Persecution is Not an Evangelical Value
December 11, 2012 by Sharon Groves, Director, Religion and Faith Program
Since the speaker of the Ugandan parliament promised to pass the heinous anti-gay bill that would criminalize homosexuality as an end of the year “Christmas gift,” religious leaders around the world have been speaking out as a principle of their faith. HRC recently talked to Rev. Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, about the Uganda legislation. Rev. Cizik did not mince words:
"As a conservative evangelical, I can say without hesitation that evangelicals unanimously oppose the very idea of persecuting people for their sexual identity or practices. This is an essential gospel truth. We neither condone nor tolerate in our name imprisonment, persecution or any violence to any group or individual no matter their faith or sexual orientation. This, in my estimation, is a universally held view in our community and those who say otherwise are not thinking biblically and only speaking out of their own benighted misunderstanding. "
In a recent press release HRC asked moderate evangelical leaders, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and Rich Warren to use their considerable influence in Uganda to put a stop to this legislation. We just learned that Rick Warren has restated his opposition to the legislation via Twitter saying: “A unjust law in Uganda is back in the news. I opposed it 3 yrs ago and I still do.”
Evangelicals are saying loud and clear that persecution is not a religious value. We are thankful for their voices and the voices of people of faith everywhere who say with Rev. Cizik, that condoning violence must never be tolerated.
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