President Edgar Lungu has refused to work with US ambassador Daniel Foote
THE Trump administration, to the surprise of many and the fury of evangelical zealots, recently made it clear that it wants homosexual sex acts decriminalised worldwide. But the President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, above, is having none of it.
Following our recent report that Daniel Foote roundly condemned the jailing of two gay men for 15 years, the godly Lungu defended the sentence by declaring that homosexuality is “unbiblical and unChristian,” and “we don’t want it.”
Foote has now reportedly been recalled from the country as Lungu refuses to work with him, and a replacement is not expected anytime soon.
Lungu said on ZNBC-TV :
We have complained officially to the American government, and we are waiting for their response because we don’t want such people in our midst. We want him gone.
Foote, above, was appointed as ambassador to Zambia in 2017 by the Trump administration.
Section 155 of the penal code in Zambia states that “[a]ny person who … has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or … permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years” to life in prison.
Earlier Lungu said:
We know that there could be people who are homosexual in Zambia. But we don’t want to promote it, because we frown upon it — the practice. Most of us say it’s wrong.
He said felt the two men sentenced are “sick” and need help.
Lungu also remarked that the country would rather remain poor than have its financial aid being conditioned on such a matter.
If that is the how you are going to bring your aid, I’m afraid that the West can leave us alone in our poverty and we will continue scrounging and struggling and see how we can get going.
Foote said that he was “horrified” at the severity of the sentence, and asserted that Zambians were not behaving in a Christlike manner because of the “venom and hate” that he received on social media following his remarks, which caused him to cancel a World AIDS Day event.
He also expressed concern that Zambia was doing:
Untold damage to its international reputation by demonstrating that human rights in Zambia is not a universal guarantee.
I thought, perhaps incorrectly, that Christianity meant trying to live like our Lord, Jesus Christ. I am not qualified to sermonize, but I cannot imagine Jesus would have used bestiality comparisons or referred to his fellow human beings as ‘dogs’, or ‘worse than animals’ – allusions made repeatedly by your countrymen and women about homosexuals.
He also expressed concern that:
Discriminatory and homophobic laws, under the false flags of Christianity and culture, continue to kill innocent Zambians, many of whom were born with the [AIDS] virus. Your citizens are terrified of being outed as HIV-positive, because of the inaccurate and archaic associations between HIV and homosexuality.
My job as U.S. ambassador is to promote the interests, values, and ideals of the United States Zambia is one of the largest per-capita recipients of US assistance in the world, at $500 million each year. In these countries where we contribute resources, this includes partnering in areas of mutual interest, and holding the recipient government accountable for its responsibilities under this partnership.
According to Reuters, the Zambian government consequently sent a letter to US officials, taking issue with his words and stating that the ambassador is “no longer tenable.”
The US. subsequently decided to remove Foote from the country.
“Since Lungu says he does not want to work with Foote, there was no point of him remaining. Also don’t forget that there are security issues so Washington wants their man back,” an unnamed State Department representative told Reuters. “The US cannot be paying a salary to someone who cannot work because the hosts don’t want him.”
The AFP also reports that the representative advised, “We do not expect a replacement soon.”
However, the US desires “an open and frank relationship of mutual respect, commensurate with the generous aid provided to the Zambian people by the United States.”
The United States firmly opposes abuses against LGBTI persons. Governments have an obligation to ensure that all people can freely enjoy the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms to which they are entitled.
The Trump administration launched a global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality earlier this year, a move that Trump himself confirmed on social media in giving a nod to Pride Month. He wrote:
As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.
My administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!
In February, NBC News reported that:
The US embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
On December 18, two US ambassadors, including the openly homosexual Richard Grenell, above – who is leading the effort to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide – held an event at the United Nations entitled “Decriminalizing Homosexuality in Solidarity with LGBTQ People.” He spoke of the 69 nations that currently criminalise sex acts between those of the same gender.
According to Fox News, countries on the list include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Kenya, Senegal, Cameroon Antigua, Barbuda, Syria and Yemen. The outlet notes that 33 African countries recognized by the UN consider homosexual sex acts a crime. Punishments vary from nation to nation, from jail time to the death penalty.
I want these countries to be called out! I want these countries to feel the pressure! This list should be read here every day.
Johnnie Moore, Commissioner for the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom and former senior Vice President for Communications at Liberty University, said:
We need religious leaders to stand up and say, ‘This is not only a bad law that needs to be changed, but it is in defiance of the human dignity of an individual.
The press release surrounding the event also pointed to the exhortation of President Trump in September at the U.N. General Assembly:
As we defend American values, we affirm the right of all people to live in dignity. For this reason, my administration is working with other nations to stop criminalizing of homosexuality, and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish, jail, or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation.
The Zambia Daily Mail published an editorial in July applauding Lungu’s refusal to cave to pressure from various western nations, noting that Zambia is a Christian country that seeks to be governed by biblical principles.
In recent years, many developing countries have come under pressure from some sections of the Western world to embrace homosexuality in exchange for financial help. Those countries with the financial muscle use that to lure developing countries through hefty donations.
For Zambia, which is a Christian nation as enshrined in the Constitution, embracing homosexuality is an affront to the declaration. Through the declaration as a Christian nation, Zambia chose to be governed by biblical principles.
The Bible is very clear about homosexuality; it is an abomination and is detestable before the eyes of God. It is a rebellion against God. God created human beings as male and female to get married and multiply and raise families.