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Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Ugandan Pastor's Gay Porn Stunt Upsets U.S. Christians

February 18, 2010|5:28 pm

A Ugandan pastor, who is one of the chief supporters of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, on Wednesday screened gay porn in his church to the dismay of gay rights supporters and Christians alike.

The methods Martin Ssempa has used in trying to persuade people on how evil homosexuality is and garner support for the legislation have troubled Christians, including those who believe homosexual behavior is sin.

"I can’t speak for everyone, except that everyone was upset and for all different reasons," Kelsey Hartsell, a student from Pacific Lutheran University studying in Kampala – Uganda's capital city – told Dr. Warren Throckmorton, who started a grassroots movement to oppose the bill.

"Regardless of my position on homosexuality and/or the bill I can tell you what upset me was that ‘Pastor’ Ssempa was preaching against people encouraging hate and intolerance," she said. "He shamed himself as a pastor by disregarding what he thought of as sin as an action, and turned the people doing what he calls the sin into something less than human. From where I stand a pastor should be teaching forgiveness because no person as the right to judge another so even if he disagreed with their actions that doesn’t disqualify them from humanity."

According to Hartsell, who walked out with other PLU students in the middle of the presentation, Ssempa displayed pornographic photos of white men from about the 1970s "doing what he considered to be dangerous acts in the bedroom."

Throckmorton, associate professor of psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, says the latest event "demonstrates the extremes pursued by Rev. Ssempa to demonize homosexuals."

Though Throckmorton does not agree with homosexual behavior, he believes Christians should practice love and forgiveness as Jesus did in his day when dealing with sin.

Gay rights groups have denounced Ssempa's action, especially for showing the vulgar images in the presence of minors.

Defending his actions, Ssempa told the BBC's Network Africa program, "In Africa, what you do in your bedroom affects our clan, it affects our tribe, it affects our nation.

"We are in the process of legislation and we have to educate ourselves about what homosexuals do."

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda, but the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced to strengthen the criminalization of the behavior. Those suspected of "aggravated homosexuality" and who are HIV-positive or engage in sexual acts with those under 18 years of age could face life imprisonment or the death penalty. The measure also imposes punishment on those who support gay organizations or who know about a homosexual and fail to report it to authorities.

The bill has drawn international attention, mainly criticism from national and religious leaders.

President Obama recently called it "odious." Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, spoke out against the bill.

The Anglican Church of Uganda, meanwhile, released a statement earlier this month expressing support for the bill with amendments – one of which calls for the exemption of health care professionals, pastors and counselors who may minister to homosexuals or care for HIV patients from punishment.

Church leaders on the Uganda National Pastors Task Force Against Homosexuality have also backed the bill but recently recommended that the sentence for the offense of aggravated homosexuality be reduced from the death penalty to 20 years imprisonment.

Wednesday's screening wasn't the first time Ssempa presented questionable images. Last month another PLU student blogged about a similar incident.

"[T]the pastor came back to the stand and played this disgusting power point about what 'homosexuals do in their bedrooms.' (or what he thought occurred)," Lindsey Potter wrote in a blog. "I could not believe that a pastor was using such negative and vulgar images to try to persuade his audience. Several of my class mates were in tears, my mind was definitely feeling perplexed.

"I believe that the Bible is all about Gods grace and love, and in the end the only person who has the right to judge the conditions of our hearts is God."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/ugandan-pastor-s-gay-porn-stunt-upsets-u-s-christians-43825/