IN celebrating his country’s recent 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni led his nation in a prayer of repentance in which he confessed to a whole mess of sins.
I stand here today to close the evil past, and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history, and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft, which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
Wow! He then beseeched the Almighty to:
Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery. These sins and many others have characterized our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord, forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love You, to fear You and to seek You. Take away from us all the above sins.
If this wasn’t enough, the posturing Christian nincompoop continued:
We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God, and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfill what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own. I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to You, to walk in Your ways and experience all Your blessings forever.
Homosexuality was not specifically mentioned in his prayer, however. Museveni explained in an interview earlier this year with British reporters that he believes homosexuality should simply be “ignored” in the nation, although he opposes the promotion of the lifestyle in any form.
Shortly after the President’ prayer of repentance, Uganda drew fire from many quarters when members of Uganda’s parliament said that they plan to pass an anti-homosexual law before the end of December because of pressure from Christian groups.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told Parliament:
We cannot sit back while such [a] destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation. We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.
Commenting today in The National Post on “Uganda’s homophobic farce” Gerald Bareebe, a Ugandan journalist, and Brett House, a Senior Fellow at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in Montréal and a former principal advisor in the executive office of the UN secretary-general, wrote:
This bill has never been about supporting Ugandan social mores, preserving the traditional African family, protecting youth from so-called homosexual “recruiters” or fighting neo-imperialism, as Kadaga contends. If Kadaga really wanted to fight Western influence, maybe she’d instead consider scrapping the British colonial-era laws on which Uganda’s existing anti-gay statues are founded.
Gays, rather, are incidental to this bill: They’re just the most readily available scapegoat to throw under the Ugandan bus.
This bill is really a virtual combo of bread and circuses to dampen domestic Ugandan opposition to President Yoweri Museveni’s increasingly autocratic rule. And it’s a smokescreen to divert international attention from Uganda’s craven role in the ongoing war in Congo.
The Christian News report said:
Some believe that Uganda will continue to need much prayer as it is under intense international pressure on both sides of the issue of homosexuality. Protests are planned for the days and weeks ahead as Uganda’s parliament decides whether to make same-sex behavior a crime in the nation, generally punishable by jail time.
While revisions have been made to the bill since its first presentation in 2009, it is unclear as to whether the death penalty has been removed from the law, although there are reports it is no longer being pursued as a punishment. It does, however, ban the promotion of homosexuality in any form, in addition to the commission of sexual acts, criminalising anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality.”
Tomorrow, a demonstration entitled “Uganda: The World is Watching” will be held outside of the Uganda Mission in New York City, organized by the American-based group AEB Project and the Ugandan organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). On Monday, Amnesty International will be protesting in Denmark, and various worldwide businesses are taking up petitions against Uganda in order to express disapproval of the bill.