Uganda’s representative and honorary Consul to Los Angeles is a U.S. Christian broadcaster and happens to be Vice President of TBN
By Melanie Nathan, January 23, 2013.
It is a much publicized fact that certain Christian Evangelical pastors from the United States, not only influenced the current state of anti-homosexual sentiment in Uganda, but may also have conspired to persecute Ugandan homosexuals through promotion of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. When I discovered that a renowned American Christian broadcaster who happens to be the Vice President of Trinity Broadcasting Network, is representing the Ugandan Government in Los Angeles, as its honorary Consul to Uganda, I immediately had questions about its relationship to The Kill the Gays bill.
Appointed in 2007, the current Consul for Uganda in Los Angeles is Matthew Crouch, who is described in the designation as “The Honorable Matthew Wendell Crouch” (See Consular sheet at screen shot left – via http://ceo.lacounty.gov/pdf/LosAngelesConsularCorpsRoster.pdf).
Crouch is an American Christian broadcaster and well known filmmaker who exerts enormous influence in American and International Christian circles through his current position as vice president of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). TBN is the major American Christian television network, based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities all across the U.S, where every major Christian leader has appeared extensively or features a show, from Billy Graham, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer and many more.
American Evangelicals have targeted Uganda with anti-homosexual hyperbole and rhetoric since early 2000 and according to the U.S. Center for Constitutional Reform (CCR) gone so far as to conspire to persecute homosexuals through direct actions such as involvement in the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, otherwise known as The Kill the Gays Bill, which calls for the death penalty of homosexuals in Uganda. So far only Scott Lively, from Abiding Truth Ministries, has been sued by the CCR on behalf of the persecuted Ugandans, in the conspiracy against gays in Uganda, under the Alien Tort Act.
This past Christmas after Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament failed to deliver her promised gift of passage of the Bill, incensed Christian Pastors in Uganda held New years rallies where, they called upon Ugandan Parliamentarians for a speedy passage of the Bill that would provide life in prison for Uganda’s gays and lesbians, the death penalty for so called “aggravated homosexuality,” silence free speech through the criminalization of so called “promotion” of homosexuality, and also provides a 3 year mandatory prison term for anyone “failing to report a known homosexual within 24 hours.”
The Ugandan Monitor reported in December the ongoing push for the Bill by Ugandan Pastors:-
“Addressing tens of thousands at the seventh annual National Prayer Day and Night at Nakivubo Stadium, several pastors also warned legislators against siding with the Western world, saying they risked losing their seats.”
Yet through all this with the Hon. Matthew Crouch, as Consul for Uganda and also as Vice President of TBN, has kept his silence, and one can only wonder to what extent he (by association or otherwise,) and TBN may have been involved also in the allegations of conspiracy surrounding the Anti-homosexuality Bill or any support that has gone toward it.
TBN, which broadcasts programs hosted by a diverse group of ministries from traditional Protestant and Catholic denominations, Interdenominational and Full Gospel churches, non-profit charities, Messianic Jewish and well-known Christian and Mormon media personalities, cannot be underestimated in its influence. It owns and operates five broadcast networks, each reaching separate demographics; in addition to the main TBN network, TBN owns The Church Channel, Smile of a Child TV, TBN Enlace and JCTV. Accordingly is a major influence in the Evangelical and other Christian denominational world and in the U.S.A.
Are its participants, audience and associates aware of the VP’s intimate connection to a country that is touting the execution of all its gay and lesbian population?
“Concluding in Uganda, a nation crippled by unending war, AIDS and economic doom, Transformations II reveals a nation beginning to stand on strong legs of integrity and righteousness. You will see communities reveling in all-night prayer meetings, and astonishing church growth; hear the health minister verify the country’s plummeting AIDS rate, and experience the jubilation as the President and First Lady rededicates the nation to God.” (Uganda’s first Lady has been a vocal proponent for The kill the Gays Bill)
It is not only the reach of TBN that drives one to wonder if possibly it has been involved in the same or similar conspiracy such as that which Scott Lively is now being charged with, but it is because VP Crouch represents the government of Uganda, and he himself is associated with like minded U.S. Evangelicals and yet in his capacity as VP and as Consul, has been silent.
One wonders to what extent TBN has been a sponsor or supporter, inadvertent or otherwise, of the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill?
I called Mr. Crouch today for his opinion on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill but was told that he does not provide commentary unless one writes to his comment line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I submitted these questions and await a response:
Dear Mr. Croucher,
I am asking these questions for the record:-
Re Your Representation of Uganda as Consul , The Anti-Homosexuality Bill and your position as VP of TBN:-
1. Do you agree that homosexuals should be put to death?
2. Do you think that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda is good for Ugandan society?
3. Do you think that the Bill is helpful to Uganda’s standing in the world and how does it impact your mission as its Consul in Los Angeles?
4. Do you feel comfortable representing Uganda given that 89% of Ugandans have indicated they want immediate passage of the bill, regardless of the death penalty?
5. Have you had any personal interaction with David Bahati, the author of the Bill?
6. Have you discussed the AHB with any U.S. or Ugandan Pastors such as Lou Engel, Rick Warren or Scott Lively?
7. HAS TBN provided any financial support, air time or programming to those promoting the Bill in Uganda??
8. You have never made a public statement about the Bill – how do you feel about your position as Consul, and the Bill and the implied associations for TBN
Thanks for your kind and prompt attention to my questions.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill escaped passage in Uganda’s Parliament this past December due to the holiday recess and will likely reappear on the Order Papers for its second debate when Parliament reconvenes on February 04. It is said that the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has recommended that the death penalty be removed, which can only occur in Parliamentary process. However even with the removal of the death penalty, the Bill is extremely onerous, and provides huge risks for international corporations with global diversity policies to operate in Uganda. The Bill is a Private members Bill and hence President Museveni does not have veto power.
For as long as Consul Crouch remains in this position he is condoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in its current form. Accordingly all who associate with TBN and remain silent, are in essence endorsing the Kill the Gays Bill in Uganda. And the question still remains:- To what extent does the position and title of Honorary Consul to Uganda by the Vice President of Trinity Broadcasting Network indicate a support of The Kill the Gays Bill?
By Melanie Nathan
Understanding that hate cannot dominate the Uganda Gay conversation (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
NY Times Video highlights American evangelicals help to finance violent anti-gay movement in Uganda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
Ugandan Catholic Priest Persecuted by Scott Lively’s Anti-Gay Campaign speaks of bribes (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill on way to Parliament from Committee (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Uganda cannot escape the global fall out from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Second Gay Youth Worker Arrested in Uganda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- U.S. Pastor accuses gays of persecuting Christians in lead up to UK Oxford Union invitation (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
The Crouches have invited criticism and scorn in the past with their lavish lifestyle and flamboyant appearance, but the new lawsuit paints a portrait of a thoroughly corrupt organization. The suit centers on Paul Crouch’s granddaughter Brittany Koper, a former executive at TBN who was fired after she blew the whistle on alleged fraudulent and criminal activities. She claims that she subsequently faced massive retaliation, including threats of “physical and lethal violence.