I have ministered in Uganda for years and have offices, a bookstore, and a Bible College in Uganda. We broadcast twice daily over Lighthouse Television, have made three trips there, and therefore have a presence and influence in this nation.
I received an e-mail from a man wanting me to come out against Uganda's Anti-homosexual law on the basis that it was prescribing death for all homosexuals and even harsh prison terms for anyone who didn't turn in a homosexual. He cited Rick Warren's opposition to these laws and wanted me to follow suit.
I knew this information was wrong and the punishments were vastly exaggerated as is so often the case. I met with the member of parliament responsible for this bill and he gave me his reasoning for introducing this legislation. Uganda had just had the United Nations try to pressure them into passing pro-homosexual legislation in order to obtain a large sum of money offered to them (a bribe). They responded with this legislation in order to stop the strong arm tactics of the pro-homosexual western influence. Would to God American leaders had enough integrity to not be bribed or badgered into compliance.
Although I knew the situation was being misrepresented, I didn't feel qualified to deal with this personally. But Leland Shores who runs our office in Kampala, Uganda is well aware of the details and has written a response worthy of everyone who has an interest in this reading. He has included a letter from over 200 Ugandan Christian leaders explaining the situation.
I encourage you to take a few moments and carefully read Leland's response. The Ugandans are taking a stand for righteousness and they should have the support of American Christians, not their condemnation.
Leland Shores Response Email
From: Leland Shores III
Sent: Wed, February 3, 2010 2:33:41 PM
Subject: Re: Please help us in Uganda
Thank you for your email.
As the Director of Andrew Wommack Ministries of Uganda I have been living in Uganda for 5 years now, I am married to a Ugandan and I have been embraced and loved by the people. Our ministry serves this country sharing and teaching the "Unconditional Love and Grace of God" and one thing I have learned, as a foreigner here, is that the Ugandans are passionate about their families and their love for God. It does not matter the denomination.
In reading through your email I have decided to respond because I believe that you must not be aware that there was a response from Uganda to Mr. Warren's letter. For your convenience and review I am including the response from the Uganda National Task Force Against Homosexuality. I believe this correspondence reveals the truth of the proposed Bill that is currently being presented.
Personally, I support this Bill, its premise and the proposed changes that are being made in Uganda. While I can not speak for Andrew I believe that if you have watched his programming on Christian Philosophy 1 and 2 you would find his response in those programs.
If you will read CAREFULLY you will see that this bill is aimed at the ACTIONS of people that are endangering the lives of innocent people. This bill proposes accountability for actions that cause harm, especially to children and minors, and the spread of HIV/AIDS. In addition, I believe it is clear that the main aim of this bill is to protect children and minors (with an emphasis on males) that have no protection against sexual crimes under the current laws. Further, it is aimed at upholding the moral and ethical fiber of family-rights in THIS country. Finally, this Bill is dealing with the issues that are related to a Third-World Community. These issues are so very different from the Globalized mold Western activists and the press are trying to suggest that Uganda squeeze into.
The bottom-line is that the social dichotomy here will always be intolerant, not hate as you have suggested, to homosexuality because of the strong social and family dynamics that dominate and drive the cultural existence here. Therefore, the Bill is not aimed directly at the equality and family dynamics of the homosexual agenda which is the foundation of the gay-rights agenda in the Western communities. The issues here are based from a traditional perspective which Western cultures find hard to wrap their minds around.
For example: Sodomy is promoted by traditional healers, witchdoctors, as a way of curing AIDS. Homosexuality is used as a recruiting tool to lure young boys into receiving financial gain. Homosexuality is used as a manipulation to keep young boys and girls as slave labor, they don't leave or tell for fear of being shunned by the community. Homosexuality is used in traditional rituals and in some cases ends in sacrificial offering of the victim. While in other places homosexuality is promoted as a lifestyle choice, here it is used as a way to manipulate and control others for personal gratification. And the targets are the youth in this country.
If you will note who makes up this task force you will see that it is not a single group of anti-gay vigilantes, but a coming together of those cross-cultural sectors that are the moral foundation of this country. As far as I know I am not aware of an American anti-gay sector within this group.
Finally, let me say that in this instance I am so proud of this nation for standing up for something they believe in regardless of the threats that have come from around the World and especially from the USA who has threatened to pull funding if this bill is passed.
In closing please know that my purpose for responding to you is not to create discord but to present you with the response to Mr. Warren's letter which I must say sheds quite a bit of light on the subject. It may or may not change your view, however, I would hope that as someone that is fighting for human rights you will see that this Bill is really not about impeding someone's human rights but ensuring the protection of their human rights in accordance with needs of this country.
May the Lord Bless you,
Pastor Leland Shores, III
Director - Andrew Wommack Ministries of Uganda
Click here to read the Uganda Pastors' Response to Rick Warren over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.
Original Email To Andrew
Sent: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 9:53 am
Subject: Please help us in Uganda
Over the past year, we have been closely following events in Uganda where many anti-gay American activists have stirred passions in that country against gay people. Those passions have now led to a new draconian law being introduced in the Ugandan Parliament, which for the first time proposes the death penaly against some classes of gay people, particularly those who are HIV-positive or "serial offenders." The rest are consigned to lifetime imprisonment in a Ugandan prison, a prospect that is only a little better than a death sentence.
The bill also targets anyone who knows someone who is gay. Family members, counselors, teachers, medical workers, and everyone else "in positions of authority" are required to report gay people to police within 24 hrs or face seven years imprisonment. Anyone "aiding and abetting homosexuality" -- which medical doctors fear could well include them if they provide HIV-prevention services or medical information to gay people -- is punished with three years imprisonment. Anyone who advocates on behalf of gay people will incur seven years imprisonment.
There is a lot of evidence that suggests that those who are promoting this bill have deep, extensive ties to American Christian leaders. That is why I am writing you to ask for your help. Your program is carried daily on Lighthouse TV in Kampala, for one half-hour every morning at 8:30 a.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. You also maintain a local office of your ministry in that city. Given the prominent role that many Americans have played in stoking the fires of hatred against gay people leading to this backlash, I implore you to raise your voice as a voice of reason against this bill.
Rick Warren, acknowledging his ties to many Ugandan leaders, last December released a statement calling the proposed legislation "unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals." He also added, "I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality. The freedom to make moral choices is endowed by God. Since God gives us that freedom, we must protect it for all, even when we disagree with their choices."
That was an important statement that gave a lot of leaders in Uganda pause. But since that was nearly eight weeks ago and is now virtually forgotten. That is why it is so important that more American moral leaders raise their voices against this legislation. You have a following in Uganda.
On behalf of gay Ugandans that I have gotten to know over the past year, I implore you to raise your voice against this un-Christian measure.