About a week ago, Phil Robertson was suspended from his family’s show Duck Dynasty for comments he made regarding homosexuality. The fury poured forth from Christian news and social media like none other. Many Christians are even now organizing boycotts against A&E.
About two to three days later, Uganda passes a bill through it’s legislative body (that is now waiting a signature from the President) which would imprison homosexuals for life, give 14 years imprisonment to Ugandan citizens that help gays and potentially put some gays to death. Update: The death penalty provision has been shelved, but the long prison terms remain.
It’s been three days since the news from Uganda broke out. I’ve searched through ChristianityToday.com, ChristianPost.com (Update: apparently, my search was faulty on the Christian Post because this article was posted at the time the bill passed. If any more articles surface from these outlets, I would appreciate the links because I did a thorough search previously and found nothing.)and CBN.com, but there is still not one mention of the story that Uganda has passed a bill which could put to death gays and lesbians. I even searched ReligionToday.com and instead of finding stories about Uganda’s growing violence towards gays and lesbian people in their community, I saw one story titled “Ugandan Church’s Remarkable Growth”. Phil Robertson’s story is still plastered all over the front pages of these outlets.
Now, I’m willing to give the Christian media the benefit of the doubt. It’s the holiday week and Christmas is near. Maybe they’re busy trimming the trees and sipping hot cocoa. Maybe they’ve been too busy to see the story on CNN.com or MSNBC.com or BBCNews.com.
However, I’m still extremely disappointed at the overall coverage the Uganda story has received from Christian media outlets. It’s like they’re more scared of being labeled pro-gay than they are concerned about the violence of a country which is growing in it’s evangelical majority against the gay and lesbian community there. It’s disturbing that Christianity collectively can call homosexuality a sin, but somehow gets a frog in it’s throat when Uganda’s violent solution to the sin comes to the surface.
Even Bible-believing, conservative evangelicals must concede that this is overstepping the bounds of God’s justice. This is fallible man taking the Bible without Christ’s mercy, forgiveness and love and applying it to today’s world. It’s an utter mangling of the Bible but at a level that is almost inconceivable. Uganda now sees itself as a Christian nation and they’ve been told by many Western evangelicals that this is what a Christian nation does. They have formulated this bill and these laws to preserve morality in their country. They don’t want to see the corruptions of the West at their door, so they don’t see this as terror and a broach of freedom.
So we need to ask…is this really what American Christianity wants the United States to become? A country where homosexuals are put in jail or even put to death? The American influence on this bill says “yes”. The silence says “yes”. If the Christian media is silent against what’s happening in Uganda, as a Christian who believes homosexuality as a sin, rest assured that one day you will be scrutinized for saying “Not my problem”. Ugandan Christians are misguided and swayed by false doctrine. They are not ministering Jesus Christ to their people. They are not on the road to healing the sins of their people, but rather they seek retributive justice, not restorative justice for the sins of a people. They are making homosexuality a “different” class of sin than any other and thus giving license for a violence that defames the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Speak up, faithful. Speak up, Christian media. Today. For Uganda and for the gays and lesbians who will not know the love of God, but will only know a God who hates their being. This is a black spot on the name of Jesus Christ.