How should Anglicans outside Uganda respond?

To be blunt, we see Andrew Goddard and others at Fulcrum as something like wolves in sheeps clothing and are cautious of pointing readers in their direction. Consider that a recommendation that you decide for yourself about Fulcrum’s larger agenda.

That said, it’s interesting what Goddard is recommending regarding the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda:

[U]nless we are to succumb to cultural relativism, the proposed legislation cannot simply be ignored…. Be in contact with those we know in the Ugandan church. Many evangelicals have strong ties with the church – Archbishop Henry Orombi did not attend the recent ACC meeting because he was attending a New Wine conference in the UK! – and a number of dioceses, theological colleges and other bodies also have strong links. The Anglican Church in North America also includes many who were, until its formation, part of the Church of Uganda. Through personal relationships such as these we can find out more about the proposed law and the challenges of ministry and mission to GLBT people in Uganda and encourage church leaders to oppose legislation which is contrary to Anglican and wider Christian teaching and fulfil the commitments of Lambeth Conferences in relation to Anglican responses to homosexual people.

ACNA lies outside the Anglican Communion, but it does have strong ties with the Church of Uganda. Will Archbishop Bob Duncan, Bishop John Guernsey, St. James Newport Beach and all former Anglicans in North America heed Goddard’s counsel?

Goddard asserts that, “Great care is always needed when engaging with the internal politics of a quite different culture and there can be significant misunderstandings…. Megaphone diplomacy is unlikely to prove of much value and it is also clear that anything perceived as ‘external threats to the traditional heterosexual family’ within Uganda could actually lead to increased support for such legal developments.” If that’s true it’s all the more reason for those with relationships in the Church of Uganda to engage their Ugandan colleagues on this issue. Even so, they can and should make their views publicly known. Unlike in the Church of England there’s no evidence that within ACNA the bill is being widely debated nor strategies of response being considered. LGBT activists in Uganda do not fear a backlash from public condemnation of the bill; they fear the world’s silence.

Read Goddard’s entire essay. Thinking Anglicans has another fine roundup on the bill including news reports that the US and France have publicly condemned the bill. The US embassy said, “We urge states to take all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests, or detention.”

The Café’s previous posts on the anti-homosexual bill are here.

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