Waymon Hudson

Action Alert: Help Stop Lou Engle & TheCall from Exporting Anti-Gay Hate & Violence to Uganda

Filed By Waymon Hudson | April 26, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Fundie Watch, Living, Politics
Tags: anti-homosexuality bill, evangelical Christian, Kill the Gays bill, Lou Engle, Sexual Minorities Uganda, TheCall, TheCall Uganda

Readers may remember the recent disturbing news from Uganda that once again American Evangelicals are headed to the country to export violent, hate-fueled rhetoric against the LGBT community.

TheCall.jpgLou Engle, a radically anti-gay and anti-abortion evangelical, is scheduled to hold an all-day anti-gay stadium event, TheCall Uganda Rally, on May 2nd, at Makerere University Sports Field, Kampala, Uganda. Engle is known for his overheated religious rhetoric, calling for "martyrs" and bloodshed to cast out "homosexual demons."

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), the LGBT rights group based in Uganda, issued these action suggestions for Americans to take:

  * Call and/or write Letters of Protest to TheCall Ministries and ask them stop exporting homophobia to Uganda. The event they are organizing is dangerous to LGBTI people in Uganda. Contact:
  • JoAnna Watson, Coordinator of The Call Uganda (Email: Joannawatsonthint@yahoo.com, Phone: +256 779 864 985)
  • Lou Engle (Email: response@thecall.com, Phone: +1 816 285 9351)

* Hold demonstrations and/or marches in Kansas City where Lou Engle's church is located and protest against TheCALL Uganda

* ASK LOU ENGLE AND THECALL MINISTRY TO:


  • STOP THECALL UGANDA CRUSADE IN THE FORM THAT IT IS PLANNED

  • PROMOTE RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RATHER THAN INCITING VIOLENCE

  • STOP EXPORTING HOMOPHOBIA TO AFRICA

Much more after the jump...

More action we can take to help stop Lou Engle & TheCall

Sexual Minorities Uganda had this to say about Engle:

Sexual Minorities Uganda condemns Lou Engle's upcoming crusade scheduled for May 2, 2010.  The crusade could cause incalculable damage, as it is designed to label homosexuality as a "vice" in Uganda and to incite people to "fight" against this "vice" in society.  In the context of an already inflamed extremist religious movement against homosexuality in Uganda sparked off by American evangelicals, the inflammatory preaching of Lou Engle and his associates is likely to incite further violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Uganda.

Sexual Minorities Uganda calls on all human rights defenders, organizations, religious communities and leaders, governments, and civil society, globally to take action to ensure that Lou Engle and his associates do not set foot in Uganda and that the Call Uganda does not proceed with this inflammatory and hate-inducing plan. 

The Danger of Lou Engle & TheCall

The web site for "TheCall Uganda" announces the stadium rally and encourages those attending to fast for twenty-one days before the massive rally in Kampala. Their goals are to fight against:

  • Witchcraft and human sacrifice
  • Homosexuality and increased immorality
  • Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people
  • The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala

kampalaanti-gaydemokampala-12-09-marchofertnyt.jpgThe LGBT/SOGI Human Rights Program at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office indicates that Engle's plan is to scapegoat LGBT people for all the ills described above, a common theme that Ugandan pastors like Martin Ssempa have picked up on used to increase support for violence against LGBT people:

With the Anti-Homosexuality Bill under consideration, "TheCall: Uganda" threatens to export homophobia at a time when it could have deadly consequences.  Threats and violence against LGBT people are already increasing.  Many have had their photos in Ugandan newspapers with headlines describing them as "Top Homos."

Frank Mugisha, president Sexual Minorities of Uganda, said, "Gay people are already fleeing their homes and have to move from house to house because of threats to their lives. Americans need to stop Lou Engle from coming to Uganda."

Lou Engle's extremist and violence-laden preaching is often laced with references to gay people as being possessed by demons.  During a rally for Proposition 8 in California, he called for Christian martyrs.  His inflammatory speech and focus on martyrdom can easily incite people in Uganda to disregard people's human rights and go to extreme measures to eliminate whatever they characterize as "evil" or a "vice".  For example, Lou Engle preaches:

The most 'dangerous terrorist' is not Islam but God. One of God's names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?

  The crusade is organized by TheCall Uganda and ten Ugandan Pentecostal pastors. According to www.thecalluganda.com, the crusade is 'intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public to fight vices eating away our society'. TheCall intends to address homosexuality in Uganda as a what they label a "vice".

louengle-frontpic.jpgLou Engle is a core founder of TheCALL in the U.S. but has expanded chapters to different countries.  Last year, TheCALL sent an American Evangelical, JoAnna Watson of Touching Hearts International, to be based in Uganda full-time to orchestrate this crusade to fight "vices" like homosexuality.

This crusade could have the same kind of impact that the March 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by MP's David Bahati and Benson Obua.

Again from Sexual Minorities Uganda:

  Lou Engle's crusade will be the second major American evangelist event with an anti-homosexuality agenda after the trio to set foot in Uganda and will definitely incite our people into more hatred of homosexuals that may lead to further violence. This is very evident with the nature of preaching that he does in the US. He claims that homosexuals have demons and has mobilized Americans on several occasions for anti -gay rallies. Since the Bill was tabled, the rate of violence and homophobia has increased drastically in Uganda. Lou Engle's inflammatory preaching is likely to exacerbate an already worrying situation.

We Need to Stop TheCall Uganda

Faith leaders and Human Rights organizations are calling for bloggers and other media, as well as the American Public, to expose the upcoming anti-gay TheCall Uganda.

Rev. Patricia Ackerman of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office said:

Only a public outcry will be able to stop TheCall from exporting more hate from the United States to Uganda in the name of religion.

The growing danger for LGBT people in Uganda isn't going away. We have to take a stand.

TheCalm.jpg

For more information on the situation in Uganda, visit the LGBT/SOGI Human Rights Program at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office.


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Electronic petitions, Facebook groups and calls to TheCall are nice gestures, but the video footage of Engle tells me that there's no way to reason with him or his organization. I'm not psychologist, but from Engle's histrionics and charisma, he seems like the classic "fascist dictator" type, a Machiavellian man with no principles who would think nothing of his rally in Kampala leading to violence and may even hope that it does.

I think the best strategy is to take this to the mainstream press and get it out there as much as possible and make sure Engle is exposed to maximum public scrutiny. I would suggest taking material about Engle and forwarding it to the NY Times, Washington Post, AP, CNN and any other major media outlet you can think of. If a lot of people do that, it'll probably catch the media's attention.

I agree. In fact, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force is holding a press conference tomorrow in DC at noon:

WASHINGTON - April 26 - The Bishops and Elders Council of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is convening this week in Washington, D.C., will hold a noontime vigil, Tuesday, April 27, to support Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

I also think that things like online petitions, facebook activity, and calls can capture the mainstream media's attention and push this further into the spotlight. It takes every avenue at our disposal.

Lou Engle is not speaking tonight at Onething, but I did find out the name of his right hand guy on a press release and his number. Thomas Hall 615-260-0917

Did you see Karen's post about Engle's takeover of the Hawaii government? That's even scarier!

Sharon Muz | May 5, 2010 5:36 AM

I used to be a christian. One of the reasons why I am now an agnostic is the kind of thing that is happening in Uganda with the full support of some of the evangelical community. I am not sure how many rank and file christians are aware of what their leaders are doing to promote violence and hatred in Uganda.

Not only are gays and lesbians - and their supporters - in danger, but also all women, in particular intelligent women who don't quite fit the mold. Remember the burning times!!! Never forget...

Stop the craziness NOW!