Kill the Gays? (One activist says yes)

Filed under Law & Politics, News on February 24th, 2010 by M. French

Controversial filmmaker Molotov Mitchell (often featured on WorldNetDaily) recently released a video entitled “Uganda is right, Rick Warren is Wrong” concerning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which would criminalize homosexuality, allowing for the death penalty in certain situations.


[Link to Video]


The video certainly contains some food for thought and some important American and Ugandan historical information, but one section gave me particular pause. At the 35 second mark, Mitchell states:

According to the Bible, God created the death penalty, not man. And it was God who determined what crimes deserved it.

So unless there’s some passage in scripture that I have missed where Jesus said “I have come to abolish the law,” then Ugandans are right, and Rick Warren is wrong.

During this segment, he displays a reference to Leviticus 20:13 which states:

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Mitchell, then, is claiming that since Jesus did not come to “abolish the law,” then the Old Testament law that requires the death penalty for those caught engaging in homosexual acts should be enforced in obedience to God. Thus, “Uganda is right, and Rick Warren is wrong.”

It is true that Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Testament law, as Michael Brown has stated in response to the Anti-Missionary claim that “Jesus abolished the Law”:

“As Messiah, Yeshua was the ultimate Torah teacher, showing us how the entire Hebrew Bible reached fulfillment in him and also giving us deep spiritual insights into how the Torah could remain relevant for the Jewish people in generations to come, even when we would be scattered throughout the world, without a Temple, a sacrificial system, or a functioning (earthly) priesthood…”
- Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Volume 4

Does this mean, however, that all nations are bound to issue the laws of capital punishment given to Israel through Moses? If so, when governments refuse to carry out the judgments required in the Old Testament, are Christians required to perform them in their stead? (Gay activist sites have been concerned about this very thing, stating “This is what incitement to violence looks like” and “It’s this nation’s conservative movement, who must condemn this kind of behavior wholly and loudly before someone’s literal blood permanently stains their movement!”)

In the video, Mitchell seems to be quite at ease with this conclusion. But if we are required to put homosexuals to death for the OT laws they have broken, then are we not also required to put adulterers, Sabbath breakers, and rebellious teenagers to death? All of these are capital offenses according to the Old Testament. Does Mitchell really want to go in this direction? (Would Mitchell himself be alive under such a regime?)

As Frank Turek has pointed out, governments have three choices when it comes to legislating a behavior. They can prohibit it, permit it or promote it. Serving as salt and light in the places in which we reside as believers in Jesus, we stand firmly against governmental promotion of homosexuality, adultery, and other behaviors that are detrimental to society. Reasonable minds can disagree as to whether detrimental behaviors should be permitted or prohibited (take the use of alcohol and drugs for instance), and reasonable minds can also disagree with regard to which (if any) behaviors should require the death penalty (for example, first degree murder). The idea however that governments (and perhaps even individual Christians) are required to put homosexuals to death because God required it of ancient Israel, and, after all, Jesus did not come to “abolish the law,” is one that, if it is followed through consistently, would result in either a theocratic state consisting of very few people (imagine loading everyone that has worked on a Saturday into trucks and hauling them off to the electric chair) or a chaotic Christian killing spree (is this at all consistent with the model put forth in the New Testament of Jesus and the early Church?)

Such scenarios are, of course, completely ludicrous, and that is the point. It is true that Colonial America criminalized homosexuality, but they also criminalized adultery and sex outside of wedlock. How many conservatives would hold up to such requirements today? (Need I mention the number of conservative politicians that have failed in this area? Should they be put to death?) Gay activists often unfairly accuse believers in Jesus of “cherry-picking” Bible verses to suit their needs, using scripture as a “prop behind which to hide their bigotry.” I’m afraid statements like the ones made in this video regarding the application of Old Testament law must come from either a place of ignorance (perhaps he had not fully thought through his argument before making it) or as a direct fulfillment of these very accusations. One thing is clear, the scriptures are not to be used in some cavalier fashion, as if we were free to use these precious divine words to attack others and justify ourselves as we please. In the end, “in the same way [we] judge others, [we ourselves] will be judged, and with the measure [we] use, it will be measured to [us].” Let us therefore judge rightly… resisting the homosexual agenda with courage, and reaching out to the homosexual community with compassion.



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23 comments
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  1. I appreciate your position here Marcus, and thank you for it. However, I would have liked to see a flat out condemnation of the thought that gays should be put to death. That thought is in your piece, but it is never directly stated. Why? It’s quite simple: “Gays should not be put to death.” Seven words.

    I’ll do the editing for you: “Two things are clear. First, the scriptures are not to be used in some cavalier fashion, as if we were free to use these precious divine words to attack others and justify ourselves as we please. Second, gays should not be put to death. In the end, “in the same way [we] judge others, [we ourselves] will be judged, and with the measure [we] use, it will be measured to [us].” Let us therefore judge rightly… resisting the homosexual agenda with courage, and reaching out to the homosexual community with compassion.”

  2. Amen!

  3. Matt,

    Since I reviewed the article before Marcus posted it, allow me to add some comments (I trust Marcus will have thoughts of his own to add as well).

    First, thanks for your editing work. :) I especially appreciated your leaving intact the words, “Let us therefore judge rightly… resisting the homosexual agenda with courage, and reaching out to the homosexual community with compassion.”

    Here’s my question about the death penalty for certain crimes in Uganda. Right now, if a heterosexual man rapes a girl, that is punishable by death. The new law would specify things like homosexual rape of a handicapped person. So, in your judgment, should the heterosexual crimes punishable by death also be removed from the books? I’m honestly trying to understand your perspective here.

    Also, I’m having a hard time getting someone to come on the Line of Fire to discuss the issue with one of the key Ugandan leaders, who feels that the US is terribly misrepresenting the content of the bill and not understanding Ugandan culture. Would you feel qualified to come on the air to debate the issue? I promise an equal time hearing for both sides. If not, can you suggest someone who might feel qualified?

    Thanks, as always, for interacting here.

  4. Matt,

    When you call me to add “gays should not be put to death,” are you saying that I should call for individuals not to do this? That I personally think that governments should not do this? Or that God mandates that governments not do this?

    Just looking to clarify your exhortation.

    – Marcus

  5. I find it curious that neither one of you, Marcus and Dr. Brown, are willing to simply say that gay people should not be put to death simply because they are gay or have sexual relations with someone of the same gender, or, for that matter, that gay people should be imprisoned for the same reasons. Why all the questions? Why all the parsing between whether it is a person, a government or God?

    This is the reason why I always speak out against your violent and militant rhetoric, Dr. Brown. Because, taken to its most (il-)logical conclusions, it results in the killing and execution of those with whom some might disagree. Unfortunately, militancy and violent religious rhetoric are reaching their ultimate, physical incarnation in Uganda.

    As I said in my first comment, Marcus, your post does indeed include the idea that gay people shouldn’t be put to death, no more than should Sabbath breakers or rebellious teenagers. I’m just disappointed you didn’t have enough courage to say this directly.

    On another matter: Dr. Brown, you write, “Also, I’m having a hard time getting someone to come on the Line of Fire to discuss the issue with one of the key Ugandan leaders, who feels that the US is terribly misrepresenting the content of the bill and not understanding Ugandan culture. Would you feel qualified to come on the air to debate the issue? I promise an equal time hearing for both sides. If not, can you suggest someone who might feel qualified?”

    No, I’m not qualified to speak on this matter in any official capacity. My remarks here and lesewhere have been as a casual observer and activist. I’m not a religious scholar, political scientist or international affairs analyst. However, I do think anyone who wants to posit potential genocide as “culture” is pretty much off their rockers.

  6. Matt,

    I’m terribly disappointed by your failure to engage the actual questions being asked as well to continue to raise illusory charges of potential violence. You really know better, and at some point either love of truth or desire for integrity will cause you to drop the utterly false, misleading statements.

    As for my statements and the statements of Marcus, it has nothing to do with courage. In point of fact, the issue in Uganda is often being misrepresented here in the West and most stories fail to consider the fact that certain heterosexual crimes also incur the death penalty in Uganda. The question is: Should there ever be a death penalty for any crimes in that country?

    Here’s a quote from Pastor Martin Ssempa from Uganda addressing this issue directly. If you deal with the issues, Matt, we can have constructive and helpful interaction. If you avoid them and demonize those seeking to interact with you, it is anything but constructive. So, when you speak of “potential genocide,” the hysteria of the charge is rebutted by the actual facts.

    Ssempa said this: A lot has been spoken about the death penalty creating hysteria among some of you that we propose to run around and round up anyone who practices sodomy. No such thing..The death penalty is specifically proposed in cases of aggravated defilement which is the equivalent of statutory rape of minor or a handicapped person against their wish. I do not support or will not support any bill which seeks the death penalty for homosexuals.

  7. Dr. Brown, I’m approaching this issue with honesty and with a deeply heartfelt concern for my LGBT brothers and sisters in Uganda. I, too, am disappointed you fail to see this concern and my attempts to discuss this issue rationally.

    The Ugandan bill is more far reaching than what you have represented. The bill also provides the death penalty for those who are HIV-positive and those considered to be “serial offenders.”

    But it isn’t just the death penalty portion of the bill which upsets me and others across the globe. The bill also provides for lifetime imprisonment in some cases, criminalizes support or advocacy (free speech) on behalf of LGBT people and forces any person who knows of an offender to report that person to the police within 24 hours (if they don’t, the person can face a monetary fine or up to three years imprisonment). The bill also provides for extradition, making it nearly impossible for LGBT Ugandans to escape the injustices perpetrated against them.

    Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati’s motivation for this bill seems quite clear. A memorandum of the bill, provided by Dr. Warren Throckmorton, states the purpose of the bill is to “establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions…”

    The bill goes on to make wild claims that strengthening anti-homosexuality laws will somehow protect children against sexual abuse. Bahati has said the bill is needed to protect against recruitment in schools.

    Dr. Brown, for all your talk of loving LGBT people and treating them with compassion, your resistance to denounce this bill, and seemingly your support for it, is outrageous. This bill, if it becomes law, will place the death penalty on “serial” LGBT offenders, imprison other LGBT people and criminalize any semblance of free speech rights on behalf of LGBT people and their rights.

    Seriously, Dr. Brown, do you believe that I and other LGBT people have committed crimes worthy of life or long-term imprisonment, or even the death penalty? Do you really believe LGBT advocates and non-profit organizations should also be criminalized for their support of our community?

    I didn’t use the words “potential genocide” willy-nilly, because that is exactly what this bill is. Once Uganda starts executing “serial” LGBT “offenders,” what could possibly stop them from executing any and all LGBT people? It’s only a matter of time.

  8. Matt,

    Thanks for your post. A few comments in response.

    First, I can take your comments seriously when you start renouncing all your bogus references to alleged violence that could take place when I call on people to follow the Jesus principles of sacrificial love for a hurting world and give themselves to this Jesus revolution. Until then, it’s difficult for me to take the rest of your words seriously. If you can actually claim that anything I have ever written or said could stoke physical violence (!), then it becomes difficult or impossible to take your other concerns seriously. Surely you’ve heard about the boy crying wolf!

    Second, you know well that I immediately provided you with a statement concerning the Uganda bill, yet you still refuse to answer the questions I have asked you. Why can’t you do that? If you would, we could move forward on constructive dialog about the Uganda bill. In point of fact, I am in active contact with key Ugandan leaders and hope to have a positive impact on the situation there, but again, your failure to hear and understand what I’m saying or what Marcus is saying stifles fruitful discussion.

    Third, you don’t know Ugandan culture or law. Fornication is illegal in Uganda. Until recently, adultery was illegal (and the issue brought before the courts was an alleged favoritism toward men under the old law; they hope to get it reinstated in a more balanced way). In such a culture, homosexual practice — as another form of sex outside of wedlock — would naturally be illegal. Should there be a death penalty for certain practices, like knowingly infecting someone with HIV (without the other person’s knowledge), or raping a child or a handicapped person? In Ugandan culture, the answer might be yes — just like there would be a death penalty for parallel heterosexual acts. That, Matt, is the question you need to engage, yet for some reason you refuse to. Couldn’t you simply say, “There should be no death penalty for any of these crimes in Uganda, heterosexual or homosexual?” If that was the case, then I would agree that homosexuals should not be singled out for their sexual crimes in terms of a more severe punishment; but if they have these penalties for the other crimes, then homosexuals should not be exempt from similar punishments — according to an equal standard in Ugandan culture and law.

    Fourth, the Ugandan leaders claim that Dr. Throckmorton is misrepresenting their bill, a charge that, of course, he would flatly deny, pointing to the bill itself. That’s why I’m trying to draw the principle parties into an open discussion to expose what’s really happening.

    Fifth, I am quite sensitive to the concerns of the Ugandan people to the encroachment of gay activism in the culture, particularly in the schools. Here in America, while you have legal rights to do what you do and your private sexual practices are not under government jurisdiction, there is no question in my mind that gay activism has had a deliterious effect on our society, which is why I continue to work against it. At the same time, I spend a considerable amount of time trying to sensitize Christians to GLBT realities, to get past demonization of the community, to get involved with people in a caring, one-on-one basis, and to help protect you against hatred and violence — whether you appreciate it or believe it.

    So, Matt, I encourage you to start afresh with Marcus’s post and our response to your first post and to answer the questions raised in a forthright way and to drop your completely false charges about “violence” coming from those who love Jesus — unless you’re simply here to distract from the issues with your posts, which I hope is not the case.

  9. Dr. Brown… I’ll respond to your points as you listed them.

    First, it seems you and I simply have too different a worldview and/or opinion for us to ever agree on the place of religious rhetoric. I’ve said it before: I honestly believe that you would not ever physically harm me or any other LGBT person. However, I hear and see the words you say and write and I interpret them as violent and militant. We’ve had this conversation before, many times, including on Line of Fire. My interpretation of your words is seen through the lens of a person who has personally witnessed and experienced similar violent language and actions from so-called religious leaders. Surely, I’m not the only LGBT person with this experience. And there is no crying wolf: I love history. It teaches us so many good things, especially so that we might not repeat the mistakes made by those who came before us. History plainly shows us that all violent action against a minority or people started as words, thoughts, beliefs, doctrine. It takes verbal rhetoric, thought and belief to prop up antagonism against a group of people. Violent action follows when people no longer see another human being as a brother or sister, but rather as “the other.” And, so, while you might not preach physical violence, your words do hold the potential to stoke physical violence against LGBT people. And, even if you heartily disagree with my position, can’t you come to a point where you might understand how that position is taken and that it has been informed by real life experiences, both personal and those witnessed by me in my community?

    Second, I appreciate the statement from Martin Ssempa. I’ve seen it in other places around the web and blogosphere. He said something almost exactly the same to a blogger at Pam’s House Blend. Ssempa writes that he will not support a bill with a death penalty component. Good for him! I’m so happy he can take such a stand. I hope he has swing with members of the Uganda Parliament. But, Ssempa also writes, “A lot has been spoken about the death penalty creating hysteria among some of you that we propose to run around and round up anyone who practices sodomy. No such thing.” The bill currently under debate would, in fact, promote a “rounding up” of LGBT people who are in relationships or seek them. And, while not all may be threatened with the death penalty, this “rounding up” will still occur, as the bill requires friends, families, organizations and government agencies to report “known offenders” to law enforcement. Dr. Brown, I hope you do have a positive impact on this legislation in Uganda. Chiefly, I hope you are able to impart the message you give to American audiences: That LGBT people should be treated with compassion and love. A death penalty, life or long-term imprisonment or other severe penalties seem, to me, neither compassionate nor loving.

    Third, I believe that LGBT people are created as they are, who they are by God. Again, our worldviews differ to so much a degree that it is unlikely we will ever come to any sort of minor, much less substantial, agreement on any of these issues. Given my worldview, I do not believe LGBT people should be punished because of who they are or if they engage in or seek relationships. I believe each of us should have the right to engage in and seek relationships which are life-fulfilling and sustaining. For heterosexuals, this comes in the form of a person of the opposite sex. For gay and lesbian people, this comes in the form of a person of the same sex. An LGBT person’s loving, consentual relationships cannot be compared to the rape of a child, knowingly doing danger to someone else, incestuous relationships, or adultery.

    Fourth, I cannot speak for Dr. Throckmorton. Like him, I, too, have read the bill. Obviously there is disagreement over intent and purpose, the bill’s contents and its practical implications. In any debate over legislative action, I’m afraid there will always be a disagreement over these things.

    Fifth, I hope you will take your message of a one-on-one compassion to the Ugandan legislative leaders pushing for this law. This law will not reach out to LGBT people on a compassionate level, but rather treat LGBT people as criminals.

    And, finally, to answer Marcus’ question, although I believe I’ve already answered it. He wrote, “When you call me to add “gays should not be put to death,” are you saying that I should call for individuals not to do this? That I personally think that governments should not do this? Or that God mandates that governments not do this?”

    I have said, quite simply, that LGBT people should not be put to death. I’d hope you and Marcus would have the courage to call on individuals and governments to treat LGBT people with the compassion you say they should be treated with, and that LGBT people, even if you believe they are engaging in sin, should not be subject to death or life/long-term imprisonment because of who they are, or if they engage in or seek to relationships.

    Finally, I’d hope that you would see that I am not attempting to “distract from the issues,” and that I am honestly engaging this debate. Of course, my perspective is quite different from yours. If I were an Ugandan citizen, my life could possibly be on the line. If I were in Uganda, and this bill were current law, I would personally be subject to life or long-term imprisonment. With this personal perspective, the issue seems very clear to me.

  10. Matt,

    Thanks so much for your detailed response which does, in fact, engage the issues head on. Much appreciated! I’ll respond in order as well.
     
    First, when we talk about the war on poverty, everyone knows what we mean. When we talk about spiritual warfare, everyone knows what we mean. At some point, you’ll just have to accept that you are seeing my “rhetoric” through such skewed vision — although I understand from your background why it is so skewed – that is simply distorting reality for you. I’ve been at this for close to 40 years; I’ve spoken overseas more than 100 times and seen much of the Church worldwide; the pattern is the same: The followers of Jesus may get persecuted and beaten, but we are not the ones doing the persecuting and beating! Add to this the fact that whenever I teach on Jesus Revolution, in the same sentence I define exactly what I mean – not hatred, anger, violence, or intimidation but sacrificial love, following the example of Jesus – there’s no possible way for anyone to misunderstand me. And you have seen the fruit of that “rhetoric” in the behavior of those students and congregants whom I influence: To a person they have been gracious and loving towards you.
     
    You ask, “And, even if you heartily disagree with my position, can’t you come to a point where you might understand how that position is taken and that it has been informed by real life experiences, both personal and those witnessed by me in my community?” Of course I understand, and your experiences pain me. But if your experiences taught you that all black men were savages, do I keep you away from black men, or do I introduce you to black men so you will see that your experience has biased you to the point of living in unreality? For integrity’s sake, Matt, unless you just want to stir animosity and misunderstanding, you need to drop this part of your rhetoric. Otherwise, in all candor, it becomes difficult if not impossible to take what you write seriously, since what I can verify firsthand is utterly bogus.
     
    Second, with regard to the death penalty, as far as I know, Ssempa would support a death penatly for certain crimes that are also punishable by death for heterosexuals as well, but I will check on that. As for “rounding up gays” – some sort of a Ugandan witchhunt, this has deeply concerned me as well, but from what I understand, this is being misreported as well. I hope to have Pastor Ssempa on the radio with me some time next week, and I will ask him these questions firsthand. It is totally fair for you to raise them here.
     
    You wrote, “Dr. Brown, I hope you do have a positive impact on this legislation in Uganda. Chiefly, I hope you are able to impart the message you give to American audiences: That LGBT people should be treated with compassion and love. A death penalty, life or long-term imprisonment or other severe penalties seem, to me, neither compassionate nor loving.” Be assured that I appreciate your sentiments and even hopes that I could do something positive in this regard. And not to beat a dead horse, doesn’t this very statement point to the fact that the message I am getting out is one of love and compassion as opposed to violence and hatred? That’s why I continue to call you on the carpet for raising your false concerns about where my language could lead people. It is your statements that could mislead people, not mine. Again, you see the fruit of the language I use, and that utterly vitiates your first point.
     
    In terms of severe penalties, what do you think would be an appropriate penalty for a someone with HIV – heterosexual or homosexual – who raped a child and infected them?
     
    Third, of course I profoundly differ with you about God creating people LGBT – why would He intentionally create someone with one gender on the inside and another on the outside, or why would He intentionally create a class of people unable to reproduce? – but again, I am sympathetic to the questions you ask, and God knows I have shed tears before Him over the pain you and others experience here. So, I am not being heartless when I say that the government is not responsible to sanction every loving relationship. Moreover, there are people whose desires we all brand perverse and who say, “Look, I was made this way and I can’t change,” yet we don’t expect the law to protect them or support them. And because I know ex-gays first hand – including my late brother-in-law – I know that true change is possible by the power of God. Freedom for you and others begins not with an affirmation of your homosexuality but with a recognition that it is wrong in God’s sight and that He has a better way, beginning with a holy, intimate relationship with Him (something enjoyed by many heterosexuals who remain single for life).
     
    You write, “An LGBT person’s loving, consentual relationships cannot be compared to the rape of a child, knowingly doing danger to someone else, incestuous relationships, or adultery.” Matt, you certainly know that there is very little true monogamy in the male gay culture, so the relationship is not to be compared with a monogamous heterosexual relationship. And wouldn’t you agree that a lot of same-sex activity – if not most of it among men – takes place outside of committed, monogamous relationships? Are you telling me that this too, should be a privilege protected by law in Uganda, a country where fornication is presently illegal? (There is much more to discuss about the issue of gay “monogamy,” but this is not the time and place.) In any case, the Uganda bill does not punish all crimes the same, as you know, so your consenual relationship with another man would be forbidden by law in Uganda but not punished on the level as raping a child, for example.
     
    Fourth, hopefully there will be further clarity to emerge on these issues.
     
    Fifth, you write, “I hope you will take your message of a one-on-one compassion to the Ugandan legislative leaders pushing for this law. This law will not reach out to LGBT people on a compassionate level, but rather treat LGBT people as criminals.” Again, I’m glad you recognize what my message is, and it is certainly my intent to take that message to Uganda if the doors are open. From day one, that has been my goal. That does not mean, however, that there should not be laws against gay activism in Uganda and that there should not be penalties for certain behaviors. We are talking about a sovereign nation with a distinct history and culture, and we in America are the last ones to give them moral lectures.
     
    You write, “I’d hope you and Marcus would have the courage to call on individuals and governments to treat LGBT people with the compassion you say they should be treated with, and that LGBT people, even if you believe they are engaging in sin, should not be subject to death or life/long-term imprisonment because of who they are, or if they engage in or seek to relationships.”
     
    Be assured that where courage is called for, it is already there and already committed to do and say what is right. As to what should and shouldn’t be legal in Uganda, that is for the people to decide, and if I can give useful input, you certainly know the spirit and approach I will use. I do think, however, that you are continually missing the point about the death penalty or lifelong imprisonment: Unless you engage in certain behavior – again, the rape of a child or a handicapped person or knowingly infecting someone with HIV – that would not be a question. But if you felt that the country restricted your perceived “right” to engage in a same-sex relationship, you could always do what many other protestors do: relocate.
     
    Finally, I note that you have still not answered the question I have asked from the start: What should the penalty be in Uganda for a heterosexual person who raped a child and/or infected them with HIV? We have both exchanged many words here, and I am very grateful for the time you have taken to answer. How about a one-sentence response to this question? Surely you are not avoiding it, right?

  11. Matt,

    Once more, the same question, this time posted by itself to be absolutely sure that you’re not missing it: What should the penalty be in Uganda for a heterosexual person who raped a child and/or infected them with HIV?

  12. Apologies for the absence. The past few days have been quite hectic.

    A one sentence response? Neither you nor I have rarely ever given one sentence responses. I don’t think either of us are capable of it. How about three long sentences?

    I don’t believe the death penalty should be used to punish most crimes, and reserved only for the most rare and extreme cases (i.e. genocide, mass murder, serial murder, etc.).

    Although I’m Baptist my views on the subject are best summed up by Pope John Paul II, who said the death penalty is only appropriate “in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society,” and that the “nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity.”

    Further, the Catechism of the Catholic Church reads, and I agree, that “legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense,” and that “if … non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”

    —————–

    As an additional note, I’d hope we can discuss this bill honestly and in its entirety. The death penalty provision not only applies to those who have infected another with HIV or molested a minor, among other offenses. It also applies to otherwise law-abiding “serial offenders,” as defined in the bill, “a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences.”

    Other punishments as prescribed by the bill and affecting otherwise law-abiding LGBT people and/or allies include:
    1. Engaging in same-sex sexual behavior: life imprisonment
    2. Attempting to engage in same-sex sexual behavior: 7 years imprisonment
    3. Aiding or counseling LGBT people: 7 years imprisonment
    4. LGBT people entering into marriage: life imprisonment
    5. People or organizations who “promote homosexuality” including advocacy on behalf of LGBT people: monetary fine and/or 5-7 years imprisonment
    6. Religious, social, political and/or economic “leaders” who fail to turn in LGBT “offenders” within 24 hours: monetary fine or up to 3 years imprisonment

    Finally, the bill under consideration also provides for extradition, so that any Ugandan citizen or permanent resident who commits any of these “crimes” outside Uganda can be held liable under Ugandan law. (This would apply to any LGBT Ugandan citizen who seeks or finds a relationship while traveling abroad or in another nation under work or student visas, etc.)

    And, now, a simple question to you: Do you believe it is just to sentence otherwise law-abiding LGBT people and their allies to death and/or life or long-term imprisonment?

  13. [...] March 6, 2010 Note: Originally posted on Voice of Revolution [...]

  14. Matt,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful post. I definitely plan to ask Pastor Ssempa these direct questions, and I welcome your call to the show, along with the calls of others in your community who are concerned. Please help get the word out.

    As for my request that you answer in one sentence, I was not meaning to restrict you but rather not to ask you for anything beyond what your time permitted. You didn’t disappoint, though, with a good, full response.

    Regarding the death penalty in general, based on Gen 9:6, I have always been open to the possibility that willfully and unlawfully taking a human life means that you forfeit your own life, either through the death penalty or life in prison without parole, since human beings are made in God’s image. A lesser penalty, then, would imply the lesser worth of a human being.

    Are other crimes also worthy of the death penalty (or, life imprisonment)? A case could be made for that, but I certainly see plenty of arguments against it.

    As for the question at hand, you ask if I believe it is just to sentence otherwise law-abiding LGBT people and their allies to death and/or life or long-term imprisonment? Absolutely not! If, however, they commit crimes that in Ugandan culture are parallel to or the equivalent of other crimes (general or heterosexual) which are currently punishable by death or life imprisonment (such as the rape of a child), then the issue is not one of homosexual practice but of Ugandan culture and law. But if I understand Pastor Ssempa correctly, he would also answer your question with a “no.”

    That being said, I certainly do not believe that every country is morally responsible to protect by law private, consensual, same-sex acts between adults (especially if it outlaws other sexual acts performed outside of wedlock, like fornication or adultery), and I certainly do not believe it is the moral responsibility of a country to redefine marriage or to in any way endorse or promote homosexuality. Quite the contrary, especially if that country looks to Christian principles for guidance, since those principles alone bring life, wholeness, and health to a society when properly followed. Same-sex relationships violate God’s best order and what is best in the long-term interest of family and society, hence the rightness of standing against gay activism and not endorsing same-sex activity.

    One closing comment here. We all draw the line at one point or another, based on biblical or social or personal convictions. You believe that incest is wrong and should not be permitted by law, and I imagine, you think the reasons are obvious. I do hope that you can understand that others draw the line in other places, based on reasons that seem obvious to them.

  15. What a horrible example of the garbage Christianity breeds.  This would not even be an issue if it were not for the myths and superstitions of a holy book.  This is another example of why Christianity should be abolished in our quest for a more perfect society.

  16. Howard,

    Perhaps we should throw out the Bible and follow the lead of men like Pol Pot, or Mao Zedong, or Joseph Stalin, all of whom were more than happy to try to build a more perfect society without God and without His Word.

    And then, perhaps, we should tear down all our great universities, like Harvard and Yale and Princeton, since they were all founded by Christians. Then, after that, we should systematically destroy all hospitals, since so many of them were founded by Christians, not to mention Christians taking the lead in health care in the ancient world. Let’s just wipe out health care entirely! Then, as we progress towards our “more perfect society,” we can eliminate all world relief efforts, since most of them are Christian-based as well. And then, we can put people like me back into their pre-Christian state, in which case I might just try to rob your house tonight for a lark or for drug money.

    I think you’re on to something!

  17. Howard, Howard, Howard.  The perfect society you’re looking for will indeed come, though much to your dismay it will be ruled by the very one we Christians call Lord!  God bless you Howard.  And may He open your eyes.

  18. Dear Dr. Brown,

    Thanks for your ministry.

    You Wrote:
    (…it is true that Colonial America criminalized homosexuality, but they also criminalized adultery and sex outside of wedlock. How many conservatives would hold up to such requirements today? (Need I mention the number of conservative politicians that have failed in this area? Should they be put to death?)” 

    Isn’t this precisely the point?  Modern America no longer legislates based on the “laws of nature and nature’s God”, but from the framework of Secular Humanism.  Therefore we can expect and will see a dramatic increase in fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality and maybe even sex with the dead.  As America continues on this path she will ultimately be uprooted by the “laws of nature and nature’s God” and then the modern evangelical might realize (but too late) that law was and is designed to safeguard the blessings and longevity of a Nation.  Evangelical anti-nomianism is a greater threat to our nation than the pro homosexual revolution. Selah!

    Amos ben Michael

  19. Amos ben Michael,

    So, just to be sure I understand you, are you saying that we should be putting adulterers to death in America today (or, at least, imprisoning them for their acts)?

  20. <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Times New Roman”; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-alt:”Bookman Old Style”; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:””; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>  <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Times New Roman”; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-alt:”Bookman Old Style”; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:””; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> <!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Times New Roman”; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-alt:”Bookman Old Style”; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:””; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
    Thank you Dr. Brown,
    I am saying that if America wants to safeguard the blessings of God on our nation and prolong our freedoms and prosperity, we will need to humble ourselves and repent for moving away from the “laws of nature and nature’s God” and towards Secular Humanism.   Congress will need to return to the paradigm of biblical law for the basis of creating civil laws to govern civil life in our society. Keep in mind that Congress has no jurisdiction in religious matters (first Amendment) however, adultery is a civil matter.  It is a crime against marriage and the family unit, which is the very basis of every stable society.  Ultimately it is a crime against society itself.  As a result, society should seek to protect its families and marriages by prohibiting and penalizing through legislation this devastating behavior.  Early America and even as recent as 100 years ago, adultery was a crime. There were penalties.  Although legislation and penalties are not designed to eliminate destructive behavior they are designed to keep it from becoming rampant in society.
    Today in liberated (lawless) America adultery is no longer a crime.  It is no longer penalized via legislation.  The result?  Adultery is pandemic in America and the family unit in America is decimated.  The toll on our children, and on our society is incalculable.  Due to the ongoing sexual perversion revolution in society and an impotent church awash in anti-nomianism, America is teetering on the point of no return.  Soon my brother, we will lose all our liberties and the new powers and agendas arising all around us will shut our mouths and close our ministries.  In that day, I will not blame the immoral in society…I will blame Christians who chose to be governed by Secular Humanists rather than the “laws of nature and nature’s God”.  It is Christian anti-nomianism, which has led America to bow its knee at the altar of the lawlessness of Secular Humanism.   This will be the uprooting of America as we know it.
    Amos ben Michael

  21. Dr. Brown,

    I apologize for the formatting problems in my previous post.

    Amos

  22. Calling for people to be murdered? Did you miss Thou Shalt Not Kill?
    I find your group to be very unChristian. Stop wrapping up your bigotry, the lies you have been taught behind 2000 year old writings. The Bible is not the word of God. It is the writings of people in a primitive time and their impressions of the spiritual world and God.

    You are truly terrifying. This is how you spend your life? With the desire to degrade others?

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