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Uganda: On the screening of gay porn in church

Has Pastor Martin Ssempa gone too far?
Over 300 people were gathered in church last week by the controversial anti- gay bill supporter Pastor Ssempa to watch gay porn for back up support for the anti- gay bill. His strong attempts to make the bill relevant even after it is clear that the President Museveni has trashed it and his publicized “million man march”  was supposed to come to a halt as it was obstructed for “security concerns”.

The church was packed as many people came to see what homosexuals really do in their bedrooms, pastor Ssempa then went on to show graphic images of men in situations.

An interactive Kenyan site capitalfm.co.ke discusses the issue:

KAMPALA, Uganda, Feb 17 – A pastor seeking to bolster Uganda's anti-gay laws which already make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment screened gay porn in a packed Kampala church Wednesday in a bid to drum up support.

The screening was attended by around 300 supporters crammed into an evangelical church in the Ugandan capital after plans for a “million-man march” were thwarted by police:

“We had planned to have a million-man and -woman march in Kampala but unfortunately we were told that we could not march because of security concerns,” Martin Ssempa told the crowd.

Police in the Ugandan capital Kampala blocked the demonstration that was due on the same day and he moved the rally to Jinja:

On Sunday, Police moved to halt a planned demonstration in support of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill saying that the government is still sorting ‘issues out’ as pro-gay activists under the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kampala secretly met to condemn the same bill.

…[Inspector of Police Major General Kale] Gen. Kayihura confirmed that he hasn’t cleared the demonstration and said, “We asked them to postpone the demonstration because government has some issues to sort out and they agreed,”.

Homosexuals in Uganda are still vulnerable to his attacks as he continues to advocate the killing of gays and life imprisonment. His support for the bill is so overwhelming by a show of his organized march and screening of gay porn in church to expose gays to more hate; the legislation to demonize homosexuals is so strong as more people embrace his articulate and charismatic power to influence. Changing attitude highlights from GUG blog on how people applaud to his sermons on how the bible says gays should be killed:

In his report about Ssempa’s gay pornography Ash Wednesday in church, gug says he has heard that some mainstream Christians have had enough and are going to publicly oppose the bill. They are Anglicans and their strongly heart-felt opposition will be in marked contrast to the ‘wishy washy hypocrisy’ of the Church of Uganda. If they are to have any more credibility, says gug, Christians will have to claim back their Church.

Gug watched the programme Agenda Uganda on NTV last night, in which Pastor Solomon Male justified the killing of gay Ugandans because they have refused to change. He said gays should be killed because the Bible says so, and the audience applauded – another extraordinary message for Ash Wednesday.

The debate continues on how culture rewards people who advocate the killing of gays and the pastor airing his sentiments and how he has gone to far. Below are some of the comments left on Capital FM by readers:

Haiya.This whole issue can be looked at in two perspectives,one-A church as a group of people have the right to give out their views as far as homosexuality and lesbianism is concerned.This is because one of the purpose of the church is to mold and produce upright people of the nation. Since police deny them an opportunity to match and air their views in open places, there was no other way of informing the poor/innocent citizens of the facts of homosexuality life,other than to enter into there places of work and teach them there followers. On the other side,the pornographic films are not supposed to be shown inside the God's temple.It could have been maybe at Mandela stadium where,though not sure,any group can demonstrate. Therefore let us not only see that part of showing porn at church but how will the common man in the village know what is good and /or bad of homo/heterosexuality? Lets not deny pastors of talking about the issue.

This is one of the results of being a mediocre church. The devil is very tactical so he knows how to do ‘infotainment’ even on the pulpit. Satan has used Martin Ssempe to entertain people who came to praise their creator, He has also used the pastor to educate people on bedroom gay instead of teaching God's word. Jesus is coming sooner than we think. That Kampala church is not a congregation but a crowd of onlookers and idlers. No wonder the reporter calls them crowd. How can they sit and watch,instead of ousting the pastor?

It is very worrying at this moment in Uganda to see a “man of God” i hear “Dr,Pastor Martin Ssempa” doing a disgrace to the Christians of Uganda and East Africa as a block. In Uganda to start with promoting pornography is illegal, Un christian/un Godly if its done in church, To worsen matters its un cultural/ un African to talk about sex in public irrespective of being homosexual or heterosexual porn. This makes me wonder, Do we really have law enforcement people in Uganda? or the Right wing Christians are becoming untouchable simply because the state house is full of right wing Christians starting with the Big man to the gardener? Having met one on one with the LGBTI activists in Uganda several times, i have come to believe and respect them for the work they are doing, simply because one has to step on them for them to wake up and say we are being stepped on. These people do not condone Defilement and pedophilia irrespective of sexuality. So that leaves me wondering How is it the church's business for what 2 consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom? Is the church out of work or its clergy men are just too obsessed with sex and how people have it? Fellow Christians, lets get our facts right about the responsibilities of the church and the state. lets not mix the two otherwise we shall find ourselves having canon laws or Quranic laws governing us. I am not saying they are bad, but they don't fit anymore because they are not fair to the non believers. “Give God what belongs to God and to Ceaser ………”

Follow this links to read more comments.

  • http://itsnotalecture.blogspot.com David Wescott

    any reaction from bloggers in Uganda?

  • Katharine Ganly

    Seriously? I am beyond words. This is ridiculous. I cant believe the lengths this man will go to.

    “Has Pastor Martin Ssempa gone too far?” YES. Yes he has.

  • Kieran Conroy

    The actions of this pastor, trying to demonize gay people with pornography are despicable. Someone could find something sick on the internet to make ANY kind of sex seem horrifying– and in a church? Gross! Its also clear this is deeply offensive to many people’s culture. The man is seeking to incite violence and hate in the name of the Prince of Peace, who clearly warned what happens to those who “live by the sword.”

    Nevertheless, I am grateful for these insightful quotes from other religious leaders in Uganda. It is important not to steriotype or simplify the complex struggle of many voices within Uganda, or impose ourselves arrogantly on them as outsiders.

    At the same time, that does not mean staying silent if grave threats to people’s lives or basic human rights are present. Slavery is fully condoned in the Bible, yet it took pressure and cooperative pressure from people of many countries and races to put an end to its legal existence in the 19th Century.

    I believe its important for nations around the world not to merely voice their strong concerns about this law, but also pray for the Ugandan people and respect their own struggle to make sense of this serious human rights issue and their own religious commitments. The US had many laws, if not quite so severe, on its books for a long time as well.

  • Carolina Rumuat

    Porn, of any kind doesn’t represent love. Pastor showed such thing to his congregation is beyond my comprehension. He couldn’t prove anything in the end, all he has done was disgracing his years of ministry and turning people away from the truth. Shame.

  • Carolina Rumuat

    Btw, great piece Hauté

  • Pierce

    The man is a genius. What better way to learn about the gay lifestyle?

    He could extend the idea to use regular porn to educate his flock about marriage and the heterosexual lifestyle in general.

    All Glory to God!

    Brilliant!

    • masihi banda

      If you think this man, Martin Ssempa is a brilliant guy to pull this off then why don’t you and your friends join his church. See how brilliant that would be. Have you forgotten that lust, homosexuality, profanity, and pornography is a sin against God. This man is nothing but a devil in disguise. He should be severely dealt with and thrown out of his church. He is guilty of a great sin for which there is no forgiveness. He disobeyed God and the church. He had the audacity to desecrate the church and faith of the people. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that came to destroy the sheep of Lord’s pasture. May God bless His Church, Amen.

      • Haute Haiku

        Masihi Banda, I don’t think that’s what he meant, Kind of reading Sarcasma’ didn’t you find that too? Am I wrong Pierce?

        Don’t you like him coz of the porn, In church?
        It’ll be wrong if I say his church is a sham.

        • masihi banda

          Haiku
          Sarcasm or not I believe Pierce’s comments were in bad taste. Pierce was trying to be funny at a time when the whole world was shocked and feeling sick about the whole incident. I kept asking myself is this how Christianity functions in Uganda? If so they are bunch of heathens not a church. At the time when I read the post my own thoughts drifted towards all kinds of skepticism. Thinking may be it wasn’t a church after all. How could such a thing happen without the knowledge of church members? Again if the members were a part of this game too, it wasn’t a church.
          As a Christian I believe pornography is a sin and people who admire such wickedness will be judged and punished by God. The Bible teaches us to be holy and pure in mind and body.

          • Pierce

            I was making a serious point, though. The intention was for people to come to church, to learn about the gay lifestyle, and to be repelled by it.

            The assumption that gay porn represents the gay lifestyle is laughable. I am a married man, and my lifestyle is not represented in any way by the content of pornographic videos. Most of my heterosexual lifestyle is taken up with earning money to keep my family going, changing nappies, listening to the radio, supporting my wife, getting children to school, replacing broken door handles…

            I will spare your embarrassment by
            not describing our more private moments. Suffice it to say that my sex life does not typically involve 18-year old pneumatic twin sisters.

            This pastor is doing something that is inappropriate, cynical and deeply stupid. Sadly there are plenty of elements in the church and nation that are only too happy to go along with it.

  • Jennifer Mc Cleary

    I have one question for evangelicals like Ssempa: What would Jesus do? Would he show explicit scenes of male on male sex to his followers to show how “discusting” it is? Would he string them up, hang them, and display them as an example? Would he desecrate his own temple to make a point? It’s this kind of illreligious hypocracy that has turnd me away from organized religion all together. Not to say that anyone’s religious doctrine is incorrect or that one set of beliefs is better than another, but rather, that some people who speak and act in the name of God do so with personal agendas and ignorant biases, free of theological thought or correct interpretation. These are not the people I want guiding my spiritual destiny! The bible does not condone the murder of gays/lesbians. I’d like someone to show me that verse in the bible because I’ve seemed to miss that one. Although I no longer consider myself a Christian, my spiritual belief is that Jesus would have accepted them into his church or group of worship, and he would have tried to help them in any way he could. If they didn’t want his help, he certainly wouldn’t threaten to kill them or show exhibitions of male on male “action”… That doesn’t sound like Jesus, now does it? This kind of “religious” display is sophomoric and embarassing for all those involved.

  • Mike Sanderson

    I just turned gay last week I need other gays to talk to please email me goodwill67@aol.com I need some true gay friends so my feelings can be shared. Thanks Gay Family :] Mike

  • http://www.observer.ug VERNON TUGUMIZEMU

    Pastor Sempa to me it was as if he was promoting porn. Is he a homosexual himself and the fact that he has for long lived in the States one cannot doubt he is gay, I mean where did he get those closed door pixs.

    guvanon2@yahoo.com

  • Juan Izquierdo

    This man messed up BIG TIME. Where on earth did he get the idea that it’s OK to show gay porn in God’s temple? Pornography of ANY kind is sick, so why did he assume it was safe to show it to the church group?

    As a christian, I see these acts to be disrespectful to God. All this man did was dump more on the growing pile of religious critizism.

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