Martin Ssempa on Line of Fire: An analysis

On March 11, Martin Ssempa was a guest on Michael Brown’s radio show, Line of Fire. I was invited to join in but I was teaching at the time the show aired. The program is online here. Brown said several times that he invited critics of the bill to come on the show or call in. No one else who has criticized the bill could or would go on so the entire program consisted of Ssempa telling his side of the issue.

Ssempa began by saying that homosexuality violated nature, Uganda’s cultural norms, the religions in Uganda, and the laws in Uganda. He said homosexuality violated the laws and customs of the Buganda kingdom and other tribal kingdoms going back hundreds of years. But then apparently without sensing the contradiction, he said that the Ugandans revere Catholic martyrs who were killed because they rejected the homosexual advances of Mwanga, a Bugandan king in 1886.  The martyrs were Mwanga’s pages who had converted to Christianity due to the work of European missionaries. King Mwanga was enraged that Christianity forbid the pages from honoring his decrees and had many of them killed. Thus, at that time, homosexual relations, at least with the king, were not forbidden, nor brought in by outsiders. Due to the efforts of the mission work, Uganda eventually embraced Christianity. For this reason, now homosexuality does violate the dominate religion (as well as the minority religion, Islam) and was encoded into law due to the role of the British colonizers.

When Brown asked Ssempa why the law was needed since homosexuality is currently a criminal offense in Uganda, Ssempa mentioned four issues he wanted to see the law address. First, he believes the UN resolution on decriminalization of homosexuality is a threat and so Ugandan law needs to forbid the government from ratifying any such resolution. Second, currently promotion of homosexuality is not criminalized and he believes it should be. Third, lesbianism is not covered in current statute and fourth, boys need to be protected from defilement in the same way girls are. On the last point, he acknowledged for the first time I am aware of that current Ugandan law already covers defilement of boys (see this post).

However, Ssempa’s discussion of the 2007 law which included boys in the defilement section of the penal code was confusing. He said to me in November, 2009 on British radio that Ugandan law did not cover boys, when in fact it did at the time he made that statement. On Brown’s show, he did not apologize for misleading people for months, but rather made it seem as though the law was just recently altered to cover boys.

He added that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill may need to be changed to make it clear that it only intends to punish rape and child abuse. However, then he said critics had misrepresented the bill. Just when I thought he was acknowledging that the bill was written in such a way that anyone reading it would see the harshness of it, he then said the bill was being misrepresented.

Regarding Ssempa’s reasons for the bill, I must say that the bill does more than prevent ratification of resolutions, and curtail free speech. Ssempa denied during the show that he wanted the law to bother consenting adults, however, consenting behavior is also criminalized by this bill. Ssempa denied wanting to fuel flames of a witch hunt against gays. However, he has collaborated with Islamic clerics who offered to form squads to round up homosexuals. No words of discouragement to this activity from Ssempa are recorded anywhere.

Michael Brown asked Ssempa why he did not post the bill on his website. Ssempa’s answers made no sense to me. First, he said the Parliament posted a copy of the bill on their website. Not so. Here is the Parliament’s website: ( There is a link to a search page of bills  before Parliament. When one enters in any or all of the relevant descriptors of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the search engine, no bill is returned. When I did a Google search of the entire site, no copy of the bill is returned. When I asked Parliamentary Researcher, Charles Tuhaise if the bill was on the Parliament website, he said it was not. However, I do know that when I first contacted Ssempa for a comment about the bill back in late October, 2009, he sent a copy of the bill to me via email. Then, he did not refer me to the Parliament’s website. At the time, I confirmed with researcher Tuhaise that the copy of the bill was accurate.

During the show, just after Ssempa said the bill was on the Parliament’s website, he added that the Parliament did not want the bill “to be taken out because it gets re-edited.” Then Dr. Brown pressed him and asked him why he did not post the bill on his own websites, to which Ssempa replied, “Unfortunately, we’ve not had Internet access until about two weeks ago…” He then goes on to plug his blog which he says has just come online.

I heard this notion that the Parliament does not the bill “taken out” first from Fred Hartley, President of the College of Prayer. Hartley told me that David Bahati told him back in October, 2009 that the bill could not be sent via email because the Parliament did not want the bill edited. However, by that time, Martin Ssempa had already sent a copy of the bill to me via the Internet. Also, by that time, the bill had been publicly printed in the Uganda Gazette which is the official publication for bills.

Regarding Internet access, I am aware that it can be spotty in Uganda. However, Ssempa has had access, as have others in Uganda with whom I am in regular contact, continuously throughout the last year. Ssempa had sufficient contact to post his statement to Rick Warren on his main website, and his video response to him on YouTube. He was able to remove all references to abstinence group, Wait Training, within two days of the request being made. His blog has been online since 2007.

About the bill, Ssempa promised, “I will be happy to draw it from the Parliament website and link it to my blog.” That was March 10 and he has not done so as of today. However, you don’t need to wait, you can read the Uganda Gazette copy here, and a pdf version here.

Near the end of the broadcast, Brown asked Ssempa if he showed gay porn in church. Ssempa did not directly answer but instead said that the show was given to a workshop where members of Parliament were in attendance. He said it was an adults-only meeting to provide information about what is done in private. He also dodged a question from Brown about why he did not show heterosexuals engaged in shocking acts. Regarding the location and the audience of the porn show, note this still picture drawn from the ABC Nightline broadcast of one of the shows (click to watch video). This show was done in his a church meeting and there was at least one very young child in the room as indicated by the second still. (Note: The ABC News broadcast said the presentation was provided to his “followers” and the venue might have been the one identified here.) If pressed, perhaps Ssempa would have added that detail, however, he did not really address these questions from Brown completely.

Judge for yourself if you believe Ssempa was answering candidly. His answer regarding why he did not show/shock his audiences with heterosexual S&M was irrelevant. To my knowledge, no law has been proposed there which would outlaw the acts depicted if done by an opposite sex couple.

Dr. Brown seemed to think that there were some important clarifications in the broadcast. Color me unimpressed. I did hear Ssempa admit that the “boy child” is currently covered in Ugandan law, but then he said the law was written for that purpose. I heard him say he does not think the bill should not cover HIV people for simply having sex, nor should it start a witch hunt. He thinks the penalties should be reduced. However, even these admissions were somewhat vague and rendered confusing by his other statements about the need for Parliament to see gay porn to know what goes on in private. If this behavior is not to be targeted then why is he showing it?

He failed to express any regret for misleading people for months. He misled listeners by saying the Parliament has a copy of the bill on the website. He said he would post the bill. He said the bill might need some changes but blames critics of the bill for misleading people. In light of these issues, I was not persuaded by his appearance and continue to advise opposition to the bill.

47 thoughts on “Martin Ssempa on Line of Fire: An analysis”

  1. These people are truly evil. God created homosexuals, as all biologists know that sexual orientation in all mammals is determined genetically…that is, this is not something that homosexuals would choose for themelves if they had the choice, it was chosen for them by GOD.

    Therefore these MONSTERs in Uganda are going AGAINST GOD’s CREATIONS(!), and they are not doing GOD’s work….exactly the opposite(!), and they will have to answer for their evil persecution of GOD’S creations. They deserve what they will receive. I hope it comes soon.

  2. Now, now, now,….

    I was going to say that icearc is the nice one. Turns out he isnt…..

    Or, at least, not as nice on this subject of Ssempa!

    Dont flog that horse icearc. Unlike you, someone is a proffessional Christian. He has a need to support Ssempa. You dont need to really teach him anything. Unless his degree is something like Ssempa PhDs, he has known the rigors of research. He certainly doesnt need any spoon feeding. Or he might. One never knows.

    Who said, ‘you shall know them by their deeds’?

    And, be careful with the truth. See, most of us cant get all those beautiful tapes of St. Ssempa doing despicable things. The sort that he brushes away with ‘they are mis-representing me’ or, ‘they are lying’…..

    Cant forget the time that Ssempa was on NTV saying, ‘they say we want to kill all the homosexuals! They are lying….!’ Was just after the shock of the big man coming out and saying go slow. That we homosexualists were lying to the world about what was in the bill.

    I must say I rushed back to the bill to convince myself that he was the one lying.

    But, of course all this is part of the so called ‘public record’, which has to be interpreted. Dr. Brown is putting his considerable skills to it.

    Remember Dr Lively? The Nazis were homosexualists like me. I think they hated themselves so much that they put 200,000 homosexuals to death. Or, I may be lying. See, I am gay, etc. So, not very reliable a source of information. So, one must believe Dr Lively, (the world’s foremost authority on all matters homosexual) who I hear wrote all that down in the Pink Swastika.

    Sigh, sorry, those of you who are Christians, but….

    Proffessional Christians! Ugh!

  3. I now know, it would have been useless for Dr. Warren, or any other crusader for the truth to call in to the show. I think it was an act of God, that Ssempa spoke without query. no one needed to dignify his view by calling in. With a biased moderator in tandem with his close bud who apparently can do no wrong, and is God’s gift to Uganda.

    What was at stake here, was not protecting our boys, or the family. Ssempa was going for the jugular, he wanted gays killed or incarcerated, a gay inquisition. There were already unjust laws inherited from the British colonial code on the books which made gay sex illegal, but they did not prescribe the death penalty, that there was the motivation for the good pastor to clamour for a new bill.

    The good pastor knew that many Ugandans would not buy into that hate message, they go to the same pubs, are neigbours to and workmates of LGBT persons. He had to debunk the assertion that they are just regular folk, he had to deliberately disgust them, hence his conversion to Porn collector, distributer and cinematographer. He needed to associate all gays with the hardcore images he was screening, an attempt to make their fellow Ugandans delve into an imaginary voyeurism whenever they see/encounter their gay friends. How the police did nothing to stop this still astounds me, I wonder why the TV stations don’t take a leaf and start screening porn and slap the Family rating on it, why not, If Ssempa can show it to minors!

    And no one in Uganda disputes that, in fact when the legislators were trying to water down the bill, guess who was shouting from the mountains that No, No, and absolutely not, Martin Ssempa ph.D.

    So Dr. Brown at best is not acquainted with the facts on the ground or is deliberately being a mouth piece for his close bud who he closely agrees with. Which disgusts me so much, It’s bad enough that evil exists in this world, but evil perpetrated by those who stand behind a Christian banner, is just too much for me to take!

  4. Psssst.

    Brown, not ‘proffessional gay activist’

    certainly not. Ssempa calls us ‘sodomites’, sometimes ‘homosexualists’

    His very good friends call us ‘Promoters of homosexuality’ or is it ‘aiders and abettors of homosexuality’?…..

    Now, I have to stick to the truth, dont I? I am a ‘Proffesional Gay Activist’, Brown, you tell the truth, dont you?

  5. Uh, Brown, Brown, Brown….

    of course!

    Gay, non-Christian, embittered. And, to crown it all ‘proffessional gay activists’!

    icearc, move over before you spoil everything!

  6. All mine enemies shall be put to shame and sore troubled: They shall turn back, they shall be put to shame suddenly.

    Psalm 6:10

  7. Icearc!!!!!!!

    [shock, shock, shock!]

    You MUST not speak wrong of Martin Ssempa, PhD. You MUST not.

    How can Martin Ssempa be lying? How can you as a Ugandan deny him? How, how, how?????

    You are being apostate. You are being criminal……! how, how, how????

    He has already convinced Dr. Brown of all his good qualities, how can you tell him that even in the back water, Uganda, we are seeing through Ssempa? How? How can you?

    Let Dr. Brown lead the beatification of Martin Ssempa, PhD. Let him!

    [Sigh, you are spoiling the fun now…….!]

  8. I am a little disheartened when fellow Christian folk deliberately live in denial of the truth. Dr. Brown will speak to Ssempa ,friends and his ilk and expect to be told nothing but the truth. So, you know Ssempa and his friends, it follows that they must be telling the truth. If there’s anyone who was calling for the ultimate penalty for repeat “offenders” and aggravated defilement of minors, it was the good pastor, Dr. Ssempa and the Islamic Sheikhs. Yeah, strange bedfellows, indeed! If only Dr. Brown would notice that the good pastor has either undergone a complete metamorphosis from what he was just a decade ago, or like some may argue that we are just beginning to see his true colours, the veil has been lifted!

    Ssempa has been consistent in misrepresenting the bill to the foreign media, while spewing rabidly homophobic rhetoric to his base. No Ugandan can even believe that Ssempa has any ounce,inclination of love toward LGBT persons. He is clearly and unapologetically full of ravenous hate to them. The international outcry has led him to preach a softer (if indeed it can be called that) line to the foreign media. He now can’t count even on the conservative evangelicals here for support, he’s now bandying around with extremist sheikhs more and more often. The big four faiths(Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Islam and Orthodox) have hang him out to dry and left him isolated. He is now has the extremist Sheikhs as his only allies of note. The Bahati bill is now dying a slow death, the issue is now all but forgotten.

    I as a Ugandan Anglican feel relieved that the local province of the Anglican Church finally came to its senses, all be it belatedly to join the Roman Catholics and Orthodox to oppose the bill, they even managed to get the mainstream Muslims on board.

    Ssempa’s charisma wasn’t enough to cloak his hate inspired message this time and for that, all Ugandans can breathe a sigh of relief. But feel free Dr. Brown to believe whatever he says, I don’t care whoever out there gets misled by the good pastor, my concern is Ugandans have decided!

  9. tut tut tut….

    I will need to write that post on ‘Professional Christians’

    How will I define them?

    I will paint the pic of the Pope. First as Cardinal Ratzinger. Imperious, and heavy handed in applying doctrine. The Church is first.

    Then, I will paint the children abused, and the years and years that Cardinal Ratzinger sat obfuscating on the abuse going on by his priests….. All the appeals, please remove them, please take them away, please, please, please…. And, the man in charge sat and waited, and said, the church must be protected at all times. The church MUST be protected.

    As the evidence mounted and creamed over, and the Church archives were sealed, and resealed and resealed under more secrecy.

    Proffessional Christian. The Church MUST be protected, over and above all. The words must be confused, the time taken, and requests sat on…. Because the Church must be protected.

    Then I will paint another Christian.

    He knows another pastor from a faraway land, Uganda. He has talked to him for hours on the phone. And, he is ready to defend him. And he is.

    What is most comical is the fact that he is defending the indefensible. Pulling wool and words over what is and what isnt…. Calling into question those things which are. Ultimately, it is his credibility which suffers.

    But, who am I?

    I am gay, am not a Christian. And, I have infact been so embittered by the said Pastor’s Christian witness that it kind of slips out….

    But, like the children who were accusing the Catholic priests, I have no credibility. No, I do not. I must be lying, isnt it? Gay, non-Christian, embittered.

    But, the gay-porn-in-church showing Pastor Ssempa? The man who has been showing porn on TV, describing it with a yippee of relish on radio, getting his rocks off [but, I must not say that which is possibly not true…]

    What of his accusation of other Pastors…. I used to call them the Pastor Wars, back then. When he got those poor ‘ex-gays’ to confess that they had had sex with Pastors Kayanja, and [not sure about Leslie], and, he pranced and prated all along…. until Kayanja turned the tables on him, and showed that dear Pastor Ssempa had actually paid the boys to make the accusations?

    Why? Oh, they have bigger and better ministries. They have better access to the first family in Uganda…..

    But no, the man must be given his day in court. Pastor Ssempa is not guilty. He is not lying, he is not obfuscating. And, after all, even when Ssempa led the ex-gay boys to the Police stations to make the allegations, and then the boys actually said he had given them money to make the allegations…. Afterall, the case is in the courts, and Pastor Ssempa has not yet been found guilty, or innocent.


    Dr. Brown, I salute you. You actually have a whole lot of work cut out for you. Like the Pope does.

    But, as we know, the Church must be defended. At all costs.

    Happy Easter.


  10. Dr Brown….. Second, how can you call the proposed changes insignificant? After all, the great outcry was over the death penalty, and the pastors specifically expressed their differences with this, asking for a reduction to 20 years in prison (with an emphasis on rehabilitation for the offender). This is insignificant?

    The outcry was press driven. Our emphasis here and in other placese was on:

    1: Tying in homosexuality with pedophilia. Adult male abuse of male children is not homosexuality, and they sure don’t fit together in a bill. In doing so they created two categories of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ that could have nothing to do with pedophilia – sex while HIV positive and the ‘serial offender’ which meant a person could be convicted of ‘attempted homosexuality’ three times or so and end up convicted of ‘serial homosexuality’ and get the maximum sentence of death under the law as the bill now stands.

    2: The bill calls for consensual adult conduct to be punishable by life imprisonment. This is ludicrous. Are they throwing straights in prison for life for their sodomous acts?

    3: The victim’s rights and confidentiality are too broad and cause for alarm that they might be abused, especially concerning consensual sex among adults.

    4: The unconstitutional infringements on free speech (which BTW, Uganda has a poor record on already. Some years ago, Ugandan officials fined a radio station for having on some gay people to talk about their need for access to HIV/AIDS programs).

    5: Making counselors, ministers, friends and even family criminals by not turning in their sons, daughters, friends, etc….

    6: The “definitions of ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘sexual rights,’ ‘sexual minorities,’ and ‘gender identity’ shall not in any way be used to legitimize homsexulaity, gender identity disorders, and related practices in Uganda.” And yet they had the three stooges over to Kampala in March 2009 in order to speak exactly about sexual orientation, how it forms, and how to supposedly re-order it. This alone shows up the homophobia behind this bill. No wonder Scott Lively is so proud.

    . . .

  11. Um, I haven’t listened to the interview nor do I feel I need to. I realize that might sound close-minded but I have talked to and listened to alot of folks with similar rhetoric and methods. I have spent over 100 hours exploring the depths of this kind of ideology so after a while the methods become all too familiar.

    As for slander…

    Whenever you paint all people the same way or use extreme techniques such as finding the worst offenders in a particular group you are IMHO practicing a form of slander. If I put myself in the shoes of the people he is doing this to I would certianly feel maligned and misrepresented.

    The purpose of such methods (or the effect of such methods) is too stir people into a fearful frenzy in which they are reacting to the graphic example or method rather than responding with the love of Christ. Since being Christlike is something all Christians are called to be, methods that take us in a direction opposite to this are suspect.

    I can state what I believe the bible says on a topic without using offensive, extreme, and IMHO slanderous methods. I spend considerable time on line in various gay christian forums engaging in friendly gracious pastoral conversations with fellow believers who just happen to be gay. I can accomplish much more by being like Christ than by turning people off using ungodly methods. I lead two adult bible study grous and have seen first hand the damaging effects of this slanderous stereotyping from folks like Ssempa and others.



  12. Dave, did you listen to the broadcast where Pastor Ssempa explained his rationale for showing the material? (I’m not defending it, just asking if you heard his reasons; and he did not show this material at a church service to his parishioners, especially to children.)

    As for “slanderer,” I agree that it is a serious offence in God’s eyes, but I’m curious to know how you would equate his actions with “slandering” someone. I’m not challenging you, just wanting to understand your point.

    For example, if you spoke wrongly about Pastor Ssempa in your post based on the limited information you had (I pointed out some errors to you, above), would that make you a slanderer? Conversely, if Pastor Ssempa believed that such practices were common in the homosexual community, would he be a slanderer for sharing that information with others?

    Again, I’m not challenging you, just wanting to understand your thinking. And if you haven’t taken the time to listen to the interview, please do that first, OK?

  13. I think it is kind of silly to need further validation that Pastor Ssempa is deceptive or slanderous. His public use of gay porn to rile up his listeners against homosexuals clearly shows a slanderous approach to paint all homosexuals with the same brush. That would be like a pastor showing his parishioners a video of S&M activity and then trying to paint all heterosexuals or perhaps all heterosexual fornicators that way.

    Slandering others is a form of deception that scripture clearly speaks against. See below..

    (1 Cor 5:11 NIV) But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

    (1 Cor 6:9-10 NIV) Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    I find it interesting that the bible’s prohibition of slander sits right there in the same passages used to speak against same sex sex.

    What further proof do you need??? Its right there in front of your eyes. Just FYI .. I do not affirm same sex sexual activity. But I also do not affirm slander or the showing of pornographic images to children. Again … what further evidence do you need that this man has a deception problem??

  14. Warren,

    First, the document I have goes into much more detail than the public statement you posted. I’ll send it to you privately.

    Second, how can you call the proposed changes insignificant? After all, the great outcry was over the death penalty, and the pastors specifically expressed their differences with this, asking for a reduction to 20 years in prison (with an emphasis on rehabilitation for the offender). This is insignificant?

    Third, as the son of a NY Supreme Court attorney and the friend of many attorneys, I am quite aware that I am NOT an expert on law, in particular that of another country. So, when Pastor Ssempa and other Ugandan pastors claim that the law has a certain purpose, I will not call them liars without hard evidence, and to date, I have not seen that provided. I have seen so many laws here in the USA that seem to mean one thing, only to be shown another clause that seems to say something else, only to be told by a judge that the intent is something different again. So, to answer your final question directly, I’m simply not sure.

    If Pastor Ssempa proves to be equivocating, I will challenge him publicly and privately. If he is falsely being called a liar, I will challenge those who brand him so in the same way.

  15. Michael: Yes, I published the statement from the Uganda pastors where they collectively called for insignificant changes in the bill and called for Rick Warren to apologize for expressing his opinion.

    And yes, I published Martin Ssempa’s initial reaction to the bill. Please read it and see if you think Ssempa’s views have changed or if he is just settling for a politically doable way to get some bill. Here is the statement:

    The bill is written to meet specific challenges and make equal protection provisions. It is drafted with the benefit of historical precedence and it seeks to keep the truth about family and marriage.

    I am in total support of the bill and would be most grateful if it did pass.

    The issue of aggravated homosexuality is a step by the law to provide equal protection between the boy child and the girl child. Current law provides stringent protection of the girl child from rape or child abuse which included up to the death penalty. Currently up to 70 per cent of the inmates in jail are in for the case of defilement of girls. The law was discriminatory in that the rape/sexual violence of a boy was not accorded the same legal protection as that of the girl.

    This law simply provides for equal protection of the girl and the boy child.

    On the promotion, we already have similar laws on drug and pornographic and obscene materials. We realize that there is a cottage industry of many groups whose sole purpose is to export from US and Europe the vice of sodomy. Being a poor country we want to restrict them from breaking our faith and cultural beliefs with money and misinformation. Already there is a large propaganda machinery lying about this bill and misleading some in the public. I believe you also may have been misinformed about what this bill is working towards.

    Please read it for yourself, as I am planning to attach it to you.

    We are also making provision to nullify any international protocols where one of our leaders may be bribed or intimidated to sign a document binding us to sodomy. We want to make sure that no such decision is made binding us to this.

    Finally we take seriously the role of the church in preserving truth in our society. Being a pastor of a college church, Makerere Community Church, we realize that there is a lot of darkness descending on the earth. This reminds us of the dark ages. Today we have modern barbarians who are mainstreaming evil acts. This bill seeks to put Africa and Uganda to be custodians of values and family knowledge as handed down from our fathers and our faith.

    We know now that this description – “the law simply provides for equal protection of the girl and the boy child” – is woefully inaccurate. It was inaccurate then and it is now. The bill has not been changed.

    Michael, do you think the bill “simply provides for equal protection of the girl and the boy child?”

  16. Just to clarify one typo:

    I wrote: “Has this document not been posted here? I assumed it was, as the document was not released in secret, but perhaps it has not been. I have a copy of it should Warren want to post it.” I meant, “perhaps it has not been posted here.”

  17. Timothy,

    I did not ask you to come on to the air on my show to debate Pastor Ssempa but to represent what you felt the bill said and to clearly raise your concerns. And on the air, he said he agreed with some of the points raised on BTB by Jim Burroway!

    To be clear, I am not trying to gain your approval or gayuganda’s approval or Warren’s approval (of myself or my convictions or the bill itself), and I went on record for Q-Notes that I had grave concerns about the bill as currently written and said it could bring much suffering on many.

    I am simply pursuing truth, plain and simple, and it’s a shame that with all the rhetoric flying on all sides, not one critic of the bill was even willing to call in and raise their concerns or criticisms or to challenge Pastor Ssempa on his alleged lies. How helpful for the sake of truth that would have been. And for the public record, you’re welcome to come on my program whenever you like and represent your viewpoints (not just on the Uganda bill), and I promise to give you a fair hearing.

    Of course you and I are at loggerheads about what the Bible teaches, what true Christianity looks like in terms of homosexuality, and what is best for society. But if you feel a man is a liar and have the opportunity to confront him publicly, you should take it. Otherwise, your criticisms are self-muting.

  18. Folks,

    Martin Ssempa was part of a coalition of pastors who appealed to the government to change the bill at certain key points (most particularly, the death penalty). Has this document not been posted here? I assumed it was, as the document was not released in secret, but perhaps it has not been. I have a copy of it should Warren want to post it.

    Most of you will still not agree with the proposed changes, but you will see quite explicitly that Pastor Ssempa and other Ugandan pastors did call for changes to the bill in writing last year, even putting an emphasis on rehabilitation being the goal for those who raped children.

  19. LOL,

    He didnt spit that time.

    And, he was full of compassion.

    Maybe that is where he differs strongly? Just asking. [Must mean that I lie when I say he spits when he talks on TV in Uganda about us? My, my, my, arent I full of lies?]

    ‘Differs strongly’, Hi Warren, dont you have somewhere on this blog Ssempa’s full support for the bill as written? Somewhere back in Nov I believe, the letter is on the blog. Back, when he actually sent you a copy of the bill, and voiced his ‘total’ or was it ‘complete’ support?

    As I said, literally the evidence is scattered all over this blog.

    Sigh…..! Professional Christians!!

  20. differs strongly with some elements of the bill.

    Please – enlighten us which elements with which he differs strongly? I’d prefer some specificity 🙂

  21. Dr Brown…. May I ask you if you listened to the show yet? I’ll know how to respond better if you did.

    As I said above, I have not, because of poor telephone lines and only a dial-up connection. In short I tried to listen and my connection failed. I always at least try.

    But like Timothy said above, I don’t see how your response could change. I have concerned myself here with Dr Throckmorton’s original blog post and the history of statements about the bill that Ssempa has made. He’s either ignorant about the intracacies of this law or he is lying. Either one, ignorant or liar, does not speak well for Ssempa as a spokesman concerning this law.

    Also, when I referenced my caring pastor friend, I was talking about a USA pastor whom I have known for many years, a man who doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body, and a man who is good friends with Pastor Ssempa. Just for clarification, since I may not have been clear in my last post to you.

    You wrote earlier…

    I’m still having a hard time reconciling this alleged liar with the caring African pastor who my American friend knows so well.

    So I could only think that caring modifed African pastor and meant Ssempa, as caring African pastor and alleged liar were being compared in that sentence. Thus was my understanding of your intent born. Was it a Freudian slip? It sure seemed as if you had formed a judgement about Ssempa and his intent concerning the Bahati bill. However, this…

    2) I have the bill in front of me, and I have Pastor Ssempa on public record saying that he differs strongly with some elements of the bill.

    Yes, in his pastors task force demand for an apology from Rick Warren Ssempa came up with the idea of cutting out the death penalty after the Church of Uganda said it should be lowered. Why it should be lowered for pedophilia I don’t know, except that this bill has with all sinister intent from Bahati (and others) associated pedophilia with homosexuality. No mention about taking away the right to speech.

    Also in that letter Ssempa said he spoke for the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. He might have had one Catholic priest in his following who signed that letter; but the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Curch of Uganda, Dr. Cyrian Kizito Lwanga, published a letter against the bill less than a week after Ssempa’s ‘Pastors Task Force’ letter. Ssempa was in the very least disingenuous appending the Roman Catholic Church of Uganda to that letter, but it seems more an outright lie. The written position of the Vatican is that homosexuality should be decriminalized, though they often don’t act that way.

  22. As I mentioned on another thread, when confronted with a bill that would execute some gay people and incarcerate others for life, along with restrict freedoms of speech, assembly and the press, there is revealed two types of conservative Christian.

    One is revolted and finds this contrary to Christian theology.

    The other is delighted at the opportunity to “fight the homosexual agenda” and looks for ways to defend and justify the bill.

    You, Dr. Brown, have clarified what type of conservative Christian you are. We see it; God sees it.

  23. Dr. Brown,

    We are not interested in debating whether there is merit in some small portions of this bill. The language and the intent of this bill are clear and any dissembling by you or by Mr. Ssempa will not hide the clear truth.

    As I told you when I declined to debate you and Mr. Ssempa over whether it was appropriate to execute gay people or just jail them for life, only a fool buys a box of rattlesnakes so as to get the one apple inside. And no matter how much you or Mr. Ssempa seek to entice me with the apple, this bill is a box of rattlesnakes.

  24. gayuganda,

    In response:

    1) As I have stated repeatedly, Pastor Ssempa insists that he is being misrepresented, which is why I have asked Warren to come on my show and challenge him directly.

    2) I have the bill in front of me, and I have Pastor Ssempa on public record saying that he differs strongly with some elements of the bill.

    3) I love truth and pursue it and I shall continue to do so as best as possible, with or without your help.

    4) I have not tied myself to Pastor Ssempa. I invited him on my show along with gay activists (who declined) or Prof. Throckmorton (who was unavailable). I did hear him speak with compassion about gays on my show. No spitting!

    5) Professional Christian? Ha! You obviously have no clue who I am. If I wanted to make lots of money, I wouldn’t be serving in the ministry. What a shame that you have such a miserably biased view!

    May Jesus be exalted in many lives this Passover season.

  25. Lynn David,

    May I ask you if you listened to the show yet? I’ll know how to respond better if you did.

    Also, when I referenced my caring pastor friend, I was talking about a USA pastor whom I have known for many years, a man who doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body, and a man who is good friends with Pastor Ssempa. Just for clarification, since I may not have been clear in my last post to you.

  26. Hey Dr. Brown,

    lets not stretch the issue, should we?

    Do you know of any reason why I should try to make sure that you know whether Ssempa lies or not? Let me count the reasons why I should not.

    First, Littered all over this blog of Throckmorton is evidence of that. He is a Proffesor, so he kind of did his homework. When I said you wont believe me if you cant believe him, I meant exactly that.

    Two. You only have to get a copy of the bill before you, and a list of all the things he has been saying about the bill.

    Three It is your problem, not mine. I dont ask people to believe me. But, from what I know of the gentleman in question, his friends tend to find him very, shall we say hard to stomach fully.

    Four. For reasons of your own, you have tied yourself to him. So be it. It is your business of course. You are going to go around looking for reasons to show that the whole world is wrong and Martin Ssempa is right. That is what you want. So, I will be a liar in your eyes. I dont mind. Ssempa spits when he mentions us, gay Ugandans. Spits, like forcefully expelling saliva from his mouth. I find insults like doubting my veracity a bit like the itch of a mite. Incoveniencing, but not all that much of a problem.

    Five; You are a proffesional Christian.

    Ha ha ha! You wont realise what I mean by that, until you read my blog.

    Bye Mr Brown. Have a good Easter Season.

  27. gayuganda,

    You’re really missing the point here. You say you are close to Martin; others close to him tell me a very different story about the man. I know them; I don’t know you. I’m not saying you’re lying, but why should I believe you rather than people I know?

    Wouldn’t you trust your friends before you trusted me?

  28. Thanks Lynn,

    and, to add to the stock of questions for the gentleman,

    Of course you shouldnt believe me. You have lots of friends who vouch for Ssempa. And, me am one guy in the jungle who dont.

    So, Dr. Throckmorton has followed the trail and built the case and, it is credible. But, you dont believe it.

    Why should you believe me, a man in another jungle even when you fail to be convinced by evidence of one who knows your own jungle more than I do? It is actually funny that in our communications with him, I first told Throckmorton that Ssempa does lie. He seemed to doubt it.

    I dont doubt that he no longer has doubts. But then, I am a mortal human being.

    So, Brown, convince yourself or otherwise about Ssempa. If you would listen to Throckmorton’s evidence, why, do so. As for gayuganda’s evidence, well, his privileged position near Martin Ssempa PhD does not seem to give him any advantage….

    If you do want to get another more fevered opinion, get to my blog, and search for “Ssempa lies”. Yeah, I am that crude, and directed. Dont know how to parse and finesse my words!

    Faith is one of those things that is insurmountable in logical discussion. You have already gone out on a limb to support Ssempa. It is only logical to assume that you will defend him to the bitter end. And, I personally dont really have the time and patience to try to convince you of something of which there is so much evidence to such a well read man like you that you can convince yourself or otherwise.

  29. Dr Michael L Brown ~The two sides are what you say Ssempa means and stands for and intends and what he says he means and stands for and intends (and, related to that, the origins of the bill and what he and other pastors in Uganda are opposing in the bill).

    You feel that he is being disingenuous or even lying; he feels that you are misrepresenting him.

    Just how has Dr Throckmorton been misrepresenting Ssempa when all any he has done is report what Ssempa says about the bill – word for word – and then compare that to what the bill actually says?

    Honestly, that statement of yours seems to show up a desire not to see what is before your own eyes. Yeah, it’s two sides, but so what? It would perhaps be an easy choice unless you need to support a fellow Christian with a like agenda.

    It certainly hurts me that you have been embittered towards Christianity (or, at least a form of it), and I would love to talk with you directly to hear more of your story. But I do hope that you understand that I can’t take your word for things simply because you make a claim (the same goes for the other side).

    If your caring Christian pastor Ssempa has his way and this bill passes without any changes, you’ll never get to hear any more of gayugandan‘s personal story. Any communication by him concerning his life as a gay man on the Internet could be monitored, determined as to source, and then he would find himself in prison for expressing himself about his life.

  30. gayuganda,

    So, I should believe that Martin Ssempa is lying because you say so? You may be an honest man, but I don’t know you at all, and I have fine friends that know Martin and vouch for him — and these friends are anything but hate-filled.

    Let’s try this, then, to judge where you’re coming from: I have lots of relevant material on audio, video, and written form onilne. Would you be kind enough to tell me if I am hate-filled? Fair enough?

    I want to be clear: I am NOT accusing you of lying. I simply live here in America and am trying to sort things through as best as possible, with each side accusing the other of lying.

    It certainly hurts me that you have been embittered towards Christianity (or, at least a form of it), and I would love to talk with you directly to hear more of your story. But I do hope that you understand that I can’t take your word for things simply because you make a claim (the same goes for the other side).

  31. Warren,

    The two sides are what you say Ssempa means and stands for and intends and what he says he means and stands for and intends (and, related to that, the origins of the bill and what he and other pastors in Uganda are opposing in the bill).

    You feel that he is being disingenuous or even lying; he feels that you are misrepresenting him.

    That sounds like two sides to me.

  32. By the way, on the issue of the Church porn….

    It was not his church. It was a different one.

    But, that is almost incidental. I believe the gentleman has actually also shown it to church.

    Remember the time that he showed it at the National Theatre to a group that included American students some of who got out and started puking? Well, that was the first time that it had got to be publishable material by the media.

    Ssempa has been showing gay porn in Churches, at press conferences, at seminars, and even on TV and describing the scenes.

    Unfortunately, for reasons best known to themselves, the media was at first too tender to report it. I did document the frist tiemmne when someone wrote a post of it on the Huffington Post. But, that was not the first time that Sempa hasd shown gay porn, at a press conference.

  33. Interesting.

    So, someone called Michael Brown challenges me on whether Ssempa lies?

    Its almost laughable. Maybe only I see the humour.

    Warren is the guy who has kind of documented systematically the lies. Me, I am a poor African gay man who kind of feels the heat and hate from the guy first hand.

    Anyway, to answer you, get to my website, I have over the months been documenting where Ssempa lies, and where he doesnt. I became obsessed with the guy telling lies in the name of god, of us poor gay men.

    Wow, Ssempa cares about gays and lesbians?

    Once upon a time, about 3 years ago, we gays and lesbians of Uganda were trying to get into the People’s Space. Some of us were not identifying. Others had on t-shirts saying we were gay.

    Ssempa was there. He got into a shouting march with Victor Mukasa, one of the people identifying as gay at that particular moment. He had the gays and lesbians thrown out of that public space, the People’s space, at CHOGM.

    Later, as the crowd was baying for their blood, (and the crowd did compose of Ssempa and his church people, who were surrounding him, and urging the policemen to go ahead and beat up the ‘lesbians’, I stood just infront of dear Ssempa. I can never forget the chuckel that he gave. I can never forget the words that he gave to his church people to make sure that the ‘lesbians’ dont enter the people’s space.

    Of course, I am biased. I am a gay Ugandan, who doesnt believe in Ssempa’s hate filled religion.

    That he invites gay people into his home? Oh? And, have you heard that he also makes them go out and accuse other prominent pastors? Do you really think that what Ssempa did for George Oundo and Paul Kagaba was Christian?

    Let me rehearse it. He gets George Oundo, and he convinces him that he is ex-gay. Then, within a couple of months, he has him on TV, outing people, accusing others, and of course going to tabloids like the Red Pepper and giving lurid details about their encounters with prominent gay people.

    I will leave you to judge whether that is Christian. Whether a guy who knew anything about being gay would put someone who had just had a brief conversion experience to go through that hell.

    Maybe I am bitter because I know the man… Or, maybe I am bitter because I can feel his hate? Or, maybe I am bitter because that is the only waty to respond the the hypocrisy and the lies coming from SSempa.

    Michael Brown, Ssempa is a very charismatic speaker. Even I acknowledge that. But, in his speech, in his ability to convince, well, you talked to him on telephone. I have lived and know him for a long while. Again, get to my blog, and see wthe specific instances. But, please dont you try to say I lie when I say Ssempa lies.

  34. Michael – What are the two sides?

    The Parliament either has a copy of the bill on their website or not.

    Current law either covers “the boy child” or it doesn’t.

    The bill is on his website or it isn’t.

    Words like touching are defined in the law or they aren’t.

    If Martin Ssempa wants say publicly that he is against killing HIV positive people for expressing intimacy to a partner then he can say so. He is good at issuing news releases. He has a blog.

    He obviously favors jailing people for any homosexual activity, what is there to debate?

    Michael, you have had these issues laid out before you. Are you suggesting that there is some doubt about whether the Parliament has had a copy of the bill on their website, or what the bill says, or whether or not there is a copy of the bill on his blog, or current law covers boys?

  35. Warren,

    If I can get Martin back on the air, will you join me the next time? I don’t imagine you teach every day at the time when I broadcast.

    It was my goal from day one to get you or another articulate critic to challenge Martin or David Bahati directly, and it has been affirmed to be by Martin that he would like nothing more than that.

    Bringing these two, disparate sides together in a live, pointed interaction would, I believe, go a long way to exposing untruths, wherever they may be.

  36. The bill is not perfect and needs some tweaking before it becomes law. Ssempa is a bit of loose cannon, but his opinions on homosexuality is shared by nearly all Ugandans. A revised form of the Bill will be passed and there is nothing any American Gay Propagandist can do about it. We will never decriminalize a phenomenon that will disrupt the solidarity-based communal structure of our society. The western cliche–“what I do in the privacy of my bedroom is my business only” — is meaningless in the context of our society as whatever any Ugandan does (even in privacy) rubs off on his family, clan, community and by extension, his society. I don’t expect you westerners to understand what I am talking about, after all you guys grew up in extremely selfish and individualistic “Mind-Your-Own-Business” societies, but be rest assured that a tame version of the bill which removes death penalty and the laughable ” extradite Ugandan gays from overseas” will passed as law. Perhaps you can take your bullying tactics to UAE, Saudi Arabia and other pro-Western totalitarian middle-east regimes which have anti-gay laws that are 100 times harsher than anything a Ugandan MP may even contemplate.

  37. Michael – I suspect there are people approaching teens and children — the approachers are approaching both boys and girls. Ssempa said on your show that 60% of people in jail are there due to defilement charges. These must be mostly men who have defiled girls. That law is apparently not working so well.

    However, this completely misses the point. The gay advocacy groups in Uganda have issued a couple of statement condemning “recruitment,” or any kind of defilement. They say if these people exist, they are not us. Ssempa, Langa, Bahati, etc., have offered no serious evidence to the contrary. If Oundo and Kagaba were/are pedophiles then I appreciate the church there trying to help them. But the gay groups reject defilement.

    Michael, this is not hard. Read the bill and try to reconcile it with what Ssempa said. The bill is not only about defilement as I pointed out yet again in this post. Getting off on the defilement thing is a rabbit trail.

    If the bill is not about private consensual behavior, then why does Ssempa need to show private consensual behavior to his audiences?

  38. James – The picture is taken from the ABC News broadcast inside Ssempa’s church. Are you saying ABC News lied when they said the meeting was in his church? Did you watch the video of the ABC News broadcast?

    You make some interesting charges, but let’s start with that one. ABC News said Ssempa showed the porn to his church, and the footage came from the church. Are you saying they lied?

  39. Let me put in some corrections to this discussion: First of all a bigger percentage of Gay America is heavily reliant on what Dr. Warren is writing about. One Dr. Warren on many occassions has misquoted Dr. Ssempa. The pictures above are not from Ssempa’s Church. I know Ssempa’s Church very well and it is not like that. Secondly in the meeting where the four slides were shown only male and female adults were in attendance. Trying to drag in children is losing the whole urgument.

    Secondly there are many ex homos in Ssempa’s Church. Infact is just one of them. We have Paul Kagaba, Sandra, Yvone, and others that have requested their names not to be mentioned. There is a young man called Alex that am counselling with right now and he’s making incredible progress. He had been thrown out from three primary schools because of homosexuality. Alex is right now back to school. And all is going well with him. Oh thank you Ssempa.

    It is also good for the likes of Gay Uganda to visit Ssempa’s Church and see for themselves what happens here. I remember very well during CHOGM what happened. Ssempa was busy engaging you homos when the PGB guys came and chased you. Ssempa had nothing to do with your beating. I was there personally and witnessed what happened, infact I talked to Sandra even.

    Let’s stop peddling lies and look for the truth for their we’ll progress.


  40. I live in the backwoods of Indiana, never heard of you or your show before this, and on dial-up listening over the Internet is prohibitive. I have to rely on Dr Throckmorton as someone who I have come to consider to be fair and unbiased to report about your program with Ssempa.

    And yes, he does claim that gays in Uganda are encouraging teenagers in school to come out and offering them encouragement and incentives to do so, and he has ex-gays in his church who confirm this. Are they all lying?

    I know of only two ex-gays which are touted by Ssempa. One, George Oundo, supposedly got short on cash and tried to get some out of the gay organization in Uganda and then ‘defected’ to Ssempa and Langa’s court. He made a splash when Ssempa and Langa held him up as ‘proof’ at a news conference that gays were trying to ‘recruit’ kids. It is to that singular item which Ssempa alwayas points when talking about gays recruiting in the schools. The other ‘ex-gay’ seems not to have ever been gay; gug above could tell you more about him. I haven’t seen anything more than that. George Oundo does not seem to be credible whatsoever, and thus neither do Langa (who seems to have retired from this fray) or Ssempa, who supported him.

    I’m still having a hard time reconciling this alleged liar with the caring African pastor who my American friend knows so well.

    It has been my experience that falsehoods or hyperbole come easily when some preachers get fixated on stopping homosexuality. Stopping homosexuality/speaking out against it seems to be that shining rose that draws them in close, only to find they make it stink quite bad.


    Read the entire bill and Dr Throckmorton’s commentary on Ssempa’s prevarications – here. Or what Ssempa told Teen Mania head Ron Luce.


    Unfortunately, I believe a few preachers figuritively quit their ministerial position and take up the mantles of politician when it comes to homosexuality and allowing gays and lesbians their just rights in the secular forum. It seems then that they are no longer ministers of a gospel but slaves to whatever they can get away with to deny rights, liberty, and happiness to gays, lesbians, etc. This bill embodies this concept, for it also denies the right to speak one’s mind about their own situation, their own nature, if those thoughts be in favor of gays or lesbians. This bill denies the right to free speech for gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities (which should be unconstitutional under Uganda’s constitution). And that is one thing for which Ssempa is totally in favor. What sort of caring Christian pastor lobbies to deny anyone their right to speech?

  41. Lynn David,

    Yes, of course I read Warren’s post, and I also spoke for several hours with Pastor Ssempa a few weeks ago. Did you listen to the show to hear what he had to say? If not, please do and then share your impressions. If you have listened, I’m still having a hard time reconciling this alleged liar with the caring African pastor who my American friend knows so well.

    And yes, he does claim that gays in Uganda are encouraging teenagers in school to come out and offering them encouragement and incentives to do so, and he has ex-gays in his church who confirm this. Are they all lying?

    I’m just asking questions here, since I approached a number of gay leaders and asked them to come on to my show to challenge Martin, but they all refused the offer (and Warren, as mentioned, was teaching at the time). Folks had the chance to confront him on the air and didn’t do it — I also opened the phone lines for them to call in, but they didn’t — so it’s tough now to have people call him a liar when they had the opportunity to confront his stories head on.

    I’m not claiming to know all the facts of the matter. I’m just presenting another POV here.

  42. Dr Michael L Brown…..

    So, do you think he’s lying when he talks about taking people into his home and welcoming gays and lesbians into his church (meaning, those who want to change)?

    I am not challenging you at all; I’m just asking if you have firsthand information that what he claimed to be doing on the air was false.

    And what of those gays and lesbians who do not care to seek Ssempa’s brand of aid or that of Islam or just any at all?

    But more importantly did you not even read Dr Throckmorton’s post? Ssempa has been prevaricating whenever he speaks about homosexuality in Uganda for well over a year now, even before the Bahati bill was introduced. I think it started when he first claimed he had proof gays in Uganda were buying off children in schools. Or read just about any other post of Dr Throckmorton’s on Ssempa.

  43. gayuganda,

    I understand that you feel deeply hurt by Pastor SSempa’s words and actions, and based on your posting name here, I assume you are a gay Ugandan.

    For my part, I only know Pastor SSempa through two phone calls and my interview with him on the radio, but one of my good friends from America knows him well and is quite convinced that he really does care about gays and lesbians.

    So, do you think he’s lying when he talks about taking people into his home and welcoming gays and lesbians into his church (meaning, those who want to change)?

    I am not challenging you at all; I’m just asking if you have firsthand information that what he claimed to be doing on the air was false.


  44. Ssempa lies.

    It is amazing, the way he tells lies, knowing they are lies, and then tries to retell them in another way. Its amazing because this is supposed to be a ‘man of god’, a pentecostal pastor, a leader whose credibility should be unquestioned.

    He lies when it is necessary, he lies when it is unnecessary. The only time that I ever heard him utter a half apology was when I detailed what had happened at the CHOGM meeting on my blog and talked about how I stood just infront of him as he egged on his church people and the police to beat gay Ugandans who had dared to come at the People’s Space. That was the only time, and it was not even an apology, but a wishy washy attempt to push off the blame.

    Ssempa hates gay people. With a passion. Why, well, I am yet to figure out a reason. But, in the interests of hurting a gay person, he is willing to go through thick and thin. Yes, even lying, when he is being recorded.

    Again it is amazing, un-understandable to me, but, he lies. [shake of the head]

    Well, in a way it is good that he lies, and he has been got in the lies and the whole world knows them.

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