When I speak to evangelical audiences, 6 out of 100 know of Westboro Baptist Church; 5 out of 100 know of Fred Phelps; 0 out of 100 know of Clint McCance; 7 out of 100 know of the gay teen suicide publicity in the fall of 2010; 2 out of 100 know of the proposed law in Uganda that would open the possibilities for gay individuals to be executed; 0 out of 100 know that current Ugandan law provides for actively gay persons to be imprisoned for up to 14 years; and 0 of out of 100 know that the now-defunct Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone (unrelated to the more famous Rolling Stone magazine) published a list of “the top 100” homosexuals in Uganda with the message “hang them.”
I am sharing this post about the murder of Ugandan gay activist David Kato to inform those in the evangelical community who follow Lead Them Home. Dr. Warren Throckmorton has spent more than a year focusing on the “anti-homosexuality” legislation being considered in Uganda. You can get many more details at his website. Kato was bludgeoned to death last week.
Nearly 100% of the LGBT+ community is aware of each of the news items listed above. Further, a sizable percentage of them believe that American evangelicals are promoting passage of the anti-homosexuality law mentioned above. That less than 10% of evangelicals know about these news stories explains why we rarely grieve with those who are grieving – and thus, why we are so often interpreted as insensitive or hateful.
I often say that we must radically shift our posture in how we relate to LGBT+ persons – particularly on matters of life and death. This is an opportunity for your church to let your community know that you do grieve over the mistreatment of LGBT+ persons – including the murder of David Kato, as well as teens in your community who are being bullied due to their sexual orientation.
Please join the evangelical community’s Speak Out Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 Facebook group. You can also join the secular Voices Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Facebook group. Please also participate in Lead Them Home’s Evangelicals Grieving the Gay Teen Suicide Surge Facebook event running through March 2011. Additional resources will help you participate in our event..
For those in the LGBT+ community who may feel this is only “modifying our appearance” to deny our hatefulness, I am suggesting that we all join together to stand against ALL forms of hate. As an evangelical community, we must not only “look” less hateful; we must BE less insensitive by choosing to do the right thing. In this case, the right thing is to love others the way Jesus loves us. That is NOT about “looking good,” it is reflecting Christ within us: a key tenet of what it means to follow Jesus Christ.
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