WTF

December 1, 2009

A couple of things in the world today are getting my dander up, namely two countries: Switzerland and Uganda.

Have you heard about this stuff? Uganda is pushing a law through it’s legislature that would essentially make it illegal to be gay. Get caught performing any sort of homosexual act, and you’re in jail for life, and you very well could be executed. It is just not ok. What’s worse, Rick Warren (Yes, that Rick Warren) is great friends with a leading pastor over in Uganda whose support is instrumental in pushing this law through. When asked to repudiate the law, Warren refused to do so, only distancing himself and his church from the controversy. Rick, get your purpose driven ass on the phone and make statements condemning the law and tell your friend in Uganda that this stuff just ain’t Jesus-y.

Next: Switzerland has banned minarets. Nevermind that there are only four mosques in Switzerland with minarets and none of them broadcast the call to prayer, these structures were banned on the basis that they could do so. Can you imagine the firestorm if steeples were banned? I mean, maybe this isn’t a huge deal in the US, where our churches look more like office buildings every day, but this is just a plainly reactionary (and, bluntly wrong) ballot initiative. Oh yes, that’s right: this was passed by the Swiss electorate, not the government, which has disavowed the result but is legally obligated to carry it out.

This is hardly the most eloquent post I’ve ever put up on, but in my defense, I’m pretty torqued about all this.

This, however, is absolutely amazing: Freely Entering Hell

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12 Responses to “WTF”

  1. Mom said

    With all of the civil war in Uganda and the children and women who are running for their lives, literally, plus the lack of education and clean water … you would think that the Ugandan government could possibly look at the way they are showing their priorities. Really … are they trying to increase the violent and ostracizing raping of their women? Maybe they are just trying to kill off their entire country?

    And I looked up the word “minaret” in my computer’s dictionary and it actually had a picture. What a beautiful part of their “church!” I can’t believe that people would order the destruction of such beauty based on the idea that maybe they would be used to call people to prayer. Prayer. Do they not want people to pray? I know they’re Muslims and not “Christians,” but prayer is prayer, and it is powerful no matter who is doing the praying!

    OK – does that make yours seem more eloquent?

    Love you and your passion!

    • christophermahlon said

      The Swiss are afraid of Muslim extremists, and want to further marginalize their Muslim population, because of course THAT’S going to solve the problem. They’re mostly afraid that these mosques will be using the call to prayer to broadcast propaganda and reinforce a “hateful, demeaning ideology” on the broader Swiss culture. You know, because they couldn’t just ask what was going on first. I’m so angry about this.

  2. Mom said

    I just read the account you provided the link to, and watched the video … how wonderful to see that the act of one person in the middle of such atrocity could so decisively help another person.

    We should all remember that in our dealings with people every day. You never know how even your smile or kind word could turn a person’s day around.

  3. Jessie said

    Dear churches who have recently left the ELCA:

    Great job proving your passion (in other words, you suck).

    Now then. How about we rally around a real cause (in other words, pray for and help people are threatened with death in their country)?

    Why does everyone’s mindset within the church recently seem to be, “We’ve gotta get the gays!”?

    I’m disgusted.

  4. Tyler said

    Not saying I agree with this because certain things cannot and should not be legislated and Ugandan priorities are certainly warped however: according to how you described the law they haven’t really banned being gay. It seems like they’ve banned doing gay…? Now who or what defines a homosexual act is a necessary clarification but there is a difference between being gay and committing homosexual acts just as there is a difference between being sexually attracted to someone of the opposite gender and practicing sexual behaviors with said person…just saying.

    That being said, a note to Uganda and Rick Warren: consider loving homosexuals and the MANY others in extreme need in that country, leave conviction and behavior modification to God.

    • christophermahlon said

      You are, of course, right. The law says that any man who penetrates the mouth or anus of another man with his penis will be subject to the penalties subscribed. So in one sense, you’re right they’ve banned doing gay. But since sexual expression and desire is such a core part of most people’s identities, I’d argue that they might as well have banned *being* gay. I do find it interesting that anal and oral sex aren’t banned per se in this legislation; only when men are doing it to each other.

  5. christophermahlon said

    Tyler, I just checked out the text of the law. Here’s the takeaway:

    It’s all homosexual activity, it doesn’t just condemn men. There’s also such a thing as “aggravated homosexuality” which is when one of the partners is HIV positive.

    The following text is taken directly from the bill, and defines a “sexual act” that is prosecutable by the bill:

    A. physical sexual activity that does not necessarily culminate in intercourse and may include the touching of another’s breast, vagina, penis, or anus.
    B. stimulation or penetration of the vagina or mouth or anus or any part of the body of any person, however slight, by any sexual organ.
    C. the unlawful use of any object or organ by a person on another person’s sexual organ or anus or mouth.

    All of this is apparently ok if it’s heterosexual activity.

    A person can be prosecuted for “aiding and abetting” homosexuality, or by engaging in “conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.”

    The punishments are life in prison, and death if guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”

    Totally unrelated, but the minaret issue in Switzerland would appear to me to make the country *more* at risk of militant attack, but whatever.

  6. Tyler said

    what a strange bill for the government to be so concerned (obsessed?) about…i was just asking about lesbian cases because it would seem to me logically inconsistent if the issue were only related to men…whatever the case thanks for sharing Chris. It is unfortunate and tragic that the government believes such legislation will somehow make for a better society or improve the quality of individual lives.

    Chris, would you clarify how would Switzerland be “more at risk of militant attack” with the ban of minarets? just curiuos on your thoughts…

    • christophermahlon said

      By all accounts, the Muslims in Switzerland are of the more moderate stripe, and have emigrated from very secular countries, like Turkey and Lebanon. They’re not really dangerous to broader Swiss culture, but by banning minarets they may end up radicalizing the young Muslims living in Switzerland, and set themselves up as a target for Islamists as a country that discriminates against Muslims. That’s where I’m coming from with Switzerland.

  7. Traci Kasperbauer said

    My roommate was in Uganda this summer and she says most Ugandans are homophobic and fully support the bill. If it hasn’t passed already, I’m sure it will pass soon. I’ve also read that supporting same-sex marriage would fall under the category of “aggravated homosexuality” and could also be punishable by prison sentence or death.
    But apparently Uganda is working on women’s rights. I found this on CNN, so the article isn’t very in-depth:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/12/12/uganda.genital.mutilation/index.html

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