Julius Oyet and David Bahati Claim Lou Engle Supports Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Lou Engle on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as reported in the Christian Post:

The head of a Kansas City, Mo.-based ministry on Thursday issued a formal apology after discovering that the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill was promoted during his prayer event in Uganda.

“After returning home, I was told that the Bill had been clearly promoted after I left the meeting,” said Lou Engle of TheCall. “I apologize that this took place and that my stated purpose of not promoting the Bill was compromised. I take responsibility for what was done on the stage of TheCall, even in my absence.”

…According to his statement Thursday, Engle explained that he met with Christian leaders in Uganda and found “not one” of them to be “carrying even an ounce of hatred for homosexuals.”

“They actually desired to influence the lawmakers in Uganda to lessen the penalties,” he said. “However, they were committed to raise up a principled stand to protect their people and their children from an unwelcome intrusion of homosexual ideology into an 83 percent Christian nation.”

“I appealed to them that in all their labor and their stand they express the mercy of Christ to broken people, but I also stood with them in their desire to not succumb to the political ideological pressures of the West and many of the voices of the Western Church that have come strongly against them,” he added.

I blogged on Engle’s prayer event here;  Michael Wilkerson at Religion Dispatches was present and his report prompted Engle’s statement.

Lou Engle on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as reported by Bishop Julius Oyet and David Bahati in conversation with Jeff Sharlet:

Both Oyet and Bahati told me that Engle had explicitly expressed his support for the bill, telling them that he had to lie to the Western media because gays control it. They said he said one thing to the BBC and then walked over to Bahati and said that he really supported the bill. Either Engle isn’t telling the whole truth, or Oyet and Bahati aren’t. I tend to believe Bahati here, since Engle didn’t mean anything to him until he met him that day. He hadn’t heard of him and decided to attend the rally only after I’d told him a few things about Engle. In other words, he left the rally thrilled with Engle based on that encounter with Engle alone. Clearly, Engle did something to please him.


…Here’s Oyet on the death penalty: “There is not the death penalty at the end for everybody. There is the death penalty at the end for aggravated homosexuality.” He explained that the death penalty already applies for four crimes in Uganda (child rape, treason, murder, and causing death by female genital mutilation) “So I want the world to understand,” Oyet continued “that homosexuality is not the first death penalty in Uganda. I think that U.S. journalists should make that known. It is not the first one, it is going to be the fifth one.”

…”If the Bible supports the death penalty which is true and then you call yourself a Christian nation, listen. If I would be killed because I am dying scripturally I can repent to God before I am killed but [if] I am [eliminated] from the Earth that’s ok… if the victim confesses or repents, we can waive it off. Something like that…. In my view, homosexuals should be grateful. But instead they are not. Why I’m saying they should be grateful is because in Ugandan culture if you go and rob someone, if you go and rape a child and people find you, they will kill you.”

For more background on Oyet, see here. Oyet is correct that “aggravated homosexuality” refers to repeat “offences” between consenting adults, although the Bill’s supporters have usually sought to downplay this point, which becomes apparent only when several passages in the Bill are cross-referenced.

Engle’s claim that he could not find a pastor with “even an ounce of hatred for homosexuals” is risible; many people have now seen the video of Martin Ssempa’s notorious presentation on the subject in a church in February, in which he deliberately conflated homosexuality with coprophilia (the video has since formed the basis for a number of satirical music remixes).