Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cries From Uganda

I read this blog this morning and it made me sad (and angry) to my very core but should be mandatory reading especially these days. This is a blog post of witness to harm.

As the lgbt community so frequently points out, the church has (past and present) often used God and the Bible against their humanness and their sense of self. It is truly a human tragedy as reflected from the author's opening paragraph:

Nowadays, in Uganda, sermons in mosque and church, Anglican and Catholic usually talk about homosexuality. We are painted stupid, ugly, bad, killer, un-african, evil, and all sorts of things. Anyone who defends us comes out as bad, simply because they have defended us. Why is this so?
The effect of Anglican words on people matter. They matter here, and they matter hugely in Uganda. As the writer points out, and as I wrote in a letter to Rowan Williams earlier this year, since when is it ever okay for an Anglican to advocate for jailing a human being? Their hostile and depraved words against some of God's children is untenable and shameful. There just isn't room for these kinds of words and actions in the Anglican Communion. But there they are.

The writer also explains about the real effects this has on day-to-day life, as well, and how this whipping up of emotion in his country has effected lbgt folks in Uganda:Now from our Church of Uganda's Orombi.
I knew that he was one of the schismatic leaders. But I had not heard this level of rhetoric from him. Even when we came out last year in August, I know that that Sunday, most Pentecostal and Anglican and Catholic churches preached about homosexuality. But I didn’t hear of him expressly talking about homosexuals. But he did have quite a number of surrogates. The guys who had us thrown out of the People’s Space at the Commonwealth Meeting. They were some of his bishops. With the muscle power of Ssempa’s Brown Shirts. That was the moment I did understand that these guys hated, simply, and virulently. And I was afraid.
Ask yourself when the last time your Bishop's language, or that of your priest, put you in harm's way and made you afraid? When did your Bishop or Priest last call you horrible names? How can this be tolerated in the Anglican community? Importantly, how can each of us help to stop this?

Photo: Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, Primate, Anglican Church of Uganda