FOLLOWING our report that UK pastor Paul Shinners had attended a Christian rally in Uganda, which was was used, according to this account, to urged the Parliament to speed up its planned anti-homosexuality bill, Shinners, owner of the Cornerstone cafe in St Neots, Camb., issued the following statement, which appeared today on his Passion for Souls Ministries site:
The purpose of my visit on the 31st December 2012 to The 7th National Day of Prayer in Uganda was simply to preach the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which I did.
This event is a New Year’s celebration for Christians and non Christians alike. It is NOT an anti-gay rally as has been wrongly stated on Facebook.
I am NOT HOMOPHOBIC. Never have been. Never will. I have NEVER ever made any homophobic comments.
As Christians we follow the commands which Jesus taught, to LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE.That means ALL PEOPLE, irrespective of race, colour or sexuality.
I do not and will not support any legislation or law which condemns anyone on the basis of the above criteria.
However, It is also not right to slander or demonise Christians on Facebook.
I would ask that people respect my staff and customers at Cornerstone. We had to close the shop on Saturday 5th January as they were frightened to come in. This is not right.
I hope that this clarifies our position.
Meanwhile, yesterday, in Springfield, Mass, the first trial under the new Alien Tort Statute, allowing citizens of other countries to sue Americans for violations of human rights, opened against a local minister, Scott Lively.
Lively is being sued for his active support of proposed Ugandan laws against homosexuals, including lengthy jail terms – although the current version of the bill does drop the death penalty. The lawsuit charges that the active Uganda campaigns against local gays were set off by an extended Lively visit to the country in 2009.
Back in 1994, Lively was membership director of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, putting a series of anti-gay initiatives on state and local ballots. In that position, he argued that top Nazis were largely gay, an argument he developed in a book, The Pink Swastika.
At the start of the trial, the judge expressed concern that the lawsuit ran up against Lively’s First Amendment rights.
Explaining his support for the Uganda measure on his website – which analyzed the 2012 election as the Evil Party defeating the Stupid Party – Lively recently argued:
Just because Secular Humanist America began to decriminalize sexual sins in civilian law starting in the early 1960s doesn’t mean criminal sanctions against homosexuality are ‘un-Christian’.