Back in the Spring, I reported on an ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda and hosted by Family Life Network (see links at the end of this post). Three Americans spoke by invitation of the FLN – Don Schmierer, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively.
(L to R, unknown woman, Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, Don Schmierer, Stephen Langa).
At the time, Schmierer and Lively received much critical attention for their presentations but the role of the International Healing Foundation and Caleb Brundidge went largely under the radar. No one from IHF, including Brundidge commented on the Ugandan trip at the time. However, Brundidge has broken his silence in the most recent IHF newsletter available on Richard Cohen’s website. Given the recent introduction of a bill in Uganda which would impose the death penalty on some offenses involving homosexuality and dramatically suppress free speech and assembly, it is appropriate to examine how IHF portrayed the conference and effects to the organization’s constituents.
Note that Cohen bills the trip to Uganda as a mission trip and seems proud of being represented there by Brundidge. As noted here and in footage provided by ExGayWatch, Cohen’s materials have been used by the group which convened after the ex-gay conference.
According to a report from an unidentified person in the ex-gay conference, Brundidge supported the continued criminalization of homosexuality.When he was asked by someone in the crowd: “Do you feel it is okay to decriminalise homosexuality?” he did not speak against it, instead indicating
That for the law to be effective, one must be caught in the Act. Laws should be done through a value of standards from which legislators draw a given law.
I am not sure what the last sentence means. While this may not be what Brundidge said, he has not replied to requests to describe what he said in Uganda.
However, in the IHF newsletter, he referred to the repressive situation in Uganda.
My trip was extremely busy and event filled. Here is a brief synopsis of what took place: My first engagement was to give a brief two to five minute testimony to the Ugandan Parliament.
Believe it or not, in present-day Uganda, homosexual behavior is either punishable by life in prison or death! Also pornography is illegal. The members of parliament are being pressured by Western and European sources to make pornography and homosexuality legal. Yes, homosexual behavior is incompatible with God’s Word, however, we tried to make them understand that there are definite causes for someone’s same-sex attraction (SSA), and therefore, change and transformation are possible. Our efforts were to help them understand a more compassionate response to anyone who experiences SSA.
While he says now that he advocated for compassion, I cannot find a clear statement that he opposed criminalization. Elsewhere in the article, Brundidge said:
One thing that God showed me while there is that many people are suffering in silence because of their SSA. As I mentioned, homosexual behavior is illegal and punishable by life in prison or even death. They have fear to go. On the other hand, the word is out on the street to the young people: If you want to make good money, pretend to be “gay.”
Reading the entire account, I don’t get the impression that Brundidge or Cohen would support death for homosexuals. However, there is little indication that they comprehend the dire situation there. Brundidge ends his account with a surreal appeal for more money.
I would like to thank those who supported my mission to Uganda. Please know that the work of IHF is being carried into all corners of the world. We so appreciate your contributions to keep hope alive!
On the contrary, the situation now is more dangerous and less conducive to hope than when Brundidge went to Uganda. Instead of appeals for money, I hope that IHF will issue an appeal to their Ugandan hosts to defeat the proposed bill.