An Other Sheep Facebook cause is growing in numbers.
by Rev. Stephen Parelli, Bronx, NY. October 24, 2009
In just three days more than 130 Facebook friends from Nepal and Thailand to Africa and the United States have signed on to the Other Sheep Cause that asks evangelical leaders worldwide to denounce the Ungandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, a bill that imposes the death sentence and imprisonment of homosexuals.
At the heart of the Cause is the concern raised by hate speech in an article on homosexuality by the Nigerian evangelical leader Yusufu Turaki. The article is featured in the Africa Bible Commentary, "a publishing landmark" published in 2006 by Zondervan Corporation and the Assoiciation of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) and endorsed on the back cover by evangelical leaders Rick Warren (USA), John Stott (England) and Douglas Carew (Kenya).
Turaki's article contains the following anti-homosexual remarks:
(a) Turaki's use of the words "abnormal, unnatural and a perversion" in reference to homosexuals; (b) his uncritical use of the quote that "homosexuals are worse than beasts" tied in with (c) his uncritical statement of the African Anglican church's rejection of Archbishop Tutu's call for tolerance, as well as (d) his one-sided account of African "coercive sexual relationships" as his example of "varied" African same-sex sex; (e) an uncritical censorship of all views of homosexuality that are not in keeping with his views ("Our views of homosexuality should not be derived from human sources but from the Word of God"), and (f) his expressed theological view that to be homosexual is sinful (a view not held by evangelicals in the West).
Facebook friends who sign on to the Cause are concerned because Turaki's article effectively dismisses the church in Africa from its responsibility to speak out against the violence Africans inflict upon African LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender). Turaki's article could be used by African evangelicals at this time as an argument for the endorsement of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Facebook members of the Cause urge the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) and Rick Warrn, John Stott, and Douglas Carew to openly denounce the Ugandan bill and to state that Yusufu Turaki's inflexible and dogmatic article on "Homosexuality" is not to be understood by any evangelicals in Africa as an argument for the endorsement of the inhumane Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, that no evangelical would single out homosexuals for the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The Facebook Cause is titled "Tell Rick Warren to Tell Evangelicals in Uganda to Stop the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009." The Cause links members to a sample letter and contact information on Other Sheep webpages so that members of the Cause can email Warren, Stott, Carew and the AEA.