Rick Warren opposes Uganda anti-gay bill — again

Rick Warren (Click on image for his YouTube message about Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill)
Rick Warren (Click on image for his YouTube message about Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill)

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren has again made clear that, although he’s no fan of gay rights, he opposes Uganda’s punitive Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” Warren sent a message on Twitter last Friday, stating, “An unjust law in Uganda is back in the news. I opposed it 3 yrs ago and I still do.”

The message included a link to Warren’s YouTube video from three years ago in which he said the bill was “unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals.”

Warren, who is the pastor of the huge Saddleback Church in southern California, had come under pressure in recent weeks because he had not spoken out about this year’s re-introduction of the Ugandan bill.

In a Washington Post commentary on Dec. 2, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, took note of Warren’s latest book tour and stated:

While Uganda is on the brink of genocide against LGBT people, Warren—one of America’s most influential pastors—is hawking his book instead of being a leader.

To be fair, Warren stepped up in December 2009, during the last threat of state-sponsored violence against LGBT people. He issued a heartfelt plea to Ugandan Christian leaders “to love our neighbors as ourselves.” He called the law “unjust, extreme and unchristian toward homosexuals.” He received strong pushback from Ugandan faith leaders and has not spoken about it publicly since. …

Rick Warren and other high-profile evangelical Christians such as Joel Osteen, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer need to take responsibility for their interpretation of the Bible and the power they wield in the religious world. It is time to speak out against this violence perpetrated in the name of Jesus.

About 13,500 people signed a petition organized by the online activist group Faithful America, calling on Warren to speak out against the bill.

The petition stated, “Rick Warren, it’s time for you to again speak out against the Ugandan legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty. Your history of associating with anti-gay extremists in Uganda means you have a moral obligation to work tirelessly to prevent this bill from becoming law.”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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