(Humaneness: marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals)

Well, isn’t this a sweet headline from a government official:

Ugandan Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo spoke with journalists today. While acknowledging the great numbers of “foreigners” who express grave concern over the possibility of such a [proposed anti-gay] bill becoming law, he made it clear that he is not paying attention to them.

Buturo balked at the notion that the proposed bill — which, among other things, would criminalise any public discussion of homosexuality and could penalise an individual who knowingly rented property to a homosexual — constituted a human rights violation. “We are really getting tired of this phrase human rights. It is being abused. Anything goes, and if you are challenged? ‘Oh, it’s my right’,” the minister snapped.
Read more: African Veil, Asylum Law, Behind the Mask

And then there’s Dr. Rick Scarborough of Vision America Action who declared: “This is a sad day for America. While a small minority of homosexual activists are celebrating, [signing of the Hate Crimes Bill last week] thousands of pastors, priests and rabbis are lamenting their loss of First Amendment freedoms. I for one refuse to bow before this unjust and unconstitutional law, and I intend to continue to preach the whole counsel of God as revealed in Scripture.” [That is, homosexuality as sin; homophobia as virtue.]

Add to this Pat Robertson‘s rant against Obama’s signing the Hate Crimes Bill:
“The noose has tightened around the necks of Christians to keep them from speaking out on certain moral issues. And it all was embodied in something called the Hate crimes bill that President Obama said was a major victory for America. I’m not sure if America was the beneficiary. […] We have voted into office a group of people who are opposed to many of the fundamental Christian beliefs of our nation. And they hold to radical ideology, and they are beginning to put people sharing their points of view into high office,” – Pat Robertson (Read the comments that follow his rant.)

Where do these homophobes come from and how did they lose their humaneness?

Are they so callous to the suffering of other human beings that they continue to advocate discrimination and ‘spiritual violence’? Maybe if these Christian men had come upon Matthew Shepard or James Byrd and seen their bloody broken bodies they might have softened their fierce stance against a population of stigmatized ‘different’ people–or maybe not.

What kind of vision do they have for their society, for their fellow citizens who are not like them and who live and love beyond the cage of “counsel of God as revealed in Scripture.”