Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Friends in Uganda - NO FEAR IN LOVE - 1 JOHN 4:18


Dear Friends in Uganda,


I am Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay, Pastor of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Lagos Nigeria.

I write these comments in my capacity as a religious leader with the MCC and also human rights activist in association with my position as executive member of the Pan Africa International Lesbian And Gay Association.

I am extremely horrified by the attempts of your government in Uganda to outlaw homosexuality, this is tantamount to the killing of homosexuals in the concentrate camp during the Nazi German days. The real criminals in my mind are the collaborators and sponsors of this bill.

Whilst homosexuality has been denied and objectified as an abomination against culture and religion in Africa, we are left with little thoughts as to the criminality of the minds of those who are considering death penalty for homosexuals.

Legal restrictions of homosexual people and or practices do not stop homosexuality, they just make homosexual peoples’ lives more dangerous and vulnerable to other abuses.

In my country Nigeria, twice anti-Homosexual bills were introduced whilst they are injurious and in breach of every international human rights treaty. At home and in international arenas, Nigeria has continued its campaign, openly calling for killing people who engage in homosexual conduct. At the UN Human Rights council in September 2006, Nigeria ridiculed “the notion that an execution for offences such as homosexuality and lesbianism is excessive” the Nigerian diplomat said it “may be seen by others as appropriate and just punishment”. This analogy shows extend at which our legislators will go to alienate homosexuals using every legal means available. What they have done is to disregard a proportion of their population who need protection against criminality.

These attempts make me more defiant and determined to support the cause of LGBT people in the continent.

I write to give you my support and know that we shall continue to make all the necessary representations at all levels and continue to stand up and speak out against these extreme brains.

In my attempt to comprehend any reasoning behind these bills or interpretation or understanding of the Ugandan Anti Homosexual Bill, I am sure that this is the evil we need to fight.

I ask that fellow religious people and organizations/movements that are inclusive, welcoming and affirming to LGBT people, should not only pray but understand that we need to “Put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against powers of dark world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:11-12.

Please note my comments below;

CLAUSE (1.1) BROAD PRINCIPLE of the bill seeks to provide; ‘Legal protection of the traditional heterosexual family based on collective cultural, religious and traditional values of Uganda by prohibiting same sex relations”

Homosexuality has always been part of the human culture, homophobia and hatred as we know it today is the violator. Prohibiting same sex loving relationship will only spell more danger and further push underground the government’s responsibilities to take care of LGBT people.

This attempt of passing this bill is criminal in itself and I feel that the Ugandan people should stand up against this outrageous bill. Equally, there should be laws protecting vulnerable homosexual people from sexual predators, these people according to the provisions of the bill as considered victims, they are likely to be consenting adults, who under interrogation might make a plea in order to be classified victims.

Homosexuality historically has been part of the human culture and often celebrated in religion, then it must be part of the traditional values, we must continue to look at the changes effected in the global south, such as Nepal and India to embody the changes for African nations.

To deny the existence of homosexuals on the basis of religion is inaccurate and due to the difference of views and biblical interpretation in Africa, the government has not taken time to listen to all parties before the irrational introduction of the bill.

The government of Uganda felt that there is a need to fill gaps, these are attempts to re introduce tyranny, which Uganda has experienced in her history owing to civil wars and ill ruler ship of the Idi-Amin regime. The gaps in the penal code have been strongly criticized by the Human Rights Watch Report, “This Alien Legacy – The Origins of “Sodomy” Laws in British Colonialism”, which calls for the repealing of the British penal code which Uganda continues to rely upon as legitimate.

In my view, there are no gaps in the Penal Code of Uganda on homosexuality, the Human rights position is to repeal the offending code which came to the shores of Africa with imperialism during colonialism, the world have always existed and so has homosexual practices, historians need to be kind to homosexuals and good people need to stand up, speak out for the well being of marginalized people.

I also call on the religious communities throughout the world to speak out against this bill. It is our duty to do what is good, what the Lord requires of us, to do justice, love mercy/kindness and walk humbly with God.

We have examples in the global world of politics where such bills are used against opponents in the bid that they would be silenced in politics, because of stigmatization and shame, however, this bill if passed to law will only punish the poor, divide families, cripple businesses and those unable to defend themselves. It will further empower the privileged such home/land owners, and employers, it will provide unconstitutional powers to law enforcement agencies and increase the lack of protection to LGBT people against crimes in Uganda.

The government cannot think without the democratic process, the question is has the government held a public debate for the rationale of this bill? How much consultation was done with those affected or likely to be burdened, how much liaison has taken place with human rights defenders and practitioners in Uganda and elsewhere?

“A need to put a law in place” this is likened in attitude of many African government it is okay to criminalize homosexuality, when was the last time that a bill is rush to protect the public treasury from being looted by the same government that speaks of such hatred?


1. A homosexuality offence is:
Penetration of anus, mouth or stimulation of sexual organs of another person of the same sex by a penis, object or any sexual contraption 2(1)(a)(b)(c).

If homosexuality is an offence and it is based on religion, then we need to look at the radical development of laws against other groups, “Adulterers, Drunkards, Swindlers, Slanderers, Prostitutes etc”. This shows the weakness of this bill, it seem that no offence would have been committed if this happened between a man and woman, how do we deal with the complication of gender reassignment. This will further complicate the lives of transgender people. The bill in my opinion is centered on Patriarchy. Does the law against Adultery stipulate life imprisonment or death? What would Jesus do? Would Jesus discriminate against homosexuals?

I strongly believe in the laws of God, “the Greatest Commandment”. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” Matthew 22:34-40

In the bill, penalties for committing aggravated homosexuality is stated as “Death sentence” and further requirement to undergo HIV test to ascertain one’s HIV status once charged with aggravated homosexuality 3(2)

The penalty against homosexual convicts would range from life imprisonment to death, the bill, in my estimation has failed in its analysis of providing evidence. What will family members do about their homosexual children and family members? Is Uganda preparing an onslaught of about 10% of its population?

If you have been previously charged with homosexuality according to this bill, you will be in prison for life, so reoffending is going to be difficult, because the homosexual convict is likely to have been executed. This bill does not describe the issues of homosexuality as we understand it, it can only be described as sentimental. Homosexuality for many is about companionship, love and relationship. Is it possible to test this bill with any of the parliamentarians’ family member who may be a homosexual person?

This bill described victims; the real victims here are the people trying to live their lives in a hostile nation and also have to contend with this new bill. The homosexual people are law abiding citizens and tax payers, contributors to the African nations and can be found in representation in all works of life, there is no doubt those this bill intend to criminalize also work in the Ugandan parliament.

Clauses 4 to 14, is extremely discriminatory and it will affect the poor and defenseless people the most. It also provides unjust powers for the detention of any persons on suspicious of homosexuality which can fuel acrimonious and malicious abuse of authority.

The sentence of life imprisonment and or death overrides the punishments listed in these clauses and there is a danger that this bill will be more detrimental to the lives of the rest of society that it intend to protect.

Clause (15) On the issue of JURISDICTION, places where offenders can be charged, Courts in Uganda, it is my hope that the Jurisdiction of the courts in Uganda in the absence of malice and corruption are prepared to implement the rule of law and make radical decisions not based on political agenda, it is my hope that any case tested and decided would be based on its integrity with evidence, this would be an attention-grabbing standard to set if this bill becomes law.

CLAUSE (16): Extra-territorial jurisdiction (provision to penalize offenders outside of Uganda), I am not sure how many countries in the world will co operate with the Ugandan government on the provision of this bill as they would immediately be collaborators of criminality and perhaps be in breach of their own human rights laws and commitment to International treaties.

CLAUSE (17): Further to the clause of Extradition, the bill claim that,
outside of Uganda (people who commit this offence will be brought back to Uganda for trial) Uganda government have not worked out the process of this implementation and this provides a shortsightedness of the extradition process in international laws. The Uganda government in my opinion is meddling with international laws, how they plan to force international governments to extradite Ugandans who have fled for the same reason of which these laws seek to criminalize. In the United Kingdom, South Africa and Canada where there are laws to protect homosexuals and to a large extend has provision of Civil Partnership/Gay Marriage, it would be incomprehensible to conclude that these countries will release citizens who have taken advantage of these progressive laws only to be extradited for prosecution and possible execution.

Finally, the bill states that; Any international law that contradicts the spirit of the Bill will be considered null and void in Uganda. This is clearly in contravention of the spirit of the democratic international community, Uganda has risen to the scale of an inhumane nation, if they will go to this extent to punish homosexuals, and goodness knows who is next on the line.

The Uganda Homosexual bill is outrageous and it would not hold firm, I believe that those with the problem are the legislators and those who considered drafting such an outrageous and draconian bill. The bill shows the height of dictatorship, patriarchy and authoritarianism

I have never seen anything so outrageous in my entire life, I believe this bill is anticipated to drum up political power and support from ignorant people, this is almost the return of tyranny.

I want to encourage all LGBT leaders of Uganda, allies, human right defenders and others. LGBT people, friends, families need to march out to parliament and demand their rights. This is the time that we need to work with the LGBT people, their families, allies and other marginalized groups or communities to ensure that the government understands the lives of LGBT people as up to 10% of the entire population are homosexuals and or sexual minorities.

Also I ask that all LGBT human rights groups, organizations and movements around the world participate in calling for a cancellation of this bill with immediate effect.

In Solidarity

Revd Rowland Jide Macaulay

Friday, October 23, 2009

Threatened with Death

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil.1:21

When I took on the task of teaching and preaching the “inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ” little did I comprehend the violence towards me, let alone my community, friends and family. I continue to hold on to my faith in Christ and knowing that the principle of God’s love for all people is still the same.

Matthew 5:43- 45a “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’ But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of God in heaven”

I was faced in Nigeria within two years the harrowing task of protecting myself and others from violence simply for the fact that we wanted the freedom to be, freedom to worship God as God’s legitimate Children who just happen to be sexual minorities amongst other things.

Jesus and his disciples had a dialogue in Matthew 19 concerning divorce, adultery and other issues, in verse 10, “The disciples said to Jesus, if this is the situation between husband and wife, it is better not to marry” recognising the difficulties and challenges of the world at the time and yet to come in verses 11 and 12 “Jesus replied, Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs (gay) because they were born that way, others were made that way by men, and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

What people in our society, especially in Africa and particularly in Nigeria is asking us to accept is the normative standard of heterosexual lifestyle. This cannot be compatible with the illustration of Jesus as many do not wish to understand the differences we embody in Christ.

My home was vandalised early September 2008 followed by abusive notes and comments on our video blog, I have listed below the notes sent to me recently.

One thing I know and I will say is that I am not ashamed of the inclusive gospel of Christ that includes everyone and I will continue to work until everyone is present around the communion table of Christ. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” Rom 1:16.

There are many more threats, intimidation, oppression, cruelty which does not fit in the agenda of God, In John 15:18-20 “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. 19If you belonged to the world,* the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you, “Servants* are not greater than their master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you”

Please feel free to view our video blog.

More love more power

Revd Rowland Jide Macaulay

Subject: Comment posted on "Nigerian Homosexual Pastor Introduced" From: chykxx Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 14:55:45 -0700
"My Dear... Personaly i am coming after you and I will KILL You.... You will die and not live.. ANTICHRIST in Nigeria, God forbid.. I will seek you and Kill you Satan"

From: Martins .Andrew Oshen Subject: You are are warnedDate: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 4:23 PM

I pray to God that your place in hell be permanently constructed for you jide and your fellowers.

We do not need you in Nigeria, Nigeria is a God own Nation and her people, God's, i represent the Political Youths of Nigeria and soon, we will judge you on earth...

If you know what is good for you, close that pit of hell and leave Nigeria, i will not warn you again and when next i had ro sound a warning, it will be directed to your parents and siblings...

From: Martins .Andrew Oshen Subject: We have not started yet with you...Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 9:26 AM

For and foremust, i do not know to address you.

Regarding Jide's stand on homosexuality and his courage to fixe up that gay hotel called church in lagos, he has insulted us as a nation, why did he not open his church in london where he claimed to have grown and schooled?.

For your information, i work for the Federal Republic as a youth leader on appointment and in no distance time, if the House of Rainbow is not closed down, i assure you that we will not only close it ourselves, we will burn it down and God willing, if we lay hands on Jide Macaulay, he will be at the left hand side of God and if we don't, i repeat, if we dont, then there will be no other option than to seek redress within his immediate family.

Tell him that there is no place to run to ot hide in Nigeria, i have personally obtained his residential address and those of his parents and siblings up to his home town, the best thing to do is close that evil house of a church and return back to the UK where our other members will be willing to recieve him...

For three years, we have watched him from a distance hoping he will get to understand the Nigerian religious society but he didn't and now, we have decided to do it our way, not even his local, state or even the Federal Government will be able to help him way when we come looking for him.

Be warmed...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Christianity and SEX

Christianity and Sex by Revd Karl Hand

In my few years of experience as a pastor, I have been surprised to find that I get asked more questions about sexuality than any other topic. It’s a surprise to me because for a long time, I assumed people would ask pastors about God, salvation and other spiritual topics, and also because I don’t think of myself as much of an expert on the subject. Why would people come to a pastor with these questions? What I am beginning to realise is that finding sexual integrity is the burning question that confronts people who want a relationship with God today. People are struggling and searching for answers, and that the answers aren’t easy to find.

People who look for a sexual ethic from their faith, rather than in pop-psychology, or what they first heard in the ‘school-yard’ are looking in the right place – but I wonder how well equipped the churches are to give advice on the subject. Christianity’s two great legacies of the twentieth century have been predatory abuses of power, and the exclusion and repression of people who are ‘different.’ We have not earned the trusted place we hold. We have to grow up, and become people who do deserve that trust. As Natasha Holmes, our worship leader at CRAVE MCC sings, ‘if not us, who?’

The standard Christian response in the area of sexuality has been to look to the Bible for answers about sexuality. ‘God created sex, so surely God’s word has the answers!’ ‘It’s like operating a car; you have to follow the instruction manual!’ But when people turn to the Bible (instead of believing what they are told it says), they find it’s a lot more complicated than a how-to guide or a road map. They find creation stories explaining the origin of male and female, erotic poetry, tales of ancient people’s sexual lives to match anything they would find on Jerry Springer, and a few commandments forbidding everything from incest (Leviticus 18) to inter-racial marriage (Deuteronomy 7:1-3) and many other strange laws including the need to pay a “bride price” for a wife (Exodus 22:16-17), and even to sleep with the wife of a dead sibling (Deuteronomy 5:5-10). An honest reader would have to admit this isn’t much help in the twenty-first century as an instruction manual for sexuality.

For thousands of years, the answer of Christianity on sexual ethics was to choose between celibacy or marriage, and to ‘save yourself’ for marriage. There is nothing in the Bible to recommend this ethic, and for many people, those options don’t work. A century or more ago, the thin fabric of this moral facade was unravelled when Freud showed that sexual repression was the cause of sometimes very severe mental illness. People began to realise that the Christian ideal wasn’t working for many people. Then the ‘sexual revolution’ came, and ‘free love’ was the answer of Western Culture – ‘if it feels good, do it.’ But to be blunt, most people find that way of living is shallow, deeply unsatisfying, and that it has an emotional cost that’s just not okay. A generation on from ‘hippie culture’, what I constantly experience is that many people have reached a place that is like despair. Marriage hasn’t worked for them (or they don’t want marriage, or they are legally denied marriage because they are not heterosexual), but ‘free love’ has no integrity for them. There has to be a better choice than this!

I use the title “Good Sex” with a deliberate double meaning. I’m talking about moral goodness, and also about sex that is good because it’s hot! Sex that has integrity is fulfilling and exciting. Sex with no integrity will never stimulate more than your body – and will probably leave your deeper, true self feeling cold. Conservative Christianity is right when it claims that it is God who makes us sexual beings – so the desires we have are really a clue to God’s purposes for our lives! If we desire things like a fulfilling sex-life, intimacy and integrity it’s because we’re on the right path. God is reaching out to us through those desires.

Like many Christians, I believe that the Bible is the right place to look for guidance. But if we are going to have anything worthwhile to say to a generation who desperately need the truth of the gospel to be spoken to them in a way that engages their sexual being, we must give up the search for easy answers. What we find might be very different to what is pushed as ‘family values’ by the religious right.