While Rick Warren and Joyce Meyer have come out (after much cajoling) against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Lou Engle is standing strong. The Kansas City pastor spent Sunday afternoon at Makerere University in Kampala, rallying locals against corruption, witchcraft, and The Gay.
Founder of TheCall, Engle is friends (or at least handshake friends) with Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. He’s a vocal Prop 8 supporter and played games during Maine’s marriage fight. He’s also a firm believer that gay people are possessed by demons. But are the they the same demons that allow people like Engle to speak out of both sides of their mouths?
Before arriving here last week, Mr. Engle came out with a statement condemning the harsh penalties proposed in the bill, and said that his ministry could not support it. But when he took the stage late on Sunday afternoon, with Ugandan politicians and pastors looking on, he praised the country’s “courage” and “righteousness” in promoting the bill.
“NGOs, the U.N., Unicef, they are all coming in here and promoting an agenda,” Mr. Engle said, referring to nongovernmental organizations. “Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda has become ground zero.”
And look at Engle’s VIP guests!
The bill’s sponsor, David Bahati, who attended Sunday’s service, said in an interview that it was likely that some of its harsher provisions, including the death penalty, would be taken out before its passage, which he said he expected soon. But, he said, the goal of the bill would remain the same. The turnout for the free prayer service, and the support from Mr. Engle, were a good sign, Mr. Bahati said.
Moments after Mr. Engle and his entourage filed off of the athletic grounds, Uganda’s minister of ethics, James Buturo, another of the bill’s supporters, came on stage and told those assembled: “These are desperate times, but we will not accept intimidation. It is our business to do what God wants. Pray for Bahati, and pray for the bill.” And then the rains came.