religious leader in Uganda face to face, and you get the full insight in the Ugandan psyche on the Bahati Bill. If you have the time, check out this interview, which I did miss. It is interesting reading.

By the way, David Bahati is a very interesting guy. Of course, he is well read, for an average Ugandan. And, he is steadfast in his robust defence of Uganda's morals, and the virtues of his bill. I wonder, does he really believe himself? If he does, it is really a pity. Some choice quotes from the VOA

He castigated pro-gay groups especially in the USA and Europe for “engaging in a game of manipulation, deception, and control.” 
“We are going to focus on protecting children and the family in Uganda,” he added.
Admitting that there a lot of international pressure to drop this controversial bill, Mr. Bahati said “there is no amount of pressure or intimidation that will stop this bill.”
He described Pastor Rick Warren’s (an American Evangelical Christian minister and founder of the Saddleback mega-Church in California, USA) condemnation of the bill as unfortunate. “It’s unfortunate that a man who has inspired millions of people around the world for a long time would be blackmailed to disappoint them. It’s a pity that he has opted to please the world instead of God.”

Sigh, I have emptied my inbox. And spent lots of time thinking about the bill on a very beautiful Sunday morning.

I will try to compesate for that by devoting some time to myself. Later on.

Have a wonderful Sunday.



spiralx said...

Added this earlier, but here it is again:

In England's newspaper Daily Telegraph today (Saturday 12 Dec 2009), the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan-Williams, is interviewed. These two pargraphs are about halfway down:

On the other side of the schism in Uganda, a private member’s bill has just proposed the death penalty for some homosexuals (now withdrawn), such as those convicted of raping a minor. And there are those who seek to make a moral equivalence between Los Angeles and Kampala, asking why the Archbishop upbraids the Episcopalians while failing to condemn the Ugandans. Added to which, some American traditionalists have markedly failed to condemn the Ugandan proposals.

“Overall, the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it could be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades,” says Dr Williams. “Apart from invoking the death penalty, it makes pastoral care impossible – it seeks to turn pastors into informers.” He adds that the Anglican Church in Uganda opposes the death penalty but, tellingly, he notes that its archbishop, Henry Orombi, who boycotted the Lambeth Conference last year, “has not taken a position on this bill”.

Of course, we know where the appalling Orombi stands. Firmly with the Nazis and their genocide brigade. I guess we should be truly thankful he hasn't opened his mouth and said what we know he thinks. Yet.

spiralx said...

From wikipedia:

A démarche (pronounced /deɪˈmɑrʃ/) is a formal diplomatic representation of the official position, views, or wishes on a given subject from government to another government, or to an intergovernmental organization. Démarches are delivered to the appropriate official of the government or organization. Démarches generally seek to persuade, inform, or gather information from a foreign government. Governments may also use a démarche to protest or object to actions by a foreign government. Informally, the word is sometimes used as a verb to describe making or receiving such correspondence.

Dan said...

Thanks for this, as always, and for your insight and courage.. We will have our own small piece on `attention paid' to Uganda in the next day or so.

lelio risen said...

I sent in a letter to The Monitor, though I do not know if they will publish it. I know they do occasionally publish comments from those in Western nations.

I specifically asked how a country that had been oppressed under Idi Amin, would be so quick to oppress and demean others, for who they choose to love.

I also took issue with those who use the Bible to justify hate, when the Bible's greatest admonition was to love your neighbor. Not execute them because they love differently than you.

Anyway, keep up the good work. It is very courageous of you to be doing this.

lelio risen said...

One more thing...I came across a relatively gay-supportive letter in Friday's New Vision. I thought I had read somewhere that there is never anything positive written about gays in that paper.

This article by John Nagenda was seriously flawed. For one, he wrote that gays should not adopt children because it might make them gay (no, it doesn't work that way), and he also said some silly things like we had stolen the word 'gay,' and when he was younger we used to be called 'f---s.'

But, all things considered, he actually seemed to indicate that gay Ugandans should be free to love who they want. Is this an unusual article for that paper to run?

Here is the link to that article, from the paper. I was just wondering what you thought about his comments.

gayuganda said...

Hi Lelio,

yes, the article was very unusual. The NV has not been publishing any article about homosexuals. I know, I have tried to send in articles. And i was told it was against current editorial policy.

And, Nagenda is a seniour presidential advisor. Which tends to mean he might have the ear of the pres. The actual significance of the article published, I dont know. But, i think it is significant, because it was published.

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