The article notes that Bishop Boyd takes his cue from an earlier call by the Bishops of the Church of the West Indies.
"At their Nov 2008 meeting, the House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of the West Indies called for an end to capital punishment. “Mindful of our Blessed Lord’s repudiation of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ and, that in our prayer, study, reflection and experience, the death penalty has not been proved to be a deterrent,” the bishops called on “our people to stand with us in our opposition to the death penalty.”
The clarity of Bishop Boyd's statement and his courage in speaking out leads to this question:
Why can't the Church of Uganda do the same, or for that matter the Province of the West Indies, the Church of England or The Episcopal Church as concerns Uganda's outrageous proposal of a new law providing capital punishment for homosexual acts?
Well, some say, Bishop Boyd is speaking to his own government, not to a foreign government. He has the backing of his own house of bishops already. He is not putting the leadership of a fellow church, the Church of Uganda, in harm's way by his own actions. He is speaking to his own about a problem in the community where he has jurisdiction.
Capital punishment is practiced in many states in the United States of America, in many other countries, as a punishment related to various crimes. The question is, do any of these reasons warrant support by Christians? The answer is NO.
Reports are that the Church of Uganda has opposed the death penalty regarding "aggravated homosexual acts" but supported the increased criminalization of homosexuality. This is considered by some to be a step in the right direction. This is nonsense. The proposed law is an instrument of hate and the object of hate is the final elimination of the hated.
Changing Attitudes quotes Okello Lucima, a Ugandan political economist and policy analyst, who says this:
"The sponsors of the bill, their supporters and political leaders- inside and outside parliament- must be identified, isolated and ostracised by the entire civilised world that respect difference and diversity. Most democratising societies have laws that criminalise purveyors of hate and incitement of hatred against a person, persons or communities; and have robust bill of rights that protect citizens and minorities. Uganda should not be an exception.”
Mr. Lucima has it right. This is about hate and about the protection of minorities. The capital punishment threat works. The lengthy imprisonments that are the alternative are threats that work. And all to keep hidden and quiet the reality that there are homosexual persons in Uganda and they are citizens and members of the churches.
The primary spokespersons in the Anglican Communion have been the primates, collectively or individually. Not one has spoken on the issue of the Ugandan legislation as hate legislation.
This stuff is not about capital punishment, although that would otherwise be enough to warrant outrage. This is about adding fuel to the fire, so that all homosexual persons in Uganda will fear the State and keep themselves hidden. It is the use of Faggots to burn out any voice or rights for all homosexual persons in Uganda and for that matter anywhere the reach of that violence can be extended.
And all this from the Church of Uganda whose martyrs were punished by death at the hands of the King. All this from the Church of Uganda whose western gate keeper for missionary engagement in Uganda says, " “If we don’t know you … we can’t assume we share [the same faith] in common.” (From HERE.)
Perhaps we don't know each other. Perhaps we don't share the same faith in common. We Christians have come a long way from burning each other at the stake. More and more of us believe that Capital punishment is flat out wrong. More and more of us believe the threat of that as a way to silence and subdue individual and group voice is wrong.
The question is, when will our "instruments of Communion" find a voice to counter that of rising hate?