Human rights activist David Kato of Sexual Minorities Uganda was brutally murdered on Jan. 26. Previously, Kato had received death threats for his advocacy on behalf of GLBT human rights. The Ugandan government is still considering a bill that would impose the death penalty for homosexual acts; the bill would also make it a crime to know that someone is GLBT and not turn them in. American conservative Christian leaders have been instrumental in drafting and promoting this genocidal legislation. Read more at Truth Wins Out.
Kato worked closely with Other Sheep, a courageous program of ministry to GLBT Christians in the developing world. It was he who invited them to establish a presence in Uganda. Read a tribute to him by Steve Parelli on the Other Sheep blog.
In a 2007 unpublished editorial that he co-authored with Parelli, Kato wrote:
…Integrity Uganda calls upon the Christian churches of
Uganda to reexamine the scriptures in light of the stories
of gay Christians of Uganda, the social sciences and
psychology. But, says Integrity, though the churches of
Uganda may not reexamine its theological position on
homosexuals, they must be clear on its teaching of
fundamental human rights and the liberty of conscience
when it comes to its official policy on gay rights.
The Christian doctrine of the liberty of conscience
teaches that no mere human authority – civil government
or religious institutions – has power to grant or to withhold
from men the exercise of freedom in matters of religion.
Homosexuality is a private religious matter between God
and the individual. Liberty of conscience teaches that it is
the individual’s inalienable right to exercise his judgment
without restraint in religious matters and to give
expression, freely and fully to his religious convictions,
without human dictation or interference. Not all religious
people believe homosexuality is irreligious, ungodly or
sinful. More and more, Christians in South Africa, Nigeria,
the Americas, Europe and other parts of the world are
changing their views on the Bible and homosexuality….
Protestants have historically taught that government is the
government of all the people and that government must
not put into law the doctrines of any one religion.
For government, the question of gay rights is a
fundamental human rights question only and can never
become a theological question. For the church, because
of the Christian doctrine of liberty of conscience, the
church is not to impose upon others its teachings on
homosexuality through government legislation….
I was tempted to file this news item under “Signs of the Apocalypse” because if there is an Antichrist, surely a sign of his reign is the hijacking of “Christianity” to justify killing people because of whom they love.