Bahati gets some encouragement

A group in Uganda called the “Forum for Kings and Cultural Leaders in Uganda” urged the government to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill yesterday. The news released reportedly said:

…homosexuality breaks the laws of nature, faith, the Constitution and the laws of culture and traditions

Bahati, cheered by the support said:

Mr Bahati, in a phone interview yesterday, welcomed efforts of the traditional leaders, saying “because at the end of the day, homosexuality is a danger to the culture that they are charged with protecting.”

While reading the article, I thought of my article titled, “Eliminating homosexuality: Nazi Germany and modern Uganda.” In it, I point out the attitudes of the National Socialists toward homosexuality. War criminal Josef Meisinger was the head of the Reich office charged with eliminating homosexuality. In a 1937 speech, he had this to say about the political reasons to combat homosexuality.

If one is really to appreciate the hidden danger of homosexuality, it is no longer enough to consider it as before from a narrowly criminal viewpoint. Because it is now so enormously widespread, it has actually developed into a phenomenon of the most far-reaching consequence for the survival of the nation and state. For this reason, however, homosexuality can no longer be regarded simply from the viewpoint of criminal investigation; it has become a problem with political importance. This being so, it cannot be the task of the police to investigate homosexuality scientifically. At the most it can take account of scientific conclusions in its work. Their task is to ascertain homosexual trends and their damaging effects, so as to avert the danger that this phenomenon represents for nation and state. No one says to the police: you shouldn’t arrest this thief because he might have acquired kleptomania. Similarly, once we have recognized that a homosexual is an enemy of the state, we shan’t ask the police-and much less the Political Police-whether he has acquired his vice or whether he was born with it. I should mention here that experience has shown beyond doubt that only a vanishingly small number of homosexuals have a truly homosexual inclination, that most of them by far have been quite normally active at one time or another and then turned to this area simply because they were sated with life’s pleasures or for various other reasons such as fear of venereal diseases. I should also say that, with firm education and order, and regulated labor, a great number of homosexuals who have come to the attention of the authorities have been taught to become useful members of the national community.

Note that the “danger” of homosexuality is framed in nationalistic terms, much as it is currently in Uganda. When one considers this nationalism along with the fervor that some religious leaders are inciting, and it should be clear why the situation must seem very precarious for homosexuals there.  

Brief Note: DC Mayor apologizes for PFOX commendation

You had to see this coming.

Parents and Friends of Ex-gays issued a press release today touting a certificate of appreciation given to Regina Griggs by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for her work as PFOX director. The certification lauded Griggs’:

dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions as Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

Call me a prophet. When I saw that news, I immediately figured that the Mayor’s office would issue a clarification or denial before the end of the day. And lo, and behold, as has been reported elsewhere, Mayor Fenty’s office released a statement apologizing for the certificate, saying in full:

A staff level error was made when the request for the certificate in question was fulfilled. We apologize for the error as it runs contrary to the Mayor’s vision of a more open and inclusive city. 

The Mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community as illustrated in his championing of the Marriage Equality legislation which he signed into law on December 18, 2009.

This full statement, courtesy of Mayor Fenty’s Director of Communications, Mafara Hobson, blames a staffer for the error and indicates he did not know what he was signing.

Some of the confusion could be the inclusion of “gays” in their title. The certificate mentions PFOX as being the Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays. However, their 2008 990 form confirms that the legal name of the organization does not include the gay part.

Another interesting point on the 990 is that PFOX reports to the IRS that it is a “Christian Support Ministry.” However, on the Path coalition website, they portray themselves as a non-religious group.

OneNewsNow distorts Karten sexual orientation change study

Dog bites man. OneNewsNow distorts sexual orientation research.

In a great example of why I hope Janet Porter’s prayer to take over the media is never realized, OneNewsNow distorts the import of Elan Karten’s doctoral dissertation research reported recently in Journal of Men’s Studies.

Here is the OneNewsNow title:

‘Orientation’ change efforts effective.

Here is a statement from Karten and Wade (p. 86):

The purpose of the study was not to replicate findings from prior research or establish the efficacy of this treatment.

Now the way NARTH discusses the study, one might think replication of prior change research was the intent, but it was not a study that was designed to “establish the efficacy” of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Rather, the authors surveyed 117 men who were trying to change and asked them what seemed to be working in their quest. It was not an outcome study and there were no follow up interviews with any of the subjects.

OneNewsNow says this:

Researchers at Fordham University have released a study showing that homosexual men can change their “orientation” by developing healthy, non-sexual relationships with other men.

As noted by the article, the study did not demonstrate change via any mechanism nor was the stated intent of the study to establish this finding. The study was not designed in such a way that change could be verified. Karten recruited participants from Journey Into Manhood participants and from therapists who conducted change therapy. The subjects were only required to have some same-sex attraction, meaning that we do not know how many, if any, exclusively homosexual men were in the study. There was only one measurement of sexual attraction via the survey with no follow up measures. Thus, change was not really measured, in that there was no pre-treatment or post-treatment assessments. Participants were asked to rate how helpful various interventions had been and various characteristics relating to masculinity.  Nothing causative can be inferred from any of the reported correlations.

There are several problems with the study which make any interpretations of findings speculative but I will return to that in a future post. For now, it is clear that the Karten article contradicts the reporting of OneNewsNow.

This is not the first time OneNewsNow has skewed facts regarding sexual orientation research. For instance, when the APA sexual orientation task force reported findings in August, 2009, OneNewsNow reported uncritically the incorrect view that the APA recommended that evangelical gays should change churches to join affirming groups. In my blog at US News and World Report, I pointed out that OneNewsNow refused a request to correct the record. In fact, when I called to point it out, the reporter hung up on me.

So when Janet Porter prays that Christians take over the media and that CBS should be the Christian Broadcasting System, I cringe. OneNewsNow is owned by the American Family Association, one of the sponsoring organizations for the May Day 2010 taking place this Saturday. In the program for that event, this prayer is offered for the media:

Media

-Repent for how the media has turned its backs on God and the truth.

-Repent for how they have become activists for evil.

-Invite God back into the media to guide and direct reporting in a truthful way. 

As noted in this video and the above prayer, Mrs. Porter proposes that truth will be served if Christians reclaim media. Well, I am all for truthful reporting. However, this OneNewsNow report demonstrates how beliefs about the truth can lead to inaccurate and biased reporting. To me, doing media Christianly at least involves getting all the facts and reporting them accurately, whatever the story might be.

Sexual Identity Therapy Framework resources

Peter LaBarbera today reprints Laurie Higgins critique of an article by Mark Yarhouse regarding the application of our sexual identity therapy framework (SITF). I am aware he does not mean to promote the framework but his articles have increased my emails about the framework and requests for referrals to therapists who practice in that manner. I refer them to the registry of practitioners who claim to use the SITF at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. However, a quick look will confirm that many areas of the country are unrepresented there. This area clearly needs to be developed.

Those affiliated with ISSI include people working in several graduate programs in counseling and we aware of other programs who inform students about the SITF. By far, the largest organization that offers information regarding the SITF is the American Association of Christian Counselors. Mark and I presented a preconference workshop at the 2007 AACC conference titled, Introduction and Clinical Application of the Sexual Identity Therapy Guidelines.”  A 3 CD set of that workshop is available on the AACC website. In 2008, Mark presented the SITF at the AACC West Region conference. A audio of that workshop is also available on the AACC website.

The website supporting the SITF is www.sitframework.com. There we have posted articles consistent with the SITF and a list of presentations regarding it. On YouTube, there is a two part demonstration of how I worked with BBC reporter David Akinsanya in 2005. Akinsanya had just left Love in Action early because he felt it did not fit him and his values. This interview was conducted in 2005 as the SITF was being developed. 

Wall Street Journal reporter has followed the development of the SITF with a 2007 article in the LA Times and then a 2009 piece in the Wall Street Journal. Wikipedia has an entry on the SITF. The APA’s 2009 sexual orientation task force cited the SITF favorably as a means for clients to therapeutically explore their options.

Much needs to be done to develop the model and describe how existing models are applied with it. Between us, Mark and I have trained several hundred mental health and ministry professionals in the model and look forward to providing more opportunities for supervision and training.

Lou Engle issues statement regarding The Call Uganda and Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Call Uganda will proceed as planned but Lou Engle just now released a statement which addresses the controversy over the upcoming assembly in Kampala. About Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Engle says, “…we do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill.” The statement also addresses issues from the California Prop 8 campaign.

TheCall Uganda Press Release: 

When TheCall was invited to come to Uganda our intent was to join with the leaders and the people of the great Ugandan Church in a gathering of fasting and prayer to confess our personal and national sins, to pray for God’s blessing on the nation, and for a great spiritual awakening among her youth. Personal and national repentance among Christians and prayer for spiritual awakening has been the core focus of TheCall since her inception. 

TheCall had no knowledge at the time, of the Uganda homosexual bill and the controversy surrounding it. TheCall was unaware that our genuine intent to encourage the Ugandan church in prayer would thrust us into an international controversy.

TheCall, in 2008, mobilized thousands to pray and fast in California that marriage would be upheld between a man and a woman, believing this to be God’s design for the good of society, family, and children. TheCall belief and intent has never been about promoting hatred toward the homosexual community as a whole or towards individuals who identify as LGBT. We have always sought to offer a message of love and redemption to those with same-sex attractions, though at times our communication could have been expressed more effectively and graciously. In this aspect, we humbly seek your forgiveness if we had not communicated God’s righteousness and mercy adequately.

Now recently, TheCall has been wrongfully marked and vilified as an organization promoting hatred and violence against homosexuals and as one that supports the Uganda bill as currently written. To the contrary, we have never made a private or a public statement of support for that bill. Though we honor the courage and stand with the stated purpose of the many Church leaders in Uganda who are seeking to protect the traditional and biblical family foundations of the nation, we have serious concerns with the bill as presently written, especially in terms of some of the harsh penalties for certain homosexual behaviors or offenses. Sadly, many around the world are identifying TheCall with these aspects of the bill. Our concern is not to avoid the controversy the bill is stirring up, but to give an accurate representation of biblical values and the heart of Christ for all humanity. Though TheCall is not afraid to take a clear stand on biblical truth on matters of sexuality, we are deeply concerned that TheCall ministry would not wrongfully reflect the character of Christ, and we do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill. 

Therefore TheCall, though continuing to be held in Uganda, will not promote this bill. In fact, we challenge the Church of Uganda to join with Christians around the world, to first examine our own moral failures, confess our own lack of love, and from that heart seek to establish true biblical standards, reflecting compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction and equal justice for criminal offenses committed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. We believe this also reflects the heart and intent of the Christian leaders of Uganda.

In releasing this statement, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate our deep love for the homosexual community and, as followers of Jesus, our commitment to oppose all hatred and violence directed towards that community. 

For TheCall,

Lou Engle

///

I appreciate the ideals expressed here in broad conceptual terms. However, to me, it seems that the application of those ideals would lead to a rejection of criminalization altogether. I do hope that the opposition to hatred and violence expressed here will be made clear to rally-goers on Sunday.

Update: This statement has been added to The Call website…

The Call removes link to Uganda campaign from website; KC protest planned today?

According to The Call Uganda website, a meeting calling for national repentance is slated for May 2, 2010. However, Sunday night the reference to Uganda disappeared from The Call website (see Google cache for the previous reference). I do not know what the disappearance means. Previous references to plans for The Call Uganda were accidentally released based on incorrect information.

Late last week, a coalition of gay advocacy groups expressed hopes that The Call would not come to Uganda with the intention of stirring up more animosity toward gay people.

In another case of disappearing information, an press release regarding a Kansas City protest of The Call, planned for today, has gone missing from the Kansas City Star.

Here is what shows up on Google news:

KC Faith Leaders To Hold Tuesday Anti-Homophobia Vigil Kansas City Star – Gretchen Renfro – 15 hours ago…Now, anti-abortion extremist Lou Engle of TheCall Ministries, is slated to go to Uganda on May 2 for The Call Uganda, a mass evangelical stadium rally in

Prior posts on The Call:

Ugandan activist group denounces The Call Uganda

The Call Uganda: Can a nation be changed in a day?

The Call Uganda and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Note:

Are you awake yet?

We’re here for a great awakening to understand that politics are simply the ideological vessel that God has allowed to be in society today that will determine what happens in the soul of the nation. So we cannot be idle and we cannot be silent.

       -Cindy Jacobs, Generals International, Liberty University, April 15

Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International, wants to wake you up. Her ministry sponsored a conference March 4-6 called Convergence: A Cry to Awaken a Nation which brought together charismatic leaders who have

a sharp and strong message of prayer and crying out to see the nation experience a Great Awakening that turns us back to God.

And then April 15-16, she was a prominent speaker at the Freedom Foundation’s confab titled, The Awakening 2010. While there, she said some remarkable things about the relationship between Christianity and government. You can hear some of her views here.

In addition to the citation at the beginning of this post, Jacobs said,

But the point is, we have to say this: does the Creator have a right to say how nations are governed? Of course he does. I think it’s John Wycliffe, I know it is, in 1382 that said “the Bible is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

The quote she attributes to Wycliffe was not delivered accurately.  According to the Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Wycliffe said

The Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The preposition “for” could imply that the Bible is “for the purpose of” government or it could mean that the Bible is “in favor of” government of, by and for the people. However, the meaning is probably a moot point for two reasons. One, it doesn’t really matter much in the modern context what Wycliffe said and two, Wycliffe probably did not write the quote about the Bible being the government.

I don’t fault Ms. Jacobs for assuming the accuracy of the quote but several respected sources doubt it. For instance, Eugene Volokh is a widely followed law professor and blogger on legal issues who investigated this quote attributed to Wycliffe. His cursory review found no primary source evidence that the quote came from Wycliffe or the Wycliffe Bible, saying,

This provenance, though, smacked of myth to me, and it appears likely that it is indeed a myth. I haven’t checked the prologue myself, because it’s long, the only version I could find was in a very bad font and not searchable, and the matter is too tangential to my article to track down. (The article is about Thomas Cooper, and I decided just not to mention the possibility that his earlier version might have been the indirect source for Lincoln’s famous quote.) But here’s what our reference librarian Stephanie Plotin reports:

You will need to read Plotin’s lengthy review to get the fullness of why I think the quote is wrongly attributed to Wycliffe. In any event, the authorship is not as important as Jacobs’ misquote. She misquotes it, probably inadvertantly, to bolster her view that the Bible is a proper document for civil governance.

The next big gathering which is designed to operate like aftershave on the nation’s face is MayDay2010. Ms. Jacobs is all over that one as well, along with main mover and awakener, Janet Porter. Probably waking up a lot of liberals, GOP Congressmen (e.g., Randy Forbes, R-VA), tea partiers (Allen Unruh) and religious right luminaries (e.g., James Dobson, Tim Wildmon, Mat Staver) will share the stage with New Apostolic Reformation charismatic leaders (e.g., Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce). This political-religious coalition wants to wake all of us up to the need to reclaim the seven mountains of culture.

Speaking of the seven mountains, check out this prior post and this video:

In the program of the May Day 2010, the Seven Mountains teaching appears with a variety of reclamation objectives. 

Prayers of Repentance for the Seven Mountains of Culture

The Seven Mountains as listed decades ago by Bill Bright, Francis Schaeffer, and Loren Cunningham with sub-points for each mountain developed by the May Day 2010 Committee

Family

-Repent on behalf of our individual sins—ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit.

-Repent for divorce and how we have re-defined marriage — Invite God back into marriage.

-Repent for how we have treated family members, including the elderly and disabled.

-Invite God back into families, hospital decisions, hospices, etc.

Religion

-Repent for pastors — Invite God to direct the Church’s role in the culture.

-Repent for churches that are “asleep.”

-Repent for churches that have compromised the truth in an attempt to be more popular.

Education

-Repent for how we have kicked God out of school, prohibited prayer, and punished Christians.

-Repent for what has been taught with godless, evolutionary textbooks.

-Repent for how children have been taught about homosexuality and led astray from the truth.

-Invite God back into our classrooms, teaching, and policy.

Arts & Entertainment

-Repent for how we have desecrated God with our music — Invite God to reign supreme in music and the arts.

-Repent for how we’ve assaulted God in our movies and television programs and exported our sin to other nations.

Business

-Repent for greed and stealing from God what rightfully belongs to Him in tithes and offerings.

-Repent for the businesses that perform abortions, produce obscene material, or offend Him in other ways

-Invite God back into the managing of our finances.

Government

-Repent for how we have turned from God in Congress and our legislatures— Invite God to direct our lawmaking.

-Repent for how we have turned from God in our military — Invite God in every area from prayer in Jesus’ name to our military strategies and defense.

-Repent for our judicial system, for shedding innocent blood, desecration of marriage, and unrighteous verdicts — Invite God back into it and every decision we make.

-Repent for the executive branch (President & Governors) — Invite God back in to guide, direct and govern.

Media

-Repent for how the media has turned its backs on God and the truth.

-Repent for how they have become activists for evil.

-Invite God back into the media to guide and direct reporting in a truthful way.

There is a lot I could discuss but let’s start with the media.

Leading the MayDay2010 rally is Janet Porter. Ms. Porter also spoke at the Jacobs’s Convergence conference noted above. Before she spoke she prayed for the reclamation of the media mountain.  Give a listen…

I want the media to report truthfully but I think that prayer could be directed at several Christian media outlets as well who do not report accurately even when errors are pointed out. Christians in the media do not guarantee accurate and truthful reporting. What worries me about this, beyond the obvious totalitarian tone here, is how misguided this request is. If CBS was the Christian Broadcasting System, what would change? Would there be no bias in reporting or would there be a different kind of bias? The Christian view of human nature doesn’t inspire confidence that the situation would improve much.

Whether it be media or government, I am bothered about the prospects of a religiously based takeover. Even if one believes that Christian people would make the best rulers, judges or reporters, one must ask which Christians will rule and reign? Reformed, apostolic, orthodox, liberal, anabaptist, Catholic?  The state instituting one view of Christianity does not have a good history. There is much more I could say but for now, let me close with a quote from Baptist minister, John Leland (1754-1841), (see page 6):

It has often been observed by the friends of religion established by human laws, that no state can long continue without it; that religion will perish, and nothing but infidelity and atheism prevail. Are these things facts? Did not the Christian religion prevail during the first three centuries, in a more glorious manner than ever it has since, not only without the aid of law, but in opposition to all the laws of haughty monarchs? And did not religion receive a deadly wound by being fostered in the arms of civil power and regulated by law?

I would add that in Romans 13, Paul wrote that the new believers were to submit to those “haughty monarchs.” On the other hand, Paul did not argue that politics was the “ideological vessel that God has allowed to be in society today that will determine what happens in the soul of the nation.”  

Postscript: One of the other conferences which was to usher in the Third Great Awakening was canceled recently due to lack funds, which I take to mean, lack of participation.Perhaps, some people are waking up.

Daily Monitor: Cabinet split over Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Daily Monitor is doing some digging and reporting what seems to be some conflict over how to proceed with Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality BIll.

Two Cabinet ministers have disagreed over the proposed softening of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that seeks to punish those involved the act.

The Committee, however, agreed that promotion of homosexuality should be criminalised. “The law should provide that all the parties: publishers, printers, distributors of any materials that promote homosexuality should all be liable to have committed an offence,” the minutes read in part.

Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige who chaired the Cabinet Committee tasked with finding possible ways of amending MP David Bahati’s Bill and counterpart James Nsaba Buturo of the Ethics docket failed to agree on the recommendations of the committee.

According to correspondences seen by Sunday Monitor, although the Cabinet Committee was supposed to be attended by seven ministers, only three attended the meeting that took place February 22 in Kampala.

Those who attended are Mr Mwesige and State Minister for Foreign Affair Isaac Musumba together with Education Minister Namirembe Bitamazire.

Missed meeting

Those who are on the committee but did not attend the meeting are Gabriel Opiyo (Gender Minister), Kabakumba Masiko (Information Minister), Fred Ruhindi (Justice State Minister) and Dr Buturo.

In a letter dated March 11, Dr Buturo wrote to Mr Mwesige complaining: “The report of the Cabinet Committee … is not in the spirit of the said assignment. There are other concerns that I personally have which that report has not captured.” Dr Buturo argued that Mr Bahati, “an important player in the Bill” should also be invited for consultations in another meeting.

But Mr Mwesige, who chaired the meeting, wrote back on March 15: “The report is already scheduled on Agenda of Cabinet. I am therefore not in position to hold another meeting of the committee as your letter suggests.”

In their recommendations, the committee argued that the title of the Bill; Anti-Homosexuality, is stigmatising and appears to be targeting a particular group of people. They therefore want the “useful provisions of the proposed law” incorporated into the Sexual Offences Act.

Unfortunately, the desire to criminalize consenting adults remains according to this report. Opponents of the bill need to do more than protest. We need to make the case that criminalization is not an appropriate state action.

Click here to see all my posts on Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Bill.

Wilderness Outcry is off

Wilderness Outcry, touted as the beginning of the Third Great Awakening, is off. From the WO website this morning:

Official Update

Dear Friend of DSM and Wilderness Outcry,

We are very sorry to announce that due to a lack of funds, the large 5-day gathering called Wilderness Outcry will no longer take place this upcoming summer. We believe this vision is of the Lord, and certainly no one can deny the desperate need of our nation for prayer, but the reality is that provision for the high cost of doing an event like this – most of which must be paid in advance – has simply not materialized.

This was never intended to be a money-making event. Without charging a registration fee for attending, we knew our costs would be several hundred thousand dollars. We were confident we could raise this money. We were wrong. The line between true faith and presumption can be very fine sometimes, and our ability to truly discern God’s will can be difficult. Obviously, we fell short in both areas.

We are saddened and grieved with this development and repent for any presumption on our part. We sincerely ask your forgiveness for any inconvenience this has caused you.

For those of you who have registered and paid for a campsite, we will issue you a full refund. For those of you who have donated to Wilderness Outcry, you will be receiving a personal email from my office.

To contact my office with any questions, email: questions@wildernessoutcry.com.

For awakening,

Dutch Sheets

Much of the site has been disabled. You can read the promo for the conference here.

Here is a local news report on the cancellation.