In recent days, a brouhaha has erupted over notorious Christian evangelist Rick Warren’s involvement with Ugandan colleagues who are attempting to impose the death penalty in their country for homosexuality. A couple of weeks ago, the Huffington Post reported on the debacle caused when Warren refused to condemn the measure by claiming exemption from interfering with a sovereign nation’s policies. HP subsequently reported that Warren has officially and publicly condemned the “anti-gay law.” On its face, Warren has done the right thing, obviously, since no rational person wants to see people like Ellen Degeneres and Anderson Cooper murdered because of their gender preferences.
However, the fracas appears to have overlooked an important alleged fact about Uganda’s history that is abhorrent enough in its own right. To wit, per a Christian Newswire article:
By official count 22 young men were executed under Uganda’s law on homosexuality. The law in question required that all men and boys in Uganda be willing to submit to the homosexual seduction of its ruler, King Mwanga. When Ugandans began to convert to Christianity in the 1800s, a group of Catholics, led by Charles Lwanga, refused to allow themselves to be sodomized by the King. Enraged, King Mwanga had them torturously bound, marched 37 miles and then roasted alive in a fire pit. The date of their execution was June 3rd, 1886, and is today a national holiday commemorating Uganda’s rejection of homosexuality and commitment to Christian values.
According to this article, “The Death Penalty in Uganda” by Dr. Scott Lively, after decades of overturning this heinous practice by Ugandan kings, poor Ugandan boys are now being preyed upon by foreign pedophiles using them as sex slaves. Under such circumstances, it may be understandable that some in Uganda would become distraught and wish to take convicted child rapists off the planet. With this fact – if true – Warren’s reticence may actually possess some merit, as opposed to representing mere mindless homophobia. Am I saying that we should execute gays? Absolutely not, since “gays” are not boy-raping pedophiles; they are consenting adults who love people of the same gender. This distinction needs to be made, and homosexuals in Uganda need to be left alone.
As the mother of a young child, I know how I would feel when confronted by an individual guilty of child rape of either gender. Do we need the death penalty for child rapists? Not necessarily, as their fate in prison is often one worse than death.
Sources & Further Reading