Slog tipper Emily saw the words on this church readerboard in Silverdale recently and thought we should investigate.
After all, thanks to the work of American evangelicals—who helped teach Ugandans to fear "the gay agenda," and in doing so helped produce a recent Ugandan effort to to kill all homosexuals by hanging—the words "Uganda evangelist" are now a warning sign.
So we ran the name Frank Butyai by Jim Burroway, editor of the Box Turtle Bulletin, which has been closely tracking Uganda's "deadly embrace of hate." Burroway told us:
I'm afraid I've never heard of this guy. Uganda is crawling with evangelical pastors. All it takes is a white shirt and a tin-roof shack somewhere and suddenly you're a pastor. And in some cases you don't even need a shack. Just a street corner will do. And if one of them can finagle a trip to the US where Ugandan pastors are very fashionable, they've hit the motherlode.
We also spoke with Dennis Taylor, deacon at Silverdale's Clear Creek Baptist Church. He said Butyai is visiting from Uganda on a month-long visa and preaching at a bunch of different American churches, mostly in Washington State, while trying to raise money for his mission.
Butyai won't be addressing homosexuality or gay rights, Taylor said, because that would quite literally be preaching to the choir.
“He’s not going to waste his time talking about that," Taylor said. “None of us are in favor of gay rights, so he automatically wouldn’t be. He’s going to be raising money for his mission."
And does Butyai's mission—like the mission of this American-church-backed Ugandan evangelical—involve support for killing people because they're gay?
"No," said Taylor, though he also admitted he was completely unaware of the threatened violence against homosexuals in Uganda.
"Christians don’t have violence toward homosexuals," Taylor continued. "I assure you, he is not part of a movement like that. Or we wouldn’t be sponsoring him at all. We don’t condone any kind of violence like that at all.”
Taylor said it's his understanding that any money Butyai raises will go to help an orphanage Butyai started for survivors of the Ugandan civil war.