IEAB Publishes Official Note on the Proposed Ugandan Bill
“Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.” (Blaise Pascal)
International society has, throughout its long history, adopted new levels of conscience and freedom and gradually overcome several ways of excluding human beings because of their race, economic status, culture, beliefs and sexuality. We understand this process as a consequence of God’s love for humankind. The Church, as part of it, has the responsibility of courageously defending the advancement of respect for all peoples, based in the law of love.
The Church itself accepted discrimination in the past, and in many cases helped promote people’s exclusion, revealing its incapacity of responding to its own time’s demands. God’s spirit, however, has challenged the Church to understand that nobody has the right to act, or consent to actions, against any innocent person. This process of gradual spiritual enlightenment has allowed the Church to integrate those who, until very recently, were discriminated because of their ethnicity, opinion, gender and sexuality.
We express, in the light of the Gospel, our deep opposition to legal measures currently being studied in Uganda in order to implement an unacceptable persecution to homosexual people. First of all, such measures take us back to a time of ignorance and barbarity. They are gravely against human rights, and an unacceptable measure in our times. Also, no Christian is allowed to persecute or even threaten other human beings because of the way they live their sexuality. It is acceptable not to agree with someone, but it is an abomination to exert prejudice towards anybody.
An eventual approval of such measures demands a clear and eloquent witness against the imposition of a de facto police state, and for the defense that every person is able to live fully (including their sexual orientation) within the principles of love, mutual respect and commitment to life. In a world where poverty and hunger kill more than wars, governments should be more concerned about fostering a society where there are no excluded people for any reason. Laws that end up promoting discrimination and exclusion, despite being abominable and contrary to human rights, end up masking unsolved problems that Uganda needs to face.
As a final word, we remember that God’s main wish is that we live in love. Our faith tells us that “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gl 3:28). The Law was already fulfilled by Jesus and we are entitled to manifest the Divine Grace in the world by ardently and compassionately loving all human beings.
“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” (Psalm 33:5)
The Most Rev. Maurício Andrade
Primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil