Thursday, October 15, 2009

News article says new bill in Uganda means homosexuals will face death penalty

"I fear for Uganda, or any state, when the church, by how it acts, might as well be parliament, and parliament, by how it acts, might as well be the church." - Rev. Stephen R. Parelli
Today by email, I received the above news article from a more recent contact in Uganda. The young gay man wrote that because of this bill in the parliment of Uganda he has decided finally to leave his country.

I ask: Where is the voice of the churches in Uganda, that voice that should be raising moral objections to this bill? I believe, sadly, you are hearing the voice of the churches in Uganda as you read this bill. Mary Nyangweso Wangila in her book Female Circumcision: The Interplay of Religion, Culture, and Gender in Kenya quotes John Mbiti as describing Africans as "notoriously religious" by explaining "Wherever the African is, there is his religion: he carries it to the fields where he is sowing seeds or harvesting a new crop; he takes it with him to the beer party or to attend a funeral ceremony; and if he is educated, he takes religion with him to the examination room at school or in the university; if he is a politician, he takes it to the house of parliament."

Some in the church need to arise and say to the church, "Wait! The Bible is not at all that clear on the topic of homosexuality. We have drawn our conclusions without doing our homework on the Biblical passages and we have, therefore, judged our brother perhaps without cause." Some in parliament need to arise and say to parliament, "Wait! We are in danger of making our laws on the basis of religious teaching rather than civil rights for all. Do we enact laws that copy ecclesiastical codes, or do we enact laws that protect the equality and justice of all?"

I fear for Uganda, or any state, when the church, by how it acts, might as well be parliament, and parliament, by how it acts, might as well be the church.

May God save the parliament of Uganda from this bill of civil injustice and social inequality.

1 comment:

Mary Nyangweso Wangila said...

Rev Parelli,

I am with you on this subject. I like you appeal to the church to caution those who want to judge their own brothers and even sisters. What would Jesus do if he were here - and he is here in the name of the church? Remember the woman who was brought to him by the Pharisees to be judged because she was adulterous? Jesus did not jusdge, he left the matter for God to judge. Jesus cautioned against judging as we are all sinners. The church is behaving like pharisees who judge when they themselves have "a log" in their own eyes.

Homosexuals - Gays have rights like anyone else to live the life they deserve. They are human and worthy of God's love. They must be shown love by the church and those who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Yes, the church need to cocme out and condemn any act of discrimination, oppression and injustice. In the Old Testament, prophets never hesitated to cocndemn what they believed was against God's will. God's people need to be activists and they should always speak for the weak.

I worry that our church is passive and only preach what they cannot emulate. What a pitty!