Pastor Rick Warren — the evangelical leader who spoke at Obama's inauguration despite outraged gay protests — is being linked to a proposal in the African country of Uganda to punish homosexuality with death. Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor with close ties to Warren, has endorsed a law that would sentence homosexuals — and those who fail to report them — to long prison terms or even capital punishment. Though Warren says his connection to Ssempa ended in 2007, he "won't go so far as to condemn the legislation itself." Other American Christian leaders disagree, and are fighting the bill. If U.S. evangelicals helped spark this fire, do they have a responsibility to help put it out?
It's not my place to get involved: "It is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations," says Rick Warren, to Newsweek, even though "the fundamental dignity of every person … and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator."
"Pastor Rick Warren responds to proposed anti-gay Ugandan legislation"
All Christians need to oppose this cruel, immoral bill: An "impressive, inclusive, and diverse" group of U.S. Christian leaders thinks it is our place to act, says Diana Butler Bass in BeliefNet. The "draconian" Ugandan bill flies in the face of "Jesus' call to love our neighbor as ourselves," and Christians of all stripes must unite to stop this "moral evil."
"Christian leaders reject Ugandan anti-gay bill"
Let Ugandans uphold Ugandan values: "Homosexuality is infectious," says Ugandan Anglican Bishop Joseph Abura in Spero News. But gays and their sympathizers want to export it here, to spread their satanic "gay agenda." Uganda must pass the anti-gay law to stop them, and others who "want to uproot or bend our cherished traditions and values."
"For some Anglicans, vices are now virtues"
Western money still talks: The "pressure and controversy" generated by "the 'Christian Left' in the United States" seem to be having some effect, says David Gibson in Politics Daily. The proposed maximum punishment might be softened, from the death penalty to life in prison. With a third of its budget coming from foreign aid, perhaps Uganda can't "afford to alienate the world" just yet.
"Some U.S. Christians push back against Ugandan anti-gay bill".
UPDATE: Rick Warren has released a "video letter" publicly condemning the Ugandan legislation.