Lesley’s Blog picked up the news (reported in The Guardian) that the Ugandan gay rights activist, David Kato, has been brutally bludgeoned to death on account of his homosexuality. Sadly, The Guardian’s report goes on to comment that
Ugandan society is, in general, homophobic – but in recent years the anti-gay feeling has been stoked by religious leaders, a group of US evangelicals and politicians.
Again sadly, among those “religious leaders” are some members of the clergy of the Anglican province of Uganda. As with the outworking of the historic antisemitism of the Christian church (the subject of an earlier post), I find myself asking how so-called ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be complicit in such things. And again I wonder just how does a gospel of love and forgiveness, that teaches us to treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves, that commands us not only to pray for enemies but actively to do good for them, become perverted into this kind of brutal homophobia?
And yet again I remind myself that, whatever context I am in, I need to be careful in the language I use and in my attitude to others. I need to remind myself never to use words (or perform actions) that dehumanise, or worse, demonise, others. Rather I need to use language and deeds that affirm others’ humanity and that affirm God’s amazing and gracious love for all.