Tuesday, December 01, 2009

John Mark Reynold --
"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.

Due to the legacy of colonialism, Western people should be sensitive about interfering in sub-Saharan African politics and modest in making moral pronouncements regarding Africa, but this law deserves universal condemnation. Uganda experienced many evils under colonialism, including the loss of basic liberties.

Experiencing evil does not give a free pass to do evil and this bill is wicked.

It is not a close call.

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

Hopefully conservatives who follow the Prince of Peace would not need much persuading to convince them that this is a bad bill. However, since at least some extremists have supported it, an argument is necessary.

Traditional Christians should strongly oppose this bill on moral, political, and pragmatic grounds.

Reynolds gives a list of reasons the law is wrong and should be opposed:
  • Moral:
    • it places the life of the citizens of Uganda, fellow humans created God’s image, in peril for grossly insufficient reasons
    • the punishments in the bill are radically disproportionate to any harm done through the putative crimes, even if one views them as crimes. Punishment must always fit the crime!
    • the bill forces citizens who dissent from the bill to act as government informers or face prosecution.

  • Political: This expansion of government power anticipated in such a bill is enormous.
  • Pragmatic:
    Of course, the main reason to oppose the bill is that it is morally bankrupt, but it is also useless and counterproductive and associates the good name of traditional Christians with barbarism.

Read the rest of the post, and then make some noise - and if you can figure out a way to make it directly to the Ugandan government all the better.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly