New Vision and The Monitor, Uganda
A headline in the The New Vision published on Wednesday, 9th July proclaimed “Gays want to kill me, says Orombi”. In the article, Chris Ahimbisibwe wrote that Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi had said he fears for his life because of the campaign he has waged against homosexuals.
The Archbishop was addressing Christians at Kitunga archdeaconry, West Ankole diocese in Ntungamo district. He is quoted as saying “Nowadays, I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals.” “I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.”
New Vision published a clarification by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi on Thursday 10th July. He clarified that he did not say gays were planning to kill him or that he fears for his life over his campaign against the practice. Orombi noted that gays were not only in the church, but were a big movement and some of them were drug addicts, who could kill anybody.
The Daily Monitor carried a report on Friday 11 July by Paul Aruho headlined “Archbishop Orombi re-affirms anti-gay stand”. The article repeated the claim that the Archbishop said his life was under threat from the gay community.
Archbishop Orombi was quoted as saying: “The team of homosexuals is very rich. They have money and will do whatever it takes to make sure that this vice penetrates Africa. We have to stand out and say no to them.” He said the advocates of homosexuality are taking advantage of the abject poverty in Africa to lure people into their club. Orombi noted that homosexuals were trying to take advantage of Africa’s poverty by making donations, building schools and offering scholarships. “We should not accept any donation that comes our way and has strings attached. Some people have already fallen victims in Uganda and we need to stop it,” the archbishop said.
Despite the threats, he was reported to be continuing his anti-gay campaign, asking Christians to pray for him and others who are against homosexuals. “Homosexuals are agitating that it is a human right. But how can it be a human right for a man to sleep with another man or a woman to marry a woman?” he asked. “What we need is to wake up and protect our church and children against this practice.”
He argued that God created men and women so that they could have children and fill the world so that the generations could continue. “So where do the homosexuals want to get their children?” he asked.
Ugandan doctor claims Canterbutry should not tolerate ‘gayism’
The Archbishop’s level of prejudice and ignorance was exceeded in a second article in New Vision on Wednesday, 9th July headlined “Canterbury should not tolerate gayism”. The author, Myers Lugemwa, said he is a medical doctor, religious and presumably-sober human being. He commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s stance on gayism and homosexuality because these two vices have existed since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, albeit their being practiced incognito in normal societies.
He claimed that it is well known, that if any of us, including the consecrated Bishop Gene Robinson in the US, had gay parents, we would not have been born. While studying in Israel, I was privy to, which I believe the scars of Sodom and Gomorrah, terms which emanate or connote punishment for those practicing homosexuality at the time. The silence of Canterbury, its slow reaction or condoning consecration of gay bishops in the Anglican Church or any other human society, creates a recipe for a similar Sodom and Gomorrah in the 21st Century.
Displaying an ignorance of biology frightening in a medical doctor, Mr Lugemwa claimed that even the smallest animal like amoeba and malaria parasites or plasmodium do not practice male to male reproductive physiology.
He argued that “structures differentiated into male or female gadgets are scientifically known to naturally have been created by God to enable the female-male element to exist, in order, among other things to propagate nature.”
“When God created the two sexes, He intended that through man-woman sexual contact, propagation may continue to prevail. In order to have someone different from man, therefore, he called this other person, woman. These two biologically different human beings are what, once they mate, creates you and I and all the over five billion people, religious, sinners, atheists, lunatics, kings archbishops and popes.”
Again, in contravention of good medical, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice, the doctor claimed that “In the medical profession, including psychology, we refer to people who deviate from normal physiological processes as sick or a patient. When someone feeds through the nose to the stomach in a tube (nasal-gastric tube) or gets oxygen through an oxygen mask, that person is a patient. When a person has sex through the rear entry of a fellow man or woman, they can be classified under this category.”
“Therefore, people who, unless they are not patients, but for one reason or another prefer the company of their fellow men or women in bed, are diagnosed to be suffering from sex perversion and deserve psychiatric attention. Such people do not deserve promulgation of their heinous, unnatural, act like Canterbury has done. In so doing, I see The Archbishop of Canterbury going down in the archives of religion as the first Archbishop, who has worked for the decimation of the Anglican Church.”
The doctor claims that “only logic, science, biblical teaching can help us rescind and revoke what has been done so far, but bring to a halt on what I see as a thorny path for Christianity.”
Changing Attitude knows Africans can be more complex and sophisticated
The opinions of both Archbishop Orombi and Dr Myers Lugemwa will confirm the prejudice of those who believe that Africans continue to demonstrate an ignorance and prejudice about science, biology, history and medical research, Biblical scholarship and human sexuality. Bishop Jack Spong was excoriated for having announced a similar opinion prior to the Lambeth Conference in 1998. The views of the archbishop and the doctor give credence to Jack Spong’s views as the bishops gather for Lambeth 2008.
Changing Attitude knows that African thinking and scientific understanding can be wise and intelligent. We have met many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual Africans whose Christian wisdom is profound. In different areas of expertise, they are of course, as thoughtful and subtle as thinkers anywhere in the world.
Changing Attitude knows not to believe the minority of Anglican leaders such as those who met in Jerusalem at Gafcon and have now launched Foca. They are not (as they claim) representing every Anglican in their Province. They are not necessarily even representing the majority.
They articulate ideas which are ignorant and prejudiced, to their shame and to the tragic disgrace of their churches. Thanks be to God that there is greater depth of faith and wisdom among ordinary church members than is to be found in some of those who occupy high office in the church.