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Friday, June 6, 2014

UGANDA Fights for the THE FAMILY: Center and Heart of the Civilization of Love

by Susan Fox

“Kristu abagumye. Era abawe omukisa.” (May Christ comfort you, and may he bless you.) (Office of the Readings for June 3, 2014, the Memorial of Ugandan Martyrs St. Charles Lwanga and Companions)

The last man standing on planet earth is likely to be a Ugandan.

At least that’s what the people of Uganda hope for in their struggle for family rights.

While legislation signed into law in February in Uganda was characterized as an “anti-gay” bill, what it really represented was the East African nation’s heart-felt belief that the family is the cradle of civilization, and sodomy only leads to death.

Their sentiments find a home in the thinking of Pope Saint John Paul II in his 1994 “Letter to Families” “Be human!” the pope said, emphasizing that the family is the “center and heart of the civilization of love.”

“The primordial model of the family is to be sought in God himself, in the Trinitarian mystery of his life. Man is created ‘from the very beginning’ as male and female: the life of all humanity — whether of small communities or of society as a whole — is marked by this primordial duality.” the pope said.

This message is totally lost on the unthinking West, which is gradually destroying the family and eliminating its own population through promiscuity, contraception, pornography, divorce, liberal education, so-called same-sex “marriage,” abortion and euthanasia. It’s materialism run amuck.

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” said American Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), adding, “Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children.”

In the last fifty years, her thinking has become entirely commonplace: “My wife asked me if I wanted a second dog or a third child,” a Coloradan joked recently in my presence, “I told her to get the dog.” His true sentiments were met with gales of laughter.
 
Pope Francis is not the only baby kisser:
Here is Pope Saint John Paul II
 “The civilization of love means ‘rejoicing in the right.’ (1 Cor 13:6) But a civilization inspired by a consumerist, anti-birth mentality is not and cannot ever be a civilization of love.” Saint John Paul warned.

His thinking is not easily understood by the children of Margaret Sanger: “Can you please tell me why what two men do in the privacy of their own bedroom is of any business to anyone else? Why must sodomy be stopped?”

Indeed, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shares the same mindset: “African leaders need to set aside sectarian and religious differences in favor of inclusiveness ... and they must accept that sexual orientation is a private matter,” he wrote in an editorial published May 2 in the Washington Post during his first major tour of sub-Saharan Africa. “LGBT rights are human rights,” he told the Washington Blade.

Imagine the hubris! The U.S. Secretary of State steps over the dead bodies of 57 million unborn Americans to go over to Africa and lecture them on human rights! And because he politely agreed that sanctions are needed to control the violence in South Sudan, his visit to Africa was hailed as a sign of hope! 
 
Nigerian Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama
“Though always with you (Western nations) when it comes to the so-called gay rights in Nigeria you run, but to the ongoing terror attacks by the Islamic militia Boko Haram you only stammer,” said Nigerian Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, criticizing the liberal bias of the West. Nigeria is also on the hot seat with the American government because of their law against same-sex “marriage.”  

"Constantly new violence, burned and mutilated bodies, women and children who are killed in a terrible rhythm: this is the emergency afflicting our country, but nothing from Europe on this. But for ‘gay rights,’ the EU, the European Parliament and other international institutions will mobilize,” the Archbishop said in disgust.   


Pro-life UN lobbyists James &
Susan Fox, Guimette & Andre
with Rwandan delegate  
His complaints were so familiar. It was the same message I received from African Delegates to the United Nations in 2000 at a preparatory meeting of the General Assembly, which I attended as a lobbyist for the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute. After a war which completely decimated the population of one African nation, the West came in with free "family planning" services: condoms, birth control devices, abortion, all neatly packaged in local storefronts, sporting big blue and white signs, which read, "Population Control." The “aid,” which encouraged promiscuity, was deeply resented.

“In all the villages of Nigeria, there are women who cannot read or write, but they have the morning after pill. Who gives them the morning after pill, pushing it into her hand?” said Archbishop Kaigama. “It is the western governmental and non-governmental organizations that impose their ideas on us. To ensure that our government gets international economic aid, they must accept this Western policy. But that is called coercion. A culture and a mentality are imposed that is not ours, for us Nigerians do not despise life."

Uganda also is a nation that does not despise life. It is the world’s youngest nation with 78 percent of the population under the age of 30 and over half are under 15 years of age. Uganda has the third highest fertility rate in the world with lifetime births per woman at 6.7 in 2006. Compare that to the United States where some estimates show the fertility rate to have dropped to 1.8 children per woman’s lifetime. That is well below the population replacement rate of 2.33 children. Our existing population of 310 million is imploding.

Despite that, the U.S. Census Bureau expects the population to continue to grow. That’s either wishful thinking or it could be the reason President Obama is pushing immigration reform. Having lost 57 million Americans to abortion in the last 40 years, the U.S. needs to import more people to support its sagging economy. Heavens, who will pay the taxes to support America’s aging population?
Uganda: 36 million people and growing rapidly

Uganda’s population of 36 million – despite high infant and maternal mortality – is growing rapidly. They are on track to have the world’s largest population growth in the coming decades, according to the Population Reference Bureau, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
 
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni
welcomes the children
While the West moans and groans about how Uganda needs more population planning, even going so far as to complain that only 20 percent of Ugandan women have access to contraception, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni welcomes the children. He has called the nation’s population explosion a “great resource.”

So this is the story of David meets Goliath. The evil giant is the culture of death embraced by the dying Western nations of the United States, Canada and Europe. David is played by the culture of life embodied in the rapidly growing African nation of Uganda, the country that welcomes life.  

Meanwhile on Easter Sunday in Uganda, Anglican bishops and Protestant pastors quietly gave their support to President Museveni, who courageously signed the so-called “anti-gay” bill despite worldwide threats to cut aid to Uganda. "We Africans never seek to impose our view on others," Museveni said, talking of Western pressure not to sign the bill, which he described as “social imperialism."

U.S. President Barack Obama had warned that passage of the so-called “anti-gay” bill would “complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.” And indeed, noticeably absent from Kerry’s three-country tour of sub-Saharan Africa in April was the country of Uganda.
 
Uganda Pride 2014 Parade 
Ugandans have an incredible sense of humor. They thumbed their noses at the United States by organizing a “Ugandan Pride” parade in Kampala on March 24, which mocked “Gay Pride” parades held here. The Guardian Africa Network reported that 30,000 people rallied in support of the “anti-homosexual” legislation, which is really a law against public indecency and rape.

Most of the enthusiastic “anti-gay” supporters were young, according to writer Rebecca Hodes, noting that their presence added to the hilarity of the event. “They ate messily, slept, listened to things on their ear phones. They rolled up their placards bearing slogans (against homosexuality), and attacked each other with them. They laughed themselves hoarse.” One placard held by a youth read: “Museveni, we the children thank you for saving our future.”
Placard says: "Museveni, we the children
 thank you for saving our future." 

Frequently, it’s said that bills, which limit homosexual interaction, are an injustice because people have the right to determine whom they love. Does that mean we condone prostitution, pornography, same sex “marriage,” child and date rape, people with AIDs selfishly sharing their illness with another partner? Is that “love?” Those are the activities severely restricted by Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014.

The new “anti-homosexuality” bill is misnamed. In reality, the bill is anti-public indecency and anti-rape. Life in prison sentences only apply to rape of an invalid, child, drugged date, serial convictions of homosexual acts, or if you have sexual relations while carrying HIV AIDs.

The new “anti-homosexual” bill is highly popular among Ugandans because it’s seen as a measure to protect their vulnerable youth. "We think this is an achievement for Uganda because the minors will be protected and the innocents will be saved from abuse and molestation," said Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister of State for Ethics and Integrity.

So begins a cultural clash of titanic proportions. “We are living in very interesting times in Uganda. Like so many, I and the (Anglican) Church of Uganda are grateful to the President for signing into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act. We must assert our sovereignty and do what it takes to protect our children from being recruited into an immoral life and exploited by others,” Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali told his congregation on Easter Sunday. His fellow Anglican bishop Patrick Gidudu, Mbale Diocese, told his congregation, “We know that this legislation will protect society and the youth from homosexuality which is abominable in Africa.”

Ironically, Archbishop Ntagali is fighting both the powers in the west and his own Anglican Communion on the issue of homosexuality. “The fabric of the Anglican Communion was torn at its deepest level in 2003 when the American Episcopal Church consecrated as Bishop a gay man living in a same-sex relationship.  Not only was this against the Bible, but it went against the agreed position of the Anglican Communion.”

“Our current concern is that the Church of England seems to be drifting rapidly in the same direction.  We are very grateful to them for sending missionaries who told us about the good news of Jesus Christ.  They seem now to be reversing themselves. Fortunately, we no longer need to be directed by them.”

“We can read and interpret the Bible for ourselves, and we know what it says about sexual behavior belonging between one man and one woman in holy matrimony.” In other words, to the Church in England: Uganda says thanks for the missionaries, now mind your own business.

Pastor Martin Ssempa holding the Ugandan flag
at the Uganda Pride Parade March 24, 2014 
“Who gives America or Europe the power to define for us a vice? We in Africa know sodomy as a vice, but they are saying it’s a right,” said Ugandan Pastor Martin Ssempa in a television interview March 1.

For the pastor, who lost two siblings to AIDs in 1990, it appears his personal crusade against sodomy is related to his own life experience. Reportedly after his brother and sister’s deaths, he blamed their promiscuity and feared his own lifestyle would lead to the same end. So he converted to Evangelical Christianity.

He frequently quotes statistics that men who have sex with men are 10 times more likely to pass on HIV AIDs. “Any time you promote homosexuality, you are actually fueling HIV 100 percent. We passed this law to protect the nature of our families.”

Uganda is seeing a rise in the HIV rate after a period of relative stability, which is disconcerting for a nation that saw a big decline in new infections during the 1990s. “In Uganda when we pushed abstinence, fidelity in marriage, the use of condoms consistently, we succeeded (in reducing HIV/AIDs),” Ssempa said. According to the most recent survey by Uganda's Ministry of Health, 7.3 percent of the Ugandan population has HIV, up from about 6 percent a decade ago.

“Even if the most powerful leaders of Europe and America are building their diplomacy and national security on sodomy, we want to show them ... that Africa has common sense,” Pastor Ssempa concluded.

“The family is indeed—more than any other human reality— the place where an individual can exist ‘for himself’ through the sincere gift of self,” wrote Saint John Paul the Great in his 1994 letter to families. “Indeed, although there is on the one hand the ‘civilization of love, (the family)’ there continues to exist on the other hand the possibility of a destructive anti-civilization.’" Like a weed, the mindset of the anti-family anti-civilization has already taken root in America.

“Marriage,” the pope continued, “which undergirds the institution of the family, is constituted by the covenant whereby ‘a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life,’ and which ‘of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children.’ Only such a union can be recognized and ratified as a ‘marriage’ in society. Other interpersonal unions, which do not fulfill the above conditions cannot be recognized, despite certain growing trends which represent a serious threat to the future of the family and of society itself.”

“So-called ‘safe sex,’ which is touted by the ‘civilization of technology,’ is actually, in view of the overall requirements of the person, radically not safe, indeed it is extremely dangerous. It endangers both the person and the family. And what is this danger? It is the loss of the truth about one's own self and about the family, together with the risk of a loss of freedom and consequently of a loss of love itself,” the pope said.

 “Who am I?” Do I self-identify according to my sexual orientation, my personhood or by my relationship to Jesus Christ? If the family is dispersed, where can a child receive clear direction as to his own human identity? Do we deliver control of our children to the government? Do we allow the government to become the arbiter of ethics and morality as happened to my own local bakery? A Colorado court just ordered Masterpiece Bakery of Lakewood, Colorado, to make same-sex “wedding” cakes contrary to their conscience and undergo sensitivity training. “They are turning people of faith into religious refugees,” said Nicolle Martin, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom. “Is this the society that we want to live in –- where people of faith are driven out of business?”

“Who am I?” the anguished westerner asks. And the only image that rises in his mind is himself. So he buys his wife a second dog, and refuses to give her children.

Disneyland is not the happiest place on earth. The earth moves, people die, trials flourish, but the family bonded in love and founded on Jesus Christ is a source of great blessing.  It is the happiest place on earth.

The new Ugandan law is popular in Africa where 37 countries have laws against homosexuality, but it has been met with outright hysteria from the LGBT community.

People, who self-identify according to their homosexuality, claim they are anxious to emigrate to the West because their own Ugandan mother will turn them in. That’s impossible because you need two witnesses to a homosexual act to convict. Liberal Canada hypocritically refused visas to Ugandan “gay” activists for the June 20-29 celebration of “Gay” Pride, known as WorldPride 2014 in Toronto. It seems they feared the Ugandans would over stay their welcome, seeking asylum.

Some report they fear that Ugandans with new cases of HIV won’t seek medical treatment because of the potential for prosecution. “We treat everybody. We don’t ask how they got HIV,” Pastor Ssempa emphasized.

Underlying the hysteria from the liberal and LGBT press is the question, “Do you love me even if I am gay? Will you treat me fairly?” I cannot answer the question for the nation of Uganda. But for the Catholic Church, which has also been the subject of hysterical rumors, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

"We don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal (Catholic) Conference, told Catholic News Service.  But when the “anti-gay” bill was first discussed, the country's bishops were against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty. "The bishops were not in favor of that," he said. "We were for compassion, and we believe (homosexuals) can change."

The Catholic Church does teach that same sex inclinations are objectively disordered on account of how our bodies are structurally designed. But persons who experience same-sex attractions (regardless of how they self-identify or define themselves) “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” (Catholic Catechism #2358)

The Catechism goes on to say: Persons who experience same-sex attractions “are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” (#2359)

That Uganda itself must face down the suspicion of the LGBT community and all the power and might of the Western nations over the issue of homosexuality is ironic.
 
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
Perhaps one of the holiest days of the year in the mostly Christian nation of Uganda is June 3rd, the Catholic Memorial of Ugandan Martyrs St. Charles Lwanga and Companions. In the late 1800s, Uganda had a violent ruler, who self-identified according to his homosexuality, King Mwanga. He routinely forced himself on the young boys and men who served him as pages and attendants.

A small community of 200 Christians served King Mwanga, and when he killed a Protestant missionary, the Catholic head of the court community, Joseph Mukasa, condemned the king’s actions. Mwanga forgot his long friendship with Joseph and ordered his execution. Joseph forgave the king with all his heart, but made one final plea for the king’s repentance before he was beheaded and burned on Nov. 15, 1885. He was only 25 years old.

Catholic Charles Lwanga took over the leadership of the Christian community at court, and accepted the job of keeping the young boys and men out of Mwanga’s hands. The persecution died down for six months.

But in May 1886, the king asked one of his Christian pages what he had been doing that kept him from Mwanga. The page replied that he had been receiving religious instruction. The king was furious and killed the boy’s Catholic instructor by thrusting a spear through his throat.

The king closed the compound and summoned the executioners. Knowing what was coming, Charles Lwanga baptized four catechumens that night, including 13-year-old Kizito. The king called together his whole court the next day and separated the Christians. “Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there,” the king ordered. Fifteen men and boys -- all under the age of 25 -- were condemned to death when they refused to renounce their Christian faith.  

On the 37-mile trek to the place of execution, the boys had to pass the home of the Roman Catholic Society of Missionaries of Africa, known as the White Fathers. Fr. Lourdel almost fainted when he witnessed the courage and joy of these converts as they passed his home. Thirteen-year-old Kizito was laughing and chattering.

The king also ordered the execution of a Catholic soldier James Buzabaliawo. His response to the king? “Goodbye, then. I am going to Heaven, and I will pray to God for you.” When he passed Fr. Lourdel, he said, “Why are you so sad? This is nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to.”

Method by which St. Charles Lwanga
and Companions were burned to death
calling on the Name of Jesus. 
Some were killed on the way to the place of execution, but when the survivors arrived they were wrapped in reed mats, placed on a pyre and burned to death. Thirteen Catholics and 11 Protestants died, calling on the name of Jesus, and saying, “You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls.”


Their testament to chastity still burns brightly in the hearts of the Ugandan people.


Or Read about Susan's trip to the United Nations in 2000 UN Pro-Life Lobbying Trip Pays Off



5 comments:

  1. Remarkable post; gripping. Superb.

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  2. Long read but very well said. Thank you.

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  3. God bless you both. God showers us with graces. Thank you. Susan Fox

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  4. Thank you, Mbabazi. Many in the U.S. are excited about Africa standing up for the family. One of my Twitter followers said this: "I want to RT your article a gazillion times. God bless the faithful families in Africa & around the world." RT means retweet. God bless you. Susan

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