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The Right Wing’s Frightening Campaign to Turn Africa Into Gay Hateville

africagayrainbow

Rick Warren, the anti-gay (and self-professed not-anti-gay) pastor who turned Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration into a gay sideshow, is not a stupid man. A jovial bigot, sure. But not stupid. He understands that subscription to Judeo-Christian faith in the West is on the decline, and that’s a huge impediment to winning his (homophobic) culture war. At least here in America. But the rest of the world? It’s fertile ground to the Saddleback Church leader and other religious conservatives. And they’re making the African continent their own Ground Zero to persecute, and sometimes eliminate, queers.

“Last Sunday there were more Christians who went to church in China than all of Europe combined,” Warren, 55, told an audience this month at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

(He added: “If I thought politicians could change people’s hearts, I would go into government. If I thought laws could change people’s hearts, I would go into government. But I don’t, so I’m not.”)

And Warren is right: The future of Catholicism lives not in North America or Western Europe, but in Asia and Africa. Which is why you should be even more concerned about American religious leaders working with their counterparts across the world to foster homophobic beliefs. It’s not just Uganda (though Uganda is a hot bed). As the progressive think tank Political Research Associates just declared this week in the report “Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches and Homophobia” (PDF):

U.S. conservatives have successfully recruited a significant number of prominent African religious leaders to a campaign seeking to restrict the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The flagship issue … is the ordination of LGBT clergy by mainline Protestant denominations– particularly the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches– in the United States….

As a direct result of this campaign, homophobia is on the rise in Africa– from increased incidents of violence to antigay legislation that carries the death penalty….

[O]ne of the main organizations promoting homophobia in both Africa and the United States over the last decade is the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a well-funded neoconservative think tank that opposed the African liberation struggles. In Africa, IRD and other U.S. conservatives present mainline denominations’ commitments to human rights as imperialistic attempts to manipulate Africans into accepting homosexuality– which they characterize as a purely western phenomenon. For IRD, this campaign is part of a long-term, deliberate, and successful strategy to weaken and split U.S. mainline denominations, block their powerful progressive social witness promoting social and economic justice, and promote political and social conservatism in the United States. Using African leaders as a wedge in the U.S. conflicts is only its latest and perhaps most effective tactic. [via]

As Public Eye notes further:

As [Project Director Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia now leading churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts] argues, the U.S. Right – once isolated in Africa for supporting pro-apartheid, White supremacist regimes – has successfully reinvented itself as the mainstream of U.S. evangelicalism. Through their extensive communications networks in Africa, social welfare projects, Bible schools, and educational materials, U.S. religious conservatives warn of the dangers of homosexuals and present themselves as the true representatives of U.S. evangelicalism, so helping to marginalize Africans’ relationships with mainline Protestant churches.

[...] While the American side of the story is known to LGBT activists and their allies witnessing struggles over LGBT clergy within Protestant denominations in the United States, what’s been missing is the effect of the Right’s proxy wars on Africa itself. Kaoma’s report finally brings this larger, truly global picture into focus.

“Just as the United States and other northern societies routinely dump our outlawed or expired chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and cultural detritus on African and other Third World countries, we now export a political discourse and public policies our own society has discarded as outdated and dangerous,” writes PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos in the report’s foreword. “Africa’s antigay campaigns are to a substantial degree made in the U.S.A.”

The future of conservative-backed bigotry is not in the James Dobsons, Rick Warrens, or even Lou Dobbs, but in cross-continental crusades to encourage the persecution of LGBTs. Even Adolf Hitler knew that the best way to generate a following was to unite to fight a common enemy. And even Adolf Hitler knew the gays made an easy target. As America’s gays achieve baby steps toward equality, Africa’s gays remain struggling to hold on to society’s lowest ladder rung. All with Jesus’s supposed support.

By:           editor editor
On:           Nov 20, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • Keith Kimmel
      Keith Kimmel

      Maybe we should let the bigots move there to persecute the homos, then in the middle of the night airlift all the homos out. Then drop a couple of really nukes on it.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brad
      Brad

      The IRD OPPOSED African liberation struggles and now are worried about “IMPERIALISTIC attempts to manipulate Africans into accepting homosexuality.”

      LMFAO! What a bunch of absolute hypocrites.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO
      DaveO

      I think they are doing a good job of it all by themselves.

      Nov 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Typo
      Typo

      You mean “the future of Christianity” not (just) the future of Catholicism, I think.

      Nov 21, 2009 at 5:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fernando
      Fernando

      “The future of Catholicism”?? Since when is Rick Warren Catholic?

      Nov 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sarah
      Sarah

      There are already gay groups in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, and Egypt, and the Igbo people of Nigeria have recognied and embraced gay relationships forever (it was a cultural thing). There are definitely gay Africans, but many are afraid to come out.

      Nov 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Attmay
      Attmay

      @2 Brad:

      “”IMPERIALISTIC attempts to manipulate Africans into accepting homosexuality.”

      That’s a good case FOR imperialism.

      Nov 23, 2009 at 10:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tomdww
      Tomdww

      Homosexuality has a long history in Africa. Homophobia is one of the many ‘gifts’ that European colonists gave to Africa. It is so deeply ingrained in countries like Zimbabwe, Namibia and Uganda that the leaders of these nations regularly condemn homosexuality as “un-African”. Of course their private jets and Armani suits are all completely African. If anything is imperialistic here, it is the attempt to reinforce homophobic legislation.

      Nov 28, 2009 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zeke Krahlinl
      Zeke Krahlinl

      New Declaration of Independence
      http://www.gay-bible.org/write/4_newdec.htm

      Dec 1, 2009 at 3:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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