Rick Santorum must be proud that his new employer, WorldNetDaily, is promoting pastor Scott Lively’s endorsement of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Lively helped craft the original bill, which called for the death penalty for gays and lesbians, but ultimately distanced himself from the legislation that made homosexuality a crime punishable by death. This week Lively, who has always supported the criminalization of homosexuality, came out in favor of a proposed version of the bill that swaps out the death penalty in favor of life in prison for gays and lesbians. It would also criminalize advocacy of equal rights. Lively argues that the bill would prevent the “homosexualization of Ugandan culture.”
First, the Bible has always defined homosexuality as a crime, and not just in the Mosaic Law. Homosexuality was condemned by God long before Moses declared it a capital crime (by God’s own instruction), and God’s condemnation of it was reaffirmed repeatedly in the New Testament. Preceding Moses, there is the account of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, and a somewhat similar account in Judges 19. According to Rabbinic tradition, even the Great Flood of Noah in Genesis 6-9 was precipitated by homosexual sin. In the New Testament, Chapter 1 of Romans not only condemns homosexuality as “depraved,” but reaffirms the death penalty for it as well (verses 18-32). I Corinthians 6:9-11, the “ex-gay” passage, both condemns homosexuality and reports that some of the Corinthians to whom the letter was written were themselves recovered homosexuals who had been healed and delivered by faith in Christ. These are just a few of the numerous Bible passages addressing homosexuality, all of which condemn it in unequivocal terms.
Second, in all the media-driven hysteria about the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill, one glaring fact has been consistently omitted (despite my having pointed it out to nearly every “journalist” who has interviewed me). The fact is, Ugandan law is typical of most African law in that it tends to be very harsh in the letter, but very lenient in the application. I doubt very much that anyone arrested under the new law (if it passes) will receive anything close to the jail terms allowed for in the bill.
Third, and most importantly, there is one easy, guaranteed method of protecting oneself from ever being subject to the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda: Don’t commit sodomy! We all seem to forget, in the dense propaganda haze of American popular opinion, that homosexuality is defined by voluntary sexual acts. Homosexuals are no more compelled to commit sodomy with each other than a married man is compelled to cheat on his wife.
In my opinion, the Ugandan anti-homosexuality bill is still too harsh in the letter. I would prefer something closer to the approach several American states have taken toward marijuana: Criminalize it, but minimize the penalty and turn a blind eye toward discrete violations. Indeed, this would be my prescription for dealing with homosexuality (and all sex outside of marriage) in the United States. This would preserve basic freedom of choice for people who choose to inhabit various subcultures out of the mainstream, yet provide the larger, marriage-based society with the legal power to prevent sex activists from advocating their lifestyles to children in the public schools or to flaunt their sins in “pride” parades through the city streets.
However, since I didn’t write the Ugandan bill and have no power to redraft it on my own terms, and since the alternative to passing this bill is to allow the continuing, rapid, foreigner-driven homosexualization of Ugandan culture, I am giving the revised anti-homosexuality bill my support.