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Walberg’s Dehumanizing, Anti-American Speech in Uganda
By Steven Meyer
On Friday, October 6, as I drove eastbound on M50 through Monroe approaching Telegraph Road, I saw a new billboard, “Paid for by funds authorized by the U.S. House of Representatives” for Tim Walberg to promote his name and face, and falsely proclaim in all-caps, “HERE TO SERVE SOUTHERN MICHIGAN”. Unbeknownst to me in that moment, with the Republican-led House of Representatives failing to appoint a Speaker, Tim Walberg was not “HERE TO SERVE” in Michigan or the USA, but instead secretly departed for the entire weekend to Uganda for their National Prayer Breakfast under the theme in all-caps, “FEAR NOT, REPENT AND SERVE THE LORD” (1-4).
Walberg attended in his official government capacity, bearing his member’s lapel pin while meeting other top government officials at the Ugandan State House. However, he decidedly neglected to report anything about it publicly: on social media, in radio call-ins, or in his official e-newsletters (5). Unlike similar events in the past, there are no filings on the House’s disclosure webpage to show who paid for Walberg and his spouse’s travel, food, and lodging (6). Walberg described his role in theocratic terms to the Ugandan officials, “God called me to the mission field in government back in 1982. And I’ve had a wonderful ministry in government in all those years. Cause I don’t see it first and foremost as a Member of Congress, I see it as a missionary of the lord Jesus Christ”. He further reinforced, “we’re, first: Christ-followers; and second: politicians”.
Walberg’s 22-minute speech was full of more explicitly anti-American declarations, such as asking Ugandan officials, “Whose side do we want to be on? Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN – God’s side.” Walberg smirked while saying, “I come to you right now from Congress that doesn’t have a Speaker.” Then he paused to scan the quiet crowd as though expecting laughter from that line.
Most of Walberg’s anti-American remarks were based on the Biden Administration’s opposition to Uganda for signing into law in May, “The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023”, which includes penalties of life imprisonment or death for existing as a homosexual in Uganda (7-9). In 2014, Uganda enacted a nearly identical law authored by Parliamentarian, David Bahati, which was later overturned by their courts (10-12). Bahati Chaired this year’s Prayer Breakfast, and Walberg described their long relationship, “thank you David. You’re a real brother. Uh, you were the first Member of the Parliament that I met here back in 2007.” Walberg tried to justify tyrannical human rights abuses through this messed up dog analogy, “if I could decide what I want to be, what gender, whatever it is, I’d be a yellow Labrador Retriever. I love that dog. And for a day, I’d love everybody to love me.”
That was our home District’s Congress Member who stood before world leaders proudly dehumanizing people already under so much targeted oppression. We heard during the 2004 campaign as Walberg told a similar dog analogy to restrict marriage rights, "They have the right
to put a will in place. They can leave their entire fortune to their favorite pet dog if they wanted to. (13)" In that same campaign Walberg declared, “It’s a sin to be gay. (14)” Our home District approved of Walberg’s message by repeatedly re-electing him. Our blame came into startling focus at the end of this speech when Bahati said, “That’s a message from America, and from God. Thank you so much, Tim.”
1) October 14, 2023 – Blog by Steven Meyer: “HOMOPHOBE and Abroad: Walberg’s Speech in
Uganda - https://www.takecaretim.com/2023/10/homophobe-and-abroad-walbergs-speech-
2) October 6, 2023 (morning – Walberg never specified on air where he was going, but
evidently told this radio host off air that he was flying out somewhere that day) – Radio Call in
to The Steve Gruber Show – Gruber: “I found Congressman Tim Walberg. I guess he was just –
uh, fed up with Washington for a day or two. He decided, you know what, I’m just gonna get
outta town for a couple days. He – uh, just had a bad phone line. Now, Congressman, good to
have you back.” – Later, Gruber: “I understand you need a little bit of – uh, fresh air out of
3) October 8, 2023 - UBC Television Uganda - Full Video of Uganda Prayer Breakfast – Broadcast
LIVE (Walberg’s Speech Starts at 3:10:35 mark):
4) October 8, 2023 – Official Press Release by President Yoweri Museveni about the Prayer
Breakfast - https://statehouse.go.ug/president-museveni-hails-national-prayer-breakfast-for-
5) October 14, 2023 – Walberg’s Weekly Government Newsletter had no mention of his trip to
6) Clerk of the United States House of Representatives - Gift Travel Disclosures – Walberg has
not Filed who paid for this Uganda Trip in his official capacity for himself and his spouse (as of
October 23, 2023): https://disclosures-clerk.house.gov/GiftTravelFilings
7) May 26, 2023 – Full Text of “The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023” signed into law by Yoweri
Museveni - https://www.parliament.go.ug/sites/default/files/The%20Anti-
8) May 29, 2023 – White House Official Statement: “Statement from President Joe Biden on the
Enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act” - https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-
9) June 16, 2023 – U.S. Department of State, Press Release: “Visa Restrictions for Undermining
the Democratic Process in Uganda” - https://www.state.gov/visa-restrictions-for-undermining-
10) December 13, 2012 – Vice Article: “I Spoke to the Author of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality
Bill” (interview with David Bahati) - https://www.vice.com/en/article/qbwak7/an-interview-
11) December 20, 2013 – NPR Article, “Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill That Includes Life In Prison”
– this article features David Bahati as the author behind this earlier anti-LGBT legislation -
12) February 14, 2014 – Full Text of “Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014”, introduced by David
Bahati, and Signed into Law (Months Later overturned by courts in Uganda) -
13) July 22, 2004 – The Daily Telegram (Adrian, MI) Article: “Schwarz may sue Walberg for
defamation” Quote from Article: "Frankly, that is not the direction we need to be going in society," Walberg said. "They've got rights," he said of homosexual couples. "They have the right to put a will in place. They can leave their entire fortune to their favorite pet dog if they wanted to." – Obtained from Public Library NewsBank Service
14) July 20, 2004 – The Daily Telegram (Adrian, MI) Article: “Candidates debate gay rights - Tim Walberg insisted John "Joe" Schwarz supports gay marriage; Schwarz says 'fairness' is an issue.” Quote from Article: "’It's a sin to be gay,’ said Walberg, a minister. ‘The Bible says it's a sin. I'm not going to differ with my creator, God.’” - Obtained from Public Library NewsBank Service
Complete Unedited Transcript of Walberg’s Speech Event Chair, David Bahati [author of Uganda’s 2014 ‘Kill the Gays law’]: “As we turn to the second guest speaker, Congressman, Tim Walberg from Michigan. He has been in Congress for eight terms – for eight terms, and he was a pastor before. As I told you, his daughter was married here, and when we sent him a message as speaker, he asked me to keep in touch with him, and he did. And I asked: Are you comfortable with me keeping in touch with you? And he said: I have no problem because Uganda is on the right side of God [smattering of applause from crowd]. He traveled with his wife, your excellency, Susan, and we are happy to be with you here. I want to invite you Congressman to come and speak to the nation.” [Begin Speech] Tim Walberg: “Well, thank you David. You’re a real brother. Uh, you were the first Member of the Parliament that I met here back in 2007. And then I met – I guess I would say - We all would agree that there’s only one that doesn’t change, and that’s God. Right? But Maama Ogwal comes in second [referring to Cecilia Barbara Atim Ogwal, Member of Parliament since 1996]. Heh! Ha-Ha! I met her back then, as well, and prayed with her, and still hasn’t changed.” “Your excellency, President Museveni. First Lady, Janet. So good to see you. So good to see you! I pray for you regularly [smattering of cheers and applause]. First Lady of Kenya [Mama Rachel Ruto], I bring greetings to you. I was there on that special day at your Prayer Breakfast, when we had the handshake and hug heard around the world. That still sets examples for many of us today.” “Speaker of the House, I come to you right now from Congress that doesn’t have a Speaker [Walberg smirks and pauses to scan crowd’s reaction]. We’ve got some work to do. And I may have to leave early tomorrow to get back for the process of voting. All the Parliamentarians and – but – I must admit to you that - Uh, I probably want to greet more than any other individual or group in this room: all of us. Citizens of countries around the world. Citizens, more importantly of the kingdom of heaven.” “Citizens who agree with me, that we’re, first: Christ-followers; and second: politicians, government officials, doctors, lawyers, parliamentarians, members of congress, members of 3 divinity – you name it. And I’m delighted that there are representatives from all sorts of religions here, and beliefs, and values. I certainly believe in my faith that God has placed in my heart an understanding and a belief that goes beyond words that Jesus Christ is my savior because I was a sinner in need of a savior. And he bought me back [sic] if I’d just accepted that free gift, and that’s made all the difference in the world. Right, Madam Justice [Walberg turned to Catherine Bamugemereire, Justice of the Court of Appeal of Uganda, seated behind him]? I’m a new creation in Christ. And so, I love to share that with anyone and everyone. And so, I believe that my faith stands up to anything, and I share it freely and offer it. But in this nation, as I’ve talked with his excellency, President Museveni, he said we want this nation to be open to all. As a nation that has been based upon Christian principles, we ask you not to change us, but we want to be open and free. And so, I am delighted to be here today. I’m kind of amazed that I was asked, David [Walberg turned around towards David Bahati] to share with you today. Because being both a former pastor, before God called me to the mission field in government back in 1982.” “And I’ve had a wonderful ministry in government in all those years. Cause I don’t see it first and foremost as a Member of Congress, I see it as a missionary of the lord Jesus Christ. In a context that many people wouldn’t have, and you Members of Parliament have that as well. We have answers that come from the word of God that are clear and available to us. So today, to stand here at this 25 th National Prayer Breakfast, on the day before you celebrate 61 years of independence and go onto 62. In a year when President Museveni and First Lady Janet have celebrated 50 years of marriage, congratulations, Janet [smattering of applause from crowd]. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! You’ve had to put up with him all those years! I would say the same about my wife, who’s put up with me for 49 years. We’re gonna catch up next year, but then you’ll go ahead. So, congratulations. You set an example and may your tribe increase in showing that to the world.” “And I would also say, let’s pray for the peace of Israel. And dear friends from Israel, we – our heart breaks for you right now. To be in war. But we know that those of us who stand with Israel will be blessed. And those that oppose Israel will be cursed. And so, I for one say that America stands with you. And we’ll continue to do that, and you’re in our prayers [smattering of applause from crowd].” “For 81 years in the US House of Representatives there has been a Thursday bi-partisan Congressional Prayer Breakfast [organized by the Fellowship Foundation, AKA The Family, which also organized this event in Uganda]. I had the privilege of chairing that last term. Democrats, Republicans come together, and we follow the pattern of Acts 2:42, that says simply [not verbatim from any standard translation]: They would continue devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” “So, we continue to meet. We break bread together. We share the good things of Jesus in our life. And as we walk with him, we talk about those things. We sing a song – heh-heh, and the parliamentary choir – Thank you for singing today again. It was wonderful [smattering of applause]! I listened to your choir in 2019 when I was here for your prayer breakfast. I took a 4 video of it, went back to our prayer breakfast, and I said, ‘Listen to this. We need to do this.’ So, the next year, we stood on the platform, President Trump was president at the time, and we sang a Hank Williams song, ‘I Saw the Light’ [MGM Records, 1947]. I played guitar with four other guitarists. And I think – at least I thought we were wonderful [smattering of applause]. We’ve never been asked to sing again. So, I loved hearing you today [some laughter from crowd]! Thank you for doing that.” “The theme as was stated to you today so clearly by many and my brother here [gestures to Joseph A. Alexander], Bishop Alexander: Fear not, Repent, and Serve the Lord! I want to hitchhike, add on to the foundation that my brother established for you, because it’s so important to understand – Um, scripture says in Jeremiah 15:19 [Quoting from New American Standard Bible, 1995 translation]: ’Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘If you return, then I will restore you – Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless-’ – Catch that, ‘if you extract the precious from the worthless’ – He said, ‘If you return’ – That’s a repentance. That must be there. But in doing that, you need to extract those things that matter. Those things that are timeless. Those things that never change. Those things that develop a nation. Those things that develop a family. Those things that develop an individual. Those things that are eternal. Things I look at in my country, our foundational principles that our framers and founders established The United States of America on were timeless. Why? Because they were based on scripture.” “And so, Jeremiah, here speaking to the Lord, and receiving from the Lord, in a very difficult time where he’s being put upon, he’s being persecuted. He’s in ridicule, and he’s speaking to the nation of Israel. And he’s speaking for return, of repentance. ‘If you return, then I will restore you – Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless-’ – The worthless are those things of the world. The worthless is the thought of the world. The worthless – for instance, is the thought of The World Bank, or The World Health Organization, or The United Nations, or sadly, some in our administration in America who say you are wrong for standing for values that God created. For saying there are male and female, and God created them! That’s science folks! I’ve been told all throughout COVID, and everything else, ‘follow the science’. But when they come to understanding that there’s male and female, and God created it [sic] - That’s science! And to lie to our children, to groom our children to think that they can determine whatever they want - I told someone this morning, jokingly, - Please media, report that - That if I could decide what I want to be, what gender, whatever it is, I’d be a yellow Labrador Retriever. I love that dog. And for a day, I’d love everybody to love me. So, I’m a Yellow Labrador Retriever. Who doesn’t like a Yellow Labrador Retriever? That’s not science.” “So, go from the worthless. Preserve the precious. There are human beings – And I’ll speak from our experience, sadly in The United States where 62 innocent – innocent babies – 62 million innocent babies, at least, have been aborted. And now we’re encouraging more of that in The United States of America. Almost half the States in the union right now have abortion on demand, and almost to the day of delivery. And it’s being called health care. If there are any doctors in the room, health care is when you try to save lives – preserve lives. True health care 5 doesn’t mean that one dies and maybe one lives. That’s the worthless. That’s the worthless. God breathed into us his image and likeness, right?! Do you agree with me?! We are image- bearers of God himself! Why would we destroy?! I can say that about war! I can say that about genocide! I can say that about all of that! But we – we who are in government – and again, after marriage, the family, came government. The church came later on, and it was sure needed. But we in government need to return to repent.” “I could go on and on, but I feel David breathing down behind me. He says to Jeremiah, ‘You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you -’ – They might! They might listen and turn to you! But then he says, ‘But you must not turn to them.’ That would be the pressure. That’s what The World Bank is saying to Uganda. That’s what the administration in The United States is saying to you. That’s what The World Health Organization is saying to you. Don’t turn to them [smattering of applause].” “I love Uganda. And over almost the 20 years I’ve been coming to Uganda, I’ve traveled on Lake Victoria. My district, I represent Lake Michigan and Lake Erie – two of the Great Lakes. No biting fish. No salt. I love Lake Victoria, and the beauty of it. Especially I love the tilapia. I’ve been down the Nile River. I have the record – I believe, your excellency, at least for Members of Congress, there is no other Member of Congress – maybe no Parliament – Member of Parliament that has ever bungeed over the Nile River. Last - Last August, I bungee jumped in Entebbe over the Nile River. The last que – the last [Walberg turned to his spouse] - In Jinja. Not Entebbe. In Jinja – That’s why I need my wife of 49 years. And I hear my daughter out there saying the same thing. The last question I asked before I bungee jumped the top of that great high pillar and said, ‘Do you see any crocodiles down there today?’ [some laughter in crowd]. They said, ‘Not this morning.’” “I love the creation. Going on safari and Murchison Falls National Park – and going to Murchison Falls and seeing all of that. There’s a story told about King Leo – King Leo the lion. He decided he was going to walk through his domain in Murchison Falls National Park and see what his constituents were thinking of him – kind of like Parliamentarians, or the President that I’ve seen many times sitting beside the road talking to constituents. He said, I’m gonna check and see what they think of me. So, he sauntered off down the jungle path, and he came to a Jackson Heart Beast. I represent Jackson, Michigan, so I like Jackson Heart Beast. And he said [feigned a deep gravelly voice], ‘Jackson Heart Beast, who’s the king of the jungle?’ – [feigned a meek nervous voice] ‘Oh, you are, oh King. You’re the king of the jungle.’ Pleased the king. He sauntered a little further. He came to a warthog, and said, ‘Warthog, who’s the king of the jungle?’ Warthog said [feigned a nervous nasally voice], ‘Oh King Leo, you’re the king of the jungle.’ Pleased the king. Went a little further into a beautiful clearing, saw this big bull elephant, gently munching on the grass. King Leo said, I think this’ll be a test. So, he walked up to the elephant, and he pulled himself up to full height and he said, ‘Elephant, who’s the king of the jungle?’ No motion, just flapping of ears. King Leo said, must be an old elephant, he’s hard of hearing. So, he pulled himself up further, and said, ‘Rooaar! Elephant! Who’s the king of the jungle?!’ Elephant quietly reached out his trunk, wrapped it around King Leo’s neck and – whip – whip -whip – Boom! Against the tree - Dust – Splinters – Leo comes to the ground, shaken. 6 And I want you to catch this: Leo got up. He looked at the elephant, and brushed himself off, and he said, ‘All right already, elephant. You don’t have to get so angry since you don’t know the answer.’ [smattering of laughter in the crowd]. This proves that Ugandans are kind to laugh at that joke. But it’s more than that. That’s what it means to not give into them. Regardless of what they think, move on. Jeremiah says then [Jeremiah 15:20], ‘Then I will make you to this people -’ – Jeremiah, ‘A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,’ [cheers and applause among crowd].” “Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side. I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm. And he knows that he has a Parliament, and he knows that he has a people, and he has a clergy, and he has members of the civil society, and he has members around the world, even Congressmen like me, who will say: We stand with you.” “Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. Someone once said, ‘We honor Christ. We do not defend the honor of Christ. He can do it himself.’ Let’s honor him. He will bring the best even through trials to individuals, to families, to countries, if we walk with him. I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle.” “And so, I am going to end with this passage of scripture. Psalms 7, verses 6 through 11 [Walberg only read verses 6 through 10, taken from New American Standard Bible, 1995 translation]. The psalm it says, ‘Arise, O Lord -’ – Catch this, ‘Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries, And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment. Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You, And over them return on high. The Lord judges the peoples; Vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. My shield is with God, Who saves the upright in heart.’ – That’s my prayer for all of us today. We’ve heard prayers. We’ve had songs. We’ve heard sermons, but our prayer must go from here and say, God, we want the righteousness of you to dwell on us. And that means, we say, ‘No’ to what you condemn, and we say, ‘Yes’ to what’s righteous. It’ll be a challenge. With God’s strength, I’m up to it. With God’s strength, you all can be up to it, as well. “And this great land of Uganda – And I say that not pandering to you. I love Uganda. More than anything, I love its people. They bring me joy when I’m here, and some good food. But God will bless the righteous [Walberg shut eyes very tightly]. Father, I pray for these people, that they will be people of righteousness! They will support their leaders with righteousness! In giving strength to their leaders to exemplify righteousness to the world as well. And then you Lord, fight the battle for them! It’s in the name of Jesus, my savior, I pray, amen [applause from crowd, Walberg sat back down]. [End of Speech] Event Chair, David Bahati: “Thank you! Thank you, so much. That’s a message from America, and from God. Thank you so much, Tim. Thank you.