There are no genuine homosexuals in Uganda. They don’t exist. And if it they do, it’s the fault of foreign (read Western) influence. If straight men are recruited into being homosexual, then it must be eradicated before it infects all Ugandan men. Stephen Fry went out of his way in 2022 to dispel such nonsense; even travelling to Uganda to confront those who held such unenlightened views.
Religion and politics are two different things, yet they often manage to snuggle up to each other to inflict their views and power onto minorities. The latest conflation of religion oozing into politics is the furore around the Sydney Anglican Diocese headed by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel. He supports the Ugandan Bishop, Stephen Kaziimba. The Sydney Diocese will not come out (pardon the pun) to outright condemn the Ugandan laws of jail time and the possible death penalty for homosexuals. Raffel mewed something about it being inappropriate but would not go so far as to say that this kind of barbaric punishment had no place in 2023. Sydney, believe it or not, holds one of the most conservative Anglican Diocese in the English-speaking world. Whatever the wording of President Museveni’s anti-gay bill, whether it is ambiguous or deliberately malleable, it leaves the door wide open for violence against the gay and lesbian community in Uganda.
Included in the dispute over such laws is the issue of same sex marriage. The British Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, does not wish to condemn same sex marriage – which ruffles the Ugandan Diocese. If the issue is same sex marriage, what is it to them? Nobody is asking them to marry their own sex, nor are same sex married couples a danger or risk to society. Why do some straight people (a term I abhor since it suggests that gay people are bent) worry so much about what gays are doing? As Stephen Fry noted in his interview, Pastor Solomon Male in Uganda vociferously makes it his job to stamp out homosexuality and seems unnervingly interested in this subject.
Part of the argument coming from the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) is that there are those who are not following God’s laws – such as the British Diocese. The Archbishop of Canterbury stood out in his opposition to the Ugandan anti-homosexual laws and reminded good Christian folk of their commitment to protect all God’s children. GAFCON did not like what Welby said and made a statement to the effect that some Anglican Dioceses were failing to heed God’s word and “harbouring sin”. I know it’s the low hanging fruit, but God’s word also said that we should kill adulterers (Leviticus 20:10) slay unbelievers (too many verses to note) and even dash the heads of children onto rocks (Psalm 137:9). Perhaps these are a sin too far for most Anglicans, but jailing or executing homosexuals is okay.
Based on the GAFCON argument one may surmise that the Ugandan and Australian Diocese have also sinned and failed to follow the word of God as they cherry pick verses they wish to enforce whilst ignoring the verses about love and compassion for all. There are no biblical verses condemning ‘corrective rape’, perhaps that’s why many perpetrators of this heinous practise against lesbians in Uganda are rarely, if ever, charged with a criminal offence – or offence to God for that matter.
GAFCON made reference to patronising colonialism and that the Northern Hemisphere should stop meddling in the affairs of Africa. It’s a bit late for that. Christianity is a Middle Eastern religion which has morphed itself into the one true Western faith. Its tentacles reached into the heart of Africa and imposed itself on such countries as Uganda, Kenya, Ghana etc., as Europeans crop dusted their interpretation of the Christian God’s will over much of the continent, whilst making their Scramble for Africa. Uganda decries the influence and acceptance of homosexuality within Christian-Western countries while they rightly reject Western Colonialism, but are happy to embrace a Western religion imposed upon them. That seems to be cherry picking in a very large orchard.
When will religion focus on things that matter? We have climate disaster on our horizon, poverty and obesity snapping at our heels. Why do we need to turn our attention to consenting adults having sex with each other? It’s nobody’s business, least of all our politicians and religious leaders. To quote Steven Weinberg, “Good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.”