At 9:30 am pacific time (12:30pm here), a segment will air on KNPR, Las Vegas regarding the relationship between Canyon Ridge Christian Church and Martin Ssempa. The guest on the show is Derek Washington, President of the Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada. A hint of the content is here:
We talk with Democratic activist Derek Washington who thinks the Canyon Ridge congregation is unaware of the extreme positions taken by its missionary partner.
My guess is that Derek Washington is correct that the CRCC congregation is largely unaware of the issues involved. The local media there has for some reason not covered this local connection to an ongoing international news story persisting for about 10 months.
UPDATE: In addition to Derek Washington, the show featured a member of Canyon Ridge, Tyler Egeland who said the membership probably does not know much about the controversy. He also said that Ssempa has close ties to Southern Nevada (I believe his wife’s parents live in Las Vegas) and the church feels a close relationship to Ssempa. Egeland also said that the church’s brand of Christianity is at odds with how Ssempa is conducting his work in Uganda.
Derek Washington believes that the church has been hoodwinked. Washington believes that the people of Canyon Ridge are great people but that they have believed Ssempa’s attestations of good intentions but the leadership. Money is giving to church and then given to someone who advocates death and prison for gays.
Tyler Egeland agrees with Washington that Ssempa needs to apologize and turn away from his prior views.
According to the host of the show, the pastors at CRCC said they would be happy to participate and then backed out.
According to someone on the broadcast, Pastor Odor did mention this issue to the church. I would like to know what he said.
Derek Washington does not want people to leave Canyon Ridge but he wants Canyon Ridge to break ties to Ssempa.
Watch for the audio at the website and give the segment a listen. It is an intriguing show. On balance, I would say that the callers and the ministers of CRCC still do not understand the role that Martin Ssempa has played in this bill. They portray Ssempa as having a change of heart. If he has, he has never said so. He acquiesced to a change from the death penalty to 20 years in rehab for aggravated homosexuality but there is no documentation of any change in views on life in prison for consensual acts. He defended the death penalty to me in emails and on video on his Facebook page. He showed extreme porn about what “homosexuals do in private” when he must know that most homosexuals do not do such things in private.
One other observation. Tyler Egeland said that Canyon Ridge has denounced Ssempa’s extreme rhetoric, but I can find no indication of that. None of the emails I have from the staff indicate they have condemned the porn shows or any of his rhetoric.
UPDATE: As commenter andy pointed out, guest on this show Derek Washington attributed a murder in Uganda to anti-gay rhetoric. This story has turned out to be questionable and at least part of it was a false report. In any event, the murder is under investigation and cannot be attributed to Rev. Ssempa or any specific antigay faction.