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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oral Roberts University's Martin Ssempa Wants a War Against Gay People

By Michael A. Jones -

Oral Roberts University has found themselves a friend in Martin Ssempa, the Ugandan preacher with a penchant for showing his followers graphic scenes of gay pornography to whip up hysterical anti-gay sentiment, which he then uses to foster support for a piece of legislation that would criminalize homosexuality with the death penalty or life imprisonment. Ssempa is on the Oral Roberts University Board of Reference, a prominent position with the University where Ssempa is charged with building the global reputation of Oral Roberts University.
Does that reputation include support for efforts to kill gay people in Uganda? Certainly seems so, given the continued silence from Oral Roberts University about the presence of a man like Ssempa on their Board of Reference. And just this past weekend, Ssempa continued to ramp up the rhetoric toward LGBT people, telling a newspaper with Makerere University in Uganda that he wants to see the destruction of homosexuality.
"The war has just started," Ssempa says in the article, which goes on to talk about how LGBT people in the country are infiltrating high schools and college campuses in an attempt to recruit young people. It's the latest in a string of newspaper articles in Uganda fueling extreme anti-gay sentiment. Last month, a publication known as Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. magazine) published the names, faces and locations of suspected LGBT people, under the caption, "Hang them!"
How can Oral Roberts University remain silent in the wake of such extreme violent hysteria? Moreover, how can they lend legitimacy to a man like Ssempa, who literally says he wants to fight a violent war with gay people? Perhaps the school is forgetting its Christian commitment to 'love thy neighbor.'
Ssempa's latest statement is just par for the course. Over the past year, there has perhaps been no more vocal an advocate for efforts to criminalize homosexuality in Uganda than Ssempa. He has led marches calling for the death of gay people. He has walked down streets with throngs of supporters carrying signs that say "Arrest all homos." Ssempa has even shown graphic pornography to children as a means of stirring up anti-gay fervor.
Seems hardly like the type of resume that any university would seek out for a prominent board position. Yet Oral Roberts University continues to give Ssempa props, giving legitimacy to both his work and the extreme violence it represents.
Send Oral Roberts University a message that they need to take Ssempa off of this board, and they need to condemn his work to kill and jail human beings in Uganda. Ssempa's participation on the Oral Roberts University's Board of Reference does not bolster the global reputation of the University. On the contrary, it sends the message that Oral Roberts University condones or at least tacitly approves of harsh anti-gay legislation in the country, and that's a message that only serves to harm Oral Roberts University's reputation.


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