I’m sensitive to restraining my thoughts on all things global, especially since I’m blogging in my own southside social location, but I thought I’d pass this on and invite you to comment, reflect, or pray, in no particular order. I read something in Religious Dispatches yesterday and then saw a related story in the Christian Century this morning. Both address a piece printed in a Ugandan newspaper. You can access the RD article here, but since the Century’s summary was short, I’m including it:
YELLOW JOURNALISM: A new Ugandan newspaper named the Rolling Stone (not to be confused with the American magazine with the same name) featured a list of the 100 “top” homosexuals in the country, along with their pictures and addresses. The banner on the paper said, “Hang them.” This edition of the newspaper appeared near the one-year anniversary of the introduction of legislation in the Ugandan parliament that would impose the dealth penalty for some homosexuals and life imprisonment for others. The proposed legislation was shelved, yet more than 20 homosexuals have been attacked in Uganda since its introduction and another 17 were arrested and are in prison. The legislation was supported by some conservative Christian leaders in the U.S. (AP).
To be clear, I don’t think it’s helpful to jump altogether on the last words “supported by some conservative Christian leaders in the U.S.,” but those words ring in my ears. I am a citizen of the US. I am a Christian. I am a leader. You may be all or none of those labels. Now, Christians believe a lot of things when it comes to the subject of human sexuality broadly and homosexuality specifically. I suppose some folks believe that their beliefs and best interpretations of sacred texts leave room for violence against those who don’t share or embody their same beliefs. That’s not new in world history. Unfortunately. But I tend to think that the violence mentioned in these pieces is what is opposite our best faith in Jesus Christ. Not homosexuality. Not any expression of sexuality. No. Violence like this.
Regardless of your religious views when it comes to homosexuality (or perhaps, fully regarding those views), it’s the “longest strain” of those opinions to endorse violence of spirit or body, no matter where it’s done in the world, because of a person’s sexual orientation. This grieves me, even though I’m nowhere near Uganda.