Lou Engle supports criminalization of homosexuality

Not a big surprise given his recent statements, but Lou Engle made it (more or less) explicit in an interview with Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches. Here is some of the money:

I [Posner] pressed him [Engle] about which penalties in the bill he didn’t support — and he did say that although he could see someone supporting the death penalty, he did not, and he did not support “hard labor” as punishment or the requirement that churches report LGBT people to the authorities. But when I asked him if he would support a bill with less harsh penalties, he added: 

My main thing is to keep — is to not allow it to be legalized, so to speak, so then it just spreads through the legal system of the nation. So I’m not — I’m not making a statement as to what I think the penalties should be. It’s not my job to do that. I do think, I do think that these leaders are trying to make at least some kind of statement that you’re not just going to spread the agenda without some kind of restraint, a legal restraint and punishment. And I don’t know what the line is on those, but I can’t go that far as I understand that bill already said. [emphasis mine]

Engle also discusses his time with David Bahati and Julius Oyet and says he did not know the men well.

Engle claimed to not specifically remember meeting with Bahati and Oyet while in Kampala, telling me:

I don’t even remember their names, I guess who they were. I met with the leader of the — with the bishop of the Assemblies of God of the nation. I understood as one of his key guys, one of his key leaders. I did not support the bill. I talked to them, whoever these two guys were about the lessening of the penalties, we even challenged them to make provisions so that the church would not have to report anything of homosexuality being exposed. But we appreciated the two guys whose hearts were to bring forth a principled bill. [emphasis mine]

Engle told me he didn’t know who Bahati was, but when I told him he was the author of the bill, Engle added:

David Bahati may have been in a meeting that I had with the minister of ethics [Buturo]. But in that, I did not come out and support that bill. It was a meeting of about 25 people, and really was a prayer meeting and I was there to mobilize The Call and to pray with them.

No wonder Bahati and Oyet were happy.

I don’t understand why it is Lou Engle’s job to say that a “legal restraint” is needed for homosexuality but then it is not his job to say what the penalties should be. For those who favor recriminalization, the Ugandan supporters of the AHB have called you out. If it is not to be what they propose then what should it be? Scott Lively wants the state to require gays to go through state paid reorientation. Forget government health care but Uganda should pay for what would be, in essence, forced re-education programs. While Mr. Engle doesn’t offer that solution, he doesn’t offer anything else of substance. Among other places, the devil truly is in the details.

6 thoughts on “Lou Engle supports criminalization of homosexuality”

  1. I think the confusion in all this is that Lou Engle is speaking about an agenda, the Homosexual Agenda, not the homosexual. That has not been clarified at all.

    There is an agenda, which is far beyond the lifestyle, to force non-homosexuals to embrace homosexuality as the norm no matter what you believe; to force churches, businesses, schools, etc, to have to embrace, accept, believe in, and teach homosexuality as a normal lifestyle no matter what. That’s the real issue.

    God loves everyone. He wants freedom for each individual. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of our sins. We ALL have issues, we ALL sin.

    …and He loves us.

  2. Lynn, my comment only went to demonstrating how a person might speak objection…might have some reservations…but not have all the answers. I looked for an issue in my own memory where those very dynamics played out.

    Abortion stands as a vivid and valid example of this. People within the same congregation often held differing views and tended to view the other through the lens of that issue only. AND we haven’t thoroughly decriminalized abortion…neither extreme is totally happy with the end result.

    I don’t want to detour the conversation to abortion; I merely used it as an example of the dynamics of involvement. It went directly to Warren’s musing re how could Engle say and even suggest that it might warrant restraint without having a clear picture of what those restraints might be.

    Oh, and to be correct, we really shouldn’t be talking about the ‘criminalization of homosexuality’. By the laws already on the books in Uganda, it’s already criminal. So the more appropriate term would be ‘decrimininalization’. If and when this bill gets shot down, there will still be existing laws to contend with.

  3. Eddy….. Let’s say that a country was proposing the death penalty for abortion ….

    How about we just say homosexuality, ok? Why do people insist on analogizing the sexuality of gay people with anything other than what it is, sexuality? We get murder, killing, abortion, robbery, what have you – never sexuality, plain old human sexuality.



    Seems about a week ago I figured out Engle’s meaning – nothing like an old queen’s intuition.

    I expect Engle would like to see laws enacted which would make any ’sodomous act’ between either straights or gays and even fornication (outside of marriage) to be a criminal offense – to take the civil criminal law up to “true biblical standards.” His supposed “deep love for the homosexual community” likely then means that the law reflects “compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction” probably by instituting forced therapy (else prison?) or ‘whatever’ along the lines of Scott Lively.

  4. Let’s say that a country was proposing the death penalty for abortion and their proposal was coming up for vote in a few weeks. Would we question a minister who was friends with influential people of that nation for saying “I think you guys are going way too far but I agree with your concern that there ought to be some restraints… however, I don’t really know what the proper limitations or penalties ought to be.”

    That would seem to be a rational response under the circumstances. Make an appeal to have the bad thing stopped. Identify with the concern that exists. Figure that once the bad thing is stopped, there would be time to discuss a more reasoned approach.

    I realize that the undercurrent here is that any ‘criminalization’ is wrong. But Engle doesn’t believe that so I’m not sure why his response strikes you as incongruous. He only had two cents to throw in and he threw it. He doesn’t support the death penalty or hard labor as punishment and he also feels the reporting restrictions would hamper the work of the church….but he does see validity in Uganda’s concerns over legitimization…a lot to sort through and he admits he doesn’t have the answers.

  5. I don’t think Bahati was at that meeting. I had dinner with him Saturday night before the rally and he was undecided on attending and unclear on who Engle is. Then I had lunch with him Sunday before the rally, by which time he had decided tentatively to attend. I’d be surprised if he was keeping a meeting that morning with Engle secret; there would have been no reason to do so. Buturo plus 25? That’s interesting. Who? Why not Bahati?

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