Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Ugandan Stonewall?

My colleague the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle on what happened when the lay reader sent by the Anglican Church of Uganda to preside at David Kato's funeral launched into an anti-gay diatribe. Kato is the gay rights activist who was beaten to death after a newspaper essentially put a hit out on him. Ogle got this first-hand report from the Rt. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda, a retired bishop who has been inhibited (fired, basically) by the Ugandan Anglican church for his work on behalf of gays and lesbians:
The Lay Reader began to make inappropriate remarks condemning homosexuality quite graphically and stating the Church of Uganda’s position that homosexuality was a sin and against the Bible.

The crowd began to cheer him on and the bishop described the event as turning into an anti-gay rally. The bishop was never called upon to speak. He felt for the LGBT community having to suffer yet another public humiliation.

This kind of rabble rousing and hatred has been the daily diet for LGBT people in Uganda, causing a media frenzy from pulpits and scandalous tabloid like Uganda’s Rolling Stone that likely caused this senseless murder. Even in such a brutal death, the Church was at it again.

The anger and frustration of the LGBT community and its straight allies finally erupted when a young lesbian who worked with David...called Kasha seized the mic and the Lay Reader’s diatribe against LGBT people was finally replaced by the voices of those whom David fought and died for.

This moment will be remembered as a kind of “Stonewall” when the community said to the oppressors – Enough! Stop the lies!

Another report is here.


J.C.Marrero said...

Bravo for Kasha. I don't know if the RCC has condemned this killing in uncertain terms--not just the "love the sinner, hate the sin" pablum. But it would be grand if the Pope addressed this during his Wednesday public audience or his Sunday blessing. I liked Jodie Fosters' long ago Oscar apeech for "The Accused", i.e., that cruelty, no matter how culturally or legally accepted, is always wrong. I understand that she is an atheist, but that is not a bad Gospel synthesis.

At times, I think the church closest to Christs's message would be the Quakers with sacraments.

Fr. John said...

Beautifully said, Juan.