In February 2014, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni in an historic moment put pen to paper as he assented to the Anti-homosexuality law.
The president’s action to do what is required of a sovereign nation received a backlash from the international community especially the west where the homosexuality vice has been embraced even though there are still scattered incidents of homophobia.
Prior to this, Ugandan moralists headed by men of God (Church leaders) led the chorus of calls for the law to be unequivocally passed but one cannot help and notice the loud silence of these leaders in the wake of US sanctions on the country.
Most of them have not said a word about US’ decision to punish Uganda for enacting the anti-gay law.
Two weeks ago, the United States government announced a number of actions against Uganda and a number of unidentified individuals in retaliation for the stance against LGBT communities. The actions include sanctions to restrict entry into the United States of specific Ugandan individuals involved in serious violations or abuses of human rights against LGBT individuals.
Since then, Uganda’s men of God especially Pentecostal have become rudely silent and this article attempts to dig into why the religious leaders have not carried on with the enthusiasm that overwhelmed them during the pre-passage of the law into post passage and probably condemn the US’ action.
It should be noted that majority of Ugandan pastors make multiple visits to Uncle Sam’s land to spread the good news about the creator although this has been questioned by their critics. Their critics fault them for choosing to only spread the gospel to the United States instead of considering other nations of the world.
The pastors’ ‘pilgrimages’ to the land where dreams so called come true don’t go empty handed. Americans are known to be generous and passionate about matters to do with God.
They therefore in gestures of good will give our pastors cash normally referred to as ‘love gifts’ in the Pentecostal movement. A love gift is an appreciation gift given to any visiting pastor or minister by the host church.
This is one of the ways pastors have accumulated massive health as a single visit to the US can enable one get enough ‘love gifts’ depending on the number of churches visited.
With homosexuality now embraced in the US, Ugandan pastors who criticize the act or the sanctions risk falling into the category of Ugandans involved in ‘human rights abuses against gay people’ who according to the sanctions would be banned from entering the US.
In order not to be denied entry visas to the US where they can maintain their ‘lucrative’ trips partly explains why Ugandan pastors have now gone silent.
Whenever Ugandan pastors travel to the west especially Uncle Sam’s land, they establish friendships with their American counterparts. The latter in addition to giving the former ‘love gifts’ promise to help them in their ministries back home, a gesture our pastors receive with ‘two hands’
It is through these relationships that American churches set up branches of their own churches in Uganda.
Ugandan pastors’ criticism the US for imposing sanctions on Uganda would affect their relationship with some of their funders in the western super power since most of them have embraced the act.
So in order not to jeopardize their relationship, they have decided to keep silent.