UPDATED: Speak for justice in Uganda
In a move that has been widely condemned, when asked about new legislation pending in Uganda that would make homosexuality punishable by imprisonment or death Rick Warren suggested that his status as a pastor means he ought to avoid taking a public stance on controversial issues, including this one. Lisa Miller of Newsweek, who posed the question to Warren, reports:
… Warren won’t go so far as to condemn the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the proposed Ugandan antihomosexual laws generated this response: “The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” On Meet the Press this morning, he reiterated this neutral stance in a different context: “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.”
Such a plainly immoral law requires full-throated condemnation, especially from Warren, who is a figure of great prominence in Uganda. His voice there matters. Part of standing up for what’s right is standing up to what’s wrong and calling out those who perpetrate injustice – whether you’re a pastor, a parishioner, a lay leader or none of the above.
UPDATE: Rick Warren has issued a video and statement condemning the legislation.