Tom Gilson

An Odious Law: Uganda and Homosexuality

John Mark Reynolds:

Uganda may pass a law that could lead to the death penalty for homosexual behavior.

The proposed law is odious….

No good can come of this bill and great harm will be done if it is passed.

Some fringe Evangelical support may be behind the bill and so American Evangelicals have some obligation to comment and urge rejection of this hateful, useless, and dangerous piece of legislation by all Christians…. the bill is bad for numerous reasons.

[From An Odious Law: Uganda and Homosexuality » Evangel | A First Things Blog]

Here’s my voice raised in agreement.

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19 thoughts on “An Odious Law: Uganda and Homosexuality

  1. I too find this bill atrocious. It is not a government’s place to dictate private human choices (at least not in cases where other humans aren’t harmed). This is the kind of hell that people everywhere have been trying to extricate themselves from for millenia.

    As Christians, we may find certain behaviour offensive and immoral, and rightly judge it as sinful; but what flows from that should not be autocratic government interference, but personal human interaction. In the case of homosexuality, I would not want to see a law banning the behaviour in any country. The same goes for something (for whatever reason) less inflammatory, such as premarital sex.

  2. The death penalty in this case is, of course, outrageous…

    … but let’s think about this: We ban the use of alcohol (which appears to have genetic precursors) while performing most duties, narcotics are completely banned apart from use for medicinal purposes… and we ban (well, perhaps not in old Europe) pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality (at least for now), and marriage between more than two people… but somehow homosexual acts escape similar sanction (they occur openly during gay “pride” parades!) Would someone please rank for me these (homosexuality, necrophilia, alcohol abuse, narcotic abuse, pedophilia, bestiality, and marriage between more than two people) in order from least to most dangerous… or would that provoke too much thought? In terms of outright danger (per the body counts of the 20th century), shouldn’t atheism be included in that list as well?

  3. Would someone please rank for me these (homosexuality, necrophilia, alcohol abuse, narcotic abuse, pedophilia, bestiality, and marriage between more than two people) in order from least to most dangerous… or would that provoke too much thought?

    To my knowledge, alcohol abuse is not banned (nor should it be, IMO). Certain restrictions on behavior are in place while a person is under the influence, which seems to be a legitimate function of law.

    Narcotic abuse: No comment other than I don’t feel strongly about changing legislation in the USA either way.

    Bestiality: is absolutely disgusting. I have no objection to it being illegal; however, I’ve never heard an argument against it in terms of it harming others. So maybe I’m inconsistent here? I’m not sure.

    Pedophilia: Obviously, an adult and a child, the latter of whom is incapable of consenting to the act, and obviously, great harm is done to the child. Protecting the child is a proper function of government.

    Homosexual behavior: Two consenting adults, neither of whom is harmed or injured in any way, shape, or form. How making homosexual sex illegal could every be construed as a legitimate function of government is beyond me. I’d put this as by far the “least dangerous,” because in my view it’s not dangerous at all — at least with specific reference to dangerous in the leagal and civil senses.

  4. brgulker:

    Let’s leave completely (although quite incorrectly) aside for now any philosophical and Scriptural and psychological “admonitions” against homosexual behavior.

    You must be unaware of (or intentionally ignoring?) the biological risk factors arising from something that is an unnatural act based on confusing biological piping: plunging the biological organ meant for the propagation of life into the biological orifice whose function is to purge death and decay is, well, biologically stupid. (Among other things, semen erodes the inner lining the the large colon.) I suggest you start by pursuing the relevant links at http://narth.com/.

    “Protecting the child is the proper function of government”? Really? Are you implying the government (elections change governments) is the source of morality? What if the government “decided” bestiality and necrophilia and pedophilia were “okay”? You think I’m kidding? Perhaps you’re not aware of the officially registered but not (yet) represented pedophilia-based party in the Netherlands? Perhaps you haven’t heard of attempts to legalize bestiality and necrophilia in Old Europe? Perhaps you haven’t heard of the gentlemen in Washington state who had his intestines severely damaged from penetration by a horse (and who subsequently died) having his life “celebrated” by, among others, large segments of the gay community?

    Narcotic abuse: No comment other than I don’t feel strongly about changing legislation in the USA either way.

    Your “feel[ing] strongly” one way or another is irrelevant to the truth of the matter.

  5. You must be unaware of (or intentionally ignoring?) the biological risk factors arising from something that is an unnatural act based on confusing biological piping: plunging the biological organ meant for the propagation of life into the biological orifice whose function is to purge death and decay is, well, biologically stupid

    Anal sex is what you’re talking about, right? Because that isn’t what most homosexual men do. Anal sex is inherently dangerous, but anal sex is not the normal practice of homosexual men, and it’s definitely not exclusive to homosexual men.

    So you’re not objecting to what I said; I said absolutely nothing about anal sex. I think anal sex is disgusting and unhealthy. The result: you’ve made a strawman out of a faulty assumption.

    “Protecting the child is the proper function of government”? Really? Are you implying the government (elections change governments) is the source of morality? What if the government “decided” bestiality and necrophilia and pedophilia were “okay”?

    Wait, what? My implicit assumption in the paragraph above is this: One of the primary and appropriate functions of law and government is to protect one citizen (or group of) from being harmed by another. In no way, shape, or form is that an argument that morality derives from government. I’m not sure how you made that leap.

    That assumption is directly related to what I said about pedophilia. By definition, a child is incapable of consent; therefore, sex with a child is always rape.

    My conclusion: laws (and policies to enforce those laws) that protect children from being raped by adults are perfectly legitimate and appropriate.

    What if the government “decided” bestiality and necrophilia and pedophilia were “okay”?

    That would have no bearing on whether any of those acts were moral. I think bestiality is repulsive and grossly immoral, and as I said, I have no personal objection to it remaining illegal. But to be honest, if it were suddenly legalized, I wouldn’t bemoan the end of civilization. I would still think it’s perverse and immoral.

    Here’s a flawed analogy: I think that divorce is immoral (at least the majority of the time), but I definitely don’t think it should be illegal.

    In other words, not everything that is immoral should be illegal, and not everything that is illegal is necessarily immoral.

    And goodness gracious, judging by your comments, you’d think I was arguing for the legalization of bestiality, and I said nothing of the kind.

    Your “feel[ing] strongly” one way or another is irrelevant to the truth of the matter.

    Would someone please rank for me these in order from least to most dangerous… or would that provoke too much thought?

    Good grief! You asked for a list! And then you absolutely pounce on the person who takes the time to make the list that you requested! I didn’t comment on all of them, admittedly. Maybe that’s the rub? I don’t know.

    For the sake of context: I’m working with a definition of “danger” in terms of its potential to be injurious to others in society, partially because of your use of the words “body count.”

    Of the things you listed that I mentioned: I find homosexual practice innocuous. Bestiality can be incredibly dangerous to the person who is (willfully) engaged in it, but there’s very little risk of someone else other than the willful participant being injured. So, given how I’m defining the word “danger,” bestiality is relatively innocuous. I have no problem with it being illegal, as I’ve said before — it’s grossly repulsive, and I can’t imagine any beneficial outcomes as a result of this behavior. I would never support its legalization, either.

    Alcohol and drugs would have to be the most dangerous things on the list, if for no other reason than the “body count.” Which is precisely why there are all sorts of restrictions on using alcohol and narcotics. As a citizen, you’re free to drink all you want to, but if your drinking clouds your judgment and you hurt someone else as a result, you will be penalized by the law.

    Your “feel[ing] strongly” one way or another is irrelevant to the truth of the matter.

    Um, okay? Again, you asked a question. I offered an answer, and you respond with condescension. Why?

    There are debates across the country about whether certain drugs should become legal in certain contexts. Take marijuana, for example. I don’t have strong feelings for or against that movement. I’m not going to smoke pot regardless, because I don’t think that would be sound moral judgment on my part.

    You’re not going to see me holding a picket sign trying to get it legalized, to be certain, but you’re also not going to see me holding a picket sign to keep it illegal. If it’s legalized, well, worse things could happen than that. If it stays illegal, people will still find ways to get pot if they want it.

    So, No, I don’t have strong feelings about that particular issue because I don’t see it as inherently dangerous. That’s just me attempting to answer your question, nothing more.

  6. Holopupenko:

    You must be unaware of (or intentionally ignoring?) the biological risk factors arising from something that is an unnatural act based on confusing biological piping … [the remainder mercifully deleted]

    A 2005 survey found that 40% of men and 35% of women between 25 and 44 had engaged in heterosexual confusion of biological piping. Given that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals at least 25 to 1, I’d say you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  7. A 2005 survey found that 40% of men and 35% of women between 25 and 44 had engaged in heterosexual confusion of biological piping. Given that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals at least 25 to 1, I’d say you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Ah yes, the legendary tu quoque fallacy. One might make the observation that the promotion of “alternative” sexual practices to de-stigmatize aberrant behaviour has led to the increase of aberrant behaviour in the general population. Consenting adults cause no harm?

    You may wish to consider this when citing “surveys”…

    A new review found one out of every three highly cited studies published in influential medical journals is either refuted or seriously weakened by subsequent research.

    http://preventdisease.com/news/articles/071405_studies_exaggerate.shtml

    And now I will cite a medical survey…

    http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499

    Take it for what it is worth, but the authors are sympathetic to your cause.

  8. Consenting adults cause no harm?

    I’m not sure that’s quite accurate. Anytime any person — straight, gay, bi, transsexual — engages in sexual behavior outside of a monogamous relationship (in which both partners have been tested for an STD), that person is engaging in risky and potentially injurious behavior to him/herself and his/her partner. That type of sexual behavior is obviously very prevalent in Western culture among every group of sexual orientations.

    That doesn’t undermine the study you’ve cited, but it certainly is an important caveat to this discussion.

  9. Dave:

    Ah yes, the legendary tu quoque fallacy.

    Nope. I was reacting to the implied claim that homosexuality is dangerous because of the risks associated with “biological piping confusion”. By that argument, heterosexuality is dangerous as well. If we are going to enact laws restricting or regulating homosexuality based on the potential for biological risk of sexual practices, we would have to have the same laws applied to heterosexuals, in which case this simply boils down to laws against specific sexual practices.

  10. Hello woodchuck64

    Nope. I was reacting to the implied claim that homosexuality is dangerous because of the risks associated with “biological piping confusion”.

    With a “they do it too” argument, which you reiterate below.

    By that argument, heterosexuality is dangerous as well.

    Actually, particular sexual practices are particularly dangerous. In an age where it seems every caring liberal is busily calling for “safety” regulations, including special taxes and restrictions of “fast” foods or driving without a seat belt, it is a curious incosistency that demonstrably harmful behavior of a sexual nature gets a pass, whether it is practiced by heterosexuals or homsexuals. In fact, such behavior is actively promoted in schools to your children.

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/breaking-obamas-safe-schools-czar-is-promoting-porn-in-the-classroom-kevin-jennings-and-the-glsen-reading-list/

    If we are going to enact laws restricting or regulating homosexuality based on the potential for biological risk of sexual practices, we would have to have the same laws applied to heterosexuals, in which case this simply boils down to laws against specific sexual practices.

    For the record, I am congenitally averse to legislation and regulation. That said, I am aware that some legislation is necessary for the preservation of society. Furthermore, I think legislation should be founded on moral principles and not (alleged) health concerns. We do not proscrive theft because the thief’s or his victim’s health will suffer. We ban it because we think theft is morally reprehensible.

    As for the now overturned “sodomy” laws, they did apply to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. Sodomy laws existed because the society which instituted them believed that sodomy was morally reprehesible, no matter who practiced it. As for the “health” dimension, it verifies the idea that violating moral principles has biological consequences.

    As an adendum, regarding the enactment of laws, you might be interested to learn that in Canada, where I live, it is an criminal offence to say “Homosexuality is morally wrong.” I am required by law to approve of behavior I find morally repugnant and to aquiesce to the indoctrination of my children within the public school system.

  11. Hello brgulker

    I’m not sure that’s quite accurate. Anytime any person — straight, gay, bi, transsexual — engages in sexual behavior outside of a monogamous relationship (in which both partners have been tested for an STD), that person is engaging in risky and potentially injurious behavior to him/herself and his/her partner. That type of sexual behavior is obviously very prevalent in Western culture among every group of sexual orientations.

    Gee… and I thought I wrote…

    One might make the observation that the promotion of “alternative” sexual practices to de-stigmatize aberrant behaviour has led to the increase of aberrant behaviour in the general population.

    Which could be construed as another way of saying…

    That type of sexual behavior is obviously very prevalent in Western culture among every group of sexual orientations.

    Do you not think that “engaging in risky and potentially injurious behavior” might be something that a responsible parent, or his/her delegate in the employ of the state, should teach child to avoid? And yet, we have parents/state throwing up their collective hands in despair and saying “They’re just going to do it anyway so we had better teach them how to do it ‘properly’.”

    I have found that most people tend to live up to our expectations. The lower the expectations are the easier they are to live up to. We expect children to engage in risky and/or promiscuous sex. The message is in the schools, the media, entertainment, and advertising. Our children are inundated with sexually charged messages… and then we say “abstinence” doesn’t work. Children aren’t stupid, they know we don’t mean it when we say, “Just say no!”

  12. Do you not think that “engaging in risky and potentially injurious behavior” might be something that a responsible parent, or his/her delegate in the employ of the state, should teach child to avoid?

    Okay, are we talking about anal sex? Because that’s what I thought we were talking about. OF COURSE a responsible parent would teach children to avoid that. I’m not advocating that we should encourage (or that we should stop discouraging) risky sexual practices.

    I refer back to the comment to which I originally responded, and I quote:

    Would someone please rank for me these (homosexuality, necrophilia, alcohol abuse, narcotic abuse, pedophilia, bestiality, and marriage between more than two people) in order from least to most dangerous… or would that provoke too much thought? In terms of outright danger (per the body counts of the 20th century),

    So the question to which I was responding directly asked where homosexuality ranked in terms of body count compared to those other things. In a later comment, the same person linked homosexuality and anal sex (if I’m reading it correctly) in an attempt to demonstrate the danger of homosexuality(?).

    My points of response:
    1) Homosexuality is not dangerous by that definition.
    2) Homosexual men don’t engage in anal sex in the way Holopupenko is assuming (and I linked to interfemoral sex in an attempt to demonstrate that).
    3) Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, etc., etc. are all dangerous given the way danger was defined (and I didn’t define it, that was offered by Holo.). Safe sex isn’t dangerous, whether that be heterosexual or homosexual sex.

    I have found that most people tend to live up to our expectations. The lower the expectations are the easier they are to live up to. We expect children to engage in risky and/or promiscuous sex. The message is in the schools, the media, entertainment, and advertising. Our children are inundated with sexually charged messages… and then we say “abstinence” doesn’t work. Children aren’t stupid, they know we don’t mean it when we say, “Just say no!”

    I’ve not made any comments about any of this. You seem to be reading all of that into my words. All I did was answer a question, one that tried to inaccurately lump homosexual sex in with narcotic abuse, pedophilia, and bestiality. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  13. Hello brgulker

    I’ve not made any comments about any of this. You seem to be reading all of that into my words.

    I am indulging in ‘social commentary’ and I am not limiting my comments specifically to homosexuality.

    My points of response:

    1) Homosexuality is not dangerous by that definition.

    It may not be dangerous by that definition but is that definition accurate? That was the point of the link to the apology for the study which indicated homosexuality is particularly dangerous to its practitioners. It reasonably well-documented that AIDs entered N. America through, and is primarily spread through homosexual liasons. In a concerted effort to combat the (well justified) public fear homosexual activists launched well orchestrated and a particularly successful campaigns of propaganda and civil disobedience to “mainstream” homosexuality and silence criticism. Despite the PR success the health concerns remain…
    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm

    2) Homosexual men don’t engage in anal sex in the way Holopupenko is assuming (and I linked to interfemoral sex in an attempt to demonstrate that).

    Perhaps you should write “some homosexual men…” since the behavior described by Holopupenko is commonplace and relatively mild compared to some of the more extreme practices. BTW, the bit about the horse is true…
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002384648_farm16m.html

    3) Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, etc., etc. are all dangerous given the way danger was defined (and I didn’t define it, that was offered by Holo.). Safe sex isn’t dangerous, whether that be heterosexual or homosexual sex.

    I agree, we are a singularly self-destructive species, and we seem to be particularly ingenious in our methods of self-destruction. That said, the assertion that “Safe sex isn’t dangerous” depends upon what you define as “safe”. Any promiscuous sex is dangerous.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23574940

    As demonstrated above, homosexuality has its own list of problems, and the horse is definitely a danger, condom or no. BTW, condoms, the panacea of safe sex, had an average failure rate of 12% according to Consumer Reports. (Report no longer available) and according to “Answers.com”…

    Condoms are 85-98% effective. This means that with typical use, about 15 out of every 100 women whose partners use condoms will become pregnant during the first year. With perfect use, 2 will become pregnant.

    No one know have effectve they are when used in anal sex. It seems publication of that testing, if it is even done, is verboten. I have been waiting for someone who has contracted a STD after relying on condoms to sue the schools which teach that condom use equates with “safe” sex. It does not.

  14. Uganda:Homosexual Admits Recruiting Students
    Paul Kiwuuwa
    23 March 2009

    Kampala — A man shocked parents on Sunday when he confessed to recruiting school children into homosexuality as part of a programme to promote the practice in Ugandan schools.

    George Oundo said funders gave them “much money” and training abroad and that he would target mostly the needy children who had problems of tuition and pocket money and “others who like outings.”

    Oundo warned parents to know their children’s friends. Homosexuals, he added, were targeting mostly children “because they are easy to initiate and they like easy things”.

    Oundo said he got seriously involved in promoting homosexuality in 2003. “I was taken to Nairobi for training,” he said. “I used to supply pornographic materials in form of books and compact discs showing homosexuality to young boys in many schools,” he explained.

    The training, he said, was facilitated by Gay and Lesbian Coalition. “I also got the pupils’ telephone contacts. We used to meet with both girls and boys in schools during ceremonial parties,” he asserted.

    He said he only stopped his activities after becoming a Born-again Christian. He told all this to about 50 parents attending a seminar at Hotel Triangle, Kampala on Sunday. It was organised by Family Life Network, a local charity which promotes family values.

    Full Story

  15. Dave, that’s pretty shocking, but the outcome of it is intriguing, to say the least.

    woodchuck64,

    If we are going to enact laws restricting or regulating homosexuality based on the potential for biological risk of sexual practices, we would have to have the same laws applied to heterosexuals, in which case this simply boils down to laws against specific sexual practices.

    Two big errors here:

    One: In America, no laws are being enacted restricting or regulating anything. The laws that are being enacted are laws to open up options for homosexual “marriage.” This idea that conservatives are trying to ban gay “marriage” has the whole locus of aggression turned around backward. Other than a defensive initiative maneuver in California, all of the legal initiative has been on the part of gay rights activists. The gay rights crowd has manipulated the rhetoric to make it seem that something is being taken away from them. That would only be possible if they had something (legally-recognized couples) to take away. But all of the legal aggression (I use that word very advisedly) has been conducted by the gay rights activists.

    Somehow people get confused about that. It shows the effectiveness of the gay rights PR work, in trying to make themselves appear victims. This was a calculated, intentional move, and it has worked. The aggressors are seen as the victims. Nice work, other than its deceptiveness.

    Two: Even if the language of “restricting or regulating” were accurate, it would not be “homosexuality” that would be the subject of that action. The subject would be homosexual “marriage.” Nobody is trying to enact or enforce legal limits on persons being homosexual or practicing homosexuality in private. This does not boil down to laws against specific sexual practices. It boils down to maintaining a proper understanding of marriage.

    I’m speaking again of America here, assuming that you had something more in mind than the Uganda legislation.

  16. Tom:

    Two big errors here:

    If you restore my full comment, in particular the sentence:

    I was reacting to the implied claim that homosexuality is dangerous because of the risks associated with “biological piping confusion”.

    you’ll see I am not making the errors you describe. The implied claim is here, along with the hint that homosexuality (not homosexual marriage) might be regulated or banned because of its danger. I think you need to direct your point 2 at the author of that comment.

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