Monday, October 26, 2009

An Open Letter to Dr. Douglas Carew

Vice Chancellor of the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 imposes the death penalty and life imprisonment of homosexuals. An article strongly condemning homosexuals by a leading African evangelical featured in the Africa Bible Commentary which you endorsed sends the wrong message to Ugandan Christians.

Yusufu Turaki's article on "Homosexuality' in Africa Bible Commentary, "a publishing landmark" (John Stott), is hate speech towards homosexuals.

An open letter from John Doner, Latin America Coordinator for Other Sheep:
Dear Dr. Carew:

Do you believe homosexuals should be imprisoned for life? Do you believe homosexuals who repeatedly participate in same-sex activities should be put to death? Do you think persons who support lgbt organizations which simply are seeking their human rights should be put in prison?

I didn't think so, but such legislation is currently being considered in the Ugandan Parliament, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. And evangelical Christians in Uganda are likely to be turning a deaf ear to such demonic, unChristian legislation, influenced by the Africa Bible Commentary which you endorsed in 2006. That commentary has an article on homosexuality, written by Yusufu Turaki. Turaki's article contains the following anti-homosexual remarks:

(a) Turaki's use of the words "abnormal, unnatural and a perversion" in reference to homosexuals; (b) his uncritical use of the quote that "homosexuals are worse than beasts" tied in with (c) his uncritical statement of the African Anglican church's rejection of Archbishop Tutu's call for tolerance, as well as (d) his one-sided account of African "coercive sexual relationships" as his example of "varied" African same-sex sex; (e) an uncritical censorship of all views of homosexuality that are not in keeping with his views ("Our views of homosexuality should not be derived from human sources but from the Word of God"), and (f) his expressed theological view that to be homosexual is sinful (a view not held by evangelicals in the West).

Turaki's article effectively dismisses the church from its responsibility to speak out against the violence in Africa against lgbt people (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender). His article could be used by African evangelicals at this time as an argument for the endorsement of the Ugandan bill.

I am aware that, for the most part, evangelicals worldwide view same-sex sex between consenting adults as immoral. Nonetheless, I cannot believe that evangelicals can stand silently by and watch the Parliament of Uganda vote this inhumane bill into law, especially since evangelicals are so vehemently vocal on the issue of homosexuality.

Therefore, I urge you to openly denounce this bill and to state that Yusufu Turaki's inflexible and dogmatic article on "Homosexuality", in the Commentary that you endorsed, should not be misused by any evangelicals in Africa as an argument for the endorsement of the inhumane Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.

In Christ's love,

John P. Doner
Latin America Coordinator
Other Sheep - Multicultural Ministries with Sexual Minorities
Mexico City
October 22, 2009

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