According to their website, Exodus has sent an open letter to President Museveni of Uganda voicing their opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill being considered there. Exodus has been criticized heavily for the lack of such a statement, and has so far only released bits and pieces. This one seems to leave no doubt that they are against the bill becoming law, though they do rely on the same “we can’t help the poor souls if you do this” argument as has been presented by others. Then again, perhaps that is an argument Uganda needs to hear.
The letter is signed by Alan Chambers, Randy Thomas (president and vice-president of Exodus), Christopher Yuan of Moody Bible Institute and Warren Throckmorton. All but Throckmorton list as a credential “Former Homosexual.”
What do you think, is this strong enough?
November 16, 2009
President & Mrs. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
c/o Principal Private Secretary, Amelia Kyambadde
State House Nakasero
P.O. Box 24594
Dear President & Mrs. Museveni,
As evangelical Christian leaders dedicated to advancing the truths of the Bible worldwide, we commend your work to promote ethics in Uganda. In addition, your efforts to eradicate the HIV/AIDS epidemic have been appropriately praised internationally and we are praying for your continued success.
We want to humbly share our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced before the Ugandan parliament on October 14, 2009. First, we believe that sexual crimes against children, homosexual or heterosexual, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished accordingly. Homosexual behavior in consensual relationships, however, is another matter.
While we do not believe that homosexual behavior is what God intended for individuals, we believe that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to this issue. Furthermore, the Christian church must be a safe, compassionate place for gay-identified people as well as those who are confused about and conflicted by their sexuality. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue. The Christian church cannot and should not condone homosexual living or gay-identified clergy within its leadership, but it must be permitted to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all. We believe that this legislation would make this mission a difficult if not impossible task to carry out.
Many of us and those we know and work with have personally struggled with unwanted homosexual attractions and once lived as gay individuals, but have since found a new identity in Jesus Christ and have gone on to live lives that reflect the teaching of the Christian faith. We sincerely believe that such transformations cannot best be achieved in an environment of government coercion where the vital support, care and compassion of others in the Christian community is discouraged and prosecuted.
Please consider the influence this law will have upon those who may seek help in dealing with this difficult issue as well as church and ministry leaders committed to demonstrating the compassion of Christ to all. We are praying for you, for this matter and for the people of Uganda.
President of Exodus International, Orlando, Florida
Executive Vice President, Exodus International, Orlando, Florida
Adjunct Instructor, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois
Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D.
Member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the American Association of Christian Counselors
Grove City, Pennsylvania