The Call Uganda and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

I reported here April 7 that The Call Uganda is planned for May 1, 2010. According to The Call Uganda website, the date has been changed to May 2 but all else seems to be the same.

I am quite concerned that this event could have the same kind of impact that the March,, 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. At that event, Scott Lively told his Ugandan audience that gays were behind Nazi Germany and possibly involved in the Rwandan atrocities. In general the conference reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was tabled by David Bahati and Benson Obua.

After months of rallies and protests in Uganda in favor of the bill, nothing much has happened the last month. The bill has not been heard in the appointed committee and one committee member said the bill was useless. Sources in Uganda say the bill could stay bottled up in committee indefinitely unless some event rouses public support.

Enter The Call Uganda.

The website asks, “Can a nation be changed in a day?” On another page of the website, The Call hopes to address:

The heightened political tensions and wrangles in the country, especially as we go towards the 2011 general elections

The increasing level of social evils in our society, some which are threatening our values and lifestyles e.g.

o Witchcraft and human sacrifice

o Homosexuality and increased immorality

o Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people

o The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala

There are political and religious purposes to The Call. Personal views of homosexuality aside, it is not on par with human sacrifice or disasters. Taking this message of political change through prayer and Christian dedication could be the event that revives the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

I wrote The Call International and The Call Uganda to find out their stance on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. My first email was forwarded by Jo Anna Watson, director of The Call Uganda, to Bishop David Kigande. Bishop Kiganda sent copies of letters sent by the Uganda Joint Christian Counsel to President Obama and Pastor Rick Warren, both in support of the bill. In the email, Jo Anna Watson said she supported the bill with the changes suggested by the pastors task force, although she could not speak for The Call International or The Call US. The changes Watson referred to were included in the letter to Rick Warren:

a. We suggested reduction of the sentence to 20 years instead of the death penalty for the offense of aggravated homosexuality.

b. We suggested the inclusion of regulations in the law to govern provision of counseling and rehabilitation to persons experiencing homosexual temptations. The churches are willing to provide the necessary help for those seeking counseling and rehabilitation.

c. Even with the provision for counseling and rehabilitation in the law, homosexuality should remain a punishable offense to control its spread.

To date, I have heard nothing from the Stacey Campbell or Lou Engle’s office regarding their stance. I hoped that The Call might follow the lead of fellow charismatic leader, Joyce Meyer, and denounce the bill. In any event, the leader on the ground supports the bill and referred me via email to ardent supporter David Kiganda.

Given the inclusion of homosexuality on The Call Uganda’s website, it seems very likely that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will also be a focus. The silence of The Call outside Uganda is pretty loud and promises to get louder on May 2.

More globally, The Call seeks both political and religious outcomes. I hope to post additional information regarding the organization leading up to the event in Uganda on May 2, and an event in Washington DC on May 1. The May 1 event will be attended by The Call board members, Dutch Sheets and Harry Jackson and features a convergence of the religious right and dominion theology leaders. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: According to Jo Anna Watson, The Call Uganda coordinator, Lou Engle will be in Uganda for the May 2 meeting.

Uganda has heard the sound of the Trumpet and has answered “TheCall” to humble herself before the Lord! Lou Engle and a small team are coming to Uganda for “such a time as this!” We believe the Lord is bringing TheCall to Uganda as a mighty weapon to come against the enemy in these times of crisis in Uganda.

TheCall is a divinely initiated cross-denominational “Solemn Assembly” gathering the people to corporate worship, prayer, fasting and repentance and to return to the Lord with all our hearts.

We believe we can see Uganda changed as the Lord pours out His Spirit and brings refreshing to the broken, destitute and the weary across the land. For more information or to Donate, please see TheCall Uganda website by clicking the link