Friday, 17 January 2014

An open letter to Paul Shinners

An open letter to Paul Shinners:-

Dear Mr Shinners,

It has now been over a year since you spoke in Uganda in favour of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as I'm sure you are aware the bill has finally been passed and will soon become law if nothing is done to stop it. When your involvement and sentiments were made public in the UK last January, rather than acknowledge your error and apologise to those affected by your words or justify and explain your actions you went on the attack throwing accusations at those who attempted to bring light to the situation. Both bloggers have said that you never demanded an apology, as you claimed in the Hunts Post on 28th January.

You shared the stage with a number of known anti-gay, homophobic speakers on a day that was dominated by the call to the government to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, then known as the 'Kill the Gays' Bill. Though the death penalty has now supposedly been removed, it still includes life in prison for homosexuals and imprisonment for any family member or colleague who fails to report homosexual activity within 24 hours. It also includes a ban on the so called "promotion" of homosexuality, which would, among other things, make it impossible to educate regarding AIDS prevention and treatment which will have a devastating effect on the LGBTI community in Uganda. You said that “there is no other nation world over that has such a plan and through this, Uganda is going to be blessed,” and " it is conviction that would bring change in society.” You have not once denied these comments reported in the Ugandan Monitor but only put out one brief statement claiming not to be homophobic, yet this is what the most outspoken, reprehensible homophobes in Uganda claim. "Hate the sin, not the sinner" is a commonly used phrase to allow them to spew vile propaganda and hatred and still claim to love everyone and not be homophobic. Your concern seems only with your business and reputation in the UK and not for the people of Uganda. I'm sure if you did speak about tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals in Uganda you wouldn't have been invited back so many times and if you were to do it after 31st January you would be arrested for doing so.

Months ago in an email to me, after I asked you a few very simple questions regarding your beliefs on homosexuality you said, "because of the various questions being fired at me it may be best for me to put out a clear statement regarding what I said in Uganda. I will do this in the next few days," yet a statement never materialised. You also said, " It is such a shame that you did not consult with us first to help make sure the legislation is not passed in Uganda. We too are against the bill and could have used our influence to help stop it if we had known earlier." You have now had a year to use your influence to stop it, yet I have seen no evidence of this. There is still time to act as the Ugandan President has until the end of the month to reject the bill or let it pass into law. What have/will you do to help the countless christian homosexuals and their families who face up to life in prison for just being how "god" made them.

You claim to be a proud member of River Church, a member of the Evangelical Alliance. Their website states, "We believe both habitual homoerotic sexual activity without repentance and public promotion of such activity are inconsistent with faithful church membership," and "We oppose church services of blessing for civil partnerships and other forms of gay and lesbian relationships as unbiblical." It also says "We do not accept that holding these theological and ethical views on biblical grounds is in itself homophobic," and "We welcome and support the work of those individuals and organisations who responsibly seek to help Christians who experience same-sex attraction as in conflict with their commitment to live in accordance with biblical teaching." Reparative/Conversion therapy has been proven not to work and leads to depression and suicide and is condemned by the American Psychiatric Association and most other organisations and are a violation of Human Rights. Do you share these views? 

In a statement from Steve Clifford, the general director of the Evangelical Alliance in response to Steve Chalke's article in Christianity magazine, he says, "The danger we all face, and I fear Steve has succumbed to, is that we produce 'a god' in our own likeness or in the likeness of the culture in which we find ourselves. Steve's approach to biblical interpretation allows for a god in the likeness of 21st century Western-European mindsets." Yet what is the bible but a 4th Century interpretation of god created in the culture of that time. Do you agree with this fundamentalist interpretation of the old testament and reject the scientifically supported modern day view that homosexuality is natural, not a choice and a perfectly acceptable way to live your life if you are that way inclined? Do you disagree with gay marriage and adoption? Someone who claims not to be homophobic would find these questions very easy to answer. Over 1,500 animal species have been observed to engage in homosexual behaviour, but humans are the only animal species to display homophobic behaviour.

You have made multiple visits to Africa over a number of years spreading your message to many openly homophobic countries with anti-gay legislation, where you claim to have "saved" people. If you were a good christian person and not homophobic as you claimed, what have you done in your many visits to improve the treatment of the LGBTI community? If you have nothing to hide, why have you taken down your "passion for souls" charity website with your many testimonials from people in Africa about all the "good" work you have done over the years? 

There are many passages in the old testament that I would hope you don't believe in or observe, such as not wearing clothes woven of two types of material Leviticus 19:19, not eat pork Leviticus 11:8, marrying captive women Deuteronomy 21:10 or that assaulted women should be forced to marry their rapists Deuteronomy 22:28, yet you and your evangelical colleagues in Africa and North America ignore them and instead use a few passages to justify the vile and unchristian treatment of homosexuals. In Uganda women are subjected to corrective rape to "cure" them and homosexuals are beaten and killed and forced to live in secret or forced out of their homes to the slums and live in fear every day. Uganda is using homosexuals as a scapegoat for all the systemic problems in the country and the vile lies and propaganda are worse than the antisemitism in Germany before the Holocaust. One prominent Evangelical Pastor even shows extremely graphic pornography during church services to degrade and vilify homosexuals.

If you see homosexuality and sexuality as a choice, that speaks more to your inclination than that of others. A homosexual can no more choose to be heterosexual than a heterosexual can chose to be homosexual. Those who see the sex of their partner as a choice are bisexual.

If you do believe homosexual acts are a sin in the eyes of your god, punishable by death, as the old testament says, then stand by your convictions and face the consequences and if not you have until the end of January to help use your influence in Uganda to prevent this bill becoming law. If you are a good christian person you would reach out to your many contacts and try and reason with them to change their distorted and barbaric views on homosexuality and how homosexuals should be treated.

You have until the 31st of January to make a difference. I hope you do the right thing, either due to your own conscience or through public pressure.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Law

This is the poster for the Anti-Gay rally Paul Shinners attended on 31st December 2012 to call for passage of the Anti-Homosexuality bill (AHB) which was finally passed in December 2013:-

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