Why Russell Moore Is Wrong about Uganda

Why Russell Moore Is Wrong about Uganda

Natural law directs us toward genuine human happiness, but this is understood within a theological and moral context of mankind having a finis ultimus and summum bonum that can only be finally fulfilled in knowing God. One cannot merely haphazardly invoke the rights of “life, liberty, and happiness” divorced from their original political, moral, and theological moorings in order to hamstring criminal law and justify the right of citizens to engage in sexual immorality with impunity. This is careless, ignorant, and foolish on Moore’s part.

Western authorities were in an uproar last month over Uganda’s new bill criminalizing homosexuality. A supplement to Section 145 of Uganda’s criminal law (Penal Code Act, Cap. 120), The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 stipulates more clearly what is meant by homosexual criminality and the punishments incurred. What has most people upset is a later amendment to the bill that makes “aggravated homosexuality” punishable up to death. Western LGBTQ Regimes struck back against the bill with condemnatory statements from The White House, The Department of State, Amnesty International, UNAIDS, and every major news outlet. Even supposedly staunchly conservative politicians piled on. They have decried the law as a gross violation of “human rights” that is violent and discriminatory, and that constitutes an imminent threat to the lives and well-being of Ugandan homosexuals.

Notwithstanding the godless political forces arrayed against us, Christians should accept the Ugandan bill as a legitimate civil policy for Christians and non-Christians alike. Yet our mighty, godly, and fearless Christian leaders shake their heads and wag their fingers at us: we should not, in fact, support Uganda because it is unchristian and goes against the gospel. At least, that is what Russell Moore argues in a recent article. In his theological mini-lecture, Moore informs us that the death penalty for sodomy was a culturally-bound penalty meant only for Israel and that the context of redemptive history and the New Covenant do away with the Old Testament “theocratic civil code.” While the moral content of the Old Law remains valid (homosexuality is wrong, according to Moore), the Church no longer enforces Mosaic criminal codes for violations of the moral law. Instead, because Jesus treated sinners with mercy and called them to repentance, this should characterize the stance of American and Ugandan Christians as well.

Moore is wrong. Nowhere does the Ugandan Act argue against homosexuality from Scripture, let alone for theonomic or theocratic reasons. Moore has imposed this framework upon the issue because he determined beforehand it was wrong and had to find a pious and “biblical” reason for his Philippic. Instead, the Anti-Homosexuality Act argues from reason, nature, and tradition: it seeks to protect the Ugandan family from “internal and external threats”; it wants to preserve the “cherished culture” and the “legal, religious, and traditional family values” of the Ugandan people; and it wants to combat the “values of sexual promiscuity” being imposed upon them in order to protect “children and youth” who are “vulnerable to sexual abuse through homosexuality and related acts.” This is an imminently reasonable position compatible with Christian doctrine and ethics, but knowable apart from divine revelation. Any adult human who has not yet been indoctrinated into the Gay Cult should be able to understand these things.

Thus, Christians should oppose Moore and support Uganda for three reasons.

First, homosexuality is immoral and harmful to society. Homosexual relationships are against nature and God’s design for human love, marriage, procreation, and flourishing. Advocates for gay relations seek to normalize such degeneracy by claiming that “Love is Love.” Slogans like these reveal the stupidity and irrationality at the heart of homosexuality. Statements of identity tell us nothing about what a thing is, what it is meant for, whether it is good or bad, and whether civil governments should encourage or discourage them. It’s like arguing that because “sex is sex,” therefore, rape is good. How stupid.

Behind the rise of homosexual acceptance (and all things related to LGBTQ, especially the current transgender movement) is a false anthropology. Instead of understanding mankind as being created by God as rational animals (a rational soul and physical body in a single, unified substance) whose reason is designed to constrain, guide, and channel the sensitive elements of our corporeal passions toward objectively good ends (understood from the natural and divine laws, as well as reason, experience, and custom), modern anthropology inverts the human person. Following the ideas of Thomas Hobbes and David Hume, the human is essentially conceived of as an appetitive creature, driven by passions and desires. Reason functions in a purely post hoc way, as a “scout and spy” (Hobbes) or a “slave” (Hume) of the passions, scheming ways to fulfill the desires or in later rationalization or justification for disordered longings and behaviors. In this view, whatever one feels is indicative of their true and authentic Self. The physical world around us tells us nothing about the nature or order of things but is putty to be molded to actualize (re: deify) the Self, or, if that cannot be done, an obstacle to be conquered and swept away. This assumed, love is not an act of the will ordered toward human and divine goods, but becomes a kind of emotive urge that baptizes every lust as a loving virtue. How perverse.

Homosexuality is not love but a living death. No homosexual relationship is capable of reproducing humans or propagating the species. For this reason alone, evolutionary natural selection (if true) would eliminate homosexual relations as anathema to the species’ drive for survival. Yet homosexuality not only cannot create new life, but it also kills existing life. Homosexual behavior consistently leads to higher rates of cancer, sexual and intestinal diseases, and premature death. In many cases, serial homosexuals can see decades shaved off their life expectancy. These facts are sufficient to demonstrate that homosexual acts and lifestyles are disordered and dangerous to individuals and society alike.

Second, Christians should support the Ugandan act because such laws have long been part of our nation’s moral and legal history. Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law, and colonial law ubiquitously punished homosexuality, with death being the most severe penalty. In 1776, at the time of the Declaration of Independence, all thirteen colonies prescribed the death penalty for male homosexuals, although many also had prison sentences. After the Revolution, penalties for sex crimes were reduced and relaxed, and the death penalty for sodomy faded away. Yet the prohibition and criminalization of homosexuality continued: in 1868 after the Fourteenth Amendment, 32 of 37 states had criminal sodomy laws, and by 1961 all 50 states had outlawed sodomy. It did not matter that these homosexual acts happened between consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms.

In the 1986 Supreme Court case Bowers v. Hardwick 478 U.S. 186, the Court declared that there was no “fundamental right” in the U.S. Constitution for homosexuals to engage in sodomy. Writing for the majority, Justice White reasoned that homosexual sodomy was neither a fundamental liberty “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” nor “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” (cf. Palko v. Connecticut 302 U.S. 319 [1937]). In addition, it was not public majority opinion that constituted the rational basis for the law, but objective “notions of morality” apart from the changing tides of popular opinion.

However, seventeen years later, Bowers was overturned by Lawrence v. Texas (539 U.S. 558 [2003]). In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment implies a more extensive concept of liberty than Bowers appreciated. Relying upon his previous assertions in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (505 U.S. 833 [1992]), Justice Kennedy argued that due to the “dignity” of homosexuals as free persons and the crippling stigma that would result from criminal prosecution and conviction, acts of homosexual sodomy are protected under the liberty granted by the Due Process Clause that forbids government intervention in the private, consensual, and intimate behavior of its citizens. Since no minors, predation, or coercion were involved in these relationships, singling out homosexuals for criminal prosecution would amount to class-based discriminatory legislation. For Justice Kennedy, “liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct” that ensures “constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education.” Justice Kennedy averred that homosexuals should be afforded these protections, even though “same-sex marriage” is a metaphysical impossibility, contraception makes no sense for homosexual sex acts, and homosexuals cannot procreate, grow a natural family, or rear and education their own children.

Channeling a Hobbesian and Humean anthropology of the absolute rights of the private and autonomous Self, Justice Kennedy was nothing but a jurisprudential agent of the modern Libertarian and Gay Regime—a black-robed High Priest of godless “liberty” and perverse sexuality that not only has succeeded in terraforming American society, public morality, and citizenship, but has been the vanguard for the GAE—the post-communist Global American Empire—that, in an act of arrogant and oppressive neo-colonialism, imposes LGBTQ ideology and custom on other nations, bullying and intimidating them into acquiescence. Uganda is resisting this gay colonialism, and American Christians ought to stand with them in opposing their own government’s evil, global oppression.

Moore might concede the moral and historical arguments against homosexuality. But, he assures us, civil power hath no jurisdiction here! Why so? Because, according to him, “not everything that’s a sin is a crime.”

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