Rick Warren on Uganda
In case you missed it, this is Warren’s excellent contribution to the Uganda debate. Everything that needed to be said (and, though he’s not an Anglican, utterly Lambeth ’98 1:10 compliant)
In case you missed it, this is Warren’s excellent contribution to the Uganda debate. Everything that needed to be said (and, though he’s not an Anglican, utterly Lambeth ’98 1:10 compliant)
Warren’s exhortation to the pastors of Uganda is gentle, kind and good…so tolerant and reasonable. Is it Scriptural? What does Scripture teach about tolerance? See Revelation 3:20
Changing the sodomy laws in the US has led us on a progressive downward slide from homosex being tolerated, to being celebrated and now mandated…where homosex indoctrination under the guise of sex education is being forced on parents in some school systems.
It has led to lobbying to lower the age of consent for sex to 12 in Kansas (2003) and today’s lobbying in both APA organizations for ‘children’s sexual rights,’ to obscene ‘gay’ pride parades in public streets, to same-sex marriage, to Kevin Jennings being named a ‘safe school czar’ and to his vile NEA-sponsored GLSEN literature (propaganda) being promoted and homosex how-to seminars being held on school premises. This is irresponsible when science research, CDC and police statistics and clinical practice in medicine and mental health have consistently shown the harm of this lifestyle. Moreover, there is no theological defense or affirmation of homosex behavior or desires in all of the 4000+ years of Judaic and Christian scholarship nor in any part of Scripture.
When you tolerate sin and evil in any form, you get the certain consequences of sin >>> separation from God is the first and this results in emotional, physical, relational and societal harm, decadence, distress, pain, instability, violence, injury, disease and early physical death and eternal spiritual death.
There is no control of human behavior or protection of society or individual human beings without a deterrent or consequence strong enough to cause a person to stop and weigh the potential pleasure and gratification against the risk and cost to himself if caught and prosecuted.
While I am not in favor of capital or corporal punishment for homosex, nor of physical punishment, there should be serious consequences to the freedom and/or finances of any adult having sex or causing harm to a child under 18 years of age – including fathers and mothers, teachers and preachers who betray the children in their care.
There should be NO sex acts or teaching of sexual acts whatsoever in school or in public places like streets, malls and parks.
Teachers as well as students should have strict dress and behavior codes (see Midwest Conservative Journal today http://www.themcj.com ).
The media should be taxed excessively for sexual and violent content; children and their parents prosecuted and heavily fined for sending nude photos on phones.
Insurance companies should be allowed to raise premiums for people who elect to engage in risky sex, both hetero and homo, or who have HIV, herpes and other STDs.
If drunks and reckless drivers suffer certain consequences…why should reckless, harmful, irresponsible sexuality be legal. The effects of both are the same – harm to self and others.
I would add to Floridianâ€™s post above that in Uganda capital punishment has been the penalty for ANYONE found guilty of rape or defilement since 1996, but has never been implemented, and that ANY HIV-positive person who wilfully infects a minor through sexual intercourse would face the death penalty.
Floridian is right, since decriminalisation of homosexuality in the West the logical progression has been rapid, culminating in the current brainwashing of Americaâ€™s children. (Just google â€˜Fistgateâ€™.) Perhaps Uganda is looking at the spectacle of 14-year-old schoolchildren being handed â€˜fisting packsâ€™, given directions to gay bars, gay activists pushing the non-joy of anonymous gay sex in public parks, all with the apparent connivance of the Government, and have decided that they do not want this. And who can blame them?
If I were a Ugandan government minister, the spectacle of the very same people who are pushing all this repulsive material screeching about â€˜homophobicâ€™ Uganda would make me even more determined to keep it out of my country and away from my children.
Shrill activism may have worked in the West, but is unlikely to do so in Uganda. Behind-the-scenes dipolomacy, coupled with gentle pressure from the churches, is the key.
I see. So if some people are behaving irresponsibly in the USA and distributing unsuitable material, that means that ALL gay people in Uganda must be criminalized, persecuted and abused. Brilliant. What a wonderful lesson in logic and justice!
William, Thank you for your concern. No one is recommending violence or maltreatment of persons with same-sex attractions.
Here is the Biblical logic:
1. Scripture does not recognize any exclusion or create an exemption from God’s proscriptions and moral code/law on the basis of feelings and desires. We are all lumped together in I Corinthians 6:9-20 and Romans 1:18-32. From Genesis to Revelation and for 4000+ years, there has been no Biblical acceptance of homosex or abortion for that matter.
2. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, orientation, straight, etc. are artificially and intentionally concocted political terms, not recognized as separate ‘orientations’ or ‘identities’ by Scripture. There are only two orientations in Scripture: A. Turned toward God/obedience and B. Turned away from God/disobedience.
3. No one wants anyone to be abused. Most violence upon gays by gays or self-harm, ie, drinking, drugs and suicide. The statistics of harm and life-expectancy do not improve or decrease, but rather increase in the most gay-friendly communities. According to research studies, police and CDC statistics and clinical evidence in medicine and mental health, this is a harmful conditioned emotion-based behavior that is a result of disrupted attachment and identification processes. There is no proof that this is an inborn condition. There is evidence that these feelings are changeable if the person receives proper care and really wants to change. Therapists say that internal honesty, faith and the support of a caring Christian community increase the chances and likelihood of successfully achieving freedom from same-sex attraction. God meant the Body of Christ to be a hospital and loving manifestation of His healing love for each other, no matter what sin besets us. See II Corinthians 1:3-4 and Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s book, Shame and Attachment Loss (2009). Nothing is beyond God’s ability to change and heal. Hebrews 7:25
â€œNo one is recommending violence or maltreatment of persons with same-sex attractions.â€
Yes, they are. That is precisely what the Ugandan â€œAnti-Homosexuality Billâ€ is all about. If the answer is that â€œpersons with same-sex attractionsâ€ will be able to escape the provisions of the Bill by staying in the closet and refraining from forming appropriate same-sex relationships, then making it necessary for them to conduct their lives in this way is itself maltreatment.
The Bible doesnâ€™t deal with sexual orientation at all, just as it doesnâ€™t deal with many other topics (e.g. evolution, relativity or quantum physics, to name but a few) but the supposed Biblical logic is beside the point anyway. The issue here is civil law, not Biblical logic.
â€œThere is no proof that this is an inborn condition.â€
We are not suffering from a condition, inborn or otherwise. Homosexuality is our natural sexual orientation. Whether or not it is inborn is something that we simply donâ€™t know yet, just as we donâ€™t yet know whether or not heterosexuality is inborn.
You also seem to be blurring the distinction between orientation and behaviour. What you misname a â€œconditionâ€ is presumably intended to refer to the orientation, but just before that you refer to â€œbehaviourâ€. Peopleâ€™s behaviour is usually in line with their orientation, of course, but it may not be for various reasons. No matter. There is no proof that homosexual behaviour is a â€œharmful conditioned emotion-based behavior that is a result of disrupted attachment and identification processes.â€ Nor is there any proof that a homosexual orientation is a harmful conditioned emotion-based â€œconditionâ€ that is a result of disrupted attachment and identification processes.
â€œThere is evidence that these feelings are changeable if the person receives proper care and really wants to change.â€
Yes, there is plenty of evidence to that effect, but itâ€™s rather like the copious evidence for â€œspiritâ€ photography, the Bermuda Triangle or the Loch Ness Monster. Its quality is in inverse proportion to its quantity.
Therapists generally? No, fringe therapists, not mainstream ones. Nicolosiâ€™s theories are simply that â€“ theories. As Dr Jack Drescher, the American psychiatrist, said, â€œThere are people who think that they have a scientific way to pick numbers to win the lottery, and I think the science of conversion therapy is just like the science of picking lottery numbers.â€
“Homosexuality is our natural sexual orientation.” You are simply stating your beliefs and the pansexual apologetic/political mantra for which there is no Biblical or scientific warrant. What you call orientation is a conditioned behavior as is all sexual response. (else there wouldn’t be sex therapists).
The concepts of sexual orientation and sexual identity were invented to try to legitimize a case of mistaken or disoriented identity. Only heterosexuality is biologically normative.
Yes, there are many testimonies that people have been reoriented and overcome same-sex attraction.
If you are happy in your risky dangerous sexual practices, you evidently are an adult and your decision to engage in any behavior is your own choice and responsibility as are the consequences of your actions.
However, it is unconscionable for homosexual practitioners to recruit by molestation, indoctrination and presenting the proclivity/behavior as normal, healthy and holy which it is not. Moreover, human identity is a lifelong changing cognitive/behavioral construct. And there is no such thing as inherent sexual orientation…it is conditioned behavior and not a biological fact. The human nerve of a sexually sensitive body part cannot discern whether the hand that touches it is male or female. There is simply no function to discriminate. Touch is touch. The proclivity is a complex conditioned cognitive/behavioral response…from parental attitude, behavior, interactions with and responses to the infant-toddler-child and to each other that may begin so early in life that it seems to be one’s identity and inborn. Again, see Dr. Nicolosi’s books and articles and those of Janelle Hallman, and others at NARTH.
As for your agenda, how easy it would be for some former students who were told they were homosexual in their early teens (elementary, middle school, high school, when identity is not formed) to file a class action suit against the school systems that promoted this dangerous sexual behavior if these children are told by guidance counselors that he or she is ‘gay’ comes down with AIDS or another disease (Kevin Jennings’ ‘seminars’ would make lovely targets)and is injured, assaulted or infected by people involved in the ‘lifestyle’. There would be no statistics or science whatsoever to defend these irresponsible school officials. As the Roman Catholics have been sued to a fair-thee-well, so should the school systems that promulgate GLSEN literature.
May the Lord be gracious, bless and keep you, make His face to shine upon you, lift up His countenance upon you and bring you into His peace. May the Lord open your eyes before your health and eternal soul are lost.
â€œWhat you call orientation is a conditioned behavior as is all sexual response.â€
There you go again. I AM gay, so I know the difference between orientation and behaviour. I had a homosexual orientation long before I engaged in any homosexual behaviour. And your assertion that â€œall sexual responseâ€ is â€œconditionedâ€ is mere opinion, for which I see no evidence at all.
â€œThe concepts of sexual orientation and sexual identity were invented to try to legitimize a case of mistaken or disoriented identity.â€
The concepts were invented, as are all human classifications, to describe the reality. And homosexuality isnâ€™t an identity. At most it is a part of oneâ€™s identity in the same way and to the same extent that heterosexuality is a part of oneâ€™s identity.
â€œOnly heterosexuality is biologically normative.â€
Iâ€™m not sure what thatâ€™s supposed to mean, but if it means that the vast majority of people are, always have been and always will be heterosexual, then I agree. So what? The vast majority of people are right-handed, but that doesnâ€™t somehow â€œinvalidateâ€ left-handedness.
â€œYes, there are many testimonies that people have been reoriented and overcome same-sex attraction.
Yes, there are many testimonies to all sorts of things that arenâ€™t true. Iâ€™m not saying that no-oneâ€™s sexual orientation ever changes. Thereâ€™s convincing evidence that that does happen, but such cases are few and far between, in males at any rate, and there is no means of making it happen. Either it will or it wonâ€™t. In all but an extremely small number of cases it wonâ€™t.
â€œIf you are happy in your risky dangerous sexual practicesâ€¦.â€
Since I have given you no information about my own sexual practices, you are in no position to comment on how risky or dangerous they are.
â€œHowever, it is unconscionable for homosexual practitioners to recruit by molestation, indoctrinationâ€¦.â€
Recruit into what? Into homosexuality? And whoâ€™s doing that? Iâ€™m certainly not doing it and never have done. And even if I were such a screwball as to try to do so, I wouldnâ€™t succeed.
â€œand presenting the proclivity/behavior as normal, healthy and holyâ€
For the minority of people who are gay the â€œproclivityâ€, as you call it, IS normal and healthy, in the same way as a heterosexual â€œproclivityâ€ is normal and healthy for the straight majority. As to the behaviour, that depends. You can have homosexual behaviour that isnâ€™t normal or healthy, just as you can have heterosexual behaviour that isnâ€™t normal or healthy.
â€œAnd there is no such thing as inherent sexual orientationâ€¦it is conditioned behavior and not a biological fact.â€
And that statement, again, is just opinion, not a biological fact.
â€œThe human nerve of a sexually sensitive body part cannot discern whether the hand that touches it is male or female. There is simply no function to discriminate.â€
Yes, but homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is about attraction to PEOPLE, not just to body parts.
â€œAs for your agenda, how easy it would be for some former students who were told they were homosexual in their early teens (elementary, middle school, high school, when identity is not formed)â€¦.â€
My agenda? What agenda? You havenâ€™t a clue what my agenda is. But I can tell you this: I was once a teacher for many years and I never dreamt of telling a pupil that he or she was homosexual. It wasnâ€™t my job, or that of any other teacher, to tell a pupil what his or her sexual orientation was â€“ even if we knew, which we didnâ€™t. Nor did I ever even think of encouraging any pupil to do anything sexual. What I did do, if the subject came up, was to tell children that gays and lesbians are just people like everyone else; that they are just as good as everyone else; that they have the same moral rights and needs as everyone else; and that any discrimination against them is totally wrong and immoral. No pupil ever came to me and said â€œI think Iâ€™m gayâ€, but if any ever had, I would have said something along these lines: â€œWell, I canâ€™t tell you whether you are or not; only you can decide that.â€ I might also have added, if the pupil was still is his or her early teens, â€œItâ€™s a bit difficult anyway at your age to be certain of that; how you feel now may not necessarily be the way you feel a few years from now.â€ Two pieces of advice I would definitely have given: (1) â€œYou can be just as good a person, whether you turn out to be straight, gay or bi-sexualâ€ and (2) Never, under any circumstances, accept any â€˜treatmentâ€, religious or secular, which aims to tamper with you natural sexualityâ€. I would also have said to an older pupil, â€œLove is a gift from God; if anyone tries to tell you that itâ€™s wrong to form a loving relationship, ignore them.â€
â€œMay the Lord open your eyes before your health and eternal soul are lost.â€
Such â€œlovingâ€, â€œcompassionateâ€ and â€œredemptiveâ€ threats are wasted on me. To use them on young gay people is spiritual abuse. Taking the liberty of borrowing and adapting the words of John Stuart Mill, I would say, â€œIf such a God can send people to hell for loving people of their own sex, then to hell I will go.â€
Haven’t time to post now but just giving you my support in all the truths you are voicing here and also some love and moral support coming your way :)
Isn’t America land of the free and home of the brave and all that? Criminalising homosexuality (which lurks behind many of the conservative/evangelicals peons to some purported golden age when fags knew their place)- irrespective of your view of it – would surely contradict such fine ideals.
Fisting=bad/genocide (of homosexuals) = good doesn’t seem like a very Christian position. And I hope those expounding on the harm of homosexual practise have a more reliable source than Paul “Kicked out the APA for research abuses” Cameron’s ‘gay men’s average age of death is 40, lesbians are three times more likely to die in a car crash” nonsense.
And it’s also significant that the ‘alternative’ to ‘pro-gay’ sexuality education in schools – abstinence based education – flatly doesn’t work. I’d be more worried about the phenomena of heterosexuals , ‘schooled’ in abstinance-ed, engaging in unprotected anal sex to preserve their ‘virginity’.
William, the question isn’t who we love: I’m not gay or bi, but I love many people of both sexes. The uestion is whether a particular love is legitimately expressed.
Don’t agree I guess?… but you would probably disagree with someone arguing that their “love” for someone excused sex with them if you thought that relationship was wrong (for instance, what about polygamy, incest etc etc…. some people’s “loves” are even illegal!)?
The question is how we decide what “loves” are legitimate .. without just excusing our own particular desires!!
The excuse (from people of all sexualities) tends to be “I can’t help it, I love him/her etc”) but Jesus warned us against even allowing ourselves to lust after people in our hearts for good reason! Current society conflating love with sex has caused all sort of trouble – just look at what is happening to families, to children’s upbringing, at the booming relationship breakdown, at the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (including several new ones!), and at infidelity, all these are ruining people’s lives. What a mess many people’s hearts, relationships and lives are in.. it’s not surprising there is so much need for psychotheraphy, antidepressants etc!
It’s time for a rethink, but I suspect that the majority of people won’t listen ’til the mess gets much much worse!
Yes, David, youâ€™re right. It all boils down ultimately to the question of whether it is morally acceptable, to borrow the words of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, â€œnot only to love another person of the same sex but also to express that love fully in a personal sexual relationship.â€ I would say â€œyesâ€; other people would say â€œnoâ€.
But to harass, imprison or execute people who donâ€™t choose to live their lives according to the dictates of those who say â€œnoâ€ is iniquitous.
As opposed to the amount of antidepressant prescriptions (and psychotherapy/CBT?) required for those who have been messed up by purported ‘ex-gay’ therapy? There are surely far more ex ex-gays than there are ex-gays, which is not insignificant.
This seems to have wandered off-topic into the usual accusations/recriminations. The question is, surely, should the predominantly white West impose its cultural values on traditional societies such as that in Uganda? Family values in most of these societies are sacrosanct, and they see our attempted imposition of our own as a violation of that. They strongly uphold Biblical values as far as sex is concerned, and do not recognise the gay identity as such, only homosexual practice. (The Bible makes no mention of a homosexual identity!) They will see our society as sex-obsessed, immoral and decadent (and I am inclined to agree with them!) and they donâ€™t want it imported over there. So they over-react. Shrill demands from the West, particularly from key figures, will certainly not have the desired effect, but will merely back them into a corner.
Rowan Williams knows what he is doing. Nobody can possibly imagine that he approves of such draconian punishment for those who self-identify as gay, so why is he getting all this criticism? His office has declared that he is working behind the scenes with religious leaders in Uganda, which is the proper way to go about things. The Church has a strong influence in Uganda, and a bit of quiet diplomacy with Christian leaders is likely to have far more effect than a lot of shouting from people anxious to be seen airing their â€˜liberalâ€™ credentials.
I do feel that gay activists and their supporters can be very single-minded sometimes. Blameless people are persecuted and murdered all over the world for all sorts of reasons, often just for being Christians, yet we donâ€™t hear the same relentless howls of outrage from people in key positions over that.
While I agree with the content of Rick Warrenâ€™s video, I cannot help but feel this is more of a rebuttal of the very unfair accusations which have been hurled his way than a genuine attempt at influencing the situation in that country. But I certainly could not blame him for making it.
William. On Uganda, many Christian organizations and leaders round the world have come out against the proposed Ugandan legislation, and I understand that many of the extreme measures have been pulled, yet gay rights campaigners still seem dissatisfied with what religious leaders are doing…
On the other hand, I’m still waiting for gay rights campaigners to defend UK Christians’ rights to hold Christian moral beliefs on homosexuality, and to express their beliefs without fear of police investigations or having their lives ruined!
Did I hear a rumour in the early 2000’s that some campaigners have told the Government that the only way to change the Church’s attitude would be to impose it by force of law? Obviously I don’t know if that’s true but, whatever happened, that is certainly what they have subsequently done… Some Christian organizations doing valuable work have been fined, or even had to cease operating, and some people have lost their jobs or been demoted, possibly ruining their careers, because they refused to accept that there is nothing wrong with same-sex sex (or expressed their belief that that is the case). That sort of outcome is hardly proportionate, or a sign of true tolerance.
On moral reasoning, the major problem one has as a Christian is that the most reliable means of determining Christian morality – Scriptural Revelation and Natural Law, both point clearly to there being something wrong with same-sex sex. Even deontological moral reasoning doesn’t really help much, as we discussed earlier, because “love for another person” is not, on its own, enough to assert the morality of a sexual relationship. You have to go to something like virtue ethics (eg RDW’s “Body’s Grace”) or Liberation Theology to try to construct a moral basis for same-sex sex being clearly good- but few Christians would see these as overriding Scripture or Natural Law.
You are free to choose how you want to live, and everyone is equal, whatever their characteristics or choices. Everyone. But having a good life has to do with becoming everything God intended us to be. That is the question, in my view, that you can’t answer by just appealing to romantic “love” or sexual attraction.
David, yes, it is true that many Christian organizations and leaders round the world have come out against the proposed Ugandan legislation, but many of them have left it until the eleventh hour. It seems probable that many of them might not have done so even now, had it not been for the publicity given to the matter by pro-gay and human rights groups.
You say that â€œmany of the most extreme measures have been pulledâ€, but there are still enough â€œmeasuresâ€ left to justify those who believe in human rights in condemning the Bill, e.g.:
â€¢ Lifetime imprisonment for consensual gay sex between adults
â€¢ Seven years imprisonment for â€œattempted homosexualityâ€
â€¢ Fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda
â€¢ Lifetime imprisonment for anyone who obtains a same-sex marriage abroad
â€¢ Fines and imprisonment of up to three years for friends or family members who do not report a gay person to police within 24-hours of learning about that individualâ€™s homosexuality
The only modifications that I know of are that the clauses specifying the death penalty for â€œaggravated homosexualityâ€ have been withdrawn, and that a clause is to be added allowing for a gay person to be forced into â€œtreatmentâ€.
â€œOn the other hand, Iâ€™m still waiting for gay rights campaigners to defend UK Christiansâ€™ rights to hold Christian moral beliefs on homosexuality, and to express their beliefs without fear of police investigations or having their lives ruined!â€
Just for the record, speaking for myself, I am fully in favour of peopleâ€™s right to say anything that they want about homosexuality, provided that they are not inciting violence or other criminal conduct. I think that it is utterly ridiculous for the police to be investigating people for expressing their opinions, however unenlightened those opinions may, in my view, be.
You say: â€œhaving a good life has to do with becoming everything God intended us to be. That is the question, in my view, that you canâ€™t answer by just appealing to romantic â€˜loveâ€™ or sexual attraction.â€
I agree that there are various reasons why a sexual relationship may be wrong, and that, if it is wrong, then a mere appeal to â€œromantic â€˜loveâ€™ or sexual attractionâ€ cannot justify it. The question is, does the fact that the relationship is between persons of the same sex make it wrong? My answer is â€œnoâ€. However, I believe that it would be futile for us to discuss this any further, since there is no chance of either of us converting the other to his own view on this question.